Violence Prevention

Who we are and what we do

Business Goals

To achieve its mandated goals of reducing violence in Oakland, the Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) provides direct services and funds, coordinates and supports a network of violence prevention and intervention programs that prioritizes the people and places most impacted by violence.

The DVP’s mandated goals include:

  • Reduce homicides and gun-related violence
  • Reduce incidences of domestic violence
  • Reduce the commercial exploitation of children
  • Support the reduction of unsolved cold cases
  • Reduce community trauma

The DVP theory of change for a public health vision of an integrated community-based strategy is based on the following public health premise to reduce violence:

  • If DVP focuses on specific places in Oakland with underlying conditions that generate the highest rates of violence;
  • And the specific populations most impacted by violence;
  • Provide services at the times and days of the week when violence occurs; and
  • Direct interventions to the individual, peer, family, and community level simultaneously then,
  • The public health conditions listed in the DVP’s goals will be reduced.


Violence Prevention

The Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) and its funded network respond to incidents of violence in real-time, provide trauma-informed support services to survivors of violence and their families or loved ones, and engage those most active in violent activities through mentorship and coaching. The DVP coordinates the efforts of the network of community-based providers and also provides services directly.

DVP activities include:

  • When someone is killed, their loved ones get grief support including funeral planning and help accessing victim assistance funds. Immediate support for victims of violence is followed by longer-term healing and mental health services, and ongoing links to other needed resources.

  • When a shooting or serious injury occurs, victims are met at hospital bedside, offered support, and connected to resources and work with groups/gangs to mediate conflict likely to escalate. These street-credible, community violence responders help people involved in groups/gangs identify alternatives to violence, and connect them to life coaches for support when ready.

  • Life coaching is based on transformative relationships between coaches and the people they serve, and includes mentoring, systems advocacy, and connection to job supports, housing or other resources. Life coaching referrals are organic from the community as well as in support of the City’s Ceasefire efforts.

  • Youth-specific services include life coaching to help youth move away from violence and out of the justice-system. This may include help reentering school and the community upon leaving the Juvenile Justice Center. In addition, education and career exploration programs offer young people the chance to develop skills and provide exposure to possible paths into jobs and careers.

  • Survivors of family and interpersonal violence and commercial sexual exploitation have access to 24-hour support to help them find a way out of immediate danger. Outreach interventions involve crisis response hotlines, drop-in “safe space” centers, and reaching out to people identified by law enforcement. Emergency housing helps people stay safe in the short-term.

  • Longer-term support includes transitional housing, legal assistance, healing, coaching and mental health supports.

  • Providers bring specialized experience and understanding of working with family violence survivors and commercial sexually exploited young people.

  • In communities that experience most of the serious violence in Oakland, community healing activities and events such as vigils, healing circles, and support groups offer people a way to connect with one another to address the trauma of violence.




Gun Violence Response

Provides immediate and long term services to support individuals and families involved in or affected by gun violence.

Youth Diversion and Reentry

Helps youth most likely to be involved in violence with comprehensive services to support them to embrace alternatives, stay in school and out of jail.

Gender-Based Violence Response

Emphasizes crisis response and safety planning, transitional housing and wraparound supports to victims of family violence and youth who experience commercial sexual exploitation.

Community Healing

Supports neighborhood-based outreach events and healing activities that transform community norms around violence.

Capacity Building

Provides the DVP network with tailored training opportunities and learning communities for frontline staff working to help people heal from violence. Training may include life coaching, conflict mediation, gender responsive approaches, cognitive behavioral techniques, and trauma-informed practices.

Direct Service

Coordinates the work of the gun violence response strategy on the ground level with community-based organization, community members and system partners.

Evaluation of Violence Prevention Efforts

Comprehensive evaluation of Measure Z funded violence prevention programming to measure program effectivness and outcomes.


Contract Management

Program officers manage contracts for the DVP direct service network and coordinate with community-based organizations, internal direct service staff and system partners to respond to violence.


The Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) provides direct services and funding to community-based organizations to serve people and families at the center of violence. In Fiscal Year 2019-2020, DVP provided support to over 3,000 people and reached thousands more through community events:

  • Engaged 249 youth referred by the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center and facilitated successful re-engagement in school through coaching and mentoring, system navigation, advocacy, and connection to needed resources.

  • Strengthened 100 high risk youth’s economic self-sufficiency and career readiness through subsidized summer and after-school work opportunities and academic support.

  • Served 300 highest risk young adults towards healthy participation in their families and communities through coaching and mentoring, system navigation, advocacy, and connection to needed resources.

  • Enhanced the long-term employability for 227 high-risk young adults through the development of job skills and education, with a focus on subsidized work experience, successful placement and retention.

  • Provided response and support to 538 people who have been the victim of gun violence or serious assault and those who have lost a loved one to gun violence in Oakland.

  • Provided legal, social, and emotional support services to 1,872 victims of commercial sexual exploitation and family violence, including young children. Conducted outreach to commercially sexually exploited youth and worked to end their exploitation through wraparound support and transitional housing access.

  • Connected with 2,041 community members in Summer 2019 through an 8-week series of peace in the parks events in three neighborhoods hit hardest by violence.

  • Reached 5,000 through events and capacity building efforts to boost community engagement, develop leadership skills, and create safe spaces within high-crime neighborhoods in East and West Oakland.

  • Provided training, legal technical assistance, and capacity building to 370 grantees in the DVP network

  • Awarded and managed a $3.6 million grant from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide rapid employment opportunities to people on parole in Oakland.

  • Over 76% of DVP participants are African American, 21% are Latino and 3% other.