Panel: Strategies to Reduce Youth Violence and Recidivism: New Research
(Crime and Drugs)

Thursday, November 2, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Stetson D (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Parker L Krasney, New York Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity
Panel Chairs:  TBD TBD, TBD
Discussants:  Parker L Krasney, New York Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity

While national violent crime rates remain close to 20-year lows and property crime rates continue to decline, many U.S. cities have seen an uptick in violence, which remains geographically concentrated, often in low-income communities of color where youth and young adults experience significant disparities in justice system-involvement. To combat these trends, cities are investing in targeted interventions intended to redirect justice system-involved young people away from criminal activity and toward prosocial engagement.


This panel will present findings from research into three young adult programs that employ evidence-based strategies designed to reduce violence and recidivism. Across these papers and their discussion, this panel will explore challenges in defining, measuring and assessing implementation, performance and impact for interventions targeting justice system-involved young adults. Violence and recidivism are multifaceted measures; researchers and policymakers must necessarily confront judgement calls and tradeoffs in selecting what to measure when, how to construct a sample and comparison, who to task with measurement, and how to communicate findings. In presenting new evidence on three proven and promising programs, this panel will examine how researchers have answered these questions through thorough investigation of the context, model, implementation and data.


The first paper will discuss findings from a quasi-experimental impact evaluation of Arches Transformative Mentoring, a group mentoring program for young adult probation clients. The program combines credible messenger mentoring with motivational interviewing and an evidence-based interactive journaling curriculum centered on cognitive behavioral principles. The research compares Arches Transformative Mentoring program participants with a matched comparison group of young adult probation clients, and finds that the program achieves substantial reductions in recidivism.


The second paper will present early findings from a random assignment study of the Bridges to Pathways program, a young adult reentry program that combines education services, subsidized employment, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mentoring. This paper will highlight findings regarding the Bridges to Pathways program design and implementation.


The third paper will discuss new research on Cure Violence, an international violence-reduction strategy operating in eight countries across five continents, with program sites in 25 U.S. cities. Cure Violence employs young men who have experienced violence to act as credible messengers of an anti-violence message, and delivers public education campaigns to shift community attitudes about violence. This research compares neighborhoods with the Cure Violence program and a matched comparison group of neighborhoods without the program to demonstrate the program’s effect on reducing violence-endorsing attitudes among young men.

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