YPI engages youth and communities in positive social change, including a reduction in violence and gang involvement. It replaces animosity and distrust with mutual respect and understanding. YPI community programs currently exist in 18 U.S. cities as well as Bermuda and Belize. Key measures have been monitored consistently through pre and post testing and show the following trends:
- Youth crime has fallen by as much as 60% in neighborhoods where Youth Link -YPI has been active.
- 90% to 100% of youth report after completing YPI that “most police are good and want to help
- Young people’s interest in the potential of a policing career typically increases by 50%
- Police officers consistently report an increase in positive youth contact
- Police officers consistently report an increase in knowledge of adolescent development, urban language and socialization skills.
- Police officers report an increase in their problem solving skills and de-escalation techniques
More dramatic results occur in communities where a tipping-point of YPI trainings have been carried out and follow up activities have engaged youth and police together. Youth Link conducted a demonstration project at the Franklin Field Housing Development in Boston. Franklin Field was one of the city’s most crime ridden neighborhoods at the start of the project. Since 2007, more than 200 youth and 150 police officers have completed the YPI training there. In March of 2011, three years of crime data from Franklin Field was collected by the Boston Police Department and the Boston Housing Authority (2007 through 2010) and shows a 43.5% decrease in violent crime with a particularly notable 31% decrease between 2009 and 2010 when Youth Link’s involvement intensified. There was also a 57% reduction in reported drug offenses in Franklin Field across this time span, among other encouraging statistics.
“Unlike so many projects that last for a season, Youth Link has a deep commitment to the community and families and they prove that every day. Their mission is to be of service and build the community up by strengthening children and families so they are perfectly aligned with our efforts.”
“YPI is an outstanding program that I have seen impact the relationship between our young people and beat officers in real and sustainable ways.”
“I’ve seen this program make a huge difference in entire neighborhoods, impacting the way kids and cops connect and relate in powerful ways.” —Frank Straub, Former Public Safety Commissioner, Indianapolis
“This is the best program I’ve seen that breaks down the stereotypes between young people and police, affording positive relationships to develop.” —Chuck Gardner, Yonkers, NY Chief of Police
“The things I’ve learned from Youth Link have changed the way I see life and form my goals.”
—Daniel, YPI/YLA graduate, Dorchester, MA
“Because of the success of the program, and my son’s desire to continue in it, I will fight to have YPI in all of our housing developments.”
—Ms. Brown, President of the McConaughy Terrace Tenants Assocation and mother of a YPI particpant