Violence Prevention Programs

Prescription for Hope

Surgeons & Community Aligned to Reduce Violence through Education and Support

Prescription for Hope is an initiative geared toward Marion County residents who have been involved in criminal behaviors or violent personal injury and are at an increased risk for recurrence.

Eskenazi Health patients who are recovering at the trauma center from gunshot wounds, stabbing or other assaults are encouraged to enroll in Prescription for Hope before leaving the hospital.


  1. Reduce recidivism of violence-related injury and readmission to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital.
  2. Reduce repeated criminal activity and arrest.
  3. Develop effective life skills for responsible citizenship behavior.
  4. Provide community education and information on violence and crime prevention to create safer homes and neighborhoods.
  5. Create a network of community agencies and programs which will serve as partners to provide accessible services for assistance and personal development.

Soaring High

Soaring High is a men’s group, which focuses on necessary life skills for healthy adult male development and effective communication.  

The curriculum has an anger management concentration but also focuses on other aspects of communication, respectful relationships with women, basic social skills and group interaction. Successful adult males join the group at various times so that the men can relate and experience strong male role models. In addition, the guys develop camaraderie with each other. The men in the group are given permission to communicate outside the group with the Prescription for Hope support specialist and the group facilitator so that they continue to have a sounding board if issues arise and they want assistance in how they respond.

Educating Kids about Gun-Violence (EKG)

EKG is a youth education program that teaches students about the legal, medical and emotional implications of youth gun possession and related gun violence. The program teaches youth to make the right decisions if they are in a situation where guns are involved. EKG was created in 2001 as a partnership between the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and other agencies within Marion County including the Smith Level I Shock Trauma Center.

Project LIFE

Project LIFE is a three session, nine hour intensive program designed to help educate youth and their families about the problems and consequences which arise from acts of violence. The program is offered by the Marion Superior Courts, Juvenile Division in conjunction with the Marion County Public Health Department, the Smith Level I Shock Trauma Center at Eskenazi Health, Prescription for Hope and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

The sessions address the severity of youth violence. Participants learn about the medical and legal impacts associated with violence. The youth learn that violent, criminal activity does not only affect them; it also affects their family and community.

As a participant in the program, youth and families hear from guest speakers who had their lives directly affected by the tragedy of violence. They watch and analyze violent incident simulations and discuss with medical professionals and prosecutors the results and outcomes of such situations. Emphasis throughout the program is that weapons are never the answer and learning how to communicate effectively, resolve conflict and keep cool makes a difference. In addition, youth and parents review what factors present in their lives may promote the risk of violence and criminal activity and how other factors and decisions made may serve as a buffer. The youth and parents discuss the incident which resulted in the court requirement to attend this training and what steps they can commit to for individual and family change.

Those eligible for participation in Project LIFE must be youth between the ages of 12 - 17. The Marion Superior Courts, Juvenile Division refers youth having an infraction of battery, a violent offense involving any type of weapon and youth experiencing repeated problems with violence. Attendance by a parent or guardian is required.

Objectives (Day 1 and 2):
  • Discuss the immediate and long-term physical and emotional consequences of gun shot injuries.
  • Identify legal consequences of gun possession, violence, and related youth violence.
  • Introduce basic techniques of peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Identify risk factors for potential youth violence.
  • Explore protective factors that buffer individuals and provide alternatives.
  • Discuss actual steps that youth and parents can take to reduce risk of violence.
  • Initiate dialogue between parents and youth about things that they can do as a family to enhance communication.

Youth Violence Reduction Team (YVRT)

The Youth Violence Reduction Team is a pilot project which brings together Prescription for Hope, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Ten Point Coalition and Peace Learning Center to focus on youth violence reduction specifically for youth between the ages of 16 – 24 years of age. YVRT will concentrate its efforts in four zip codes with high violence and crime as substantiated by violent injury admissions to the Smith Level I Shock Trauma Center and homicide and aggravated assault statistics provided by IMPD crime data. These zip codes are 46201, 46218, 46222 and 46226.

Specifically, the YVRT will focus on prevention, intervention, enforcement and reentry as the guiding principles of its strategy to reduce youth homicides, violence-related injuries, repeat criminal activity and arrest in the target zip codes. Neighborhood context is fundamental to understanding why individuals offend neighborhood-based and multi-disciplinary partners, such as schools, churches, community centers and businesses are essential for effectiveness of the YVRT. Neighborhoods within the four targeted zip codes will provide a focus for both intervention and prevention, as well as resources for individual and family change.

  1. Reduce violent injury recidivism and readmission to the Smith Level I Shock Trauma Center.
  2. Prevent first time or repeat criminal activity.
  3. Reduce homicides and other criminal activity in the four targeted zip codes.
  4. Develop life skills which support responsible citizenship behavior through wraparound case management, mentoring and counseling.
  5. Provide community education and crime prevention programs in area “hot spots” in response to a violent incident.
  6. Create a supportive network of youth and family resources within neighborhoods and zip codes connected to addressing risk and protective factors associated with violence and crime.

Contact Us
For more information about these community outreach programs, please call the Smith Level I Shock Trauma Center at 317.880.5032.