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Conference on understanding youth violence planned (Rleased: 11/28/95)

by Renu Sehgal, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Why are today's youth so angry? What makes gangs, violence and drugs so attractive to them? Youths, families, community residents and professionals will gather Dec. 8 to learn how to reduce violence in the home, schools and streets. The Institute for Violence Reduction at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work is holding the conference at the school's campus in West Hartford.

''In keeping with the institute's practice of learning about problems from the source, local youth who have been violent will be major presenters at this conference,'' said I. Michael Borrero, director of the institute. ''We need more dialogue between violent youth and the people who work with them, with the people who provide services to them and of course with their parents.''

Psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint, director of the Media Center for Children and the Judge Baker Children's Clinic, will deliver an address on local youth in between workshops focusing on youth violence in prisons, the home and community, schools and the streets.

Borrero has done significant work toward reducing violence among youth in Connecticut. The institute recently received a $150,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to implement its method of establishing and maintaining peace between gangs citywide. The institute is also collaborating on a U.S. Department of Education grant to provide alternative education to Hartford youths expelled from school. The institute will work with the Capitol Region Education Council on that two-year project.

The school's campus is located at 1798 Asylum Ave. in West Hartford.

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