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National Evaluation of the Youth Firearms Violence Initiative, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2000
16 pages
Publication Series

This report presents the findings of a national evaluation of the Youth Firearms Violence Initiative (YFVI), a program implemented by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to combat the rise of juvenile firearms violence.


COPS provided up to $1 million to 10 participating cities to fund interventions that employed community policing approaches to decrease the number of violent firearms crimes committed by young people, including gang-related and drug-related offenses. The YFVI recognized that, between 1985 and 1994, the rate of violent criminal acts committed by young people rose sharply at a time when violence committed by adults was declining. During that time period, while the adult homicide rate fell by 25 percent, the homicide rate for 18- to 24-year-olds doubled and the homicide rate for 15- to 17-year-olds more than tripled. More specifically, juvenile homicides committed with a handgun more than doubled, while juvenile homicides committed with other weapons remained essentially the same. The national evaluation of the YFVI showed a unit dedicated to preventing youth firearms violence may have a greater effect on gun-related crime than a unit focused on traditional tactics and the use of patrol officers on a rotating basis. When employed as part of the YFVI, traditional enforcement tactics did not produce significant changes in firearms violence. 10 notes and 8 exhibits

Date Published: November 1, 2000