Violence Interruption


Violence Interruption

Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) has years of experience in working in communities with high rates of gun violence: for 45 years, we’ve worked with high-risk justice involved youth in urban communities across the United States, including those who are gang-affiliated or with known gun related histories. In cities such as Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, DC., YAP has implemented models that target specific individuals, neighborhoods and broader violence and crime reduction strategies.

 

Centuries of unjust policies and practices have resulted in education and employment discrimination, poverty, racially segregated neighborhoods, underground illegal economies, violence, trauma and despair. YAP’s effective youth justice model, combined with evidence-backed violence interruption approaches, provides economic opportunities for credible messengers, many of whom are formerly incarcerated individuals who live in neighborhoods with high rates of violence and are committed to giving back to their communities.

YAP’s violence interruption programs are expanding and include services in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Charlotte, Charleston/North Charleston, Washington DC and others. Further in Chicago, Choose to Change™ – a partnership with YAP and Children’s Home & Aid, serving young people highly impacted by violence -- has been shown in a randomized controlled trial study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab, to reduce violent crime arrests by nearly 50 percent while increasing school attendance by about a week.

 
 
CHOOSE TO CHANGE™
A primary prevention strategy, it works with youth aged 13-18 from targeted neighborhoods identified by the school district as at highest risk for being a victim or perpetrator of violence and provides them with a blend of intensive mentoring along with a group cognitive behavioral intervention to address trauma in Chicago. A randomized control study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab found that participants had 48 percent fewer violent-crime arrests than their control peers and that these positive impacts persist up to at least one and a half years after the program ended.
CHOOSE TO CHANGE™
SAFE STREETS
A secondary prevention strategy, it employs a “Cure Violence” public health approach and focuses on changing social norms and interrupting violence through street outreach and specific work with individuals aged 14-25 identified as most at risk of violence in the North Penn community of Baltimore City through funding from the Mayor’s Office.
SAFE STREETS
 
CREDIBLE MESSENGERS/PATHWAYS
A tertiary prevention strategy, it provides justice-involved men aged 20-35 most at risk of participating in or becoming victims of violence with intensive wraparound services, workforce development programming and six months of supported work in Washington, DC. Funded by the Office of Neighborhood and Safety Engagement, outcomes demonstrate that over 90% of program participants have successfully completed the Credible Messenger and subsidized employment programs.
CREDIBLE MESSENGERS/PATHWAYS