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NCJ Number: 74873 Find in a Library
Title: Legislating Lower Violence Rates - Closing the Gap Between Ideal Responses and Pragmatic Legislation
Author(s): T V Halatyn
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Ways to translate research on school violence and vandalism into useful legislation are outlined, with examples from the California legislature.
Abstract: When confronted with legislators' queries, the researcher should avoid generalities, but respond with data on offenders' characteristics, places of crime, or successful programs that are related to prevention. A research idea can be protected from partisan political conflict if it is presented as a process of gathering information about a problem, identifying effective strategies, and then allocating resources. Because little is actually known about the causes of school crime and vandalism, research projects which collect data and identify effective programs are most useful to legislators and administrators. Detailed technical presentations involving methodologies are not appropriate for discussions with legislators who are usually satisfied with general phrases and terms attesting to products. The media, and at certain times the legislature, ignore the researcher, but focus on first hand reports or stories on individual incidents. It can never be assumed that a well designed bill will take care of itself during the legislative process. The researcher who knows the most about its substance should attend all committee hearings and be involved with all amendments and changes. Few researchers view the legislative process as something they can easily accept. Alternatively, the legislature often sees the researcher as removed from reality and unable to provide useful solutions. In order to increase their influence, researchers should aggressively voice their interests to legislative committees and concentrate on more practical and applied orientations to social problems.
Index Term(s): California; Crime in schools; Legislation; Research and development; Research uses in policymaking; School vandalism
Note: Presented to the Special Interest Workshop, 'School Crime and Violence - Myths and Realities,' and at the American Society of Criminology, 32nd Annual Meeting, November 5-8, 1980, San Francisco (CA)
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