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September 2013 Summit on Preventing Youth Violence

On September 26 and 27, representatives from the Administration, Congress, local authorities, community advocacy groups, grantees, and youth from 10 cities participated in the 2013 Summit on Preventing Youth Violence in Arlington, Virginia. The third annual Summit was hosted by the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (Forum), which comprises 10 communities—Boston, Camden, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Salinas, and San Jose—and a collaboration among the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor; the Office of National Drug Control Policy; and the Corporation for National and Community Service.Youth leaders from Forum communities

Presentations reinforced the Summit theme, “Building Toward a Safe and Healthy Tomorrow,” with recent research on the scope of the problem and approaches to counteract the adverse effects of youth exposure to violence and trauma. Individuals ages 10–24 are disproportionately affected by homicide, which consistently ranks in the top three leading causes of death in this age group. The 2013 Children’s Exposure to Violence and the Intersection Between Delinquency and Victimization study (PDF, 12 pages) found that more than 60 percent of youth in the United States are exposed to violence, crime, or abuse as a victim or witness, and nearly 50 percent were victims of assault at least once in the past year.

Participants shared their strategies to decrease and mitigate the effects of violence on youth in the United States. Plenary sessions delivered by Attorney General Eric Holder, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz, and Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Karol V. Mason stressed the Administration’s commitment to reducing the lifelong consequences of exposure to violence. Attorney General Eric Holder

“Many of us have begun to institute some of these evidence-based approaches in our own spheres of work,” Mason said. “Our challenge now is to bring all these efforts together—to coordinate our activities so that we’re prepared to address these developmental needs at every phase of the service delivery system.”

Mayors from the four cities that joined the Forum most recently—Camden, NJ; Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; and Philadelphia, PA—revealed their strategic plans to address youth violence by using prevention, intervention, and reentry tactics in addition to enforcement. Mayors from the six original Forum communities also shared their experiences in sustaining a comprehensive plan to reduce and prevent youth violence. The mayoral discussions also explored how federal support is helping the Forum communities achieve success and confront remaining challenges.

2013 Summit Materials