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This Report shows the magnitude and complexity of violence in U.S. society, explicates the important ways that social science has already contributed knowledge, and sets forth a challenging set of research directions. The Report makes clear the need for a sustained violence initiative to produce fundamental research. Federal support for a major initiative requires an examination of priorities for allocating scarce resources. Across the landscape of serious issues where serious science must be done, research on violence should be enlarged.
The “Broken Windows” theory of policing, applied in New York and other major American cities since the early ‘90s, has been credited in some quarters with reducing crime. Stopping, warning and even arresting perpetrators of low-impact crimes like vandalism and disorderly behavior, says the theory, contributes to a more cohesive neighborhood and a setting less likely to attract violent crime.