Youth Violence Prevention

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According to national statistics, the likelihood that someone will be arrested for a crime tends to increase beginning in late childhood, peak in the teenage years (from 15 to 19) and then decline in the early 20s. In addition, most of the violence committed by people in this age group is directed at victims of the same age, and the age period of 16-24 is a high-risk time for violent victimization, according to the National Institute of Justice.

Studies have shown that intervention programs can reduce the amount of crime committed by young people -- from home visits to parenting education for families of young children to programs programs for juvenile offenders. The National Institute of Justice has also found that "the financial benefits of intervention programs often outweigh the costs."

While these studies are national or even international in scope, the City of Hampton is taking a personalized, individualized effort to utilize and implement the best approaches to prevent our youth from becoming violent offenders. This approach involves staff in departments throughout the city and attempts to coordinate efforts with non-profits, neighborhood groups and faith organizations making similar progress.

Youth Violence Program Manager

Hampton has a full-time Youth Violence Prevention Manager whose job is to lead the coordination of the youth and young adult gang and violence prevention initiatives in Hampton. Synethia White can be reached via email or at 757-727-2730.

  • VA Rules Camp:

     Developing positive relationships with police officers is crucial to the vitality of our community. Hampton Police Department, Hampton Roads Committee of 200 + Men, Inc., Parks Recreation and Leisure Services and the Youth Violence Prevention Division will be hosting a week-long VA Rules Camp for rising 6th-12th grade students.

Hampton United

Hampton United is a steering committee of internal and external partners aimed at creating a framework to prevent and combat youth violence. They are currently focused on three tasks:

  • Summer Youth Employment.

    The City of Hampton will hire up to 50 young people this summer and place them in various positions in city departments. The focus will be on helping them with job readiness skills, financial literacy and job experience.
  • Grassroots Prevention Mini-Grants.

    These are funds that will be awarded to organizations and programs.
  • Assessment.

    The group is collecting and analyzing data from schools, police, Human Services, the court system, the housing authority and public health. This will be used to develop a Hampton-specific comprehensive plan on addressing youth violence.