How can we prevent the most violence?
Caroline Palmer, staff attorney at the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, has written a very nice article in the March 2010 issue of the Violence Against Women Monitor about the importance of primary prevention.
“…we’ve asked ‘How can we lock up the most dangerous?’ We should be asking, ‘How can we prevent the most violence?’ We should be intensely studying the issue and allocating scarce resources to a mix of programs and approaches whose prevention efficacy has empirical support.” (from Janus, 2003) In other words, we should be exploring ways to increase the efficacy of our interventions by also implementing prevention policies. This approach takes a certain amount of courage and patience because prevention strategies require a more long-term commitment – the results of prevention activities are not always immediately apparent, unlike intervention activities that may yield measurable data about convictions within a shorter period of time.
What do you think?