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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97471 Find in a Library
Title: Neighborhood, Family, and Employment - Toward a New Public Policy Against Violence (From American Violence and Public Policy, P 205-224, 1985, Lynn A Curtis, ed. - See NCJ-97462)
Author(s): L A Curtis
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Yale University Press
New Haven, CT 06520
Sale Source: Yale University Press
92a Yale Station
New Haven, CT 06520
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To be cost effective in preventing individual and group violence, public policies should focus on strengthening extended families and other networks, increasing employment among minority youths, and helping indigenous inner-city organizations to take the lead in reducing crime and fear of crime.
Abstract: Since the Violence Commission report in 1969, the successes of some programs and the research sponsored by the National Institute of Justice have suggested the basis for a new national policy to reduce crime and fear. The importance of having a family-like support network has been shown in successful programs for black and Hispanic youths. These programs motivate youth to act for their own benefit and that of the community. The Vera Institute of Justice has conducted research to determine why employment may not divert underclass youth from crime. It shows the need for building employment on interests and street skills that are intrinsically satisfying to the individual but which are often lacking in the traditional public sector employment programs. The research has also shown the need for programs that build access to more stable and skilled jobs that provide sufficient income to support a family. Crime prevention activities run by community organizations as a means to economic development are the third major need. The programs of the Umoja organization in Philadelphia and El Centro in Puerto Rico are good examples. Both of these programs foster self-respect in black and Hispanic youths respectively, provide family-like support alternatives when there are broken families, motivate youth to take actions that benefit themselves and the community, and channel the energy of delinquents from illegal to legal market activities. The police should play a backup role rather than the leading role in crime prevention. The limitations of the criminal justice system or the selective incapacitation approach should be recognized. Even with empirical support for this proposed approach, many may resist integrating community regeneration, economic development, and crime prevention, but it seems to have enough support to mount a significant effort. Thirty-one references are listed.
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Crime specific countermeasures; Family support; Violent crimes; Youth employment
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