Concern over rising youth violence was first raised by the Board of County Commissioners in 2004, which was in part attributed to the growth of youth gangs and firearm-related homicide throughout South Florida. Following the November 2004 planning meeting, the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) made youth violence a priority and established the Youth Violence Prevention Steering Committee.

On September 19, 2006, the PBC Board of County Commissioners approved funding to implement a multi-year youth violence prevention program developed by the CJC, Youth Violence Prevention Steering Committee. The overarching goal of the prevention program was to reduce youth violence in PBC. The Project included five initial general components that were proposed to combat youth violence and that were based on the above noted model:

  • 1. The Steering Committee and Countywide Youth Violence Prevention Project Coordinator was established to address organizational change and development and community mobilization, and to manage the overall implementation of the Youth Violence Prevention Project

  • 2. Law Enforcement Work Group and Community Based Anti-Crime Taskforce (COMBAT) were established to realize the suppression component.

  • 3. Courts Working Group was established to address the organizational change and development, and opportunities provisions.

  • 4. Corrections Working Group was also established to work on organizational change and development and opportunities provisions.

  • 5. Youth Empowerment Centers and Adult Justice Service Centers were created to address the opportunities provisions and social intervention components.

  • Criminal Jusstice Commission (CJC)


    The Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission Reports and Youth Violence
    Prevention Project Evaluations can be found here:


    Contact Us

    Youth Empowerment Centers

    Valerie Messineo

    Senior Program Specialist

    50 S Military Trail, Suite 203
    West Palm Beach, FL 33415

    (561) 242-5730