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Youth Violence: A Learned Behavior? (From Juvenile Justice Programs and Trends, P 51-62, 1996, Alice Fins, ed. -- See NCJ- 172261)

NCJ Number
G Natalucci-Persichetti
Date Published
After reviewing the problem and profile of violent juveniles, this paper describes some of Ohio's efforts to address violence by juveniles.
Researchers have found that chronic violent juvenile offenders are less attached to and monitored by their parents, have less commitment to school and attachment to teachers, have delinquent friends, and are likely to reside in poor areas with high crime rates. Ohio has a number of strategies and programs for addressing juvenile violent behavior. The Ohio Violence Prevention Program is an intervention strategy based on the Battered Women's Alternatives and the Oakland Men's Project violence-prevention curriculum. It focuses on a multicultural training for violence prevention in daily family, school, work, and community life. The Victim Awareness Program is an educational curriculum for youth to enable them to examine their victimization of others and develop victim empathy. The Morals Awareness Respect Self-Esteem Program (MARS) is an intensive intervention program designed to help gang-involved youth make better decisions, develop positive support systems, acknowledge the impact of their behavior, and equip them with social and educational skills. Other programs to prevent violent behavior are provided in sex offender treatment and the regimes of mental health services. Most of the programs in Ohio involve the secondary or tertiary prevention of violence. What is needed is a primary prevention strategy that begins early in a child's life and focuses on the family and community environments.