Reducing and Preventing Violence and Crime
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared violence a major global public health crisis. In the United States alone, more than 60,000 lives are lost, on average, to homicide or suicide, with more than 40,000 of these involving firearms.
Government agencies at all levels, nonprofit and community-based organizations, and foundations are among those committed to diagnosing the problems of violence and crime and deploying evidence-based interventions.
Leaders across many jurisdictions, including at the federal level, believe that implementation of effective interventions requires sound data and expert evaluations and technical assistance.
Discover how our team can help support your local and state leaders working in violence prevention systems.
Trevor Fronius is senior research associate for the Justice & Prevention Research Center (JPRC) and leads its evaluation work on the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI) in Massachusetts. This program is designed to reduce violence by young people in cities across the Commonwealth. The JPRC has partnered with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) on a decade of evaluation and research studies as part of its work on this initiative.
Lori Toscano is the director of technical assistance for justice and prevention at WestEd. She leads a project for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency with Senior Associate of Technical Assistance in Justice Shaun Ali. The project provides assistance to grantees under Pennsylvania’s Community Violence Intervention (CVI) program.
Shaun Ali is a senior technical assistance specialist for the Justice and Prevention Research Center where he leads youth and community violence prevention efforts. He began his career working in the fraud section for the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division. He co-directs Pennsylvania’s Community Violence Intervention (CVI) program and also leads WestEd’s work providing coaching and direct support to grantees receiving U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) funds for reentry programs.
Our Work in Action
Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI): A Multi-Faceted, Community-Based Strategy
In 2011, Massachusetts funded 11 cities to identify and engage youth at “proven risk” for serious violence through the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI).
SSYI uses a multi-faceted community-based strategy that links nearly 2,000 proven risk youth, ages 17-24, each year with community partners to provide supports for employment, housing, mental health, education, and family services. The AIR and WestEd have served as the external evaluators for SSYI since 2013.
In the initial evaluation of SSYI released in 2014, the WestEd-AIR team demonstrated initial positive effects for SSYI, including a reduction of nearly 1,000 violent victimizations in SSYI communities between 2011 and 2013.