The Urban Peace Academy
The Urban Peace Academy develops teams of trained professionals working to prevent and reduce violence. Our rigorous instruction program presents effective strategies for forming relationships and trust between residents and officers to ensure neighborhood safety. This work has never been more important, as recent events highlight the need to bridge the gab between law enforcement and communities of color.
Gang Intervention Training
The Urban Peace Academy Provides specialized training for gang intervention workers across the country. Our courses present effective strategies for guiding outreach to gang members and their families, deescalating violence, and brokering peace between rival gangs. As the only program of its kind in the nation, the Urban Peace Academy works to professionalize the growing field of gang intervention by developing pathways for further education and employment. Learn more about our success in Los Angeles.
Law Enforcement Training
We train law enforcement officers to put relationship-based policing into action. Officers learn how to develop authentic relationships with community members and partner with gang intervention workers to promote safety. Participants graduate from our courses with a new understanding on how to best reduce violence in the communities they server. Learn more about the Urban Peace Academy's unique trainings for public stakeholders through our Technical Assistance programs.
The Urban Peace Academy increases the capacity of community members to advocate for safety and health in their communities. Our leadership training includes specialized courses to uplift the choices of immigrant residents and underserved community members. Learn more about how graduates of our programs are now successfully leading safety efforts in Watts.
Urban Peace Institute works to promote smart justice policy solutions to keep boys and men of color on track and out of the criminal justice system. This work includes advocacy to reform the CalGang database and the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
Juvenile and Criminal Justice Reform
Urban Peace Instituteworks to break the cycle of incarceration by preventing the entry of young people into the criminal justice system. We advocate for services and funding to promote community-led programming for prevention and intervention services. Our work includes research and analysis, educating public leaders, and leading advocacy efforts. Learn more about our recent work to protect youth from interacting with the justice system.
Urban Peace Institute is a leading advocate for the reinvestment of justice system resources towards prevention and career pathways for formerly incarcerated. We work to uplift community voices to inform probation practices and funding. Urban Peace Institute educates and advises system leaders on best practices to improve outcomes for Probation-involved youth and adults.
Urban Peace Institute believes that all children deserve an equal opportunity to succeed, including youth of color who have never been accused or suspected of criminal activity, but remain classified as gang members. Urban Peace Institute supports both youth and adults to appeal for their removal from California's statewide gang database, known as CalGang. Urban Peace Institute is also developing trainings for legal advocates and social workers to provide CalGang appeal services throughout the state.
Safe And Healthy Communities
Urban Peace Institute creates safe and healthy communities by developing tailored solutions for neighborhoods effected by violence. At the core of our efforts, we promote relationship-based policing to improve law enforcement and community interactions. We then engage in policy and systems change efforts to bring our work to scale and ensure lasting change.
Summer Night Lights & Parks After Dark
Urban Peace Institute trains intervention workers and program leaders to provide gang intervention and community building activities as parks stay open late in the summer months throughout Los Angeles. Our efforts have transformed neighborhood parks from dangerous destinations into valuable community assets where families can enjoy meals, sports, and family-friendly activities throughout the summer.
Safe Routes to School
Urban Peace Institute believes it is essential for students to be able to walk to school without being threatened by gangs. In Watts, Urban Peace Institute is leading the way to develop partnerships between community leaders, school administrators and law enforcement to ensure students feel safe while traveling to and from school. Learn more about our work in Watts to establish a collaborative Safe Routes to School Initiative.
South LA Regional Strategy
Urban Peace Institute leads a regional safety effort in Watts and Boyle Heights known as the Community Safety Partnership (CSP). This initiative builds trust between residents and law enforcement by stationing officers in long-term assignments in four underserved public housing communities in Watts and Boyle Heights. Through CSP, we train law enforcement on effective relationship-based policing practices, lead a Latino Leadership Institute, and guide a community safety collaborative to ensure residents can lead safety strategies.
As a result of our efforts, violent crime in Watts has now decreased by more than 70% in the housing developments, and youth arrests have been cut in half. Moreover, the Jordan Downs housing development did not experience a homicide during the first two years of the program. Learn more about CSP's expansion into the Harvard Park neighborhood.
While Urban Peace Institute maintains a strong focus on ensuring safety in Los Angeles, the organization also supports cities across the country to implement violence reduction strategies. UPI provides technical assistance to municipalities, law enforcement agencies, schools, and foundations working to improve safety in underserved communities. Since 2011, UPI has supported over 25 cities across the country in implementing community safety solutions and training local law enforcement.
Our services are tailored directly to address the unique needs of each region. We offer: