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National Forum on Youth Violence PreventionNational Forum on Youth Violence Prevention

Youth violence prevention is a top priority for Attorney General Eric Holder, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary, and policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and community members across the nation. In spite of consistent decreases in juvenile violent crime arrests nationwide since 1994, many localities continue to seek information and strategies to better prevent and respond to youth violence. At the direction of President Obama, in 2010 the Departments of Justice and Education officially launched the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (the Forum).

The Forum aims to build a national conversation about youth and gang violence to increase awareness, drive action, and build local capacity to more effectively address youth violence. It models a new kind of federal and local collaboration, encouraging its members to change the way they do business by sharing common challenges and promising strategies, through comprehensive planning and coordinated action.

Currently active in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, and Salinas and San Jose, California with plans to expand to additional cities soon, the Forum is an Administration-led effort involving agencies from across the federal government, corporate partners, non-profit groups, neighborhood and faith-based organizations, and youth representatives. It also complements the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative, a Department of Justice-wide effort designed to prevent and reduce the damage caused by children’s exposure to violence.

On September 19, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder and Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary announced the expansion of the Forum to ten cities. New Orleans, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Camden, N.J., join the six original cities. The 10 cities will participate in a working session on December 10-11, 2012 and highlight their strategies to address youth violence at a national summit in Washington, D.C. next spring. The new cities were selected through a competitive application process.

For additional information on the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, visit – Preventing Youth Violence or follow the discussion at #NationalForum.