APPENDIX B
Summaries of Conclusions Recent Studies



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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference APPENDIX B Summaries of Conclusions Recent Studies

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference This page in the original is blank.

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference UNDERSTANDING AND PREVENTING VIOLENCE Albert J. Reiss, Jr. Those of you who have read the three panel reports to be presented this morning know that each includes many specific recommendations. Rather than report the recommendations of our Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior, I shall begin by telling you about the panel's overall approach to the problem of understanding, controlling, and preventing violence and then point to some of our recommendations that I think might contribute to our discussions today. Perhaps the first thing worth noting is that the panel concluded that it could not cover all violent harms; it chose to focus on interpersonal violent behaviors, especially those that are constructed as crimes. It therefore did not deal with the causes and consequences of violence considered by previous national commissions. Nor did it deal with suicide or other forms of self-harming by violent means. The second thing worth noting is that we did not talk generally of violent crimes or violent behaviors. Rather, just as one doesn't spend a great deal of time talking about disease, but rather of a specific disease—even of a specific type of cancer—if one is seeking to prevent or treat it, we recognized the importance of trying to understand what leads to specific types of crimes that involve violent behavior or threats of violence, such as armed robbery or spouse assault or the different types of homicide, each with its own causes and means of prevention. Indeed, although it is important to try and understand what causes different types of violent behaviors and their consequences, an understanding of causes is not essential either to preventing their occurrence or to meliorating their consequences. We can determine what places a given population at risk as a prerequisite to prevention and control and how different interventions meliorate the consequences of violence. The third thing that guided our deliberations was a recognition of the fragmented state of knowledge and understanding about violent behaviors because the scientific community fragments itself into disciplines, each pro Albert J. Reiss, Jr., served as chair of the Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior, which produced the report summarized here (Albert J. Reiss, Jr., and Jeffrey A. Roth, editors; Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1993). The generous assistance of Jeffrey A. Roth, staff director for the panel, is gratefully acknowledged.

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference viding only limited understanding. Some focus on the physiology and neurobiology of aggression or violence; others focus on individual propensities or psychological dispositions to violence; still others try to understand why some communities are more violent than others. We recommended that a reasonable policy for funding research on understanding violent behaviors would give priority to research proposals that involved at least two of these levels—for example, studying both community and individual factors to determine the relative contribution of each to given violent behaviors. The fourth thing that guided our final deliberations was that we could find relatively few examples in which research or evaluation provided sufficient evidence to conclude that a particular violence prevention or reduction program should be recommended for implementation. In fact, we concluded that only a relatively small number were particularly promising enough to warrant continuing implementation and testing. There are reasons that is so, and among them is the fact that most evaluations are not planned as part of the introduction of a program to prevent violence or reduce its consequences. In other cases the evaluation design was too weak to reach a conclusion as to the program's effects on a type of violent behavior. A good example is community policing. Many police departments introduce what they regard as community policing, but few provide for evaluating its effectiveness. Accordingly, we recommended partnerships between the research community and the agencies that plan and implement violence prevention or reduction programs and that the evaluation should be designed and ready for implementation before an intervention begins. Continuing evaluation of a particular type of intervention can teach us what may be working and what to change. The panel's report offers a blueprint for preventing and controlling violence while building knowledge about its causes. All of you are familiar with the statistical portrait of violence in America, so I shall not repeat those facts. Rather, I shall now draw on only a few of the panel's conclusions and recommendations that may be germane to our discussion here. To begin, it is commonly assumed that punishment strategies are a deterrent. So why not just build more prisons and send persons who commit a violent crime to prison with longer sentences? That experiment has been tried, and research for the panel led to the conclusion that it is a very limited strategy for preventing violent behavior. While average prison time per violent crime nearly tripled between 1975 and 1989, about 2.9 million serious violent crimes occurred in 1989—almost exactly the same as in 1975. Longer sentences no doubt prevented some violent crimes. But if it prevented many, they must have been replaced by others. Jails and prisons aren't useless responses after violence occurs, but experience with sentencing persons who commit violent acts shows they aren't enough. To substantially reduce violence in America, it must be

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference prevented before it happens, by fixing what causes it or by reducing the risks of its occurrence. When we cannot prevent a violent act, we can determine how best to intervene so that its consequences are less harmful to victims, their families, and their communities. Prevention may seem overwhelming because there are many different causes and types of violent behaviors—in communities where violence happens, in early childhood development, in neurological processes that underlie violent acts, and in situations that present hazards for violence. That very complexity, however, presents opportunities because every cause and every risk factor suggest a promising point for prevention. We can reduce violence the same way medical scientists extend life expectancy—by attacking one type of disease or one cause of death at a time. We should abandon the traditional focus on preventing crime and violence and focus rather on the most promising ways that we can prevent different types of violence—just as we focus on preventing different types of disease. Just as there are many different types of cancer that have different preventive strategies, there are many different types of homicide and hence no single way to prevent homicide. The causes and means of preventing domestic violence are not identical with those for assaults in bars, just as the causes of skin cancer (exposure to ultraviolent rays) are not the same as the causes of lung cancer (smoking). At the community level, "reducing poverty" is too general to serve as a launching point for violence prevention or reducing its consequences. Yet research suggests some promising and achievable objectives: reversing housing policies that geographically concentrate poor, one-parent families with teenage sons; supporting social networks and parenting whose values discourage violence; improving police-community cooperation; and providing legitimate economic alternatives to violent illegal drug and gun markets. During childhood development, promising points of intervention and prevention include helping parents to be nonviolent role models, provide consistent discipline, limit children's violent entertainment, and teach them nonviolent ways to meet their needs. Regular postpartum home visits by public health nurses and, later, Head Start preschool enrichment, seem to help. Restricting the availability of violent sexual pornography may help reduce sexual violence. The panel's report provoked concern over intrusions into the lives of minorities, epileptics, the mentally disabled, or children "marked" by some genetic pattern by simply opening the possibility of investigating neurological processes in causing violence. The panel found no scientific support for such intrusions, but concluded that reducing women's substance abuse during pregnancy, children's exposure to lead, and childhood head injuries would prevent some violence. At best, these are long-range approaches to preventing violence. Faster

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference results require eliminating hazardous situations for violence. That strategy points to three major commodities linked to aggression and violent behaviors: alcohol, illegal drugs, and guns. It also points to intervention into places and situations in which these commodities are more likely to precipitate violent behavior. To prevent alcohol-related violence, police and proprietors can cooperate to diagnose and remove the risks in ''hot spots"—places, including bars, that produce far more than their share of violence-related police calls. Some alcohol abuse prevention programs are promising. Laws, alcohol taxes, and social pressure to cut underage drinking have reduced teenagers' automobile accident rates and may reduce their excessive share of interpersonal violence. Unlike alcohol, illegal drugs produce violence primarily through distribution, not use. Strategies to reduce drug demand that fuels violent markets include drug abuse prevention, drug treatment, and coordination of in-prison therapeutic communities with postrelease treatment. Methadone equivalents for cocaine and other drugs that could make drug treatment more effective show promising development. Debates about firearm violence usually center on new laws, some of which have reduced gun murders temporarily. But because most guns used in crime are obtained illegally, the panel stressed finding better ways to enforce existing gun laws—especially disrupting illegal gun markets and preventing juveniles from buying guns. Such police tactics as undercover buys and wholesale-level sting operations may be useful. But as we should have learned from the "drug wars," making them work requires community support, evaluation, and progressive development. Moving from promising points for intervention to effective violence prevention will require cooperation by organizations that don't always work well together: police; other criminal justice agencies; community-based organizations; school, public health, and social service administrators; and evaluation researchers. Ties among them must develop locally and around specific prevention efforts, but the federal government can encourage that development. Finally, the panel concluded that federal antiviolence assistance should be reoriented to increase incentives for interagency cooperation and for long-term development and testing programs. Federal investments in research to understand violence will continue to pay off with new understanding of means for preventing it.

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference UNDERSTANDING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT Cathy Spatz Widom Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here. You may say to yourself, "I wonder why we have to hear about this report on understanding child abuse and neglect, given that the focus of this conference is urban violence?" Well, one thing is that child abuse is a form of family violence. So we should be concerned about that in itself. But what I will say in the few minutes I have is designed to tell you why understanding and preventing child abuse and neglect is important for urban violence, particularly so that we may be able to reduce urban violence in the future. I was particularly excited and encouraged when I was at a community policing meeting several weeks ago and the keynote luncheon speaker was Attorney General Janet Reno. It was as if she had been in my brain the week before as I was making notes for my talk to those same community policing people about why and what they should do in cases of child abuse and neglect. And it's very exciting for me to hear an Attorney General of the United States talking about prevention, rather than simply law enforcement. Al Reiss said at the start of his remarks that he was just going to just pick a fraction of things in his panel's report to tell you about. I have to say at the beginning, that in contrast to some other areas of knowledge that we have in the social sciences, the scientific study of child abuse and neglect is still in its early stages of development. And we desperately need more high-quality research to build a firm knowledge base. The panel adopted an ecological, developmental perspective, which means that we wanted to look at the child in the context of the family and of society. This perspective reflects the understanding that development is a process involving transactions between a growing child and a social environment, and in that environment development takes place. The phenomenon of child abuse and neglect has moved from a theoretical framework, where we looked at individual disorders and pathology in parents, toward a focus on more extreme disturbances of child rearing—often part of a con- Cathy Spatz Widom served as a member of the Panel on Child Abuse and Neglect, which produced the report summarized here (Anne C. Petersen and Rosemary Chalk, editors; Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1993).

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference text of multiple family problems, such as substance abuse, mental illness, stress, or poverty. I'm not going to talk too much about theory, because I really want to focus on consequences. Research in this field is beginning to demonstrate that the experiences of child abuse and neglect are a major component of child and adult mental and behavioral disorders. Research has suggested both a variety of short-and long-term consequences. Physical consequences range from minor injuries to severe brain damage and even death. Psychological consequences range from chronic low self-esteem to severe dissociative states and to higher rates of suicide attempts. The cognitive effects of abuse range from attentional problems and learning disorders to severe organic brain syndromes to low IQ and reading ability levels that persist very dramatically into young adulthood. Behaviorally, the consequences range from poor peer relationships all the way to extraordinarily violent behaviors. So the consequences of abuse and neglect not only affect the victims themselves, but also the larger society in which they live. I want to talk to you and tell you about some of these consequences that are of a particular concern for our meeting here today and tomorrow. On the basis of some recent research that was funded originally by the National Institute of Justice, we found clear evidence that there is an increased risk of becoming a delinquent—that is, having an arrest as an adolescent—if one is abused or neglected as a child. The research was a prospective, longitudinal, cohorts-designed study with a large sample of abused and neglected children and a control group that was matched on the basis of age, race, sex, and approximate social class. Thus, the rates that I am reporting are independent of the characteristics of people that we already know are correlated with risk of arrest of delinquency. This research showed a 53 percent increase of arrest for delinquency for abused and neglected children over the control children. Similarly, there was an increase in risk of arrest as an adult—38 percent over the matched controls. And there was also an increased risk in arrest for violent behavior of 38 percent. And, as you know violent arrests represent probably only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the kind of violent behavior that may be occurring in households and in neighborhoods. Abused and neglected children also get started committing crimes earlier, and they also are more likely to become chronic offenders. So when we talk about violence I suggest, and our panel report suggests, that it's important to look at these abused and neglected children. And it's not just the physically abused children—although they do have the highest risk—but it's also the neglected children. Given that almost half of the officially reported cases of abuse and neglect in the United States are neglect, and that the smaller portions are physical abuse and sexual abuse, it seems very important to not ignore the cases of neglect, although they often

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference are not as sensational as the cases of physical abuse and sexual abuse that receive so much attention. Even for people who have low expectancies for getting into trouble—that is, girls in general have a much lower risk of being arrested—the effects of being abused are also very dramatic. We found a 77 percent increase for girls' having an arrest as a delinquent. One interesting finding is that this increased risk in juvenile violence is gender-specific for females; we don't see the same increase in juvenile violence for the abused males. In this research there is also a puzzling race-specific effect, which we cannot explain, but which I would encourage everyone to think about more carefully. This effect suggests the need to be very sensitive in terms of the way we respond to abused and neglected children at the very earliest stages—so that when we first hear of a case of abuse and neglect, if we have services available before detaining children, we need to offer these services equally to black and white children. Another thing that you have probably assumed, but for which we now have fairly good evidence, is that abused and neglected children are at increased risk of running away. And running away puts these already vulnerable children at further risk, since many of them report personal victimizations after they have run away. I suggest to you that we need to be thinking about preventing child abuse and neglect before they happen. If we take the figure of an 11 percent arrest for violence through young adulthood and the figure of 1 million reports of child abuse and neglect per year in the United States, you can do the arithmetic to see the kind of violence bomb we are sitting on—if we do not do anything to prevent or intervene and provide services for these children. In our report we have a chapter on prevention. I obviously can't talk about all the different prevention programs that have been attempted. Unfortunately, however, most of the prevention programs have not been evaluated, so that while there are many exciting and promising developments, we desperately need to have evaluations of these programs. I do want to talk to you about one program that has been evaluated—although it's not a conclusive evaluation—and it seems to have some promise for the prevention of future maltreatment. This is a study by David Olds and his colleagues at the University of Rochester. It was originally done in Elmira, New York. The population is largely white and rural, so one might think that it does not have too much of a problem in terms of child abuse, but it was actually rated as having the highest reports of child abuse and neglect in New York State for approximately a 10-year period and also a very high rate of poverty. In that program, researchers systematically assessed the advantages, the effects, of using nurse home visitors, beginning with a pregnant mother. These women were environmentally at risk—that

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference is, they were poor, single, young, and had a low education. They didn't necessarily all have those characteristics, but those were the eligibility criteria for this particular study. In some cases the researchers provided services prenatally, and in others both prenatally and postnatally; they provided parent education programs; and there were other efforts to enhance the family and to provide social support. They also—for those of you in transportation—included an element of providing transportation to medical facilities. What they found in this very elegant study (and, in fact, there was a control group) was that these home-visited families showed reduced risk in the number of child abuse and neglect reports in comparison with the control population. And the reduction was the most dramatic in the group of families who were at highest risk. Now this project is being replicated in Memphis, Tennessee, with a quite different population, and we all eagerly look forward to the results. But I suggest to you that in thinking about the prevention of child abuse and neglect and the possible spillover effects to violence, this might be a worthy inclusion in your plans. There is also a program that is in effect in Hawaii now—it's called the Hawaii Healthy Start Program. It is intended to foster healthy development and family self-sufficiency. And it is largely on the model of these nurse home-visiting programs. In the future we hope to be able to report back and to say whether these types of interventions will be able to reduce further child abuse and neglect and, ultimately, violence. One implication from these findings is that interventions with childhood victims of abuse and neglect need to occur early, so that they can have an impact on early stages of development. Given the demonstrated increased risk associated with this victimization, police, teachers, and health workers need to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect and take action and intervene early. Later interventions in adolescence should not be ignored, but the later the intervention in a child's life the more labor-intensive and the more difficult the change process become. Particular attention needs to be paid to abused and neglected children who have behavior problems, with indications of these problems occurring as early as 6, 7, 8, and 9 years old. These are the children who are most at risk for becoming chronic runaways. They are the children who are most at risk for becoming chronic offenders and violent offenders. And they are the children who account for the multiple placements in foster care and the revolving door placements that you see. In comparison with other abused and neglected children, these children with behavior problems have the highest rates of delinquency, criminality, and violent offending. It is not the case that foster care necessarily leads to problems with children, it may only be for a subset of these children. I want to repeat and emphasize that increased attention needs to be paid to neglected children. Neglect is almost three times as common as physical abuse and sexual abuse cases, and yet the rates of arrest for violence are

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference almost as high among these children as among the physically abused. We must not neglect neglect. Finally, I'd like to encourage you to think more broadly about what you do to prevent future violence. There's a role for people in terms of community policing. We need to be creative. We need to get involved. You are the people who are making hundreds of crucial decisions each day about the lives and futures of these children. We are hopeful that we can design interventions to prevent future violence. Thank you.

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference LOSING GENERATIONS: ADOLESCENTS IN HIGH-RISK SETTINGS Joel F. Handler The concern of the Panel on High Risk Youth was the large and increasing numbers at-risk young people. Most research concentrated largely on why individuals engage in high-risk behavior. As we worked, the enormous power of settings in shaping adolescent lives became apparent, It also became clear that the critical settings of adolescent life had deteriorated sharply over the last two decades. It was these settings that became the focus of our report. Adolescents depend on families, neighborhoods, schools, and health systems. All of these institutions are now under severe stress. As the fault lines widen, more and more young people are falling into the cracks. Institutions and systems initially designed to help high-risk youth, such as juvenile justice and child welfare, have instead become sources of risk. The social forces that are straining these institutions are many and complex, but they are all influenced by the relentless decline in income of families with young children. Family income is the single most important determinant of the settings in which children spend their formative years. Over the past two decades, the real incomes of young families have declined by almost one-third. Today, almost one-quarter of the families headed by a young adult have incomes below the poverty line. Growing up in or near poverty exacts a heavy toll on children and adolescents. Adolescents from low-income families are more likely to have physical and mental health problems, to exhibit delinquent behavior, to show low academic achievement, and to drop out of school. They are less likely than their higher income contemporaries to get jobs. The numbers of poor adolescents who are unprepared for the world of adult work has grown alarmingly. Without a stable connection to the workforce, one remains outside mainstream society. One-quarter of American children now live with only one parent, and poverty rates are almost six times higher for single-parent families than for two-parent families. Studies suggest that children of single parents are more likely to engage in such high-risk behavior such as drug and alcohol use and unprotected sex, to drop out of school, and to commit suicide. Joel F. Handler served as chair of the Panel on High-Risk Youth, which produced the report summarized here (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1993).

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference Children born to adolescent mothers face the highest risk of failing to become successful adults. Poor children are likely to grow up in socially disorganized, racially segregated neighborhoods, wit a high risk of becoming victims of drugrelated violence, perpetrators of such violence, or both. These children are likely to go to schools that have fewer resources than those in more affluent neighborhoods. Although public schools have traditionally been viewed as the institutions through which poor children can rise above their socioeconomic roots, schools in poor neighborhoods have not in recent years been able to keep that promise. The many problems that poor students bring to the doorsteps have in most instances overwhelmed the resources and best efforts of the schools. And, unlike many industrialized countries, the United States does not provide an institutional bridge to help adolescents who are not college-bound make the transition from school to work. The interplay of these conditions creates very different developmental opportunities for adolescents according to the income and race of their parents, the communities in which they live, and whether they live with one or both parents. Children born into poor families, living in high-risk neighborhoods, and attending poor schools know that their opportunities are limited, and significant numbers become alienated, lose hope, and fail to acquire the competencies necessary for adulthood. How can we strengthen the institutions adolescents depend on and reduce the risks young people face? Although it is quite true that these issues need more study, some of the problems are so acute and their effects so destructive that to delay action would needlessly endanger the future of more children. The report includes an agenda for further research and describes directions for change in the 1990s and beyond. First, we must address the issue of supporting families. We must keep in mind that a rising economic tide will not necessarily lift most poor families out of poverty. Both the proportion and total of families living in poverty increased during the long period of economic expansion in the 1980s. Targeted intervention will be needed to enhance people's skills, provide entry-level job opportunities, and improve support services, such as child care. Income transfer programs will also need to be improved to assure families an adequate standard of living, safe housing, and access to essential services, such as health care. In designing these program and policy responses, care should be taken to encourage rather than punish the formation and maintenance of two-parent households. Second, the crumbling infrastructure of inner-city neighborhoods must be dealt with. Affordable housing and safe recreational opportunities are urgently needed. Residential segregation must be addressed by all levels of

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference government through incentive programs and the vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws and other civil rights laws and regulations. Third, young people must have access to services that respond to the major threats to adolescent health—illicit drug use, cigarette and alcohol use, violence, teenage pregnancy, and emotional distress. But service programs will not be effective if they target just one particular high-risk behavior, such as drug use; they need to take a holistic approach to adolescents' life circumstances. Although rigorous research of service programs is thin and often inconclusive, most experienced program practitioners agree on the importance of a sustained relationship with caring adults; opportunities for young people to succeed and rewards for those successes; opportunities to contribute and to feel in control; and opportunities to develop trust relationships. Fourth, there is no integrated health or mental health system in the United States. Programs and treatments are built around specific pathologies. There is inadequate insurance and lack of preventive coverage. About one-third of parents cannot afford health insurance for themselves or their families. Overall, the system is uncoordinated and access is difficult for adolescents. The response to the major threats to adolescent health—substance abuse, violence, pregnancy, and emotional distress—is inadequate. I am encouraged by the President's initiative in health care reform and what seems like a consensus on the need for universal coverage. However, for adolescents, insurance coverage, by itself, is not sufficient. Services must be available that emphasize disease prevention and health promotion. Moreover, these services must be consistent, comprehensive and coordinated, especially preventive services. The single most important proximate threat to the lives of inner-city youth is the proliferation of firearms. The issue of guns requires urgent national attention. Measures to disarm this population must be explored. Fifth, despite the wide and varied efforts at school reform and the increasing use of schools for preventive health services, sex education, and so forth, these reforms, for the most part, have not addressed the problems of inner-city youth. Only a few jurisdictions have addressed the politically explosive issue of inadequate school funding. School-based management and parental involvement cannot substitute for inadequate resources. There are serious questions about the impact of various choice proposals on the poorest schools in the worst neighborhoods. Insufficient attention had been paid to the effects of instructional practices on the school performance of low-achieving schools. In fact, schools continue to use counterproductive interventions—such as rigid ability grouping (or tracking), grade retention, "pull-out" Chapter 1 programs, and categorical dropout prevention programs. Some schools and districts are experimenting with alternatives specifically focused on improving the achieve-

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference ment for at-risk children and youth—for example, heterogeneous and cooperative learning, the use of "bridging classes" rather than grade retention, and more academically oriented curricula. We must remember that less than one-quarter of young people leaving high school will complete a 4-year college degree. There must be improved mechanisms to assist these people to prepare for and find entry-level jobs with a future. Research in other industrialized countries has found that the greatest successes are those programs that prepare young people for employment, but also include an explicit goal of facilitating overall youth development. What is needed are integrated and sequential academic instruction, occupational training, and work experience. The traditional approach—single-component programs usually of short duration—have few lasting effects. Sixth, the report identified a number of ways in which the juvenile and criminal justice systems fail to intervene before adolescent offenders become fully enmeshed in the adult criminal justice system. We are all painfully familiar with the high proportions of inner-city youth, especially minorities, who have had official contact with the criminal justice system, and these contacts, in effect, mortgage an adolescent's future by jeopardizing long-term employment prospects. Particular attention should be paid to ways in which the justice system seens to exacerbate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic variations in life chances. We recognize that the criminal justice system is overwhelmed and is in need of considerable resources as well as reform. At the same time, we need to develop alternatives to conviction and incarceration. Seventh, like the criminal justice system, the child welfare system is overwhelmed by rising caseloads. Adolescents seem to fare particularly poorly in the system—with mutiple placements and poor outcomes. There are conflicting pressures and controversies over the priority of family preservation and the need to strengthen families. But there is little research documenting the comparative effectiveness of alternative strategies, which severely limits policy and program initiatives. In conclusion, one cannot emphasize too strongly the harmful effects of discrimination. A single act of discrimination—be it the denial of a job opportunity or the denial of housing in a safe neighborhood—can have a powerful effect on an adolescent's life opportunities. Cumulativety, acts of discrimination create large socially and economically disenfranchised groups and blight the developmental opportunities of many American youths. Essential to the success of all efforts to improve the settings for adolescents is strong enforcement of laws against racial discrimination. Continuing efforts to abate discrimination must be made at all levels of society.

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference INNER-CITY LIFE: CONTRIBUTIONS TO VIOLENCE Joan McCord Joel Wallman of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation deserves credit for bringing together the authors whose work will appear in ''Inner-City Life: Contributions to Violence." In addition to editing the volume, I am writing the introductory and concluding chapters. The book draws attention to circumstances in urban America that contribute to contemporary violence and suggests means for its reduction. "Inner-City Life: Contributions to Violence" begins with a chapter on historical and cross-cultural perspectives, setting violence in America into a larger framework. After this introduction, Eli Anderson takes a microscope to urban cultures that seem to breed violence. Rob Sampson then provides a multilevel examination of how communities, families, and individuals work through one another to diminish or increase violence. Beginning with a chapter by Ron Slaby, who describes child development in inner cities, subsequent chapters focus on individuals. Terri Moffitt marshals evidences regarding neurological and psychological links to violence; Felton Earls and Jacqueline McGuire present a public health perspective on child abuse; and Nancy Guerra examines programs designed to reduce violence in urban America. The book ends with a summary that sets an agenda for improving life in inner cities through reduction of violence. The common belief that U.S. cities have high crime rates is warranted. In fact, Al Reiss (1990) refers to crime rates in the United States as "outliers." What seems to be less widely known is that violence is not a new phenomenon in the United States. Illegal violence has been evident through most of the history of the United States. Hollon (1974) identified 327 vigilante episodes responsible for 737 deaths between 1767 and 19190. Between 1834 and 1869, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Louisville, and Vicksburg were scenes of serious urban riots. Catholics, blacks, Irish, Mormons, and foreigners were among the targeted victims of mobs. Gurr (1989) reported more than 70 riots in New York City between 1788 and 1834, almost fourscore riots by whites against freed slaves in the South within 10 years after the Civil War, 3,400 lynchings of black Americans between 1882 and 1951, and the violent history of labor organizing between 1870 and 1930. Joan McCord is the editor of the book summarized here (New York: Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, 1994).

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference Throughout American history, protest movements turned to violence after civil attempts to achieve their goals had failed. Shays' Rebellion of 1786, an early sign of the agrarian movement aimed at changing laws to permit the use of paper money (Szatmary, 1980); the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 expressing dissatisfaction with taxes imposed by a central government (Slaughter, 1986); antiabolitionist riots of 1834 and the Draft riots of 1863 in New York City (Bernstein, 1990) are among the prominent early examples of politically motivated violence. Violent strikes form an important part of the American labor movement, with major strikes against the railroad in 1877 and a general strike in 1910 (Haller, 1973). In reviewing the historical pattern of violence in the United States, Brown (1989:26) noted: "Thus, given sanctification by the Revolution, Americans have never been loath to employ unremitting violence in the interest of any cause deemed a good one." The May 13, 1985, bombing of the house belonging to Move members in Philadelphia and the April 19, 1993, attack on Branch Davidians in Texas seem to confirm the point. Blacks have been a part of American history since the early settlers arrived in Virginia. "The Negro helped to make America what is was and what it is," noted Quarles (1964:7), an historian trying to correct the silence about contributions blacks had made to what is right in America. When the Civil War began, there were 488,070 free blacks. In Chicago, where a small pocket of free blacks had formed a community, "the laws of the state forbade intermarriage and voting by Negroes. Segregation on common carriers and in the schools and theaters was widespread" (Drake and Cayton, 1945/1962:41). In Philadelphia between 1838 and 1860, while occupational opportunities for whites were increasing, "blacks were not only denied access to new jobs in the expanding factory system … they also lost their traditional prominence in many skilled and unskilled occupations" (Hershberg, 1973). Even after the Civil War, blacks were largely excluded from educational institutions and white collar occupations (Horton, 1993; Kirschenman and Neckerman, 1991; Lane, 1986; Steinberg, 1989; Thernstrom, 1973). In counterpoint to this picture of inequality, American democracy sets out an ideal of equality. A presumption of equality underlies the belief that anyone can be successful. Being successful is, on this assumption, a sign of character and the proper basis for self-esteem and privilege. Despite the importance of success, criteria marking success are difficult to discern in the United States. Small differences—a carpet, a larger desk, a name on the door—mark rank within organizations. These differences, however, are likely to have meaning only to a limited audience. Since subtle symbols of status are difficult to recognize in America, wealth and property therefore become the marks of status. Coupled with the rhetoric of equality, the unequal distribution of goods represents injustice to many who are poor. This perception of widespread

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference injustice tends to be confirmed through television—which shows wealth without labor, and violence often as justified. This history of unequal opportunities and unequal benefits raise doubts about participating in a social contract. Yet such participation is necessary to avoid the Leviathan. From his work on the streets of Philadelphia, Eli Anderson has gathered rich illustrations of the ways in which a street culture can adopt a code of violence. He talks about the importance of respect—by which he means respect in the local community. Carrying oneself as though ready to fight may be a form of defence—or a signal to others to attack. The code of the street is also a code of exposure. In this culture, avoiding fights may result in dishonor. The population of inner cities can be divided into two types of families. Decent families, who are ostensibly opposed to the values of the street code of violence, reluctantly encourage their children to learn it so they can negotiate in the city. Other families fully embrace the code and actively socialize their children into it. The structure of the inner-city family, the socialization of its children, the social structure of the community, and its extreme poverty can be seen to facilitate the involvement of many maturing youths in the culture of the streets. Many who live in inner cities believe in "the Plan." The Plan involves a genocide campaign against blacks. In order to protect themselves, some argue, blacks must take the law into their own hands. Anderson suggests that to solve these problems, we must rebuild the social context of trust in the urban environment. We should reinvest in the cities, offering growth, development, education, and training. Community structure is important mainly for its role in facilitating or inhibiting the creation of social capital among families and children. Concentration of poverty has multiplicative effects—bringing together blacks from single-parent families, the jobless, and the poor. With concentrated poverty, there are few socialized models to follow. Getting help from neighbors seems difficult. High-risk areas are likely to increase probabilities for having babies who lack appropriate stimulation or who suffer neuropsychological impairment (from whatever source). Prenatal health problems, nutritional deficits, and exposure to toxins may increase risk for developing antisocial aggression leading to violence. Programs designed to reduce antisocial behavior or to improve the well-being of those living in inner cities have not been well served in terms of evaluations. Preschool health-related home visits have gains that seem to be largely short term. Not all preschool programs are effective, though High/Scope seems to

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference have been so (Weikart and Schweihart, 1992). We need to learn what types of programs work. Social skills training does not seem to be effective for inner-city children. In fact, there is some reason to suspect that when aggressive children are helped to become more socially skillful, the result may be increased aggression among their peers. Secondary school prevention programs (e.g., attention control) have rarely received long-term evaluations. A comprehensive project in which children were given a range of services including daily feedback on school behavior and periodic parent-school meetings (Bry and George, 1980), according to Guerra, seemed to have benefits extending for 5 years. Parent training appears to have some short-term gains, but low-income families are particularly difficult to reach. Recent evidence also suggests that parents who reject their own children and treat them inconsistently respond positively and consistently to other children, thus showing that they do not lack the skills for which they are being given training (Dumas and LaFreniere, in press). Guided group interaction appears to have had damaging effects (Gottfredson, 1987). Nancy Guerra identifies two approaches as promising. One combines teaching about effects of gang participation with after-school athletic programs. Evaluations, however, have yet to confirm this impression of promise. The other is a School Development Program, in which three teams have been created to address problems of the community by eliciting opinion from the community. These teams are designed to improve schools, to improve mental health, and to encourage paren participation (Comer, 1988). Again, unbiased information is awaited. In sum, we desperately need good studies. Expert opinions should not continue to be the basis of choice for how to cure the nation's violence. Just as we protect society from innocuous and harmful medicines by first testing them and measuring their effects, we ought to be assessing our social programs for safety and potency before accepting them as effective. With properly designed studies, we can learn about the causes of violence by learning how to reduce it. REFERENCES Bernstein, I. (1990). The New York City Draft Riots. New York: Oxford University Press. Brown, R.M. (1989). Historical Patterns of Violence. Pp. 23-61 in T.R. Gurr, ed., Violence in America Volume 2 : Protest, Rebellion, Reform. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, Inc. Bry, B.H., and F.E. George (1980). The preventive effects of early intervention on the attendance and grades of urban adolescents. Professional Psychology 11:252-260 . Comer, J. P. (1988). Educating poor minority children. Scientific American, 256:42-48.

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Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response - Summary of a Conference Drake, S.C., and H.R. Cayton (1945/1962). Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. New York: Harper & Row. Dumas, J.E., and P.J. LaFreniere (in press). Relationships as context: supportive and coercive interactions in competent, aggressive, and anxious mother-child dyads. In J. McCord ed., Coercion and Punishment in Long-term Perspectives. New York: Cambridge University Press. Gottfredson, G.D. (1987). Peer group interventions to reduce the risk of delinquent behavior: a selective review and a new evaluation. Criminology 25(3):671-714 . Gurr, T.R. (1989). Violence in America Volume 2 : Protest, Rebellion, Reform. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, Inc. Haller, M.H. (1973). Recurring themes. Pp. 277-290 in A.F. Davis and M.H. Haller, eds., The Peoples of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Hershberg, T. (1973). Free blacks in antebellum Philadelphia. Pp. 111-134 in A.F. Davis and M.H. Haller, eds., The Peoples of Philadelphia . Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Hollon, W.E. (1974). Frontier Violence: Another Look. New York: Oxford University Press. Horton, J.O. (1993). Free People of Color: Inside the African American Community. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Kirschenman, J., and K.M. Neckerman (1991). "We'd love to hire them, but …": the meaning of race for employers. Pp. 203-234 in C. Jencks and P.E. Peterson, eds., The Urban Underclass. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution. Lane, R. (1986). Roots of Violence in Black Philadelphia 1860-1900 . Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Quarles, B. (1964). The Negro in the Making of America. New York: Collier Books. Reiss, A.J., Jr., (1990). Perplexing questions in the understanding and control of violent behavior. International Annals of Criminology 28(1/2):23-29. Slaughter, T.P. (1986). The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press. Steinberg, S. (1989). The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity, and Class in America. Boston: Beacon Press. Szatmary, D.P. (1980). Shay's Rebellion. Amherst, Mass.: The University of Massachusetts Press. Thernstrom, S. (1973). The Other Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880-1970. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.