Professionalizing the practice of public policy in the prevention of violence.
The State of the Science Conference Statement on "Preventing Violence and Related Health-Risking Social Behaviors in Adolescents" accurately summarizes the state of knowledge regarding risk factors for violence and intervention efficacy. The Statement missed an opportunity, however, to move the field of prevention practice and policy forward by advocating for more systematic, central review of preventive interventions through a new federal regulatory body, such as an "FDA for Preventive Interventions." This body would provide review of evidence-based programs and aid decision-making in funding. As a complement to this body, decision-makers also need guidelines in evidence-based practice in ambiguous circumstances, which characterize much of the reality of public policy. Therefore, this new regulatory body should be accompanied by guidelines for evidence-based practice in intervention and policy. Finally, in order to move forward both of these concepts, a National Academy of Sciences Panel should convene to deliberate how these concepts can be implemented.
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