In an ongoing effort to address youth violence, fifty law enforcement, school, court, mental health and medical professionals joined Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge on January 13, 2009, to participate in a forum entitled, "Understanding and Dealing with Violence in Our Schools". The event was part of the District Attorney's Juvenile Justice Roundtable program which offers countywide training and education for professionals involved in the juvenile justice process. The forum was the second in a series focusing on reducing the risks of youth violence in our schools and communities.

The Austen Riggs Center began its partnership with District Attorney Capeless on this important topic over a year ago when its staff participated in set of roundtable discussions offering their experience in dealing with trauma, suicide and acting-out in a community setting.

With funding from the American Psychoanalytic Foundation and the Evelyn Nef Foundation, the meeting was organized by Riggs to offer juvenile justice professionals and educators an opportunity to hear from one another about the challenges they face in dealing with violence among school age children. The morning was spent in small group sessions led by Riggs staff, culminating in a plenary session where all participants discussed how they understand and work with these behaviors, options for solutions to this increasing problem and steps they can take to remain positive.

District Attorney Capeless said, "I want to thank the Riggs staff for their generosity in hosting this important program, and for the valuable expertise that they lent the entire group, ensuring that our day was productive for us and, ultimately, of real benefit to our children, their families and our communities."