Following the tragic events at Virginia Tech, the House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor convened a May 15 congressional hearing on the "best practices" for making college campuses safe. APA member Dewey G. Cornell, PhD, professor of education at the University of Virginia and director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project, spoke about the use of threat assessment as a violence-prevention approach. In his testimony, he explained that one of the few shared traits of school shooters is that they threaten violence prior to the act. As a result, he recommended that schools adopt standardized threat-assessment techniques. He also emphasized the need for additional research in this area and the importance of funding violence-prevention programs.
A full copy of Cornell's testimony can be found at: http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings/fc051507.shtml.
Cornell was also one of the few invited speakers at the first-ever summit on violent crime, hosted in June by Rep. Robert "Bobby" Scott (D-Va.), chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Presenters focused on pervasive shortcomings in the American criminal justice system and innovative strategies for reducing crime and violence. Cornell spoke about the misperceptions and media distortions surrounding the prevalence of school shootings, the unreliability of zero-tolerance policies and profiling methods and the need to train school personnel on threat assessment.