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Crime Prevention & Youth Development


On September 17, 2014 the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives (NPSC) hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts on reducing crime and promoting positive youth development. The briefing covered topics of concern to the newly formed congressional Crime Prevention and Youth Development Caucus. Diana Fishbein, Ph.D.; Professor and Director of the Center for Translational Research on Adversity, Neurodevelopment and Substance abuse (C-TRANS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of the NPSC, gave an introductory presentation and moderated the event.  Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29) and Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) made opening remarks. 

Some common themes from the six briefing papers include:


  1. Prevention science has yielded a set of field-tested, evidence-based practices shown to effectively promote youth development and reduce juvenile crime.

  2. Such practices take advantage of new research findings on adolescent development, including the latest brain research, and of emerging research on risk and protective factors that must be targeted to foster youth resilience and prevent behavior problems and delinquency.   

  3. Such practices are the foundation for many promising and critically needed juvenile justice reform efforts at the state and local levels nationwide.

  4. These reforms have been advanced significantly by federal policy guidance and funding, notably the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

  5. Evidence-based reforms have nudged the JJ system away from over-reliance on incarceration and punishment-focused interventions and toward more community-based, prevention-oriented methods. Whenever possible, these reforms divert juveniles from entering the system, improve, humanize and shorten their exposure to the system, and promote successful re-entry through access to services and supports that foster positive development.    

  6. Reform efforts have helped to produce highly beneficial outcomes for youth and families, communities, and local and state governments, including: lower percentages of youth confined in adult settings; lower juvenile arrest rates and incarceration rates; and reduced recidivism.



 **If you would like to know more, please read our presentation systhesis.

Promoting a juvenile justice system that is fair, effective, developmentally appropriate, and used only when necessary:


Robert Schwartz, Esq. Executive Director, Juvenile Law Center


Promoting productive relationships between researchers, practitioners, youth advocates and governmental offices: 



Dr. John Roman

Senior Fellow, Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute

The JJDPA As Context for Broadening Evidenced Based Prevention Implementation: Translating Science to Practice through Federal Juvenile Justice Policy:


Dr. Robin Jenkins Independent Consultant



Building prevention infrastructure to reduce delinquency, violence and substance use: Communities that care:


Dr. Richard Catalano Director, Social Development Research Group, University of Washington

Targeting interventions and allocating resources: the value of understanding a youth’s risk of future offending:


Dr. Jesse Russell Director of Research, National Council on Crime and Delinquency

Making the Grade: Assessing the Evidence

for Integrated Student Supports:


Dr. Kristin Moore

Senior Scholar, Child Trends

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