Alive & Free believes that every young person has the potential to succeed. Bright futures are possible for all of our youth, but it’s easy to get off-track. Sadly, violence – which spreads like a disease in our communities – locks up that potential and leaves young people incarcerated or worse–dead.
At the heart of the Alive & Free Prescription is the notion that violence is a social disease with an explicit treatment process. Like a disease, it is transmitted by the germs of bad information, bad instruction, bad advice, and bad examples that to young people appear to be good. Youth are exposed to these “germs” via their families, peers and neighborhoods; through music, television, video games and movies. The disease appears as techniques for survival known as “game” or “street smarts” when in fact the opposite is true. Infected youth believe they are getting information to live by when in fact they are getting information to die by.
The “Alive & Free Prescription” works to change beliefs, attitudes, values and actions that promote violence. Alive & Free identifies and addresses the symptomatic thinking that puts young people at risk (Commandments of Violence), the actions that put young people at risk for violence (Risk Factors), the feelings and emotions that contribute to violent behavior (Emotional Residue of Anger, Fear, and Pain), and the Rules for Living that promote positive lifestyle choices. Young people who learn the Alive & Free prescription also have a new set of life skills to make choices that help them go to college, succeed in life, and give back to their communities.