Criminal Justice Dean William Alex Pridemore Addresses World Health Organization Violence Prevention Symposium

Pridemore WHO Presentation

Dean Pridemore addresses WHO symposium.

School of Criminal Justice Dean William Alex Pridemore addressed attendees of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 7th Milestones of a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The Milestones series aims to identify challenges and future priorities in violence prevention, including ways to consolidate global, regional, and national efforts.

In his invited address Dean Pridemore stated that “violence disrupts the lives of victims, offenders, and families, it is unhealthy to the fabric of daily life in communities, it hinders development, it dents local and national treasuries, and it can disturb international relations.” His presentation summarized the results of studies examining the association between poverty, social protection, and national homicide rates. Alone and together with Meghan L. Rogers, a current Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the School of Criminal Justice at the University at Albany, he has undertaken substantial research on these topics.

The theme of the WHO symposium was “Linking global violence prevention with sustainable development.” Meeting participants included researchers, practitioners, and policymakers at local, regional, and global levels. The symposium occurred the same week the United Nations approved its post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with presenters focusing on how these SDGs can enhance national and international violence prevention initiatives.

“Violence reduction is possible,” said Dean Pridemore. “From individual-level traits to national-level characteristics we know about many causes of violence that can be influenced to reduce harm.” He concluded that “research shows nations with higher levels of poverty and lower levels of government-provided social protection have higher homicide rates. Reducing the former and using the latter to strengthen social institutions and promote human dignity should reduce interpersonal violence and create healthier societies.”