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Evaluating Project Safe Neighborhoods in Connecticut: a Youth Opportunity Initiative

NCJ Number
Crime Prevention & Community Safety Volume: 21 Issue: 4 Dated: 2019 Pages: 325-345
Sara R. Jeffries; David L. Myers; Jonathan A. Kringen; Ron Schack
Date Published
21 pages
Using a quasi-experimental design, this study evaluated the effect of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) on youth in two cities in Connecticut.
Despite containing numerous wealthy geographic areas, Connecticut continues to struggle with social and economic distress, along with gun-related crime. Problem analysis in urban areas revealed a critical need for services aimed at deterring violent and gun-related crime in two target populations: serious juvenile offenders, aged 14-17 years, and at-risk youth, aged 11-13 years. The implementation of PSN resulted in 133 youth receiving a variety of services in New Haven and Bridgeport. Evaluation research assessed intervention efforts designed to (1) build on the strengths and address the challenges of each juvenile offender; (2) expand community outreach and education efforts to reinforce and reward positive attitudes and behaviors surrounding "no-gun policies;" and (3) use data-driven decision-making to guide program implementation and evaluate the results. The evaluation findings suggest that youth who participated in Connecticut's PSN Youth Initiative benefited from the services provided and exhibited a decreased involvement in the juvenile justice system following enrollment. 52 references (publisher abstract modified)