School Based Youth Violence Prevention

Pedro R. Payne, University of California - Riverside

This paper reports on the independent evaluation of the Healthy People/Healthy Places Initiative in Riverside, California. This three-year study funded by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration is a joint project between the Riverside Unified School District, the Riverside County Department of Mental Health, the Riverside Police Department, and the Riverside County Probation Department. Working together, the aforementioned organizations have established Wellness Centers on five school campuses throughout the Riverside school district. The Wellness Centers provide comprehensive after-school programs with various activities designed to encourage a safe school environment and offer positive alternatives to substance abuse and violence. The evaluators have constructed a Wellness Survey to measure pre/post student attitudes towards aggression as well as to ascertain levels of victimization, aggression, and violence on the five target school campuses. Preliminary findings will be presented and implications for youth violence prevention will be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006