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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 170989 Find in a Library
Title: Critical Decisions, Critical Elements in an Effective School Security Program (From Schools, Violence, and Society, P 101-121, 1996, Allan M Hoffman, ed. - See NCJ-170982)
Author(s): S D Vestermark Jr
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Continuing shifts in the relationship between schools and the social environment shape efforts of those charged with developing and administering effective school security programs.
Abstract: The school has been increasingly losing its status as a sanctuary, a place set apart from larger social concerns and traumas. In some areas, the school is a locus for programs intended to reduce family and gang violence outside the school. In addition, many schools have declined as or even ceased to be communities, and conflict resolution becomes a priority of those charged with school security. The school security profession emerged in the early 1970s. As the profession has evolved, tension has developed between those who believe in a law enforcement orientation and those who advocate an educational orientation. Given the often highly charged atmosphere in which many school systems will be deciding what security program is appropriate to their needs, experience suggests security planners need to consider at least five basic issues: (1) whether the school system has a reliable method and administrative structure for tracking security incidents and indicators; (2) acceptable level of risk against which to measure security program effectiveness; (3) whether the school system is prepared to make a long-term commitment to a specific security program; (4) appropriate mix of resources required in a particular district's security program; and (5) role of professional standards in defining and conducting a security program. The optimum security program is one that preserves the school as a place somewhat apart from outside pressures, where young people can focus on learning in a safe environment, and where security activities remain nonintrusive in the overall school atmosphere. A case study illustrates some of the difficulties in developing an effective school security program. 29 notes
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Conflict resolution; Crime in schools; Gang Prevention; Juvenile delinquency prevention programs; Juvenile educational services; Juvenile/Youth Gangs; Public schools; School security; School security officers; Students; Violence prevention
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