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VIOLENCE AND VANDALISM - DIMENSIONS AND CORRECTIVES

NCJ Number
51422
Author(s)
S B NEILL
Date Published
1978
Annotation
AN OVERVIEW IS PRESENTED OF THE STATUS OF VIOLENCE AND VANDALISM IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND OF THE RESPONSE TO THE PROBLEM.
Abstract
THE DISCUSSION TOUCHES ON THE EXTENT OF VANDALISM AND OTHER FORMS OF SCHOOL CRIME IN 1975 (A TIME WHEN THE PROBLEM WAS THE SUBJECT OF CONSIDERABLE PUBLICITY), THE RESPONSE OF SCHOOLS AND GOVERNMENTS TO THE PROBLEM SINCE 1975, AND CHANGES IN THE SCOPE AND NATURE OF THE PROBLEM. ONE SUCH CHANGE IS THE GROWTH OF JUVENILE GANGS IN BIG CITIES. IT IS NOTED THAT, WHILE JUVENILE GANGS DO APPEAR TO BE A GROWING PROBLEM IN MOST CITIES, PHILADELPHIA, PA., NO LONGER HAS A GREAT DEAL OF GANG ACTIVITY. FACTORS IN THE PHILADELPHIA SITUATION MAY BE THE SUCCESS OF BLACK COMMUNITY LEADERS WHO HAVE CONVINCED GANG MEMBERS THAT THEY ARE ONLY KILLING OTHER BLACKS, AND THE EFFORTS OF YOUTH WORKERS WHO VISIT COMMUNITIES AND LISTEN TO COMPLAINTS. ONE RESEARCHER ATTRIBUTES THE GROWTH IN GANG VIOLENCE IN MOST CITIES TO THE READY AVAILABILITY OF GUNS. OTHERS CITE FAILINGS OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM. OTHER PROBLEMS RELATED TO CRIME AND VIOLENCE IN THE SCHOOLS INCLUDE FAILURE TO KEEP CONSISTENT, UNIFORM RECORDS ABOUT INCIDENTS, AND THE TENDENCY OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS NOT TO PUBLICIZE THEIR PROBLEMS WITH VANDALISM AND VIOLENCE. STATISTICS FROM A NUMBER OF SURVEYS CONDUCTED SINCE 1970 REVEAL THE EXTENT TO WHICH SCHOOL CRIME PROBLEMS VARY FROM DISTRICT TO DISTRICT. JUST AS VARIED ARE THE APPROACHES USED BY DIFFERENT SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO DEAL WITH THEIR PROBLEMS. THE VIEWS OF SCHOOL SECURITY DIRECTORS CONCERNING WHAT IS NEEDED TO DETER VANDALISM AND VIOLENCE ARE CITED, AND FEDERAL PROGRAMS DESIGNED TO HELP SCHOOLS FIGHT CRIME ARE DESCRIBED. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT ANTICRIME PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS GENERALLY FALL INTO ONE OF FOUR CATEGORIES: SECURITY SYSTEMS; COUNSELING SERVICES; CURRICULAR AND INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS; AND ORGANIZATIONAL MODIFICATIONS. COMMON TO MOST SUCCESSFUL PROGRAMS IS THE INVOLVEMENT OF MANY GROUPS; I.E., STUDENTS, TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS, SECURITY PERSONNEL, AND THE COMMUNITY. (LKM)