Seattle Initiative Credited With Reducing Youth Crime
A “progress report” published recently by the city says the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) has reduced the rate of juvenile arrests, violent offenses, and school disciplinary actions in troubled neighborhoods such as the Central District and Rainier Beach.
The SYVPI was established in 2009 by former Mayor Greg Nickels after a spate of teen homicides. It has continued under the McGinn administration, and served more than 600 kids ages 12-17 last year.
Currently, the SYVPI operates primarily in the Central District, the Rainier Valley, and parts of West Seattle. In those areas, the rate of juvenile arrests for violent offenses has declined 20.5 percent since 2009, versus 12.3 percent in areas not served by the program. Disciplinary actions in Seattle schools in those same neighborhoods fell by 11 percent between 2008 and 2010, while they rose by 3 percent in non-SYVPI areas.