What Works to Prevent Urban Violence Among Proven Risk Young Men?

This report, conducted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), WestEd and the Justice Resource Institute (JRI), reviews the evidence behind programs that have been designed to reduce serious violence among groups of young offenders. The report is a useful example of the use of Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) in the methodology, using this approach to identify effective violence prevention strategies. The limitations of REA are as a methodology and in the context of this report are discussed on page 33.


"The evaluation team used a Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) strategy to identify effective prevention strategies. A REA is a systematic and transparent review of research, carried out much more quickly and cost-effectively than normal research syntheses (Butler et al. 2004). Using a REA permitted the evaluation team to do a credible job searching and synthesizing the literature, without creating additional cost and time demands that a meta-analysis or systematic review requires."


  • Executive Summary  iv 
  • Background and Purpose  1 
    •  Violence in Massachusetts  1
    •  Research Basis for SSYI  1
    •  State of Evidence-based Programs  2
    •  SSYI Evaluation  3
  • Approach and Methods  3 
    •  Rapid Evidence Assessment  3
    •  Implementation Quality  5
  •  Rapid Evidence Assessment  6 
    •  Effectiveness  18 
    •  Crosswalk of Effectiveness and SSYI Practice  21 
  • Implementation Quality  22 
    •  Steps in the Implementation Cycle  22
    •  Capacity + Motivation = Readiness  26 
  • Discussion  28 
  • Limitations  33 
  • Endnotes 34 
  • References  35 
  • Appendix  41 
    • Methodology Notes  42


Campie, P.E., Petrosino, A., Pace, J., Fronius, T., Guckenburg, S. Wiatrowski, & Ward, S. (2013). What Works to Prevent Urban Violence Among Proven Risk Young Men? The Safe and Successful Youth Initiative Evidence and Implementation Review. Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Boston, MA.