CITIZEN SECURITY

When citizens feel secure and the rule of law is respected, communities are able to prosper. Individuals start businesses, plan for the future and create thriving families, institutions and states.

However, for communities threatened by epidemic levels of violence, extremism and transnational crime, instability hinders growth and development. From Central America to the Middle East and beyond, vulnerable youth growing up in these at-risk communities and volatile environments often encounter difficult choices—gangs or extremists groups may seem like viable alternatives to a life of voiceless alienation and social exclusion.

As leaders in the field of evidence-informed citizen security, Creative matches appropriate programs to the specific levels of risk faced by different youth populations.

The majority of youth living in marginalized communities will benefit from group activities such as outreach centers, after school programs and recreational initiatives. These primary prevention interventions have been the staple of Creative’s youth work globally for more than 20 years.

However, within the same marginalized communities there are youth at higher risk of joining groups with a propensity for violence. Creative has pioneered cutting edge strategies to reach those most at risk of joining these groups by providing individualized services, engaging families and deterring those youth from joining destructive groups. These secondary prevention programs have yielded measurable results in some of the most violent communities in Honduras.

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Creative's approach to citizen security

Creative takes an integrated and holistic approach to citizen security, recognizing that neither prevention programs alone nor a singular focus on law enforcement or suppression will stem epidemic levels of violence, extremism and transnational crime. Watch Video

Regrettably, there is also a group of youth who have already become actively involved in group-sanctioned violence. In order to address the needs of this population, Creative’s programs serve as exit ramps for those who are ready to redirect their lives and build rather than destroy the fabric of community. Creative has a proven track record of success and expertise in this type of tertiary level intervention.

Real and lasting improvements to citizen security can only be achieved through a balanced approach that combines evidence-based social programs, sensible public policies and constitutional and compassionate law enforcement in initiatives that empower communities and governments to create safer neighborhoods and more secure states.

Working hand-in-hand with governments, law enforcement, communities and families, Creative’s programs empower citizens and institutions to implement holistic and effective strategies that bolster security, protect citizens’ rights and restore the rule of law.

CITIZEN SECURITY

Projects
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Timeline: Creative promotes peace and prevents violence

Creative has been on the forefront of preventing crime and violence, with a focus on youth, families and reintegration. Click through this timeline to see how our work has evolved since the early 1990s. Learn More...

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Tejiendo Paz addresses environmental issues, conflict and the pandemic

The Tejiendo Paz program works with Guatemalan communities to build resilience to conflicts related to land use, intrafamilial violence and governance even in the midst of COVID-19. Learn More...

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Apopa, El Salvador: Community-led violence intervention at work

Two years ago, the municipality of Apopa ranked second for its homicide rates in El Salvador. Today, it has dropped to 31. Community-centered interventions are at the heart of a place-based violence prevention strategy supported by USAID. Learn More...

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