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  July 2001

Youth Development SeriesGun Use by Male Juveniles: Research and Prevention

Alan Lizotte and David Sheppard


The Rochester Youth Development Study

Gun Ownership and Gun Crime
Socialization Into Gun Ownership—Peers
   and Gangs
Gangs and Guns
Gun Carrying
Study Summary

Other Research on Reducing Illegal Gun Carrying and Gun Violence

Boston Gun Initiative
Youth Firearms Violence Initiative

OJJDPs Partnerships To Reduce Juvenile Gun Violence Program

The Baton Rouge Partnership

Promising Strategies To Reduce Gun Violence



This Bulletin was prepared under grant numbers 97MUFX0004 and 96MUFX0014 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.

Points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of OJJDP or the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

A Message From OJJDP

Although many adolescents own and use guns for legitimate, legal sporting activities, other youth report that they own and carry guns for protection or for the purpose of committing a crime. Illegal gun ownership and use among juveniles are the focus of public concern and of this Bulletin.

While prior research on gun ownership and use has concentrated largely on adults, the Bulletins authors draw on data from OJJDPs Rochester Youth Development Study to examine patterns of gun ownership and gun carrying among adolescents. The Bulletin also addresses the interrelationship between gangs and guns.

Efforts to reduce the illegal carrying of guns by youth and juvenile gun violence are described, in particular the Boston Gun Initiative, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Youth Firearms Violence Initiative, and OJJDPs Partnerships To Reduce Juvenile Gun Violence Program.

Reducing the illegal carrying of guns by juveniles and youth firearm violence is not just a problem for law enforcement agencies to resolve. Effective efforts will require support and participation from multiple community agencies.

It is our hope that the information that this Bulletin provides will enhance those efforts.



Alan Lizotte, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School of Criminal Justice, The University at Albany, and is co-principal investigator for the Rochester Youth Development Study. David Sheppard, Ph.D., is a Program Director at COSMOS Corporation, Bethesda, MD, and is project director of the national evaluation of the Partnerships To Reduce Juvenile Gun Violence Program.

Photographs 1 and 2 199799 PhotoDisc, Inc.; cover photographs (clockwise from top left) 1995 PhotoDisc, Inc.; 1997 PhotoDisc, Inc.; 1997 Digital Stock Corporation; 1998 Digital Stock Corporation.

NCJ 188992

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