A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy describes how using street outreach workers is an effective strategy to reach and engage youth with the goal of violence prevention and intervention.
Street outreach workers are typically members of the community who intervene to prevent conflict and retaliation, and in some programs, also connect individuals with needed services, such as housing and job training.
While cities across the United States are utilizing street outreach workers as part of their violence prevention programs, including CeaseFire in Chicago and Safe Streets in Baltimore, this is the first peer-reviewed study on a program to be published. This is also the first evaluation of this type of program in a smaller community; the researchers studied the street outreach workers program run by the United Teen Equality Center (UTEC) in Lowell, Mass., a city of 105,167 residents north of Boston. The results are published in the Fall 2010 issue of Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action.
Analysis of the data collected from interviews with the UTEC managers, the UTEC street workers, and representatives from local community groups yielded five major factors that contribute to the UTEC street outreach workers program's success: involvement of youth in hiring street outreach workers; investment in quality training for the street outreach workers; providing street outreach workers with a comprehensive benefits package and team retreats to prevent staff turnover and burnout; establishment of community partnerships; and incorporation of peacemaking into outreach.
"These features should be considered both by communities with existing street outreach worker programs and by communities in the process of establishing one, as they have demonstrated importance for both program success and sustainability," said Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management and the paper's lead author.
The process of peacemaking, which typically involves engaging gang leaders in conflict mediation, convening peace circles, participating in a peace summit, and organizing a peace council, is a unique feature of the Lowell program. The UTEC team has invested in peacemaking because they believe it has helped to reduce conflict among gangs that have participated in the process. Another integral aspect of the UTEC program is an emphasis on providing resources for creating viable alternatives to violence, such as education advancement, skills development, and securing employment.
"As communities around the country continue to struggle with how to address youth violence, it's important to recognize that young people need resources in addition to strategies that help them to negotiate conflict," said Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH, also an assistant professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management and co-author of the paper. "Coupling support with essential services is a key to helping youth make healthy and safe transitions to adulthood."
Additional authors of "Streetworkers, Youth Violence Prevention, and Peacemaking in Lowell, Massachusetts: Lessons and Voices from the Community" are Karen Jonsberg (Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy), Gregg Croteau, MSW (United Teen Equality Center), JuanCarlos Rivera (United Teen Equality Center), and Jennifer S. Mendel (Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy).
The research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy