Can working collaboratively with police on community service promote positive youth development?

Adam D. Fine, Kathleen E. Padilla, Julie Tapp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations


    Despite the Task Force on 21st Century Policing explicitly calling for police to engage youth in positive, non-enforcement contexts, studies have not systematically examined the impacts of such programs on positive youth development (PYD). These two studies examined the impact of a community-driven program that enables children to work collaboratively on community service projects with police (within a non-enforcement and non-surveillance context) on youths’ developmental assets. First, a pre/post evaluation was implemented with youth in six schools in California and New York City. Second, a randomized controlled trial was conducted in four schools in Compton. The program promoted youths’ Positive Values, Positive Identity, Empowerment, and Social Conscience. This program will not correct unjust policing, but through programs like this, police may begin acting as a fundamentally different type of resource for the children they should be serving and can promote PYD.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1739-1759
    Number of pages21
    JournalPolice Practice and Research
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - 2021


    • Positive youth development
    • developmental assets
    • intervention
    • law enforcement
    • procedural justice

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Law


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