The decade of 1980 remained under the surge of lethal violence among the young people of the United States. The epidemic of violence had not only wounded the young people and affected their families and friends but it had impacted the community as well and laid heavy economic burden on the public health. After 1993, the wave of youth violence was hampered and numerous encouraging signs were viewed. Still the number of adolescents involved in violent behavior is quite alarming that United States cannot afford due to severe its economic and societal impacts. Homicide is viewed as a barometer for lethal violence which is misunderstood and is quite misleading
Youth violence has been a prevailing problem in the United States since few decades which resulted in loss of lives and affected millions of Americans and their families. Due to poor behavior control and hyperactivity, 104,000 young people were arrested for homicide and other lethal violence while emergency rooms of the hospitals were occupied in large number in the year 2000. Easy access to weapons and violence shown in media are key factors of lethal violence while adolescents self reports of violence clearly indicate that the problem persists with high amount of dangerous repercussions. Youth violence has become a public health problem due to the intense effects over large population, thus the efforts are required to be made in order to counter grown violence in the U.S. society
As roots of the problem lie in underage young people, therefore the proposed solution to combat the problem is to provide extensive training to the staff of different schools to help them dealing with violent behavior and adolescents involved in it so that they may be able to counsel and aid the effected people. This solution will result in hampering growth of youth violence in the short run while it will eradicate the problem to a large extent in the long run. Specifically focused issues of youth violence will be hyperactivity, attention problems and poor behavior control. The key players to act upon the proposed solution are policy makers (government), trainers, trainees (school staff) and evaluators
The team responsible for developing policy in the light of proposed solution will be represented all major stakeholders of the issue so that input of each stakeholder could be taken and consensus is generated before formulation. Policy development team will primarily be comprised of officials of public health management department, health experts of youth violence, government officials, trainers and community representatives. Each member of the team will give suggestions to formulate a vastly agreed policy to counter the youth violence through school staff training program. The policy development team will ensure the effectiveness of policy to attain the expected outcomes and to ensure that there will be no loopholes in the policy
Policy making process involves inclusion of think tanks, congressional members and other decision makers. The analysis of policy development begins with different evaluations like legal, demographic, social, economic, etc
The policy to counter youth violence through school staff training is analyzed
· Economic efficiency of a policy is foremost important for which benefits and cost analysis is performed. Youth violence results in creating financial burden over health and law enforcing departments, so the cost borne in implementing policy will economically benefit in the long terms.
· Policy making process needs to develop consensus among all stakeholders to maximize effectiveness of the policy. In this case, major stakeholder i.e. community, health experts and government show agreement in combating hyperactivity and poor behavior control.
· The cultural aspect of the policy is also not in conflict with the proposed policy as school staff training is acceptable to the community as well as trainers and trainees of the youth violence program.
· The proposed policy is operational and practical as well because it will directly affect the age group that is primarily causing poor behavior control and hyperactivity.
· There is no need to form new law as the current legislation is not in contradiction with the new policy.
Hence, the policy making process comprises of all essential elements which will help in establishing result oriented outcomes.
Political environment holds deep significance in the process of policy development. The political environment of United States is stable and does not have any kind of unrest. Moreover, the direct involvement of community in the process of policy formulation will also ensure the placid continuity of the process of combating youth violence in the country. This policy formulation does not need any kind of new legislation, therefore the dependence over a particular political regime does not exist and the policy can be established by mere consensus of the stakeholders mentioned earlier. However, the most important concern for the government especially at times of melting economies is about economic aspect of the policy. The government needs to be persuaded over allocating adequate funds for the program of eradicating hyperactivity and attention problems that later transform into sever problems for society. Indeed the cost of youth violence is much higher than the cost that will be incurred in implementing the program as long term results would help to eradicate the issue to a large extent
Numerous researches reveal that violence due to poor behavior control, attention or hyperactivity can be prevented and controlled with the help of teachers, parents, administrators and other school staff. The research studies also reveal that the violent behavior begins in childhood that steadily grows with the age, thus the evil can be nipped in the bud through school based programs of preventing issues of youth violence like hyperactivity and poor behavior
(Jensen, 2003). Helpful counseling,
peer and adult relationship at schools with the young ones going through hard
situation may result in managing and preventing the youth violence a great deal (Dodge, 2001). According to CDC in
2011, 32.8% people of age 10 to 24 were reported for poor behavior, 16.6% for
carrying weapon like knife, club, etc and 5.1% were reported for carrying guns.
In the same year, 717,212 students got nonfatal injuries due to violent
behavior. In 2010, the victims of homicide were 4828 of age 10 to 24 which
means an average of 13 humans got killed each day. The financial and economic
loss due to youth violence reaches $16 billion including medical and work loss
(CDC). Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed resource for
tools and activities to monitor and control the youth violence through schools,
like monitoring weapon carrying, bullying, lethal violence at schools and
establishing appropriate ways to counter such behavior (Resources, 2013). Therefore, the training program for
school staff to control youth violence will work well to achieve the objective
as professionally trained school staff would easily sniff the beginning /
growing of violent behavior so that appropriate measures could be timely taken.
The proposed policy to counter the youth violence in the United States is to train school staff to deal effectively with the violent behavior hyperactivities of children so that the negative impact of the issue may be lessened over the entire society. Key elements of the policy proposal are as follows:
· Schools should be selected across the board for the purpose of training and the school staff selected for training must be teaching as well as non-teaching staff, as this would ensure uniform effect over all demographics. Preference should be given to schools of densely populated areas which are mostly affected violence, hyperactivity and poor behavior control.
· The cost of training and entire program should be analyzed against the benefits and objectives of reducing hyperactivity and attaining fine behavior must be quantified and communicated for evaluating the effectiveness of training.
· The training team must be comprised of health experts, psychologists and relevant professionals who develop such modules of training that are more helpful in finding and managing hyperactivity and poor behavior control.
· The training should be comprised of two simultaneous approaches i.e. reactive and proactive so that the current wave of youth violence is controlled along with certain measures that help to demolish the negative impacts of poor behavior and hyperactivity on the society.
· The trainees will be asked to find determinants of the youth violence (especially hyperactivity and poor behavior control) in the society and especially at schools.
· School staff and community based organizations should be made vigilant in the process by assuring their maximum interest and participation in coping youth violence in most affected areas.
· The training should include the youth in the process by either way to make them aware about the issue and negative repercussions of poor behavior control and hyperactivity.
· Proper monitoring and evaluation of the training program is required which will ensure quality of trainers and training facilities. Such monitoring will also help to bring further improvement for the next phase of youth violence control program.
Implementation and administration of any program makes it successful as the whole plan depends upon its implementation. The program of training the school staff to combat youth violence will be taken into practice as follows:
· Secondary data will be utilized to mark the most affected regions of the country by youth violence and those regions will be prioritized for the provision of extensive training program.
· The schools of all demographic segments will be selected for training purpose so as to avoid any racial or ethnic discrimination.
· The schools will be asked to cooperate in administering the program as such a huge program cannot be administered by a single authority.
· Communication channel will also be established among the trainers, trainees and the administration for instant feedback and proper facilitation.
· 360 degree feedback program will be enabled to appraise the trainers and to get insight about the process in order to bring further improvements.
· Financial matter related to the program shall be under central management of the program to make sure least misappropriations of the available funds which would make it easy to audit the funds.
· Community based organizations will also be taken on board in the process of monitoring and evaluation of the program which will lessen the burden on central management of the program.
· Periodic assessments will be made which will find the applications and effectiveness of the training program and if found lagging behind the achievement of expected objectives, then appropriate changes will be considered for the action.
The policy proposal and the implementation plan are carefully developed and assessed which reveal high probability of success for the program. It is expected that the program will bring some instant positive changes in relevance to the youth violence. Like, prioritizing the most affected regions would result in achieving maximum output in the form of large number of professionally trained people in those regions who would be able to judge behavior of the people with growing or developing violence and they would act as trained to counsel them and provide those solutions for their frustrations. The trained professionals will primarily work on proactive approach and they will endeavor to eradicate any growth in the number of youth violence which would ultimately result in success of policy to attain peace and harmony for the community.
Control, N. C. (2001). A Report of the Surgeon General. NCBI.
Dodge, K. (2001). The science of youth violence prevention: Progressing from developmental. American Journal of Preventive Medicine , 63-70.
Dye, T. (2007). Understanding Public Policy (12th ed.). Prentice Hall.
Halford, J. (2001). The effectiveness of a violence prevention program: Did it influence how children conceptualize bullying? Seattle, WA: American Educational Research Association.
Jensen, P. (2003). Commentary: The next generation is overdue. Journal of the American , 42 (5), 527-530.
Resources, P. T. (2013). CDC - Youth Violence Prevenetion. Retrieved from CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/schoolviolence/tools.html