Who We Are

At CSPV, we work in partnership with those who seek to use what we know works from prevention science to create a world where individuals, families, schools, and communities flourish.

We can live vibrant lives free from the harms of violence if we put what we know works from prevention science into practice in our homes, schools, and communities. However, connecting scientific knowledge to real world settings continues to be an enormous challenge.

CSPV bridges the gap between research and practice.

Our Vision

A world where everyone feels safe.

Our Mission

We prevent violence by partnering with decision-makers and action-takers to strategically integrate the best available research into practice.

Meet Our People

Our Values

Our values collectively define the essence of our organizational culture. They also serve as guidelines for how we collaborate with our partners to create a world where everyone feels safe.

Scientific Rigor

We use the highest scientific standards in our research and evaluation, and in the programs, practices, and policies we recommend.

Cultural Responsiveness

We value diverse perspectives and rely on local expertise to help us craft solutions that are aligned to the lived experiences of our partners.


We tailor interventions to meet the needs of the local context. We create feasible, actionable solutions that respond to complicated, real world problems.

Continuous Learning

We strive for excellence and are continuous learners at heart. We anticipate changing circumstances and embrace opportunities to grow and improve.

Well-Being and Human Potential

We realize preventing violence starts with ourselves. We prioritize well-being and human potential and cultivate a culture of wellness, support, respect, and fun with our colleagues and partners.

History of CSPV

CSPV was founded in 1992 by internationally renowned violence researcher Dr. Delbert S. Elliott to reduce violence and promote positive youth development. Since then, CSPV has successfully led over 75 grants in Colorado and across the nation, totaling over $80 million dollars.

Fifty years ago, the Kerner Commission Report focused on identifying what should be done to address violence. The report stated, “the nation must stop doing what doesn’t work and replicate what does work at a scale equal to the dimensions of our problems.”

CSPV has been a pioneer in identifying what does work and championing the use of evidence-based programs, practices, and policies with the highest scientific standards. Likewise, we support stopping the use of programs that have strong evidence showing that they don’t work or have harmful effects. And we recommend evaluating the impact of initiatives that remain untested.

Photo Dr. Delbert S. Elliott CSPV has learned firsthand about the challenges to implementing what works and has spent over 20 years studying those challenges and developing processes to address them. In response, CSPV researchers have designed, conducted, and led comprehensive school and community initiatives and research studies that involve working in partnership with schools and communities to strategically select and effectively implement evidence-based programs, practices, and policies using a public health approach.

CSPV is housed within the Program on Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development within the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.