Youth Violence Prevention Program

The Youth Violence Prevention Program at RCHD aims to develop a community-wide approach to preventing youth violence using the public health model of prevention and the collective impact approach to community organization. Our vision for this work is based upon the need for sustainable prevention in order to decrease the number of youth experiencing violence, and in turn, allowing them to thrive.

About Youth Violence

stopsignYouth violence represents a serious public health problem for all communities; Richmond included. It challenges health professionals and educators, law enforcement and courts, community organizations and government agencies. Nationally, homicide is the second leading cause of death among youth 15-24 years of age. In Richmond, however, this problem is more pronounced, where it is the leading cause of death among our youth.

In order to combat the critical need for youth violence prevention in Richmond, the Richmond City Health District (RCHD) was awarded a CDC-funded Youth Violence Prevention Training and Technical Assistance Grant from the American Institute for Research (AIR). RCHD will receive training and technical assistance over the next four years to develop a community-wide approach to prevent youth violence.

What Are We Doing

The youth violence grant requires the Health District to commit to:

Have a range of community stakeholders (e.g., representing local government, juvenile justice, police department, school system, and other social service system partners) participate in a youth violence prevention project led by RCHD with the following end goals:

  • Create a youth violence prevention community coalition and develop a comprehensive plan to address violence among youth aged 10 to 24.
  • Participate in youth violence prevention training and technical assistance activities by telephone and other virtual methods (e.g., webinars and virtual meetings).
  • Engage in evaluation activities, including completion of an annual survey and participation in an annual interview with AIR evaluation team members.

The grant’s training and technical assistance is likely to focus on the following topics:

  • Bringing together and engaging stakeholders from multiple sectors to form, manage, and sustain an effective youth violence prevention coalition
  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive YV prevention strategic plan
  • Selecting and implementing evidence-based prevention program strategies that meet community needs
  • Integrating violence prevention into ongoing public health practices
  • Designing and carrying out systems change efforts (i.e., changing the underlying structures and supporting mechanisms of a system by transforming policies, routines, resources, and relationships)
  • Addressing disparities and disproportionalities
  • Identifying, reviewing, and utilizing community-level data during planning, evaluation, and communication
  • Conducting needs assessments
  • Identifying or reallocating existing resources for most significant impact
  • Sustaining YV prevention efforts

There is a need to develop this strategic plan and develop the resources through partnership development in the City. RCHD has partnered with the Juvenile Justice Collaborative (JJC) and its subgroup the Juvenile Justice Prevention Workgroup (JJYVPW) to establish a comprehensive plan to address this issue.

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djjlogoJuvenile Justice Collaborative

The Juvenile Justice Collaborative is convened by the 13th District Court Service Unit of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. The purpose of this collaborative is to facilitate juvenile justice process and systems improvements among stakeholder agencies in the City of Richmond.

Creating a comprehensive system that helps delinquent and at-risk youth become law abiding citizens while maximizing community safety and strengthening families.

The JJC will facilitate process and systems improvements among stakeholder agencies through collaboration that will result in improved outcomes for the youth and families in the City of Richmond.


  1. The Collaborative will establish seamless service delivery,
  2. The Collaborative will identify and close service gaps.
  3. The Collaborative will enhance systems processes.

The Collaborative will ensure timely placement of youth and their families in the most appropriate human service system.

The Juvenile Justice Collaborative Youth Violence Prevention workgroup is a sub set of the JJC and acts in accordance with the mission and goals of the larger group.

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Meet our Partners

Members of the JJC Youth Violence Prevention Workgroup

VCU Trauma Center & Injury and Violence Prevention Program
Legal Aid Justice Center
Peter Paul Development Center/Richmond Promise Neighborhood
Richmond Police Department
Richmond Behavioral Health Authority
VCU Clark-Hill Center for Positive Youth Development
Richmond Department of Justice Services
VCU Medical Center, Healthy Policy and Community Relations
Department of Juvenile Justice, 13th District Court Service Unit
Communities in Schools of Richmond
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
Department of Justice Services
Richmond Public Schools
Richmond Public Schools
Richmond Ambulance Authority
Richmond Department of Social Services
Richmond Police Department
Richmond Family & Fatherhood Initiative
YWCA of Richmond
Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities
Richmond City Council
Richmond DCAO of Human Services
Richmond Department of Social Services
Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority
VCU Clark-Hill Center for Positive Youth Development

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Meet our Staff

Amy Vincent
Youth Violence Prevention Program Coordinator

Stephanie Sakyi
CDC Public Health Associate Fellow

Danielle Zielinski 
CDC Public Health Associate Fellow

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Local Resources:

VCU Medical Center Injury & Violence Prevention Program – Bridging the Gap:
Violence prevention and intervention programs are a powerful way to stop the revolving door of violent injury in our hospitals. Engaging patients in the hospital, during their recovery, is a golden opportunity to change their lives and reduce retaliation and recidivism. Bridging the Gap provides services to Richmond area youth, ages 10-24, who have been admitted to VCU Medical Center for intentional injuries such as gunshot wounds, stab wounds, and assaults.

Legal Aid Justice Center – JustChildren Program:
The JustChildren Program is Virginia’s largest children’s law program. They rely on a range of strategies to make sure the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable young people receive the services and support they need to lead successful lives in their communities.

Peter Paul Development Center (East End):
Peter Paul Development Center (PPDC) is an outreach and community center serving Church Hill and neighboring communities in Richmond’s East End. Founded in 1979, it is the oldest community-based agency continually serving Church Hill children and families. PPDC gives children a safe, consistent, structured, and loving environment in which to thrive, where staff and volunteers establish long-term relationships of trust and support for the children and their families.

VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development:
The Institute’s mission is to develop and evaluate evidence-based practices to empower youth, schools, families, and other stakeholders to promote the healthy, safe, and positive development of youth, with a special emphasis on the middle school years.

Communities In Schools of Richmond:
Communities In Schools of Richmond surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities:
The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success by addressing prejudices, in all forms, in order to improve academic achievement, increase workplace productivity, and enhance local trust.

Richmond Family & Fatherhood Initiative:
It is a city-wide initiative involving members of the Richmond community in efforts to reduce the number of births to single parents and increase the percent of Richmond’s children raised in two parent homes. The Initiative focuses on equipping and empowering men and women with essential tools and training for positive lifestyle choices leading to sexual responsibility, self-reliance, and family responsibility.

YWCA of Richmond:
YWCA of Richmond is a 128-year-strong nonprofit organization serving families in Central Virginia. They are committed to empowering women, children, and their families to live their best lives. They strengthen our community on both individual and family levels through our nationally-accredited early childhood education programming, violence prevention education, and emergency and on-going services for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and intimate partner violence.

ChildSavers has a fundamental commitment to the mental well being of children and the positive bond between adult and child. They support this mission with clinical treatment and education and training services that offer reassurance, healing and the skills necessary to achieve normal life development. ChildSavers offers a variety of services for parents and professionals who work with children who have experienced trauma.

National Resources:

Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action:
Everyone has an important role in stopping youth violence before it starts. CDC’s Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action and its companion guide provide action steps to help everyone be a part of the solution.

The Public Health Approach to Violence Prevention:
The public health perspective asks the foundational questions: Where does the problem begin? How could we prevent it from occurring in the first place? To answer these questions, public health uses a systematic, scientific approach for understanding and preventing violence.

Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence:
The CDC and Prevention Institute developed “Connecting the Dots” to clarify the relationships among different forms of violence. This publication builds a case for practitioners to coordinate their efforts, increase their impact, and work toward preventing multiple forms of violence.

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
This registry of family, school, and community-based programs is designed to promote the health and well-being of children and teens. Blueprints programs target all levels of need- from broad prevention programs that promote positive behaviors, to highly-targeted programs for children at risk and troubled teens that get them back on track.

Communities that Care:
Communities that Care (CTC) employs a proven, community –change process for reducing youth violence, alcohol & tobacco use, and delinquency – through tested and effective programs and policies.

Virginia Department of Health – Youth Violence and Bullying:
Youth violence and bullying are major public health issues for individuals, families, and communities. Both are complex problems which, over time, impose serious effects on targets and bystanders and serious consequences on aggressors. Solutions require widespread, sustained efforts in families, schools, and communities.

CDC Injury Prevention & Control – Division of Violence Prevention:
Youth violence refers to harmful behaviors that can start early and continue into young adulthood. The young person can be a victim, an offender, or a witness to the violence. Youth violence includes various behaviors. Some violent acts—such as bullying, slapping, or hitting—can cause more emotional harm than physical harm. Others, such as robbery and assault (with or without weapons) can lead to serious injury or even death.

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Contact Us

For more information on the Youth Violence Prevention Program, contact:

Amy Vincent at  or 804-205-3737.

Youth Violence Prevention Program
Richmond City Health District
400 East Cary Street, 4th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219

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