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   Youth Violence Prevention Initiatives

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has funded three key initiatives and - with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - constructed a framework for action to help communities reduce and prevent youth violence. Each initiative was launched in 2010 to address various facets of violence and to mitigate the consequences of trauma to children and youth through evidence-based and promising programs, practices, and strategies. Collectively, OJJDP's initiatives provide a comprehensive, balanced road map to promote the healthy development and well-being of children and youth through the elimination of violence and victimization.

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Shared Framework

The Shared Framework to Reduce Youth Violence and Promote Well-Being (Shared Framework), which was developed by CDC and OJJDP, is designed to facilitate understanding and collective action by those whose efforts influence and contribute to safe and nurturing families and communities. The Shared Framework sets forth a unifying paradigm and common language for those working to reduce youth violence and help children and youth thrive. It describes values, action principles, and a theory of change that is built on three decades of research and practice. The Shared Framework can serve as a tool for all those seeking to bring about productive change and to sustain what works and is being used to help OJJDP sites, CDC grantees, and federal, state, and local partners of the initiatives broaden and enhance their efforts.


The number of sites participating in these initiatives has increased to 39. Using a range of violence prevention and other collective-impact strategies, these communities have realized achievements-including self-reported reductions in violence-that may be attributed to these programs. Each reflects a growing commitment to finding comprehensive methods to prevent youth violence and enhance youth development.

Youth Violence Prevention Update

To learn more, access National Youth Violence Prevention Update: 2010-2016 (PDF 974kb). This update provides a survey of the salient features and impacts of the three violence prevention initiatives that make up the Shared Framework: the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (Forum), the Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP) program, and the Defending Childhood Initiative.

The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (Forum)

The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention logoThe National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (Forum) represents a network of 15 communities and federal agencies that work together, share information, and build local capacity. Communities use prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry strategies to stop violence and sustain their accomplishments. The Forum is supported by a Federal Coordinating Team that includes the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, Housing, Labor, and Health and Human Services and the CDC, among others, to align efforts and resources.

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Boston, MA
  • Camden, NJ
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Detroit, MI
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Louisville, KY
  • Memphis, TN
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Salinas, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Seattle, WA

9 out of 15 The National Forum cities reported reductions in homicides and juvenile violent crime in 9 out of 15 cities during 2014. In 2014, one Forum city decreased violent crime by 22 percent. Nonfatal shootings have also dropped from previous years in these cities. Additionally, some cities report changes in quality-of-life measures such as increased school retention, better police practices, passage of state legislation to leverage resources, and passage of local tax measures.

The Community-Based Violence Prevention Program (CBVP)

The Community-Based Violence Prevention Program (CBVP) concentrates on stopping youth gang and gun violence in 16 cities through evidence-based deterrence and public health approaches. CBVP is characterized by partnerships among law enforcement, service providers, residents, and community- and faith-based organizations.

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Boston, MA
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Camden, NJ
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Newark, NJ
  • Newport News, VA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Prince George's County, MD
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Washington, DC

The Community-Based Violence Prevention Program cities reported reductions in gun violence, increases in community engagement, and substantial impacts on community norms regarding gun violence. In one example, the average monthly shooting rates in Crown Heights (Brooklyn, NY) decreased by 6 percent, while shootings increased by 18 percent to 28 percent in three comparison neighborhoods. In Baltimore, from July to December 2014, there were 5 shooting incidents - a 50 percent decrease from the same period during the previous year. Other outcomes include 41 instances of mediated conflicts that likely would have resulted in violence.

The Defending Childhood Initiative

The Defending Childhood Initiative logoThe Defending Childhood Initiative seeks to prevent and more fully understand the impact of trauma resulting from children's exposure to violence (CEV). CEV is associated with long-term physical, mental, and emotional harm, and puts children and youth at greater risk of failing in school and employment; future victimization; and future involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice system. To interrupt the cycle of violence and its negative consequences, the Department of Justice awarded grants to six communities and two tribal nations to implement evidence-based treatment, to develop community-based solutions for violence prevention, and to revise policies and practices within the public systems that serve children and families.

  • Boston, MA
  • Chippewa Cree Tribe, MT
  • Cuyahoga County, OH
  • Grand Forks, ND
  • Multnomah County, OR
  • Portland, ME
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe, SD
  • Shelby County, TN

Defending Childhood Initiative The Defending Childhood initiative grantees used innovative approaches with local practitioners and community members to define the nature of children's exposure to violence locally and to tailor solutions accordingly. Agencies successfully developed innovative treatment, prevention and intervention strategies; updated procedural manuals and protocols; and supported training to help workers recognize the impact of childhood exposure to violence. In addition, the initiative has built local capacity by supporting more than 600 professional trainings, 723 community awareness/education events, and 538 publications and advertisements (October 2011 through September 2014*). See the Department of Justice's Defending Childhood page as well as the Futures Without Violence's Defending Childhood site to learn more about this initiative.

* Numbers are based on six sites that participated in the evaluation by the Center for Court Innovation.


The following are examples of materials produced or sponsored by OJJDP that focus on the prevention of youth violence:

Durable Collaborations: The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (June 2016) - This OJJDP-sponsored report is based on a survey of community leaders in the 15 cities participating in the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention on their perceptions and attitudes about youth violence prevention.

Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Gun Violence and Youth (December 2016) - This OJJDP-sponsored literature review focuses on intentional gun violence involving youths ages 10 to 24, which includes homicides (victimization and perpetration), nonfatal injuries, suicides, community violence, and school violence/school shootings.

National Gang Center Newsletter, Fall 2016 (December 2016) - This OJJDP-sponsored issue features articles on gang-involved girls, female delinquency and effective programs, and breaking the cycle of gang violence.

Street by Street: Cross-Site Evaluation of the OJJDP Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program (September 2016) - With funding support from OJJDP, the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice conducted a process and outcome evaluation of the Office's Community Based Violence Prevention (CBVP) demonstration in five cities. This report describes the efforts of each city and the lessons learned during implementation of CBVP.

See the Prevention topical page for additional resources produced and sponsored by OJJDP.

Technical Support

OJJDP and its federal partners provide oversight and capacity building to the funded communities through a wide range of training and technical assistance, including strategic planning, webinars, resource materials, peer-to-peer learning, and onsite visits. Notably, OJJDP has convened National Summits in 2011, 2012, and 2013; an Implementation Science Training Institute in 2014; and annual gatherings of the Defending Childhood sites. These events bring together local leadership from the key sectors of education, public health, law enforcement, and child welfare with federal staff, technical assistance providers and evaluators to advance the necessary commitments, systems changes, and resource allocation to reduce youth violence. In 2014, OJJDP established a coordinated training and technical assistance effort to facilitate further alignment and cross-initiative learning.