The National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (YVPCs) work to develop academic-community partnerships to advance the science and practice of youth violence prevention. They also build the necessary community capacity to prevent violence-related injury and death among youth in high-burden communities. This work has improved our understanding of the causes and consequences of youth violence, increased our knowledge of how risk and protective factors contribute to or buffer against youth violence, and strengthened the evidence base for youth violence prevention strategies and approaches, including those presented in the Youth Violence Prevention Resource for Action [4 MB, 64 Pages].
Community Success Stories
CDC’s National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (known as YVPCs or Youth Violence Prevention Centers) are demonstrating success preventing violent injuries and death among youth in their communities.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Interventions
“Things are starting to head in a positive direction, and residents can actually see it. Not only can they see it, but also many of the people in the community are a part of it.” –Resident of Flint, Michigan
The Michigan YVPC (MI-YVPC) applies Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles to inspire residents to make positive connections with neighbors and take pride in their community. Check out the Revitalizing Communities to Prevent Youth Violence Factsheet [2 MB, 4 Pages] for more information.
Social Norms Interventions
“We really want youth to become social agents of change in their community.”- Dr. Billie Castile, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
The University of Louisville Youth Violence Prevention Research Center (UofL YVPRC) focuses on engaging and empowering local youth through a social norms campaign, called Pride, Peace and Prevention. The campaign promotes cultural and racial pride and strives for a nonviolent peaceful community. Check out the Designing a Social Norms Campaign Factsheet [538 KB, 4 Pages] for more information.
“We’re using research to change the narrative about how families who live in high burden neighborhoods are viewed.” – Dr. Deborah Gorman-Smith
The Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) recognizes how essential strong families are to preventing youth violence. CCYVP is using evidence-based practices to build support networks and provide positive experiences to people and families who seek support so that they are more likely to feel comfortable reaching out for help in the future. Check out the Working with Families to Promote Positive Youth Development and Prevent Youth Violence Factsheet [1 MB, 4 Pages] for more information.
Successes from Former Initiatives – YVPCs 2010-2015
Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP)external iconexternal icon
CCYVP developed successful community collaborations that resulted in reductions in youth violence and promoted the healthy development of youth in several Chicago area schools and neighborhoods. Over five years, homicides decreased by 17% in the Humboldt Park neighborhood as a result of implementing a comprehensive set of youth violence prevention strategies. During this same time period, homicides increased by 10% in other similar communities and 9% across the city.
Youth Violence Prevention Center Denver (YVPC-D)external icon
YVPC-D’s Steps to Success showed positive, violence-reduction effects in the Montbello neighborhood of Denver, following a multi-year implementation of evidence-based individual- and family-level prevention programs. Steps to Success focused on community ownership, empowerment, and capacity and used a strategic approach to identify, implement ,and rigorously evaluate comprehensive evidence-based youth violence prevention strategies. Using the Communities that Care (CTC) model, Steps to Success observed a decrease in some youth violence risk factors (e.g., early and persistent problem behavior), including a 37% reduction in delinquency among youth aged 10-11 years over a five-year period.
Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center (MI-YVPC)external icon
MI-YVPC developed successful community collaborations that resulted in the healthy development of youth in neighborhoods in Flint, MI. An evaluation of a comprehensive set of six preventive strategies saw a 38% decrease in youth assault-related injuries from those seeking treatment in a local emergency room, and a 25% decrease in youths’ likelihood of being victims of a violent assault in the intervention area than compared to those in a comparison area.
Clark Hill Institute for Positive Youth Developmentexternal icon
The Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development reduced youth violence and promoted the healthy development of youth in Richmond, VA, through successful community collaborations. Virginia Commonwealth University YVPC demonstrated a 17% lower risk of youth violence in communities that received a school- and family-based intervention compared to areas not receiving the intervention.
North Carolina Youth Violence Prevention Center (NC-YVPC)external icon
NC-YVPC showed reductions in youth violence and associated behaviors in Robeson County, NC, by using three prevention strategies that focused on promoting self-esteem; increasing behaviors such as helping, sharing, donating, and volunteering; improving parenting skills/parent-child communication; and improving the outcomes of youth in the juvenile court system. Robeson County experienced a 47% reduction in illegal behavior that took place outside of school, an 18% reduction in aggravated assaults committed by youth, and a 10% reduction in illegal behaviors that took place on school grounds.
YVPCs are leading the way to find innovative, community-level solutions to promote healthy youth development and prevent youth violence across the nation. Learn more about prevention strategies in Youth Violence Prevention Resource for Action [4 MB, 64 Pages].
The YVPCs research effective violence prevention approaches to promote thriving youth and build safer communities.