|A Review of Minneapolis’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative|
|Abstract: This publication, from the National Center for Victims of Crime, describes an initiative started in 2006 by the city of Minneapolis to prevent and reduce violence by and against youth. To document the program and highlight its law enforcement innovations, NCVC staff visited Minneapolis in October of 2008, conducting a series of interviews with Minneapolis and Hennepin County officials, community leaders, and law enforcement officers.|
"The Blueprint initiative assumes that children are not born violent— that violence is a learned behavior that can be unlearned through strong, positive messages that counteract the many violent ones youth receive every day through their music, television, movies, video games,
and other media."
To make secure and safe, you must put out the message against violence in a way that can be learned and internalized by the youths whose behavior you are trying to influence.
"From the beginning of the Blueprint planning process, Minneapolis saw the importance of involving youth—particularly from the neighborhoods with the worst crime problems—in finding solutions to youth-related crime. " "The youth raised important questions and made many constructive suggestions that were later incorporated into the Blueprint. For example, one exchange about guns in schools and youths’ fears about reporting them led the city to recommend a confidential youth tip line as a Blueprint action step. The committee held a
subsequent meeting to let the youth know which of their ideas had been included in the Blueprint, which had not, and the reasons for the committee’s decisions. One youth continues to serve as a steering committee member, with a role in shaping how the Blueprint implementation unfolds. The MYC continues to facilitate youth input on a wide range of local policy issues. "
Nobody understand youth issues as well as the youth who experience them. While they might not always be able to articulate the specifics, they have a perspective that is crucial to truly understanding the problems at hand. Policy makers much engage and learn from these youth. Furthermore, youth engagement will increase their invest and buy-in of the efforts being made to improve these issues that relate to or directly influence their life and experiences.