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Youth Investment and Police Mentoring

The Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation
Washington, DC


On This Report

Recommendations for Policy and Action By Government and Foundation



Elliott Currie

Joy G. Dryfoos

1. Executive Summary

2. Youth Investment, Police, Kobans and Safe Havens

3. Centro Sister Isolina Ferre and the San Juan Police

4. The Campus Boulevard Corporation and the Philadelphia Police

5. The Dorchester Youth Collaborative and the Boston Police

6. Youth Guidance and the Chicago Police

7. The Baltimore Jobs in Energy Youth Center and the Baltimore Police

8. Lessons

9. New Replications

Appendix 1: Analysis of FBI Index Crime Data for San Juan, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago.

Appendix 2: Selected News Articles on the Next Generation of Replications


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The Eisenhower Foundation’s agenda was to observe the Japanese system and bring ideas back to their own communities.

Wall Street Journal

January 11, 1989 The Eisenhower Foundation...found that Japan’s community policing techniques work in the United States.

New York Times July 31, 1995

We hope to redirect the youths...and make outstanding citizens of them. If we can do this...the model can be taken

Officer Mona Lynch Washington, DC Metropolitan Police
Washington Post
December 22, 1994

[Ministation safe havens] can promote economic development and help generate jobs for high risk young people in South Bronx and South Central Los Angeles. And they’re pretty cheap, aren’t they, relatively speaking? Yes relative to what Americans have done in the past.

CBS This Morning Interview with Lynn A. Curtis August 15, 1995

I learned from Eddie Kutanda [of the Dorchester Youth Collaborative] in Boston on my last trip there as we discussed the crime bill and anti-crime initiatives.

Attorney General Janet Reno (with President Clinton) Crime Bill Rally, 1994 Washington, DC

The [Washington, DC koban] is staffed by three police officers and several social workers. Together they work to solve drug and domestic problems in the complex while tutoring students and taking neighborhood kids on outings such as Georgetown University basketball games.

Washington Times January 30, 1995

People drop by very casually to the [Philadelphia] koban. After all, it is run by both police and citizens.

Mainichi Shimbun (Japan) February 19, 1994

Although this type of initiative may not be welcomed with open arms by policing traditionalists, an analysis of the end results would surely justify this type of interaction in other cities.

Field’s Corner Police Commander Boston

Volunteering is really good, but people need to have a program to volunteer for, and in order to do that, you have to have dollars.

Kelly Polyak Director of Programs Campus Boulevard Corporation North Philadelphia

What people want is something that works. They want to celebrate American successes and American efforts.

Haynes Johnson
Divided We Fall

1. Adequately funded youth safe havens integrated with police ministations that share the same space and that provide multiple solutions to multiple problems should be legislated at federal and local levels. They should be replicated much more widely — with, for example, federal funding from the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Justice and Health and Human Services. Special incentives should be provided to innovative police chiefs.

2. Police and youth development leaders who already have replicated successful youth safe haven/police ministations should become national trainers who train their counterparts in new replications across the nation. The training should be funded by a public-private partnership.

3. In unsafe inner city neighborhoods, the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services should create job training centers for out-of-school-youth and welfare-to-work that are integrated into safe haven/police ministations at the same locations.

4. Legislators and the federal Department of Education should reform the D.A.R.E. program based on the lessons in Youth Investment and Police Mentoring.

5. The White House and the National Office of Drug Control Policy should create a new generation of public service and commercial messages based on the "bubble up" grassroots model of the Dorchester Youth Collaborative’s youth media enterprise, not based on messages by traditional, national establishment organizations. Local youth leaders should create and act in the messages.

6. The private foundation community should speak out on the limits of "volunteerism," "self-sufficiency" and "mentoring." Foundations should finance more evaluations of the cost-benefits of paid staff (civilian and police) versus unpaid volunteers in youth development, employment training, community development and crime prevention programs. The cost-benefits of "mentors" versus "advocates" (as in San Juan) versus "near peers" (as in Boston) should be evaluated.

7. The private foundation community should finance more evaluations of the cost-benefits of one-on-one "volunteer" mentoring (which has been estimated to actually cost perhaps as much as $5B to $15B per year nationally) versus more proven investments in children and youth (like HeadStart preschool, which will cost about $7B more per year nationally to serve all eligible poor children).

8. Private foundations should facilitate a "small is beautiful" funding process in which private and public funders invest at least as much in unaffiliated inner city nonprofit organizations as in more powerful national organizations, which have more ability to lobby for their affiliates.

9. The private foundation community should educate both the public and private sectors that many well conceived and well implemented programs in the private and public sectors work — when they are adequately funded over long enough time.

10. The private foundation community should finance a Communicating What Works movement that makes clear to the average citizen and to decision makers that we know a great deal about what works — and what doesn’t. The need is to replicate what works to a scale equal to the dimensions of the problem and to remove the impediments that currently prevent this from occurring (like the impact of big money on legislation).


Youth Investment and Police Mentoring was written by Lynn A. Curtis, President of the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation and the Corporation for What Works.

Keith A. Baker and Imre R. Kohn were Co-Directors of the evaluations in the report.

Joy G. Dryfoos and Elliott Currie reviewed the manuscript and provided helpful feedback.

The manuscript was prepared by Pam J. Green and edited by Cynthia F. Young.

The Trustees of the Eisenhower Foundation wish to thank the Center for Global Partnership of the Japan Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for funds to help publish the report.

The Trustees of the Foundation wish to thank the many funders of the development, implementation and evaluation of the police and youth development programs documented in the report. In alphabetical order, those funders were: the Center for Global Partnership, the Hitachi Corporation, the Hitachi Foundation, the Keidanren (the Japanese Federation of Economic Organizations), the Matsushita Corporation, the Mitsubishi Corporation, the NEC Corporation, the Sony Corporation, the Toshiba Corporation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission. For the new police-youth development replications, reported in Section 9 and in progress at the time of this publication, the Trustees wish to thank, in alphabetical order, the Center for Global Partnership, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

We wish to thank Senator Ernest F. Hollings, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Senator Strom Thurmond, Senator Judd Gregg and Representative Marcy Kaptur.

At the U.S. Department of Justice, we wish to thank Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (now Lieutenant Governor of Maryland), Laurie Robinson, Sheldon C. Bilchik, Nancy E. Gist, and Robert Brown.

At the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, we wish to thank (former Secretary) Henry G. Cisneros, Michael E. Stegman, Gloria J. Cousar, Kevin E. Marchman, Sonia L. Burgos and Malcolm E. Main.

At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, we wish to thank Elaine M. Johnson and Vivien L. Smith.

At the Center for Global Partnership, we wish to thank the following executive directors: Minoru Kusuda, Nagayo Homma, Yoshihisa Ara and Yoshihiko Wakumoto.

American police departments assigned commanders and officers as in-kind match for most of these replications. The police were crucial for the success we have documented. The Foundation wishes to deeply thank the Chiefs of Police and Superintendents in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Juan.

Soji Teramura shepherded the program over many years, provided leadership, arranged events as the initiative developed, wrote excellent news articles and secured considerable funding. Our appreciation is extended to him.

Isamu Nitta, the National Police Agency of Japan and the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. kindly and wisely sponsored and guided this work as it related to Japanese concepts, especially in the early years as delegations to Japan were planned and carried out.

At the National Police Agency of Japan, we wish to thank the following Commissioners-General: Hideo Yamada, Akio Kanazawa, Ryoichi Suzuki, Yasumitsu Kiuchi, Takaji Kunimatsu and Yuko Sekiguchi.

At the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, we wish to thank the following Ambassadors: Nobuo Matsunaga, Ryohei Murata, Takakazu Kuriyama and Kunihiko Saito. We also wish to thank the following National Police Agency of Japan representatives at the Embassy: Hideshi Mitani, Shinichi Uematsu, Goro Aoki and Naomasa Yoshida.

Douglas E. Rake orchestrated the delegations, raised the Japan-side funds and provided inspiration with his Public Broadcasting System documentary, Forces of Order, on Japanese policing. David H. Bayley wrote the book, of the same name, on which the documentary was based, and provided helpful input during our early work.

Elliott L. Richardson, Delwin A. Roy, Kazuo Kumagai, Kazuo Nukazawa, Takeshi Kobayashi and Jun Wada were especially helpful and supportive.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier and Columbia, SC Police Chief Charles P. Austin, Sr. provided crucial guidance and leadership, and were responsible for significant funds raised.

Vesta Kimble directed the original replications. Eddie W. Banks is directing the new generation of replications reported in Section 9, which is being evaluated by David M. Chavis.

Bobby W. Austin and Marilyn Melkonian facilitated funding for the new generation of work, allowed for flexibility of implementation and provided excellent models to emulate. Some of this new work is being done as part of the National African American Male Collaboration.

The front cover of the report shows Officer Charles Nellums of the Little Rock Police Department with Jennifer Purifoy and Keith Williams.

While in keeping with the mission and policy positions of the Eisenhower Foundation, the views in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the positions of funders.



Elliott Currie
Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California School of Law, Berkeley, CA

Youth Development and Police Mentoring is a welcome addition to practical, evaluation and management based policy analysis on what works to develop youth and prevent crime in America’s cities. The report confirms that development and prevention, when they are done right, can indeed work — and that we have alternatives to ever-harsher sentences and the heedless construction of more and more prisons. The programs described in this report demonstrate, in particular, that linking innovative, community-oriented policing with consistent efforts to reach out to vulnerable youth can bring substantial dividends — even on very modest budgets and in the face of harsh and deteriorating social environments.

But even more importantly, the report teaches us some crucial lessons about the ingredients of success — about what makes development and prevention programs effective, and what may doom them to failure. These lessons are especially important now, because we are increasingly hearing a mixed and often confusing message from government about how to deal with youth and crime. On the one hand, youth development and crime prevention seem, at least rhetorically, to be back on the national agenda. There is much talk of "investing" in children and youth, and a growing recognition that simply pouring more and more resources into incarceration hasn’t had the positive effects that some naively expected.

But the emerging rhetoric hasn’t been backed by a commitment of resources on anything like the scale that is required. We say we want to invest in youth — but also that we want to shrink government; we say we need effective social programs, but also that we want them to be run on a shoestring and staffed by unpaid volunteers. The Foundation’s report, based not on rhetoric but on years of concrete experience on the streets of some of our most impoverished communities, suggests that this approach is likely to be self-defeating.

These programs often worked well — sometimes astonishingly well — despite meager and uncertain funding. But they could not have worked without the paid staff that public funding made possible, and their impact seems to have been significantly weakened when federal funding was cut back. And it is even more clear that expanding and replicating these and other successful programs to match the need cannot even begin to happen without a stable commitment from the public sector.

The basic lesson is simple and unavoidable: development and prevention can work, but only if we take them seriously enough to provide the resources necessary to get the job done. If this report helps to get that lesson across to Congress and the White House, it will have done its own job very well indeed.

Joy G. Dryfoos
Independent Researcher, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Youth Investment and Police Mentoring represents a significant marriage of art and science. In theory, art builds on human ingenuity, that unanalyzable creative power that gives light, color, substance, to our activities. Art carries an almost mystical aura. Science is defined as the systemization of knowledge attained through careful study and observation. Science is objective and impersonal.

We have always had youth development programs, even though we called them other names (like prevention, at-risk...even schools) but they have largely been designed as works of art, loaded with ingenuity, but serendipitous, lacking strong theory, and certainly not backed up by strong evidence that they would succeed. What the Eisenhower Foundation has done here is to introduce science into the art of youth development.

In an intrepid experiment, a number of youth development agencies were able to implement comprehensive programs that included the participation of the police. These efforts were tracked over time, and solid data produced to show that they made a difference in crime rates. Now we have substantial proof that having trained sympathetic police persons on the premises can clearly add significant dimensions to youth development programs.

How do we take this science and use it to stimulate action across the country? How do we convince the decision-makers to invest in effective programs rather than ineffective ones? Based on the dollar estimates in this report ($100,000 for starters), think how far the funds from the Drug Free Schools and Safe Communities program could go toward helping community agencies and schools to add police mentors to their staffs.

Currently, Drug Free Schools gives states almost $600 million to pass on to localities. A big piece of that goes to support DARE, the police run classroom-based drug prevention program. DARE is definitely more art than science; repeated evaluations have shown that the program does not result in lower substance use rates. Students do, however, enjoy meeting the police, and would benefit from entering into more meaningful relationships with them, following some of the ideas used in the programs documented here. From what I have observed visiting Eisenhower programs, the police selected for this duty benefit as well and appreciate the opportunity to provide support services in partnerships with other youth workers.

This publication should encourage policy makers to rely on scientific evidence for program planning in the emerging field of youth development. The critical need among our youth for support and the fierce struggle for resources dictate the most rational and informed decisions possible.

Youth Investment and Police Mentoring reports on 10 years of Eisenhower Foundation programming, evaluation and analysis directed at policy for the truly disadvantaged and the inner city — beginning with a delegation to Japan of American police chiefs and community leaders in the late 1980s. Over this time, the Foundation has raised almost $10M in grants and local matches for the work reported here and related work, past and ongoing.

As the quotes that preface the report suggest, the ideas in Youth Investment and Police Mentoring have been recognized by media across the political spectrum and by street level, federal and international observers.

The report provides new evidence that unaffiliated inner city nonprofit organizations in partnership with innovative police chiefs, commanders and line officers can replicate the principles underlying successful models. In 4 cities — San Juan, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago — a quasi-experimental evaluation design showed serious crime to decline by at least 22 percent and by as much as 27 percent over a minimum of 3 years. Across the 4 cities, the decline in the 4 target neighborhoods where the police-community partnerships were replicated was significantly greater statistically than for either the surrounding precincts or their cities as a whole. Figure 1 shows some of these findings. In a fifth city, Baltimore, a quasi-experimental design showed that program youth had less high risk behavior, less alcohol use, less drug use, less self-reported delinquency and better coping skills than comparison youth over 18 months. The differences were statistically significant.

Success was attributable to multiple solutions to multiple problems, solutions that complemented one another in different combinations in different programs. The solutions included safe havens off the street for youth; residential and nonresidential police ministations, called "kobans" in Japan; counseling of youth by paid civilian staff, "advocates," "near-peers" and mentors; counseling and mentoring of youth by police; community-based education and remedial education; community organization outreach to schools; youth leadership programs and youth media enterprise; sports as a means of youth development; employment training and placement; joint police-community patrols that sometimes included visits to homes of families in the neighborhood; and problem-oriented policing. We have used the term "community equity policing" to describe how police and nonprofit youth development organizations in these initiatives created a more balanced partnership than in many other such partnerships attempted elsewhere in the past.

Our findings suggest that paid civilian staff and police were more effective with youth than volunteers. It remains to be proven whether one-on-one work with youth is more effective than group work, or some combination. It also remains to be proven whether work with youth by adults is more effective outside of safe haven settings than inside such settings, which have reinforcing interventions. We concluded that the distinction between adult mentors and adult counselors remains unclear in the youth development field and that other concepts may be more cost-beneficial to implement. For example, in the Boston program, "near peers" were very effective. These were counselors just a few years older than program youth. In San Juan, the concept of the "intercessor," or "advocate," appeared more effective than the concept of a mentor. Advocates in San Juan mentor youth. But the advocates have roles beyond that. They are trained to mediate among all players -- resolving conflicts, or potential conflicts, among youth, police and community. Perhaps most important, they are assertive change agents who address a wide range of issues affecting the community.

Overall, then, our findings cautioned against excessive policy reliance on one-on-one volunteer adult mentoring of youth in non-safe haven settings.

The report provides evidence that well conceived and well replicated programs work when they are adequately funded. In San Juan, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago, the programs were more or less fully funded for their first 2 years of operations. Serious crime dropped by an average of 18 percent from Year 1 to Year 2. In the third year, the funder, the U.S. Department of Justice, made sharp cuts, because Department funds needed to be diverted from community crime prevention to other priorities that year. Paid staff members were cut to the bone, and more reliance had to be placed on volunteers. As a result, from Year 2 to Year 3, serious crime dropped by an average of just 3 percent. Figure 2 summarizes these findings, which were statistically significant.

The present volume provides the principal findings and lessons learned from our evaluations. We believe that those findings and lessons have implications for national and local policy for innovative policing, youth development, crime prevention, and drug and community and economic development. The full, final report, published separately under the same title, integrates the findings and lessons into the literature on what works, and what doesn’t, for the truly disadvantaged in America’s inner cities.