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Reducing Violent Crimes and Intentional Injuries

NCJ Number
Date Published
11 pages
Publication Series

Violence prevention approaches being developed in the fields of policing and public health are discussed, and results of a simulated problem-solving exercise are used to suggest insights into issues that must be addressed in violence prevention efforts.


Public health professionals are applying to violence prevention the same principles of epidemiology that they have used to reduce accidental injuries. Criminal justice professionals are developing strategies variously called community policing and problem-oriented policing. Although still evolving, the violence problemsolving approach has distinct characteristics. It emphasizes police and community cooperation in identifying specific local problems that give rise to repeated acts of violence and devising solutions. Strategies include analyzing individual acts of violence such as spouse abuse and drive-by shootings to suggest common underlying links that might otherwise be overlooked, finding and testing ways to change physical or social environments, and revising tactics in view of evaluation findings and changes in local conditions. The simulation problem-solving exercise in a fictional city indicated that plans for responding to violence need to address both the reality and the perception of the problem, that off-the- shelf responses are often inadequate in solving local violence problems, and that immediate crisis responses need to be converted into sustained and broad problem-solving. 20 references

Date Published: January 1, 1995