The nation’s crime problem will only be solved with scientific evidence applied to a smart public policy, says former Attorney General Janet Reno. Reno emphasized community building as a way to address crime. The Daily Pennsylvanian reported on Reno’s appearance at the University of Pennsylvania’s second annual Criminology Day.
With scientific research, it is possible to identify the risk factors that indicate future criminal behavior, Reno said. She cited ten pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, inadequate housing,m and an unstable home environment as precursors to crime. Giving at-risk children hope that they can succeed is the secret for building strong, crime-free communities, Reno said. She emphasized a “new link between schools and the criminal-justice system” as imperative for stopping crime before it starts. She challenged Penn to “develop concepts of what works and what doesn’t” in crime prevention with rigorous scientific research. While given partial credit for the crime drop of the 1990s, Reno is not content with the strides made to cut crime thus far. “We cannot rest on our laurels,” she said.