Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

The Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) was launched in 2009 as a partnership between the City of Seattle and several community-based organizations designed to reduce youth violence in Seattle, keep young people out of trouble and get them back in school. SYVPI focuses on youth ages 12 – 17 who are at the highest risk of committing or being victimized by violence. These teenagers include repeat offenders, middle school truants or students at risk of suspension, youth arrested for crimes (such as shoplifting) that don’t automatically require jail time, and victims of violence including their friends and relatives.

SYVPI is broken into three neighborhood networks where indicators of future violent behaviors, including school discipline rates, absences, or dropout rates, are the highest.  Since 2010, THS has overseen the Central area portion of the SYVPI. We provide intake and referral, intensive case management, outreach, family support, youth employment and pre-apprenticeships, recreation, mentorship, and anger management training. Youth are referred to SYVPI services through juvenile court, police, community outreach workers, schools, Seattle Parks and Recreation Youth Centers, and the other neighborhood network agencies.

The goals of the Initiative are a fifty percent reduction in juvenile violent crime court referrals in the three network neighborhoods and a fifty percent reduction in the number of suspensions/expulsions due to violent incidents in five selected middle schools.

During the first 2 years, SYVPI has seen some success in reducing the levels of youth violence. In 2008, the SYVPI area had 362 youth arrested for violent offenses compared to 143 for non-SYVPI area youth. By the end of 2010, the number of youth arrested for violent crime decreased to 290 for SYVPI youth and 136 for non-SYVPI youth.

Between 2008 and 2010, middle schools targeted by SYVPI saw an 11% reduction in disciplinary actions, compared to a 3% increase for non-SYVPI schools.

For more information, please contact Jamila Taylor at (206) 322-7676.

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