This is an archive of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP's) electronic newsletter OJJDP News @ a Glance. The information in this archived resource may be outdated and links may no longer function. Visit our website at for current information.
May | June 2015

Attorney General Lynch Addresses National Summit on Preventing Youth Violence

    U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch

U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch provided an overview of ongoing federal initiatives and partnerships to address youth violence nationwide. “I have no doubt that … we will overcome these obstacles and that we will create the safer, more just society that all our young people deserve,” the Attorney General told summit attendees.

On May 11–13, 2015, the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention held its fourth National Summit in Arlington, VA. In a keynote address to the nearly 400 attendees, U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, heralded the efforts of the National Forum cities and applauded the reductions in homicide and juvenile violent crime rates experienced by the majority of the cities in 2014.

“[T]he work you’re doing to rally local stakeholders to improve law enforcement, increase support for violence prevention efforts, and expand access to family and social services is so critical,” said Attorney General Lynch. “Outstanding efforts like these are not only noteworthy—they are replicable and we are striving to bring them to more cities across the country.”

The Attorney General was joined at the summit by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee; Director of the Office of Behavioral Health Equity, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Larke N. Huang; Congressman Robert C. Scott (D-VA); and James Mercy, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Violence Prevention at the National Center for Injury Prevention.

Other participants included mayors and other city administrators, nonprofit leaders, health commissioners, academics, youth and victim advocates, and law enforcement personnel from across the country as well as officials and youth violence prevention innovators from Tela, Honduras; Cali, Colombia; Mexico and Brazil. Twenty youth from forum cities also participated throughout the summit.

This year’s summit—themed “Reducing Violence/Building Community: From Promise to Practice”—was the fourth gathering of cities participating in the National Forum. Launched in 2010 at the direction of President Obama, the National Forum is composed of 15 cities that partner with federal agencies, including OJJDP, to collaborate and support local efforts for preventing and reducing youth violence.

In addition to the nine forum cities reporting homicide and violent crime rate reductions in 2014, nonfatal shootings also dropped from previous years in these cities. The forum’s newest cities—Baltimore, Cleveland, Long Beach, Louisville, and Seattle—are working on plans to continue the positive work. The sites shared their comprehensive strategies to prevent youth violence and reduce gang violence.

Attorney General Lynch also highlighted a recently released solicitation for a U.S. Department of Justice initiative intended to support male survivors of violence and their families.

“We at the federal level stand with you as partners in addressing youth violence in our communities,” OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee said in his remarks to summit attendees. “You are at the forefront of a growing movement where cities, counties, states, and tribes are implementing evidence-based practices to address youth violence, and, in the process, changing the way they do business.”

Opening day sessions allowed participants to break into roundtables to discuss challenges—including forming partnerships, leveraging funds, and fostering effective community engagement—as well as strategies related to sustaining youth violence prevention efforts. Peer-to-peer interactions also brought together representatives from the project coordination, legal, law enforcement, health, education, social services, child welfare, and faith-based sectors, among others. The groups discussed best practices before reconvening into city-specific teams to catalog new ideas and strategies for their site plans.

Additional summit panels and workshops afforded attendees opportunities to discuss specifics of their violence prevention work with federal officials, local specialists, and other experts. Sessions focused on aligning city initiatives with other violence prevention initiatives, incorporating youth into the initiatives, and the Correctional Education Guidance Package released by the Justice and Education Departments to help states and local agencies strengthen the quality of education provided to the estimated 60,000 young people in confinement every day.

“[Now] I stand for something; before I stood for nothing,” said a youth participant in the closing day plenary “From Trauma and Adversity to Healing and Hope,” during which panelists discussed the interconnection of racial justice and healing. The speaker relayed his transformation from a teen drug dealer to an intervention peer specialist with Healing Hurt People.


Attorney General Lynch’s remarks, as well as those of other summit speakers, are available online.

Mayors from Camden, NJ; Minneapolis, MN; Oakland, CA; and Salinas, CA, participated in the “Champions for Justice: Leaders Working to End Youth Violence” panel discussion. Watch a video of the panel discussion online.

Access additional information about the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention and cities’ plans and progress online.

Information about the Administration’s other youth violence prevention efforts, such as the OJJDP-led Defending Childhood Initiative and Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration program, as well as interagency programs, such as the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, the Violence Reduction Network, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s STRYVE initiative is also available online.