“The current Minority Youth Violence Prevention (MYVP) program (2014-2017) is a partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services that supports a national initiative to integrate public health and violence prevention approaches. MYVP is intended to demonstrate the effectiveness of integrating public health and community policing approaches to reduce disparities in access to public health services, reduce violent crimes, and improve the health and well-being of at-risk minority male youth in targeted communities of color through a joint collaborative that includes a public health agency and law enforcement agency. MYVP supports program interventions developed through adaptations, refinements, and modifications of promising violence prevention and crime reduction models that are tailored to at-risk minority male youth (10-18 years-old) and integrate a problem-solving approach. Funding for the MYVP ends August 31, 2017.
OMH announces the funding opportunity entitled MYVP II to support innovative approaches to significantly reduce the prevalence and impact of youth violence among racial and ethnic minority and/or disadvantaged at-risk youth. MYVP II will support project interventions tailored to at-risk racial and ethnic minority and/or disadvantaged youth (ages 12-18 years at the start of the project). It requires a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach, including at a minimum a public health agency (a public health department or community-based organization focused on public health), a local school (a primary school, a secondary school, or an alternative/non-traditional school) or school district, a state, county or local law enforcement agency or government agency that has demonstrated collaboration/partnership with law enforcement (e.g., mayor’s office, county government, board of supervisors) and an institution of higher education or learning. In 2010, 4,828 young people ages 10 to 24 were victims of homicide. Homicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24 years old. Youth violence can not only result in death and injury, but also can have a serious impact on psychological and social functioning and can lead to poor performance in school, mental health problems and increased risk behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol and drug use, and risky sexual behavior.
Health issues are also of concern for justice involvement, as a large number of youth in the juvenile justice system have a history of trauma, emotional, and behavioral problems. Disparities in youth violence, justice involvement and health and well-being have been well-documented among racial and ethnic minority populations. For example: The 2013 homicide rate for non-Hispanic black youth was 13 times higher than for non-Hispanic white youth, 16.2 times higher than for Asian/Pacific Islander youth, 4.3 times higher than for Hispanic youth, and five times higher than for American Indian/Alaska Native youth. Minority youth are more likely to be detained and committed than non-Hispanic whites. African American youth have the highest rates of justice system involvement compared to other racial groups. They make up 16% of all youth in the general population, but 30% of juvenile court referrals, 38% of youth in residential placement, and 58% of youth admitted to state adult prison. American Indians/Alaska Natives youth are 2.5 times more likely to experience trauma than non-American Indians/Alaska Natives youth.
The impact of youth violence can be felt beyond an individual, affecting families, friends and communities. Beyond public safety, youth violence increases health costs, increases costs in the social services and justice systems, reduces economic productivity, and perpetuates the cycle of poverty as education and employment prospects decline , More youth aged 10-24 die from homicide than from the next seven leading causes of death. Disadvantaged communities that are exposed more to poverty, violence and criminal behavior are at particular risk, as individuals in low-income areas are much more likely to be injured or die from violence or experience the negative health effects of stress and fear. These communities also often experience barriers to access to public health services, health care, employment and education. Comprehensive approaches for addressing youth violence have become increasingly important. Law enforcement agencies have adopted community policing, a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to the public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.
Increased awareness of how implicit biases can subconsciously influence behaviors has led leaders in law enforcement, including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), to make implicit bias training available to officers and agents. Since 2010, DOJs Office of Community Oriented Policing Services has worked with state and local law enforcement to train over 2,600 law enforcement officers at both the line and supervisor level in its implicit bias program known as Fair and Impartial Policing. The growing nexus between public health and public safety has driven increased collaboration between public health and law enforcement agencies to address violence through a public health lens and to explore innovative interventions focused on prevention and community health.
Preliminary research on risk and protective factors at the individual, family, social and community levels has improved understanding of youth violence victimization and perpetration, and helped to inform interventions. Risk factors include history of violent victimization or early aggressive behavior; involvement with drugs, alcohol or tobacco; high emotional distress; low parental involvement; poor family functioning; involvement in gangs; poor academic performance; diminished economic opportunities; high concentrations of poor residents; and low levels of community participation. Protective factors buffer young people from the risks of becoming violent. These factors exist at various levels.
To date, protective factors have not been studied as extensively or rigorously as risk factors. However, identifying and understanding protective factors are equally as important as researching risk factors. Studies propose the following protective factors: individual protective factors, family protective factors, and peer and social protective factors. Protective factors include intolerant attitude toward deviance, high grade point average (as an indicator of high academic achievement), positive social orientation, highly developed social skills/competencies, connectedness to family or adults outside the family, perceived parental expectations about school performance are high, involvement in social activities, possession of affective relationships with those at school that are strong, close, and pro-socially oriented, commitment to school (an investment in school and in doing well at school), membership in peer groups that do not condone antisocial behavior, involvement in prosocial activities, consistent negative reinforcement of aggression and engagement of parents and teachers.”
Excerpted from grant listing MP-YEP-17-001 on grants.gov.