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Boston Strategy
reason for this site

Awards
1996: The U. S. Justice Department publishes One City’s Success Story, telling the Boston story. Attorney General Janet Reno in the Forward: "The foundation of Boston’s approach has been the building of coalitions and partnerships . . . I am impressed by their efforts."
1997: The Boston Strategy Partners receive the Innovations in Government Award from the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
1998: The Boston Police Department receives the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing
1999: The National Crime Prevention Council cites Boston in Six Safer Cities: on the Crest of the Crime Prevention Wave; the U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention profiles Boston’s programs in Promising Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence

The purpose of this site is to tell the story of how The Boston Strategy to Prevent Youth Violence came into being, so that others who are struggling with the problem of youth violence can share the learning from Boston’s experience. The city’s efforts have garnered widespread recognition and numerous awards [see sidebar].

In 1997, President Clinton launched a National Anti-gang and Youth Violence Strategy, modeled on Boston’s approach. The U. S. Justice Department has profiled the key programs of the Boston Strategy in its conferences and reports on gun violence [see Programs and Resources].

Yet, despite all the information available, individuals and communities seeking to use Boston as a model continue to have one overriding question: How do we get started? Of the hundreds of inquiries received by Boston Strategy partners—from police and probation officers, prosecutors, churches of all faiths, mayors’ offices, schools, social service agencies, and neighborhood organizations—that is the question most frequently asked. This site is part of the response. It exists because the partners were willing to reflect on the question, How did we get started in Boston? Their reflections provide insight into the human dimension of the Boston Strategy, without which it cannot be fully understood or replicated.

In fact, the Boston Strategy did not start as a strategy but as small steps conceived in conversations among people working directly with gang-involved youth—conversations that began with the recognition of a shared objective, to save lives. Solutions emerged on the front lines, as adults opened themselves to working with each other and with kids in new ways. BostonStrategy.com describes that emergence from the perspective, and in the words, of the participants. The purpose is not to glorify what happened in Boston in the 1990s, but to learn from it, in hopes of building upon the fragile gains made against the continuing problem of youth violence.

The Boston youth involved in these programs do not appear on this site in a conscious decision to protect their privacy.

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© Copyright Robert Wood Johnson 2001. All Rights Reserved.