Juventud sin Prisión

Project: Research project

Project Details


Project Opportunity: De Barrio a Barrio focuses on three things: 1) successfully reintegrating incarcerated youth; 2) preventing crime and violence amongst high risk youth; and 3) training providers to use empirically based practices for youth in need. All three respond to challenges faced by youth every day in Mexico City (DF): 1) Reintegration: In DF, there are currently 1,345 youth aged 14 - 18 serving a criminal sentence; most have used drugs and many have family members involved in crime (Reinserta, DF, 2013). A study of Mexican youth in a correctional facility found 68% “want to change to become a better person, study and work when they get out, but they don´t know how” (Castañeda, M., 2013). Only a small proportion of youth leaving correctional facilities receive reintegration services. 2) Prevention for At Risk Youth: Growing up in an impoverished neighborhood, exposure to violence and other types of trauma, a lack of exposure to pro-social activities (e.g., sports, arts or community service), a lack of positive role models, and unidentified and untreated mental health symptoms all put kids at increased risk of hurting others and participating in criminal activities. Almost 50% of incarcerated Mexican teens report running away from home due to violence; one-third report that no one helped when they were maltreated (Azaola, E. 2014). Prevention efforts to keep high risk youth out of jail are often overlooked and underfunded. 3) Training: Each year, over 1 million children and 13 percent of households in DF experience family violence (Knaul & Ramírez, 2005). In 2013 alone, 65% of adolescents in DF experienced family violence (INJUVE DF, 2013). Trauma exposure puts youth at increased risk of participation in violence and criminal activity; most incarcerated youth have trauma histories; and two out of three incarcerated youth meet criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis (Abram et al., 2004; Ford, Hartman, et al., 2008) or have “complex trauma” resulting in chronic but reversible neurobiological deficits such as impaired decision making, impulse control problems and difficulties regulating emotions and behaviors (Ford, et al., 2012). Despite high rates of trauma and crime, far too few empirically-based practices exist in Mexico.
Effective start/end date11/15/159/30/18


  • Reinserta un Mexicano, A.C. (1/19/16 // AID-523-A-15-00010)
  • Agency for International Development (1/19/16 // AID-523-A-15-00010)


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