2017 Symposium on Youth Violence Prevention

Thanks to all who attended the 2017 Trenton Symposium on Youth Violence Prevention.

Handouts from Symposium

Boston – Culture of Collaboration Handout

Boston – Police Department Best Practices Handout

Cleveland – “A New Model for Addressing Youth Violence as a Public Health Issue”

Cleveland – Impact 25 Organizational Chart

Gibson/Mazeika – “Data, Research, and Campus Collaboration” Presentation Slides

National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention Strategic Plans: Boston, Camden, Cleveland

“From Symptoms to Solutions: Collaborative Models for Violence Prevention” was held on Monday, December 11, 2017 at The College of New Jersey, Education Building.

The Trenton Youth Violence Symposium offers attendees a half day of insight and perspective on positive youth development from an array of locally- and regionally-recognized experts and practitioners. The goal of the symposium is to educate, empower, and build consensus around a coordinated approach to youth violence prevention. Municipal leaders from across the northeast will share lessons learned from multidisciplinary, data-driven, comprehensive plans developed under President Obama’s National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention model, while professionals from throughout the state will discuss innovative youth-serving programs and practices.

Tentative Schedule

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Confirmed presenters

Christopher Byner, Deputy Commissioner of Programming & Development, Boston Center for Youth & Families

Jennifer Maconochie, Director, Strategic Initiatives & Policies, Boston Police Department

Michael Walker, Executive Director, Partnership for a Safer Cleveland

Dr. Traymanesha Moore, Executive Director, Newark Thrives!

Josephine Russo, Director of Research & Evaluation, Newark Thrives!

Dan Rhoton, Executive Director, Hopeworks ‘N Camden

Dr. Sandy Gibson, Assistant Professor & Clinical Coordinator, Department of Counselor Education, The College of New Jersey

Dr. David Mazeika, Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology, The College of New Jersey

Hon. Lawrence P. DeBello, Mercer County Family Court


In 2017, Hon. Lawrence DeBello, Superior Court Judge for Mercer County, charged the Trenton Prevention Policy Board with developing a collaborative plan to address violence perpetrated by and against youth in the capital city. The Trenton Youth Violence Reduction Action Strategy (TYVRAS), currently in development, follows the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention model, which has been successfully implemented in cities like Boston, Camden, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The strategy engages stakeholders in four areas on the youth development continuum: Prevention, Intervention, Enforcement, and Reentry.

TYVRAS provides a framework to coordinate efforts to reduce youth violence, as well as lead to measurable reductions in the prevalence of youth violence in Trenton.  Specific outcomes are being developed by working groups as part of the process.

In addition, as long-term outcomes of the development of the plan, participating organizations will:

  • Identify and address gaps in services that could reduce factors leading to youth violence, providing organizations a better sense of where the greatest needs are systemically
  • Gain access to reliable, up-to-date data and information as part of a sustained infrastructure of data-sharing and communication
  • Be part of a coordinated network of organizations applying for funding to increase collaboration among entities and to improve Trenton’s chances of receiving funding
  • Be part of a single venue for communication from regional, state, and federal entities about initiatives, trends, and funding opportunities related to youth violence and other related issues
  • Participate in a coordinated communication effort to combat misleading and factually inaccurate representations of Trenton based on the shared information and data that guides the process
  • Gain access to and awareness of a network of experts from the non-profits, public agencies, higher education, and others
  • Learn what policies, programs, and practices are most effective at addressing Trenton specific issues based on current data in Trenton and in the broader youth prevention field

About the National Forum

The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention is a network of communities and federal agencies that work together, share information and build local capacity to prevent and reduce youth violence. Established at the direction of President Obama in 2010, the Forum brings together people from diverse professions and perspectives to learn from each other about the crisis of youth and gang violence in the U.S and to build comprehensive solutions on the local and national levels.