Preventing Youth Violence through Intervention and Support
By: Laura Pooler, LCSW and Jamie Elmasu, MPH
We see it almost every day in the headlines: another young person is injured, sometimes fatally, due to a violent act. Youth violence is the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 25, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A significant first-time grant issued by the CARESTAR Foundation will allow John Muir Health to expand Beyond Violence, a hospital-based youth violence intervention program for patients between the ages of 15-25 who are victims of intentional injuries. The grant will expand services to young people in more areas of Contra Costa County and will provide more preventive services including trauma informed mental health care for youth.
As Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, John Muir Health sees a high percentage of the victims of violent crime and its emergency and trauma professionals see repeat patients who are stuck in cyclical violence. Beyond Violence has a successful track record of interrupting this cycle. In 2017, 100% of all Beyond Violence clients remained alive—99% of clients did not retaliate, 93% did not enter the criminal justice system and 97% avoided re-injury. Above all, Beyond Violence helps youth begin to heal from trauma they have experienced.
The goals of the Beyond Violence program are to prevent retaliatory violence and reduce the total number of young people injured by interpersonal violence, reduce entry of young people into criminal justice systems, and to link young people with local resources that help them live non-violent lifestyles. Through partnerships with community based organizations like RYSE Center in Richmond and One Day at a Time in Brentwood, trained intervention specialists engage with eligible youth who are hospitalized due to injuries they sustained from intentional violence. The intervention specialists provide crisis intervention and long-term case management to these patients and their families.
You can find more information about the Beyond Violence program on our website.