Youth violence is widespread in the United States. It is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24. Violence can also affect the health of communities. It can increase health care costs, decrease property values, and disrupt social services.1
Youth gangs are responsible for the majority of serious violence in the United States and commit a disproportionate share of offenses. In schools and neighborhoods where gangs are active, gangs create a climate of fear, and increase the amount of violence and criminal behavior.2 Preventing youth violence is a vital part of promoting the health and safety of youth and communities.
This page provides links to local, state and federal programs and publications that focus on solutions to problems of youth violence. Much of the research work on causes and solutions were done more than a decade ago. The principal focus of this page are current programs of the community, schools, and local governments.
Youth Violence and Prevention
The citations below discuss the issue of youth violence, provide statistical data, and general program information.
- Youth Violence, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE) - Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal partners, provides communities with the knowledge and resources to be successful in preventing youth violence - Includes work of the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center
- Youth and Communities, Washington State Lieutenant Governor
- Institute of Youth, Education and Families Violence Prevention - Among other programs, see Disconnected Youth and Gang Prevention - Information on advocacy, programs and services, research and analysis, and publications
School-Based Prevention Initiatives
School Violence Prevention
- About School Violence, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Includes prevention tools and resources
- Center for Safer Schools, North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency - The Center serves as a resource center and "think tank" for efforts that promote safer schools and foster positive youth development.
- School Safety Center, Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Schools - Provides resources to schools and parents on a broad spectrum of safety related topics such as bullying, internet safety, substance abuse prevention, suicide prevention, discipline and truancy. They also help schools develop comprehensive safe school plans that prepare schools for on-campus emergencies, security issues, and large scale disasters. OSPI’s School Safety Center is committed to keeping all students safe at school each and every day.
School Resource Officers
Gang Abatement and Violence Prevention Programs
- Best Practices in Community Policing in: Gang Intervention and Gang Violence, U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2006
- Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative, U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Department of Justice
- Gangs, National Criminal Justice Service
- Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies, Justice Policy Institute, 2007
- Implementing a Citywide Gang Violence Reduction Strategy, published by the Youth Education and Families Institute and National Council on Crime and Delinquency - Highlights efforts in San Jose, Santa Rosa, and San Bernardino, California, 02/2008
- National Gang Center, Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice - The National Gang Center website features the latest research about gangs; descriptions of evidence-based, anti-gang programs; and links to tools, databases, and other resources to assist in developing and implementing effective community-based gang prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies.
- Policing by Injunction: Problem-Oriented Dimensions of Civil Gang Abatement in the State of California, by Edward L. Alla, 2002 - This federally-funded study explores aspects of the California gang injunction initiatives, which employ civil injunctions to abate persistent public nuisance activity by gangs in specific neighborhoods
- An Introduction to Solutions, from Into The Abyss: A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs, by Mike Carlie, Ph.D, Copyright © 2002 Michael K. Carlie, Missouri State University Faculty website
Gang Abatement Legislation
- Sunnyside Ordinance No. 2162 - Adds a new Chapter 9.36 (attached as Exhibit A) pertaining to criminal street gangs and gang-related activity
- City of Sunnyside's Ordinance: A first Step - Criminal Street Gangs and Gang-Related Activity, by Mark Kunkler City Attorney of Sunnyside, Information Bulletin No. 529 (2007), Legal Notes, Proceedings of October 3-5, 2007 (Available through MRSC Library Loan)
- Attorney General Informal Opinion, by Gregory Trautman on the validity of municipal ordinance provisions enacted to address criminal street gangs and gang-related activity, 10/26/2007
- Toppenish Municipal Code Ch. 9.100 - Criminal Street Gangs
- Yakima Municipal Code Ch. 6.11 - Criminal Street Gangs
- Find Youth Information - This website offers federally-developed interactive tools and other resources to help community organizations and partnerships in your efforts to support youth. Included are tools and resources to help you form effective partnerships, assess community assets, understand risk factors and protective factors, generate maps of local and federal resources, and search for evidence-based youth programs.
- Juvenile Information Network - Intended to encourage communications among juvenile justice professionals and to foster the development of new reform programs in systems at the state and local levels
- Sustaining Your Gang Prevention Efforts Fact Sheet, National Crime Prevention Council
- Teens, Crime and the Community, National Crime Prevention Council
1. Youth Violence Fact Sheet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2. Washington State Healthy Youth Survey 2010 Analytic Report, 06/2011