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Youth and Violence: Reducing the Threat (NIF Issue Guide)

One of the National Issues Forums Institute’s issue guides, Youth and Violence: Reducing the Threat outlines this public issue and several choices or approaches to addressing the issue. National Issues Forums do not advocate a specific solution or point of view, but provide citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those options, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common.  From the issue guide…

Violence has become a pervasive presence in American life, especially violence involving young people.  Whether it manifests itself on the screen or on the streets, the central and most urgent question remains: how can we reduce violence in the lives of young people?

Like the other nonpartisan guides used by participants in National Issues Forums, Youth and Violence: Reducing the Threat can be used in communities to stimulate public deliberation and inform collective action, as well as in educa¬tional settings to introduce students to their role as citizens and to develop a more informed electorate.

Should we hold juveniles and adults equally accountable for commiting serious crimes? What role does today’s popular culture play in sparking juvenile offenders? Does today’s popular culture play a role in making violent behavior seem acceptable to many juvenile offenders? To help citizens consider these and other tough questions, this discussion guide breaks the issue down to some fundamental public policy perspectives, or options. Each option offers a different diagnosis of what’s wrong, based on views and priorities voiced by many Americans in studies and surveys. Each option also provides a direction for public action. These options include ideas and proposals drawn from across the political spectrum.  While some elements of the options are readily mixed others are not, as each has its own priorities and agenda.

More about NIF issue guides…

NIFI’s issue guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. By intention, issue guides do not identify individuals or organizations with partisan labels, such as Democratic, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages readers to judge them on their merit.

NIFI offers various materials for each of the issues it produces issue guides on. The moderator guide or “guide to the forums” for each issue is available as a free download. Discussion guides (or “issue guides”) for participants are generally available in print or PDF download for a small fee ($2 to $4). DVD’s can also be purchased for some issues for just $6, for use at the beginning of your forums to introduce the topic and approaches.

NIF issue guides and associated tools can be accessed at www.nifi.org/discussion_guides/index.aspx.

Resource Link: www.nifi.org/issue_books/detail.aspx?catID=7&itemID=19890

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