Caught in the Crossfire
An Effective Practice
The Caught in the Crossfire program is a hospital-based peer intervention program. Intervention Specialists provide crisis intervention, case management, and peer mentoring to youth involved in violence or highly at risk for violence, as well as their family and friends. In cases where the youth were injured by violence, the Intervention Specialists begin to provide services at the hospital bedside. At the initial bedside visits, staff focus on developing trusting relationships with the youth, providing emotional support to the youth and their family and friends, preventing immediate and future retaliation, identifying the youth's short-term and long-term needs, and developing a plan for staying safe. The program aims to (1) provide trained crisis intervention and long-term case management and mentoring home visits and follow-up assistance to youth who are hospitalized for violent injuries, on probation, or identified as being highly at risk for dropout or suspension from school, as well as to their family and friends; (2) prevent retaliatory violence and reduce the total number of youth injured by interpersonal violence; (3) reduce reentry into the hospital and the criminal justice system; (4) prevent dropout and suspension from school for violent incidents; (5) link youth with local resources that help them live nonviolent lifestyles; and (6) provide positive peer role models and promote positive alternatives to violence.
Goal / Mission
A goal of the program is to reduce high-risk youth involvement in the criminal justice system by intervening immediately or very soon after youth are violently injured.
Results / Accomplishments
Based on findings from a recent case-control evaluation, hospitalized youth who participated in Caught in the Crossfire were 70% less likely to be arrested compared to hospitalized youth who did not participate in the program, 60% less likely to have any criminal involvement (placement on probation, violation of probation or arrest) compared to hospitalized youth who did not participate in the program. During a single year, 98% of program participants avoided violent re-injury. Youth participating in Caught in the Crossfire have re-enrolled in school, received mental health counseling and job training, secured part-time and full-time employment, and found relief from crisis situations involving housing, food, transportation and health care.
About this Promising Practice
- Primary Contact
- Kesha Turner, Program Coordinator
(510) 594-2588 ext. 303
Public Safety / Crime & Crime Prevention
Health / Teen & Adolescent Health
Social Environment / Social & Civic Involvement
- Youth ALIVE!
- Date of publication
- Geographic Type
- Oakland, CA
- For more details
- Target Audience
- Children, Teens