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The administration of states, counties, cities, towns, and school districts is stymied by the complexities surrounding the crisis of violence. The political effect of violence has compelled administrators to increase spending in an effort to control violence. Bridges, walkways, parks, libraries, and roads approaching dilapidation are being slighted in favor of increased spending for prisons, jails, juvenile detention centers, school security guards, and police. All of these fiscal decisions are an attempt to secure control over the violence in our communities. What has become clear is that spending money on the problem has not decreased its pervasiveness.
Violence may have been able to flourish during a time when problems were attacked using bullets of facts that influenced policy makers to isolate contributory factors enveloping violence. Violence was an issue of poverty, an issue of unemployment, an issue of race, an issue of gender, an issue of age, or an issue of substance abuse. In 1985, The National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine published Injury in America - A Continuing Public Health Problem, which warned that "Surveillance is essential if there is to be a concerned effort in violence control" (Rosenberg and Fenley 1991, ix). This publication called for the study of violence in a broader context than had been previously used if successful strategies were to be initiated to control violence.
With the increase of violent random acts in the community and the schools, an interdisciplinary approach is essential if control and prevention is to be achieved. Those institutions which had previously been accountable for the containment of violence began insisting that they no longer could control violence without the assistance of numerous segments of society. There was a theory that while individual policies and in stitutions had not been influential in c ontrolling violence, the diversity offered by state and local governmental, community, and professional agencies could constructively undertake the issues enveloping violence. The following publications offer extensive information about the subject of violence and present collaborative approaches for improving governmental, community, school, and individual security.
While the media and personal experience clearly demonstrate what violence is, the factors of etiology and pervasiveness continue to perplex policy makers. Clearly, a million individuals in prison is testament to the reaction of the United States to crime; however, the increased prison population has not enhanced the quality of life in homes, schools, and communities.
Understanding and Preventing Violence is a 1993 report produced by the National Research Council which "...focus[es] more on issues and problems in understanding and control and on setting forth a model to guide interdisciplinary understanding of violent behavior and its control" (p. xv). It is a scholarly review of important social and scientific information on the topic of violence. Examples from the statistical data sources for quantifying violent acts are integrated throughout the study and stress the need for a multi-organizational approach for preventing and controlling violence. The use of data from the federally produced Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the National Crime Survey (NCS) are "...organized exclusively around measuring and counting crimes and some of their consequences, and each has classification and counting rules that limit what is counted as a crime of violence" (p. 412). The …