Insights: Preventing Youth Violence: From Research to Action

This is an insight written by Esther Kaufman on the lecture given by Dr. Valerie Maholmes and Dr. Lauren Abramson as part of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace series on Structural Racism.

Preventing Youth Violence: From Research to Action

Combating Youth Violence

Dr. Valerie Maholmes and Dr. Lauren Abramson were an exceptional pairing on the discussion of Structural Racism and Youth Violence.

Dr. Maholmes provided a glimpse into the inner workings of NIH and the leading research of youth violence that continues to be developed. Underlying the success of NIH, she emphasized, is the Institutes dedication to utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches in its research efforts.

In the same way that NIH employs a joint effort, it becomes evident that society must also work toward a more united approach in order to lessen the crisis of youth violence.

Dr. Maholmes optimistic presentation of research in this field highlights an important societal shift from blaming the individual to embracing a sense of community responsibility. This shift that has allowed society to absorb its role in youth violence is further portrayed by the skyrocketing numbers of research projects undertaken by  NIH departments, which jumped from fifty two in the early 1990’s to well over a thousand today.

New Research, What now?

Immediately following Dr. Maholmes insight on the extensive research in the field of youth violence, Dr. Abramson introduced her moving initiative that moves theory into practice. Dr. Abramson has established community conferencing centers across the north-east, which continue to bring together communities in an effort to tackle some of the underlying challenges of structural racism and youth violence.

These centers allow communities to initiate discussion on the impact of criminal action and effectively brainstorm solutions in the practice of restorative justice. The efforts of her organization help thousands of minority community members to avoid the broken criminal justice system and reduce unlawful behavior with community support.

As long as our nation’s criminal justice system remains plagued by discrimination towards minorities, it remains vital to put ground breaking research into practice. However, to create a more effective justice system it is important to recognize and disseminate the efforts of scholars like Dr. Maholmes and Dr. Abramson whose work shapes a better society.

About the Author:

img_3242-1-qmtxxt-150x150Esther Kaufman is an undergraduate student studying Economics at the University of Maryland with a minor in Global Terrorism Studies.  She is interested in the effects of economic policy on issues such as equality, welfare and radicalization of individuals in society.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks Flickr via Compfight

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