The National League of Cities provided details of youth violence prevention plans discussed last week by six cities in Washington, D.C., at a federally sponsored conference. Mayors and other leaders from Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Salinas, Ca., and San José, Ca., spoke at the session. The project’s launch by President Obama last October was inspired in part by the California Cities Gang Prevention Network, a 13-city initiative of the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
Boston plans to connect violence prevention efforts to the Circle of Promise initiative, a place-based approach to improving student achievement and family economic stability in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The CITY Task Force in Chicago will integrate the Chicago Public Schools Student Safety Initiative, the Juvenile Intervention Support Center, and the newly created Juvenile Violence Prevention Forums. In Detroit, community safety teams will work on unemployment problems, and city leaders plan to expand restorative justice practices, renew the work of “violence interrupters” through Operation Cease Fire, promote in-school alternatives to suspension and expulsion and restore a community prosecutor program. Memphis’ Operation: Safe Community will provide a continuum of evidence-based services from prenatal to career. In Salinas and Monterey County, the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace (CASP) has a strategy to deal with the county's 71 gangs and 5,000 gang members. San José will build on the success of the 20-year old Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force. To learn more, visit www.findyouthinfo.gov/youthviolence