Police-Youth Collaborative Pilot Program in St. Louis

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

American Society of Criminology


New Orleans, LA

Conference Dates

November 16-19, 2016

Date of Presentation



Not only do we know that the relationship between the police and the African American community is likely to be more strained than in other communities (Tuch and Weitzer, 1997; Shuck & Rosenbaum, 2005; Weitzer, Tuch, & Skogan, 2007), we also know that the relationship between African American youth and the police is especially strained (Brunson, 2007; Brunson & Weitzer, 2009). This already troubled relationship was further weakened in light of the Michael Brown shooting and subsequent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. In response, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Louis Public Schools, along with local philanthropists, have developed a Collaborative Program, which brings police officers into the classroom of one of St. Louis’s most troubled schools for discussions on topics such as segregation, civil rights, and police use of force. Evaluators are conducting a formative process evaluation of this promising pilot program. Evaluators have attended officer training, all class sessions, and meetings with program stakeholders on how best to improve the program. This presentation will discuss some of the strengths, challenges, and overall findings coming from the police-youth Collaborative Program in inner-city St. Louis.

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