This guide presents recommendations for stakeholders in local government and law enforcement regarding the design and implementation of policies and practices to reduce youth gun violence connected to gangs or groups in their communities.
The recommended strategies are derived from research on the impact of various efforts to reduce shootings and homicides committed by youth between the ages of 10 and 25 in gangs/groups and with the use of guns. Research indicates that a common feature of the most effective efforts involves collaborations among law enforcement agencies, local government agencies, and community organizations in designing, implementing, and testing policies and practices designed to prevent and respond to violence committed by youth gangs/groups. Recommendations are divided into two sections. Those in the first section address how to build anti-violence infrastructure to ensure planned efforts span the entire jurisdiction, have multiple components, are adaptable to variable circumstances, are sustainable over time, and are targeted at violence committed by youth gangs/groups. The second section focuses on how to develop effective programs and interventions that operate within and benefit from the existing infrastructure. Nine actions needed to develop an anti-violence infrastructure are discussed. There are some common titles given workers and types of work done by those employed in these antiviolence efforts outside of traditional justice agencies. Throughout this guide, four common job titles in such work are a “case manager,” “credible messenger.” ”outreach worker,” and a “violence interrupter.” The guide describes the functions of each of these jobs in the context of what research has indicated to be an effective infrastructure for countering youth gang/group violence. Some examples are provided of U.S. cities that have an established infrastructure for addressing violence by youth gangs/groups.