Palm Beach County Youth Violence Prevention Program: Phase I

Reducing Youth Violence

Beginning in 2004, Palm Beach County, Florida, experienced a string of high profile crimes involving youth and guns, many of which resulted in homicides. This prompted the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission to investigate the problem and work to identify tangible solutions through evidence-based research and the involvement of officials system-wide. The Palm Beach County Youth Violence Prevention Steering Committee was created and the commission enlisted the Florida State University Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research to be their research partner on the project in April 2005. The following organizational chart depicts the comprehensive nature of the project in terms of the involvement of all facets of the criminal justice system.

The initial phase of the project involved compiling data from a variety of sources, including arrests involving guns from 1996 to 2004 from all the police departments within Palm Beach County, Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics, criminal history data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and detailed homicide victim information from the Palm Beach Medical Examiner’s Office. These data were then analyzed to develop a thorough understanding of the extent of the gun violence problem from a historical perspective, to determine what demographic groups were contributing most to the problem, and to identify hot spots of gun violence. The results from this analysis can be seen in the final report and presentations,


Principal Investigator: Thomas G. Blomberg, Dean and Sheldon L. Messinger Professor of Criminology

Co-Principal Investigator: William D. Bales, Ph.D.

Graduate Student: Lucy Cushman

Funding Sponsor: Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission

Dates: 2005-2006

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