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Dewey Cornell: ‘We Can Prevent Gun Violence’

Clinical psychologist Dewey Cornell, a professor in the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, discussed how to prevent gun violence through a team-oriented, threat-assessment approach at the Youth Violence Prevention Summit held Jan 22 in the Capitol building in Washington.

U.S. Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Newport News) and members of the House of Representatives Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Task Force convened the summit in the aftermath of the school shootings in Newtown, Conn. Cornell was one of eight presenters who spoke to approximately 200 people in the audience, including members of Congress.

Cornell directs the Virginia Youth Violence Project and serves as an associate director of Youth-Nex, the U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development. Also a faculty associate at U.Va.’s Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy, he was recently named to Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s newly created Task Force on School and Campus Safety.

More than 1,000 Virginia schools, from kindergarten through high school, have a threat assessment program in place, Cornell said. In addition, 16 states have schools using the Virginia Threat Assessment Model that Cornell and colleagues published almost seven years ago.

Cornell’s talk also focused on some common misconceptions about preventing violence, as well as the value of a threat assessment approach.

For information about the summit, including Cornell’s PowerPoint presentation, click here.

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