This project focuses on crime prevention linking communities and government institutions through school-based interventions carried out by the Subdirección General de Prevención del Delito [General Sub-directorate for Crime Prevention] of the Policía Nacional Civil de Guatemala (PNC) [National Civil Police]. Based on previous youth empowerment programs, this project aims to keep Guatemala’s youth away from security problems and risk factors. The program will offer different types of recreational, athletic, cultural, and informative activities to students during the school day. These activities are meant to increase the opportunities and capacities of youth to resist gang recruitment. The program will also help generate positive interactions between police offices and the youth in order to promote trust. Although other projects have sought to build community ties with the police through school-based activities, such efforts have not been rigorously evaluated in Central America. By randomly selecting the schools that will receive the intervention, the PNC will be able to rigorously evaluate the impact of the program on building trust in the police and on reducing youth involvement in gangs, violent behavior within and outside of schools, and drug use.
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