Part 1 Discussion 300 words
PROMPT: For this interaction forum you are asked to once again to respond to material from the NOVA special on “The Violence Paradox,” assigned for the first module of the course. Here you are asked to an 13 or so minute segment from Part II of the video (linked below) beginning at the 20:34 timestamp and running through 33:20.
The segment covers the “Safe Streets” initiative in Baltimore, which uses “violence interruptors” to prevent street violence associated with guns, gang activities and inter-personal revenge. The Safe Street program treats violence as a “public health” problem, seeking to predict where violence will break out and moving in to stop it before it occurs or spreads. What do you think of this “public health” approach to stopping violence that goes beyond criminal justice remedies such as law and prosecution? Share your ideas with others.
Note: See Alvarez and Bachman, Chapter 12, pp. 367-70,(see below) on “Violence as a Public Health Problem,” to learn more about this approach to violence prevention.
THIS IS THE TEXTBOOK READING ***DO NOT PLAGARIZE NOR PARAPHRASE!!! USE THIS TO DO THE 550 WORD WRITING!!! ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION FROM THIS AND REFERENCE THE PAGE NUMBER & TEXTBOOK
Alvarez, A., & Bachman, R. (2021). Chapter 1 Defining Violence. In Violence: The enduring
problem (4th ed., pp. 368-378). essay, SAGE Publishing, Inc.
The objective of this assignment is to construct a critical essay OF 550 WORDS, which may be defined as an intellectual debate over the nature of ideas, theories, concepts, policies, etc. The focus will be on three major theoretical positions on the nature of street violence and robbery in particular.
INSTRUCTIONS: First, using Alvarez and Bachman, Chapter 7, define robbery and explain why it is considered a crime of violence compared with other forms of theft (e.g., burglary or purse-snatching). Then describe the “scope of the problem,” i.e., current prevalence, changes over time, common characteristics of victims and offenders, and where it tends to occur. Next, using Alvarez and Bachman Chapter 7, summarize ONE key theoretical perspective on why people commit robbery, focusing on the research of Anderson’s “Code of the Street.” Specifically, what are the distinct social conditions, belief systems, or other motivations that prompt individuals to commit robbery according to the theorist you choose to focus on? Finally, comment on what we know about women robbery offenders. How likely is it for women to commit robbery? In what ways are the motivations of women robbery offenders distinct from those of men? Remember to provide details on definitions or concepts used by authors and page citations for specific quotes!! View the powerpoint, too, for a brief overview of the materials on robbery.
Note: If you choose to use Anderson, you must use the material from A&B Chapter 2, pp 52-53 where Anderson’s work is summarized.
First of all, it is necessary to point out that Anderson notes that the main cause of emerging of the street code in inner-cities is the lack of well-paid jobs and, thus, threatening poverty. In such difficult conditions, when there is no confidence in the future and there are only problems and obstacles in the present, a lot of people make their choice and decide which camp to pertain. It is very promising that in such a grave situation a lot of people find strength and courage to fight against circumstances and environment and make success in life.
Anderson calls families which try to make success in the American society “decent families”, and those families which adhere to the street code “street families”. Anderson suggests that the street code is several behavior models which form an image of a strong person which can defend him/herself and his/her family.
Anderson points out that sometimes members of decent families should act to show their strength to defend themselves, and, vice versa, some members of street families show values which are common for the rest of the society.
In the majority of cases, children from decent families understand the negative consequences of the street life, which they see in their everyday life in their neighborhood, get inspired by the example of their parents or start cherishing their parents’ care, and work hard as their parents, and, finally, reach their goals.
On the contrary, parents in street families don’t pay a lot of attention to their children upbringing, instead they show bad examples of adhering to street code; moreover, they teach their children to adhere to the street code as well; they show violence or even put their children to violence, and, as a result, they bring up another generation of street people.
It is necessary to add that Anderson depicts cases, which are not rare when children from street families were inspired by school, church, or members of decent families and acquire new values and changed the camp.
In terms of this peculiar layer, i.e., family, Anderson defines the exclusive role of manhood in the inner-city life. He stresses that if a strong man evoking respect is in charge of a family, such a family will never be violated since everyone sees that the head of a family can defend his relatives.
This is a very significant postulate of the street code, and in the inner-city, men always have to display their strength and commitment to go to the end if necessary, so that others saw that it is dangerous to “mess with him.” Anderson provides several examples when men act like that in public, even if there is no necessity to reveal their commitment. Still, all the men act like this, and their sons inherit such model and form another generation of the family heads.
Nevertheless, Anderson also states that lately this manhood importance deviated a little, and at present such strong head of the family can be a female, mother or even grandmother, for instance. The main point is the great authority of the older people who can teach the youth, due to the experience of the former. Anderson defines such authorized people as “Old Heads”, and depicts their attempts to influence their children.
The Code Of The Street reveals a very interesting fact that, basically, “Old Heads” of both decent and street families license violence as self-defense. Of course, in decent families, the youth is taught that there exists another way of acting in conflict situations. Still, the majority admit the necessity of revealing physical strength as well. Anderson also depicts an opposite authorized force which influences the youth, i.e., “Young Boys.”
The authority of “Young Boys,” according to Anderson, originates close interaction among children. Anderson states that spending a lot of time among peers; children find authority among peers as well. This “Young Boy” is an example of strength and respect; the youth admits the authority of suck kind of boys and, of course, the majority seeks to be such “Young Boy”. Anderson notes that young people are likely to follow their young leader, rather than listen to the “Old Head”, since they want to be (or at least seem) cool in their young community.
In this respect, another interesting point is depicted in The Code Of The Street, namely girls’ behavior in terms of the street code and authority. Anderson points out that girls also want to be an authority among the peers, they also reveal the strength, but above all, they long to be with a “Good Man”, which is a proof of being one of the best. The “Good Man” must be strong and authorized; he should be senior among the others.
Anderson also mentions that no girl wants to be with “Nothing Man”, which will not contribute to her status but can only destroy it. “Nothing Man” according to Anderson is a boy who doesn’t represent the main principles of the street code, who is not strong enough not only to defeat others, but defend his friends and members of the family, or even defend himself.
Thus, one of the main components of the street code revealed by Anderson are strength and authority; and one of the values of The Code Of The Street is its comprehensive and insightful look on the issue.
In his book Anderson point out that the vast majority of the people, living in the inner-city, long to be a part of the whole American society rather than to pertain to the sub-layer; but in terms of economic difficulties and other social issues (racism, etc.) these people and especially young people regard adhering to the street code as the only way for them.
The book under consideration is very valuable since it provides analysis of the mainstreams of the American inner-city and reveals the main factors contributing to forming such a grave situation. Moreover, Anderson suggests possible solving of the problem, but above all his work’s exclusive value lies in the fact that it draws the public’s attention o the gravity of the situation.
The Code Of The Street stresses the necessity of interference in the inner-city problems; it reveals the importance of deleting the gap between the inner-city culture and the rest of American social development. Anderson reveals the idea of the possible threat which arises from the street code culture development, since increasing tension may reach its highest point and explode in some way.
He also points out that the growing tension is not only determined by the dissatisfaction of the inner-city people, but it is also caused by the rejection of the rest of society, since the middle class is very biased, when it concerns people of the inner-city. From this perspective, Anderson stresses the necessity to change the whole system of values, and make the two cultures, that of the street code and that of the middle class, merge into one.
Thus, The Code Of The Street depicts the main issues of life in the inner-city, providing quite detailed analysis of the code of the street, and thus, the book under consideration can be a very useful guideline for policymakers who understand the necessity of coping with inner-city problems and who are committed to delete the discrepancies between the inner-city and the rest of the American society.
“What are the key points of Anderson’s code of the street thesis?
The code of the streets, as identified by Elijah Anderson, is a set of informal rules that govern interpersonal relations in desolated and isolated inner-city neighborhoods marred by high levels of structural resource deprivation, racial segregation, and a lack of civic and public services.”
Why did Elijah Anderson write the code of the street?
According to Anderson, the code is partly a function of the restricted opportunities available to disadvantaged youths for obtaining respect in mainstream culture—especially poor Black males.
Anderson (1999) argued that much of the violence among disadvantaged inner-city residents revolves around the desire to acquire status by being perceived as “tough” or “violent.” At the heart of the street culture is an emphasis on respect, toughness, retribution, and ultimately, violence.
Also, there is a typo in the A&B chapter. They refer to the works of Thomas Merton (p. 205), but they mean Robert Merton, the social strain theorist.
PAGE #368 Violence as a Public Health Problem
As we have pointed out, the criminal justice response to violence prevention is generally based on the philosophy of deterrence and punishment. James Gilligan summarizes it this way:
For the past four millennia, since the time of the first law-givers—Hammurabi and Moses, Drakon and Solon, Plato and Aristotle, Cicero and Justinian—humanity has been engaged in a great social experiment, testing the hypothesis that we could prevent violence, or at least diminish its scale and intensity, by labeling it “evil” and “criminal” [and] ordering people not to engage in it; and then, when they commit acts of violence anyway, retaliating with more violence of our own, which we call “punishment” and “justice.”
This “experiment,” as Gilligan terms it, has not been completely successful, and moreover, has had many unintended consequences. Mandatory minimum sentences have filled many state prison facilities to overflowing conditions. In fact, in 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that California’s prison system was so overcrowded that prisoners were existing in conditions that amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment,” and the court demanded the state reduce its prison population by 30,000.48
The public health approach to the issue of violence is fundamentally different from the criminal justice approach. Importantly, it does not pay attention solely or even primarily to the perpetrator but rather attempts to examine a wider range of factors that influence violence. Just as it does for diseases, a public health approach to violence examines the factors that are related to the prevalence of violence and tries to prevent them. In the words of one report, “Efforts to address individual aspects of the problem, however laudable, must pale compared with the power that can be brought to bear in a coordinated effort by all elements of the community to address the problem as a whole.” This somewhat belated awakening is entirely appropriate, since violence remains one of the most significant threats to the health of Americans. Rather than accepting violence as an inevitable fact of life, the public health paradigm assumes that violence is a social problem that can be remedied using the same kinds of communitywide and multilevel strategies that have been so successfully used against other social problems, including drunken driving, smoking, drug use, seat belt laws, and childhood immunization and nutrition issues.
Another important difference between the two responses to violence is that the criminal justice response embodies a moral perspective, while the public health response does not. Criminal justice is about punishing bad behavior perpetrated by criminals and deviants. Even the terminology and imagery of the criminal justice approach are laden with the powerful moral symbolism of judgment and condemnation. This traditional legal/moral approach is often preoccupied with deciding whether a perpetrator had a guilty or evil mind (mens rea), whereas public health practitioners are usually more concerned with identifying the individual biological, psychological, and environmental factors that intersect with various social experiences to produce violent behavior.
It is important to note that not all criminal justice approaches emphasize punishment for moral and/or criminal infractions. Some agencies across the globe are creating processes and policies derived from a standpoint that criminologists have sometimes termed restorative justice, which is largely concerned with repairing the harm and damage caused by violence and criminality.This approach generally relies on cooperative rather than punitive and judgmental processes and often involves mediation, restitution, and similar forms of healing. However, these kinds of programs also tend to be few and far between.
The public health orientation, on the other hand, tends to focus on epidemiological research to identify and understand the causes of violence. It therefore relies on the language of understanding rather than that of judgment. For example, criminal justice practitioners define certain kinds of violence as crimes, while public health personnel perceive violence as a form of intentional injury that places it within a larger category of health problems. Importantly, practitioners and researchers within the public health framework are not necessarily medically trained. The public health approach to any problem is interdisciplinary and is informed by many disciplines, including medicine,
In developing preventative measures, the public health approach usually relies on six main elements. These measures are outlined in Table 12.1. This table illustrates a number of important issues regarding public health work. First, as mentioned above, it is philosophically oriented toward a preventative stance rather than a punitive one. Second, just as a public health approach searches for risk factors associated with the spread of diseases such as AIDS, a public health approach to violence is empirically based, since it depends upon the collection of information to identify both risk and protective factors. The public health model uses an ecological model to understand violence, which incorporates risk factors at multiple levels, including society, community, relationship, and individual levels (Figure 12.5).
PAGE #369 Table 12.1 Fundamentals of a Public Health Approach
Rely on community-based methods to identify root causes and sources of the problem.
Generate data to identify patterns of risk and protective factors.
Identify and monitor trends in the frequency and nature of risk factors.
Implement multilevel community interventions grounded in empirical data designed to reduce or eliminate risk factors or strengthen protective factors.
Evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of intervention strategies and revise tactics accordingly.
Educate the public about the problems and issues as well as what has been shown to be effective for intervention.
All too often, our national debates on violence are based on ideology, myths, stereotypes, and outright falsehoods. The public health approach, grounded as it is in nonjudgmental empirical data, offers an important reality check for our policy decisions. Third, it doesn’t assume that recommended strategies will be effective in preventing violence. Instead, it depends upon rigorous monitoring and evaluation research to determine whether policies are working and to refine and alter them as needed. As such, public health initiatives tend to be fairly pragmatic and rooted in practical considerations. More generally, the philosophy of the public health model is diagrammed in Figure 12.6, which illustrates the process as it moves from definition to empirical assessment and prevention and finally to dissemination.
Another way of looking at a public health approach to violence involves looking at the different levels of prevention, which include primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. We will examine each of these in more detail next.
Figure 12.5 The Ecological Model for Understanding Violence
PAGE #370 Source: The World Health Organization, World Report on Violence and Health (Washington, DC: Author: 2002), Figure 1.3.
Timeline Description automatically generated
Source: “The Public Hea
The first tier of prevention is called primary prevention and involves reaching out to the population at large by designing and implementing society- or community-wide preventative measures, regardless of individual risk factors. In order to fight disease, for example, public health practitioners recommend and promote mass inoculation and sanitation campaigns that have been shown to be very effective in reducing and, in some cases, almost eradicating certain diseases and illnesses. Primary prevention of violence involves some of the same kinds of widespread initiatives that involve wholesale and fundamental changes in the organization of our society. A number of scholars, for example, suggest that a fundamental preventative measure would involve reducing inequality in U.S. society to substantially reduce violence. Sociologists Peter Iadicola and Anson Shupe put it this way:
Inequality itself may be a cause of violence as offenders learn to define others as of less worth than they, and as they themselves have been defined by others. The structures of inequality that we experience, that we learn to accept, and that we maintain and extend through our everyday interpersonal interactions and in role performances within institutions, contribute to our ability to separate from others and define others as in need of control, punishment, or subjugation.
PAGE # 371 Defining inequality broadly, Iadicola and Shupe suggest that violence is linked to the varied ways in which our society keeps individuals and groups in unequal conditions. They argue that not only is inequality built into the very structures of our society but it is also reflected in our culture, ideology, and values and that all of these serve to create the conditions necessary for violence to flourish. In other words, they suggest that not only does the deprivation and hardship brought about by economic inequality help produce violent behavior but also that our perceptions and definitions are also fundamentally affected by systems of inequality. These perceptions, in turn, affect which behaviors we define as violent. For example, certain forms of institutional and structural violence (such as racism and discrimination) and product and production violence (such as work-related injuries and the sale of dangerous products) are usually not even defined as violence, yet they are very destructive in their consequences.53 Elijah Anderson summarizes the impact of poverty on violence eloquently:
The inclination to violence springs from the circumstances of life among the ghetto poor—the lack of jobs that pay a living wage, limited basic public services (police response in emergencies, building maintenance, trash pickup, lighting, and other services that middle-class neighborhoods take for granted), the stigma of race, the fallout from rampant drug use and drug trafficking, and the resulting alienation and absence of hope for the future. Simply living in such an environment places young people at special risk of falling victim to aggressive behavior.
In a capitalist society such as the United States, this is a radical idea to say the least. But there is clear evidence that poverty is linked to a number of social problems, including violence. Time and again, we have seen how many forms of violence seem to be disproportionately concentrated among the ranks of the poor. While the middle and upper classes certainly do become offenders and victims of violence, their rates of perpetration and victimization are usually much lower for most acts of interpersonal and collective violence. If we are truly interested in reducing the amounts of violence in our society, we will have to address the issue of inequality at some point, no matter how unrealistic it might seem at first glance. Is it possible? There are many places we can start.
PAGE #372 It is also important to understand that inequality is not only about income differences but also includes a wide range of resources, including access to health care, education, economic opportunity, and having a voice in political decision making. Inequality, in other words, is as much a kind of social exclusion or disadvantage as it is about wealth and monetary income.56 Practically speaking, specific strategies, such as improving access to health care and educational opportunities and ensuring that all citizens have basic necessities, such as food and housing, are just a few ways to ameliorate the negative effects of poverty. We should also consider that various other social problems associated with income inequality, such as drug abuse and suicide, may be remediated through similar solutions.
Others who recommend a public health approach to the problem of violence suggest that violent images in the media be sharply reduced or eliminated as a primary prevention strategy to reduce violence. Of course, in a society such as ours that prides itself on freedom of speech,
this smacks of censorship, but can we afford not to address this point? We do, in fact, set limits on certain kinds of sexual images in the media, whether it is nudity or simulated and/or real sex acts, yet we do not limit acts of violence. We allow movies and television shows to portray incredibly realistic and graphic acts of dismemberment, mutilation, and torture, yet we do not allow the same movies and television shows to reveal frontal nudity or individuals engaged in lovemaking. In many European nations, however, the reverse is true. In some nations, graphic acts of violence will be edited out of the media, while explicit sexuality is not prohibited.
As you can see, we are somewhat selective and arbitrary in our willingness to accept censorship and restrictions on the content of media images. We note this because the research is now overwhelmingly clear that violence in the media does affect behavior, as has been discussed in earlier chapters, especially Chapter 2. There is no longer much doubt that mass media violence teaches attitudes and behaviors that foster violent behavior, distorts our perception of the nature and consequences of violence, and portrays heroic role models as needing to rely on violence and aggression to solve problems.57 If we are truly interested in reducing the amount of violence in our country, we need to stop training ourselves in its language and imagery, which serves to make it so familiar and comfortable and to desensitize us to its use.
The second level of prevention is, not surprisingly, secondary prevention, which focuses on intervention strategies for those who are at an elevated risk of engaging in violence. These methods are somewhat more targeted than primary prevention methods, since those are intended for a broader population. For example, research has improved our understanding about the factors that place youth at an increased risk of violent behavior as both victims and perpetrators. Table 12.2 illustrates what these identified risk factors are for young people, while Table 12.3 lists factors that serve to decrease the risk of violence for youth. Secondary prevention programs seek to identify and engage young individuals who have a preponderance of these risk factors and a minimum of protective factors. Obviously, secondary prevention programs should focus on seeking to lower some of the risk factors faced by youth and maximize or increase the protective factors.
PAGE #373 Table 12.2 Risk Factors for Youth Violence
Individual Risk Factors
History of violent victimization or involvement
Attention deficit, hyperactivity, or learning disorders
History of early aggressive behavior
Involvement with drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
Poor impulse control
Deficits in social cognitive or information-processing abilities
High emotional distress
History of treatment for emotional problems
Antisocial beliefs and attitudes
Exposure to violence and conflict in the family
Family Risk Factors
Authoritarian child-rearing attitudes
Harsh, lax, or inconsistent disciplinary practices
Low parental involvement
Low emotional attachment to parents or caregivers
Low parental education and income
Parental substance abuse or criminality
Poor family functioning
Poor monitoring and supervision of children
Peer/School Risk Factors
Association with delinquent peers
Involvement in gangs
Social rejection by peers
Lack of involvement in conventional activities
Poor academic performance
Low commitment to school and school failure
Community Risk Factors
Diminished economic opportunities
High concentrations of inequality and/or poor residents
High levels of transience (e.g., people moving in and out)
High levels of family disruption
Low levels of community participation
Socially disorganized neighborhoods
PAGE #374 One area of secondary prevention where research is increasingly showing promise is in strengthening parenting skills to prevent childhood abuse and trauma. We know that abused children are more likely than other children to have other emotional problems, which then place them at greater risk of other negative outcomes, such as substance abuse, delinquency, and violent behavior. It should be clear from our discussion above that once individuals become entrenched in the criminal justice system, it is extremely difficult for them to reestablish a prosocial existence. For this reason, many states are turning to prevention programs to target early childhood instead of responding to delinquency and crime after it has already occurred. There are several programs that are designed to provide family support and parental training, but in this section, we are simply going to review some of the common elements that many of these types of initiatives share.
Table 12.3 Protective Factors for Youth Violence
Individual Protective Factors
Intolerant attitude toward deviance
Positive social orientation
Family Protective Factors
Connectedness to family or adults outside of the family
Ability to discuss problems with parents
Perceived parental expectations about school performance are high
Frequent shared activities with parents
Consistent presence of parent during at least one of the following: when awakening, when arriving home from school, at evening mealtime, or when going to bed
Involvement in social activities
Peer/School Protective Factors
Commitment to school
Involvement in social activities
Maja Dekovic and her colleagues provide an exceptional empirical review of several early prevention programs that have similar prevention strategies, including the Nurse–Family Partnership, the Abecedarian Project, Chicago’s Child–Parent Centers, and the Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP), among several others. All of the programs are multifaceted and designed to increase the bonds between children and their families and children and their schools to promote “positive functioning” and prevent “mental health problems, crime and substance use in adolescence in adulthood.”58 For example, the SSDP consists of three components: teacher training, child social and emotional skill development, and parenting training.
PAGE # 375 Although these programs are designed to reduce crime and violence in adulthood, very few studies actually follow children who receive such prevention efforts through adulthood. As you might imagine, it is very difficult and extremely costly to maintain contact and monitor the same group of individuals over a lengthy time period. Many families move or fail to respond to follow-up requests for other reasons. Of the nine studies that did follow children through young adulthood, eight showed that program participants had lower rates of arrests, convictions, and incarceration compared to the control groups, although not all these differences were statistically significant.
In sum, it appears that these early interventions show some promise for reducing violence. The modest effects for them, however, must be placed in context. The larger factor related to the children being placed in the “at-risk” group to begin with was related to other underlying factors, including their low socioeconomic status, problems in their family of origin, disruptive behavior in preschool, or some combination of these. It is important to keep in mind that multiple factors create a chain of causal forces that increase the likelihood of someone engaging in violence as an adult. When prevention efforts target only one of the links in this chain, it is not going to be able to prevent violence entirely.
Another example of a general secondary prevention effort targets alcohol consumption. We learned in Chapter 5 that alcohol is one variable that is a frequent companion to a great deal of interpersonal violence. We also know that college students tend to drink a lot and that they often engage in what is called binge drinking, which increases the risk of interpersonal violence, including sexual assaults. One report, for example, suggests that around 44% of college students are heavy drinkers, who were defined as men who consumed five or more drinks in a row or women who consumed four or more drinks in a row.59 This type of drinking is culturally patterned, in that it is largely shaped by students’ expectations and beliefs about what it means to be college students and what the college experience is all about. In other words, many students see getting drunk and partying as an integral part of being at college. This kind of perception is something that is often amenable to education designed to heighten awareness of the dangers of this kind of drinking.
Many universities and colleges have implemented programs that attempt to change the situation or, as one commentator states:
Institutions of higher education are increasingly implementing creative programs and aggressive policies to curb AOD [alcohol and other drugs] use and its associated negative consequences. Many campuses and communities have begun comprehensive prevention approaches that go beyond traditional educational programs to emphasize strategies aimed at changing the physical, social, legal, and economic environment on campus and in surrounding communities.60
PAGE #376 The U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention suggests that schools adopt the following specific initiatives to reduce binge drinking on campuses. These have been summarized below:
Offer and promote social, recreational, extracurricular, and public service options that do not include alcohol and other drugs.
Create a social, academic, and residential environment that supports health-promoting norms.
Limit alcohol availability both on and off campus.
Restrict marketing and promotion of alcoholic beverages both on and off campus.
Develop and enforce campus policies and local, state, and federal laws.61
These recommended strategies are clearly rooted in a public health approach designed to reduce or prevent heavy drinking practices and are very illustrative of secondary intervention techniques. The final stage of prevention is tertiary, which we discuss next.
The third and last level of prevention is tertiary prevention, which isn’t really preventative as its name suggests but is geared toward intervening in the lives of those who have been impacted by violence. Importantly, this means not only working with victims of violent crime but with the perpetrators as well. Unfortunately, however, this type of intervention tends to be less effective than intervention at the previous two levels, since at this level, harm has already been done and the goal is simply to prevent further harm. With regard to tertiary public health approaches to the arena of domestic violence, for example, we find many communities have adopted various methods of helping the victims of intimate partner violence, which often includes financial assistance with medical costs, counseling, job training, and numerous other strategies designed to help victims cope with and overcome their history of victimization.
The SVORI program highlighted earlier in the chapter is another example of a tertiary prevention program. Other examples include batterer intervention programs (BIPs) and spouse abuse abatement programs (SAAPs) that have been introduced as an alternative to traditional criminal justice responses.62 One of the earliest and most well-known of these is the Duluth Program, which has been the model for most of the BIPs across the country. Based on a feminist perspective on battering, these programs work to teach men about the nature and impact of patriarchy and resocialize them into adopting more equal and nonviolent intimate relationships.63 Over the years, a number of other approaches have also been created and adopted by these programs, including cognitive-behavioral–based intervention programs and, most recently, batterer typology or profile-based intervention programs; however, it is the Duluth model that remains the standard.64 While the specific emphasis of these programs varies, they are essentially all tertiary prevention programs intended to prevent the offender from reoffending.
PAGE #377 So how effective are these BIPs? Unfortunately, the research results are largely inconclusive and can’t definitively let us know whether or not these programs actually work. True to a public health perspective, however, evaluative research continues to be conducted in order to determine the efficacy of these intervention strategies. In sum, all of the programs we have reviewed in this chapter provide only a brief and selective sample of programs and priorities that apply a public health approach to the problem of violence. They should suffice, however, to provide you with a sense of the direction and potential applications of the approach we are advocating.
The emphasis we have placed in this chapter on a public health approach to violence is not to suggest that such approaches should completely supplant criminal justice responses. As the Ceasefire program indicates, there are a few promising strategies being implemented by the criminal justice system that hold promise for the future. Moreover, we are not so naïve as to suggest that we don’t need police, courts, and prisons. Society does need to be protected against those who would harm and injure others. People who are actively engaged in violent behavior and who do not respect the lives and physical safety of others need to be restrained and prevented from harming others. Those who have inflicted violence on others also need to be held accountable for their actions. Research indicates, however, that this shouldn’t be the only way to reduce violence and protect ourselves. Instead, a greater reliance on public health strategies can enhance and broaden our ability to deal with both the causes and consequences of violent behavior and lessen the burden on the criminal justice system. What we are advocating is a synthesis of the two approaches. Neither the criminal justice nor the public health approach can completely eliminate the problem of violence alone, but both working in concert with each other can make our society a dramatically safer place.