Youth violence sends an average of 1,000 young people to emergency rooms across the country every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among Black youth ages 10 to 24, violence is the leading cause of death. Youth homicides and nonfatal physical assault-related injuries cost an estimated $100 billion a year, a total that does not include costs to the criminal justice system.
Behind such broad and overwhelming statistics are the individual members of communities affected by the violence. Working with those community members informs the strategies to reduce violence—and help youth succeed—pursued by Jomella Watson-Thompson.
Watson-Thompson leads one of only five federally-funded national centers of excellence on youth violence prevention, the Youth Violence Prevention Research Center-Kansas City (YVPC-KC). She said an effective approach requires long-term solutions, not quick fixes.