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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Gun Violence and Youth

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2016
24 pages

This literature review focuses on intentional gun violence committed by youths ages 10-24, which includes homicides (both victimization and perpetration), nonfatal injuries, suicides, community violence, and school violence/school shootings.


Unintentional gun violence, such as accidental injuries or deaths by guns was not included in the literature review. The information presented from the literature review addresses the scope of the problem of youth as victims and perpetrators of gun violence in the Untied States, risk and protective factors for youth gun violence, policy research on guns, public health perspective on gun violence, and evidence- based practices and programs found to significantly reduce the occurrence of gun violence. In this regard, the literature review found evidence that interventions can reduce violent crime by juveniles and gun violence in general; however, there is less evidence that supports reductions in juvenile gun violence. The most promising program strategies found in the literature are community interventions such as Operation Ceasefire, "hot spots" policing strategies, weapon ban laws, and strict probation requirements for juvenile gun offenders. The meta-analysis found that enhanced prison terms, waiting periods, and background checks had little impact on reducing gun violence. No significant relationships were found between reduced gun crimes and prosecutorial strategies such as harsher sentencing, safe storage laws, and gun buy-back programs. Another issue identified in the literature review was the lack of research that focused on the causes, correlates, and consequences of youth gun violence. Specific and well-defined research on the prevalence and predictors of youth violence would inform future policies and programs designed to reduce youth gun violence. Approximately 120 references

Date Published: December 1, 2016