About CVPCS accent image

Arizona State University, in order to become more committed to the Arizona community and to society as a whole, is setting a new standard for research universities through the model of the New American University. As a New American University, ASU is measured not by who we exclude, but by who we include; we pursue research that considers the public good; and we recognize the effects that crime, public safety, and violence have upon the economic, social and cultural vitality of a community. Social embeddedness is core to the development of ASU as the New American University.

Toward the goal of social embeddedness, Arizona State University established the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety in July 2005 to respond to the growing need of Arizona's communities to improve the public's safety and well being. The Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety is a research unit within the College of Public Programs at Arizona State University.

The Center's mission is to generate, share, and apply quality research and knowledge to create "best practice" standards.

The Center specifically evaluates policies and programs, analyzes and evaluates patterns and causes of violence, develops strategies and programs, develops a clearinghouse of research reports and "best practice" models, educates, trains and provides technical assistance, and facilitates the development of and construction of databases. For more information about the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety please contact us using the information provided below.

Mission & Focus

The center specifically:

  • Evaluates policies and programs.
  • Analyzes and evaluates patterns and causes of violence.
  • Develops strategies and programs.
  • Develops a clearinghouse of research reports and "best practice" models.
  • Educates, trains and provides technical assistance.
  • Facilitates the development of and construction of databases.

Currently, the Center is engaged in several local, state, and international research projects aimed at reducing violence.

The Center is a remarkable research program.

While other institutions may single out for study a particular facet of violence, the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety has developed a distinct organizational model recognizing that interpersonal violence has no favorites. Solutions must cut across all boundaries of age, ethnicity, gender, economic status, and locale. That's why prevention solutions developed at the Center address all forms of violence, and research and development efforts are linked with other ASU research centers.

Using a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to problem solving, ASU's Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety additionally works with community partners to generate research and program evaluation findings for the specific purpose of building, implementing, and testing new models for prevention and control.

These examples of ASU's violence prevention and community safety investments and projects with important outcomes for the community, illustrate the types of research and activities at the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety:

  • Assessing the police response to gangs in four cities in order to build new organizational models for improving the response and integrating it into community policing models.
  • Operating a substance abuse indicator system for gathering data on trends in illicit drug use and sales, and working with local councils to design appropriate policy and programmatic responses.
  • Conducting surveys of arrestees to identify patterns of illegal firearms acquisition and use, and the impact of current strategies for reducing firearms-related violence.
  • Working with community-based corrections agencies to develop and test new models for the treatment of sex offenders.
  • Training multidisciplinary teams of school professionals to plan, implement, and evaluate violence prevention programs.

A cycle with an optimistic end.


A cycle with an optimistic end accent image

When our nation commits the appropriate resources to ameliorate a problem, positive results are achieved. Just as the overall health of our nation has improved due, in part, to the resources that have been devoted to health education, public health programs, health research, and health care, a similar commitment is needed to be made on the issue of violence. Arizona State University made that commitment.

To produce workable solutions, the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety follows a process that is both simple and complex: After a target problem has been identified, the Center collects the data, analyzes the data, makes program recommendations, helps implement those recommendations, gathers new data, and tests the results.

Turning research into training tools.

ASU's Violence Prevention Academy is housed in the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety. This Academy is the education and training arm of the Center.

The Violence Prevention Academy is designed to provide training, technical assistance, research, and leadership to assist violence prevention professionals and other interested parties to increase and improve their capacity to strategically address violence issues in youth and the community. The Academy teaches practical, hands-on skills to schools, public safety agencies, youth serving organizations, neighborhood groups, community-based services, and a variety of human service settings that are committed to promoting an atmosphere of non-violence.

The positive impact on the community is far-reaching.

ASU's Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety is critical to the reduction of violence and the increase of community wellbeing and overall quality of life. There are many faces of violence, and the Center is looking at them all.

With the Center's help, policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders are more aware of effective strategies for preventing violence and improving community safety. They have the data and analyses to support their decisions. Researchers, faculty, students, government agencies, and non-profit organizations are being trained in the development of analytical models. Students are engaged in violence prevention and community safety research and development.

The Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety's mission is predicated on the concept that violence is predictable and preventable. The Center's focus is on improving the quality of life through research that offers answers to solving the complexities of interpersonal violence. The Center's unbending commitment to this pursuit is crucial to every person's future.