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II.2 The Federal Role in Promoting Evidence-Based Violence Prevention Practices--Mary Lou Leary and Thomas P. Abt
Pages 61-66

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From page 61...
... Department of Justice The drop in crime rates over the past two decades has been accompanied by another encouraging trend: the use of social science research and other forms of evidence to design criminal justice policies and programs. The federal government, through the Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
From page 62...
... But until recently, the impact of this research, so profound in potential, has been largely regarded as a sideline to crime fighting and violence prevention efforts in the United States. Integrating Evidence Curiosity about what spurred the crime decline and an immediate need to maximize resources in tight budget times have driven a self-examination among civic leaders and justice system practitioners, who are no longer content to rely on age-old approaches of doubtful merit.
From page 63...
... On the one hand, OJP aimed to increase access to evidence of program effectiveness for a wide range of practitioners and policy makers so that they may be better informed in their decision making. On the other hand, the many practical areas within criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services lacked a substantial body of evidence based on the most rigorous forms of social science program evaluation.
From page 64...
... As national rates of crime and violence remain at historically low levels, some communities are nevertheless experiencing higher levels of violence, much of it committed by and against young people. Under an initiative called the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention led by the White House, federal agencies -- including DOJ -- and 10 cities have formed a network to develop strategies aimed at sustainably reducing youth and gang violence.
From page 65...
... Moreover, a national task force appointed by the Attorney General produced a report outlining 56 recommendations for action to be taken by federal, state, and local governments, as well as researchers and community organizations. Among the recommendations are several designed to inculcate evidence in practice, including the incorporation of evidence-based, trauma-informed principles in federal grants; continued support of a data collection infrastructure to monitor trends in children exposed to violence; and education and training to help child-serving professionals screen and assess children exposed to violence.
From page 66...
... Through an initiative called Justice Reinvestment, OJP -- in partnership with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the Pew Center on the States, and the Urban Institute -- provides resources to states and counties to help them determine, based on crime data, how to reallocate resources to reduce recidivism and save public dollars. These approaches have been tied to success in states both red and blue.

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