4027.0 Gangs and Violence throughout the Life Span: An Epidemiological Crimonology Perspective for Prevention

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Over the past four years, the Epidemiology Section has approved our research panels around an emerging paradigm entitled “Epidemiological Criminology.” Every year, significant attendance has resulted from across APHA members. Every year, the theme of the conference has been shown to fit within the paradigm. The fifth year theme of “Prevention and Wellness across the Lifespan” serves to be an ideal theme for our panel, entitled “Gangs and Violence throughout the Life Span: An Epidemiological Criminology Perspective for Prevention.” Nationally, gangs and gang violence are becoming a growing national threat, not only for law enforcement and community, but also public health. In the 1980’s when violence was deemed a public health issue, few theories and prevention interventions were developed to address such a complex issue. To date, however, many have embraced various approaches to preventing gang membership and gang violence, as reflected in such models as “CeaseFire” and the “B’MORE Epidemiological Criminology Model.” Part of the challenge in understanding gangs broadly and gang violence specifically has been the sheer complexity, depth, and breadth of the problem. In spite of these challenges however, the science of gang violence has provided many a researcher an opportunity to develop entire research enterprises around the subculture of gangs, particularly youth gangs and their violent and criminal acts. This is where the integration of epidemiology and criminology, along with public health and criminal justice, form unique bonds. The emerging paradigm of epidemiological criminology serves as a starting point to begin framing the key elements essential to more systematically understanding the micro, meso, and macro analytical units of gang dynamics. The many and varied theories and methodologies bear witness to this observation. In summary, this panel comprises national experts, to include practitioners, clinicians, and academics. This panel will enable us to do what good science demands: to introduce and debate the evolution of complementary or competing theories in order to build new theories for the sciences of epidemiology and public health; this includes new principles, precepts, methods, and theoretical and evidence-based practice models of prevention that focus on aberrant and criminal behaviors across the life span.
Session Objectives: Explain the new theories of gang violence prevention for both public health and criminal justice prevention program planning
Timothy A. Akers, MS, PhD
Timothy Akers, MS, PhD

Gary Slutkin, MD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Epidemiology

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: Epidemiology