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Allegheny County, PA: Mobilizing to Reduce Juvenile Crime

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1997
12 pages
This report describes the background and development of the community-wide collaborative process designed to reduce juvenile crime in Allegheny County (Pennsylvania), documents examples of the program's achievements, and examines the reasons for program success; it also considers the broad juvenile justice context in which the community effort has occurred and concludes with lessons learned and future challenges.
The Allegheny County comprehensive antiviolence mobilization effort involves the police, public and private agencies, grassroots organizations, and individual citizens. It recognizes that juvenile crime is a societal problem that can be solved only with the cooperation of the entire community. The program is coordinated by the Youth Crime Prevention Council, which has an eight-member steering committee and a 21-member action committee. The Council consists of leaders from law enforcement, government, juvenile justice, education, the faith community, the media, and health and human services. The Council assesses community needs, develops strategies, establishes implementation plans, implements initiatives, and leads and coordinates community efforts. The county is already seeing positive results from the program. From 1994 to 1995 the overall number of juveniles arrested and the number arrested for violent crime declined in the county, declines that exceeded those recorded statewide. Reasons for success include leadership, thoughtful selection of Council members, active solicitation of youth participation, having the Council as the umbrella coordinating body, and persistent implementation and monitoring. 10 references

Date Published: June 1, 1997