web-leon-smiling4Leon Harris III is a Research Associate with the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

His work with the Center currently includes the role of Project Manager for the Police Assisted Referral (PAR) program. His responsibilities include advising the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority’s (CMHA) Chief of Police on program performance, interpreting outcomes, and next steps. Additional PAR responsibilities include collaborating with various community partners to strengthen community and police relations. Leon is also an evaluation team member for the City of Cleveland’s MyCom initiative as well as family-centered, neighborhood-centered, and culturally competent services under the jurisdiction of Cuyahoga County’s Family and Children First Council (FCFC). His responsibilities include providing technical assistance to neighborhood agencies; developing assessment tools; identifying evidenced-based practices; analyzing qualitative and quantitative data that facilitate grounded improvements in youth and family competency programs; and reporting findings to funders, service providers, and other stakeholders.

Leon’s research interests include the provision of social and economic opportunities for adults and youthful offenders; examining the link between exposure to traumatic events and mental health problems among youth in community and juvenile justice settings; adult and youth initiatives that achieve measurable improvement in personal health and social health; program evaluation; and policy analysis.

In addition to his work with the Begun Center, Leon is also enrolled in the doctoral program for Social Welfare at Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.


Police Assisted Referral (PAR)

The Police Assisted Referral (PAR) program is an evidenced-informed collaboration among the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) Police Department, Mental Health Services, Inc. (Now called Frontline), the Partnership for a Safer Cleveland, and the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education. The initiative focuses on children and their families, with particular emphasis on individuals who have experienced violence, either as a witness and/or victim.

MyCom (My Community/My Commitment)
The MyCom program is a long-term initiative that coordinates activities amongst six lead agencies and multiple community-based agencies to provide programs and services to Cuyahoga County youth. The six components of MyCom include youth advocacy, neighborhood mobilization, youth engagement, key transitions, employment/job readiness and out-of school time (OST).

Family and Children First Council (FCFC)
The Begun Center at Case Western Reserve University provides comprehensive evaluation services for multiple youth-serving programs administered by the Family and Children First Council (FCFC). These services will include data collection quality assurance training, ongoing data quality control analysis and reporting, data management and outcomes analysis, and program and outcome level reports.