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WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center

The WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center collaborates with partners in funding, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote positive youth development, physical health and well-being, and prevention of risk behaviors, including violence.

Partners include community, justice, and education agencies, universities, foundations, and research firms and consultants.

Center researchers conduct policy-relevant and methodologically sound research studies for key decisionmakers, including government officials, foundation staff, faculty and researchers, and practitioners. Researchers conduct process, implementation, and impact evaluations; systematic reviews and meta-analyses of existing studies; qualitative data analyses; quantitative analyses using secondary data sets; and scans of current practice and policy. Various Center study goals include:

  • Preventing crime and violence
  • Improving the adult and juvenile justice systems
  • Increasing the safety of children, adults, schools and communities
  • Strengthening efforts to prevent high-risk behavior

The Center’s work focuses on a number of key issues, including:

  • How suspensions and other formal school punishments may lead young persons, particu­larly vulnerable populations, to become disengaged in school and subsequently involved in crime
  • Determinants and consequences of urban gun violence and public health approaches to prevent high-risk young men from involvement in gangs and violence
  • The role police officers play in school matters and whether it leads to more youth—partic­ularly boys of color—getting involved with the formal juvenile justice system for offenses schools normally handle internally
  • Bullying and victimization (reported and unreported)

Research and Evaluation Studies

Below is a list of the Center’s research and evaluation studies, former and current. Click on the titles for more information.

Stay Informed

Keep current on the latest WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center reports, research studies, projects, events, and news. Subscribe to this monthly update. You can also subscribe by sending an email to Center Director Anthony Petrosino at

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