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This paper will discuss some of the issues and problems which arise in the field of delinquency prevention where there is over-riding public interest and concern and calls for action to prevent delinquency, but where the problem is elusive and where the variables are not easily isolated and controlled through experimental procedures. What, in fact, constitutes the body of knowledge in the field? What uses can be made of behavioral science materials where there has been little or no experimental successes, or data upon which to build action programs? What credence should be given to the largely unverified "practice" knowledge and experience in delinquency prevention programs? These questions will be explored here in an effort to provide a more responsible frame of reference for suggesting and assessing legislation in the field of delinquency prevention.

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