This study expands on the evaluation of the Massachusetts Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI), designed to reduce and prevent gun violence throughout the state by using an innovative, coordinated, multi-system approach to target high-risk violent young men.

The field-initiated research evaluation study is being conducted by the WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center, in partnership with the American Institutes for Research and David Weisburd of George Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Community-Based Violence Prevention program is funding the evaluation work.

Researchers are exploring:

  • How police involvement in the SSYI impacts cultural norms around violence in disadvantaged neighborhoods
  • The impact of SSYI funding on violent crime compared to similar cities in the state
  • How outcomes are moderated by other local, state, and federal violence prevention initiatives targeting the same communities

Evaluation results will build the evidence base for the effects of multi-disciplinary, community-based programs and strategies to reduce serious violence. Researchers will translate this evidence into practical recommendations that inform policy and practice. The evaluation will be completed in 2016.