Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $500,000)
Under the Community-Based Violence Prevention Field-Initiated Research and Evaluation Program OJJDP will fund field-initiated studies to inform efforts to prevent and reduce youth violence (including gun violence) and violence exposure at the community level.
The Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP) Field-Initiated Research and Evaluation (FIRE) Program is designed to support methodologically rigorous research and evaluations that inform policy and practice consistent with the Department of Justices mission. This program seeks to fund field-initiated studies to inform efforts to prevent and reduce youth violence (including gun violence) and violence exposure at the community level by building the evidence-base in this area that will inform both policy and practice.
OJJDP encouraged applicants to propose research questions and/or evaluation studies designed to produce findings with practical implications for efforts to prevent and reduce youth violence (including gun violence) and violence exposure at the community level with an emphasis on two key elements for the design: 1) establishing a high level of rigor and 2) proposing research questions with a high degree of relevance on a national scale.
The American Institutes for Research (AIR), in partnership with WestEd and Dr. David Weisburd, proposes to carry out an evaluation of the Massachusetts Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI), an innovative statewide initiative to reduce and prevent serious gun violence using a coordinated, multisystem approach in 11 cities with the most serious violent crime problems in the state. Specifically, the evaluation will use a regression discontinuity design and interrupted time series to explore (1) how the SSYI impacts violent crime in SSYI cities; (2) how police involvement in the SSYI impacts community norms for violence in the targeted sites; and (3) how existing local, state, and federal violence prevention efforts in Boston are impacted by SSYI strategies targeting the same communities. Our design meets the standards of rigor for collecting evidence as defined by Crime Solutions, enabling our study to add to the research base for effective practice within comprehensive community-based violence prevention initiatives