The Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) brings together researchers, community representatives, practitioners, and policy makers committed to understanding and reducing youth violence in poor, inner-city communities in Chicago—communities with some of the highest rates of youth violence in the country. The core work of the center is guided by the perspective that the most effective way to combat youth violence is to coordinate empirical "pre-intervention" work designed to understand the risk and development of such violence and to rigorously evaluate preventive interventions conducted both under tightly controlled conditions (i.e., randomized control efficacy trials) and in real-world settings (i.e., effectiveness trials). Central to the work of CCYVP is gaining an understanding of the characteristics of communities and neighborhoods that serve as risk and protective factors for youth development. This knowledge helps to identify ways to reduce the risk of youth violence and develop effective interventions.
CCYVP's primary aims are to build an integrative approach to address youth violence within specific communities in Chicago. The center will address these issues across developmental periods and with children and families with different levels of risk and involvement in youth violence; promote the use of evidence-based practice to reduce youth violence; develop a comprehensive surveillance system to guide intervention activities and to evaluate changes in youth violence in communities and neighborhoods; provide training and technical assistance to support schools and community agencies in selecting, implementing, and evaluating youth violence prevention programs; train new investigators in context-based prevention science; and disseminate empirical findings regionally and nationally.
Professor Deborah Gorman-Smith is the Principal Investigator and director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention.