This book investigates the Youth Police Initiative (YPI) intervention with a comprehensive look at its effects in Boston as well as Brownsville, Brooklyn, a neighborhood that has both rich community networks as well as the highest crime rate in New York City. Based on a phenomenological approach, The Case for Youth Police Initiative: Interdependent Fates and the Power of Peace offers first-person narratives of youth, police, and community members in Brownsville as the YPI program was put into action
Police shootings and other negative exchanges between community members and the police have brought heightened awareness to the volatile relations between communities and police. The North American Family Institute began the YPI in Baltimore in 2003 with the ambition of keeping vulnerable youth away from arrests, gangs, guns, violence, and death. The program has been replicated in several communities in the United States and beyond. The focus of YPI training is to address the dual challenge of teaching youth the skills to resolve daily conflicts with authority while also teaching police officers to have meaningful dialogue with young people. The voices of the stakeholders reveal changes in attitudes and actions from before, during, and after YPI’s implementation. A comprehensive illustration of the intervention’s arc provides the reader with an in-depth, textured perspective of what it takes to prevent pernicious eruptions of tension between police and the community they are charged to serve and protect. YPI’s success in addressing tensions between youth and police in Boston and Brownsville, Brooklyn, maps out a blueprint for progress in other communities.
Suitable for scholars and researchers in juvenile justice, law enforcement, psychology, and social work as well as practitioners on the front lines, The Case for Youth Police Initiative will provoke dialogue on best practices for changing the volatile climate between police and the youths in their communities.