Minneapolis featured in Congressional briefing on youth violence prevention

On Friday, April 27, the City of Minneapolis will be one of two cities nationwide to present at a congressional briefing on a public health approach to preventing youth violence. Minneapolis was invited to share its story because it is recognized as a leader in developing strategies and partnerships to decrease youth violence. Between 2006 and 2010, there was been a 56 percent reduction in juvenile crime in the city and a 58 percent reduction in incidents involving guns and juveniles.

Minneapolis’ presentation is one of two “local success” stories that will be featured at the Prevention Institute briefing, which is called “Prevention Works: A public health approach to preventing violence that affects youth.” The briefing, which will be held at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C., is sponsored by the Congressional Tri-Caucus, made up of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; as well as Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth (UNITY). Minneapolis’ presentation will be made by Alyssa Banks, the City’s Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator.

In addition to sharing its strategies and successes in reducing youth violence, this briefing is an opportunity for the City to continue to advocate for programs and funding that work to reduce violence that affects young people.

Youth violence prevention in Minneapolis

Minneapolis began its current youth violence prevention efforts in 2006, following an upswing in youth homicides and other juvenile-related crime. Although the City recognized that law enforcement was critical to addressing the problem, City and community leaders realized that it was also necessary to approach the problem as a public health issue.

A steering committee was formed to develop a multi-year, multi-sector plan to prevent youth violence, and the City and partner organizations engaged the community and youth in developing solutions. This work culminated in the development of a Blueprint for Action, which outlines four goals and 34 strategic recommendations to combat youth violence. The four goals have helped focus all the prevention work that’s happened in the years since, and the goals are:

Some of the many collaborative efforts have included coordinating with school resource officers within the Minneapolis Public Schools, starting an anonymous tip line within the schools, working with trauma one hospitals to develop a  protocol to reach out to youth victims of violence, using parks staff to do outreach to youth, and beginning Summer 612, a youth-driven campaign to counter the culture of violence.

Between 2006 and 2010, these efforts have helped drive a 56 percent reduction in crimes committed by juveniles, a 58 percent reduction in incidents involving guns and juveniles, and 36 percent reduction in firearm-related injuries in Minneapolis youth and young adults.

Visit the City's website for more information about the city’s youth violence prevention efforts.

Published Apr 26, 2012