The RR Forum brings together public and private stakeholders—regulatory and enforcement agencies; attorneys general; public health agencies and advocates; retailers and their associations; distributors and producers; and researchers—in order to
The RR Forum has emerged from the work of state attorneys general who—under the authority of Consumer Protection statutes—have been engaging national retail chains in efforts to improve their age-verification and underage sales refusal for age-restricted products. Through a series of regional meetings in 1999 organized by Brandeis University’s Heller School with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it became clear that retailers already had adopted policies to prohibit unlawful sales to minors, but these policies did not translate into appropriate and consistent store-level conduct. Then, in March 2000, Brandeis conducted a meeting for national stakeholders in Washington, D.C., hosted by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, to consider the feasibility—and desirability—of public-private cooperation in promoting effective RR policies and practices. Although the desire for further dialogue was strong, the potential for public-private cooperation was impeded by the lack of certainty as to what specific measures would be effective in reducing unlawful underage sales.
In response to this dilemma, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (part of SAMHSA) commissioned a federal guidance document, Report on Best Practices for Responsible Retailing (“CSAP Report”), under the direction of Dr. Brad Krevor of the Heller School. The CSAP Report contained three principal innovations:
The RR Forum was established in early 2003 as a way of continuing the discussions among national stakeholder who participated in the meetings with attorneys general and in the development of the CSAP Report. Through its field studies to operationalize, and evaluate, (see Field Studies) the recommendations of the CSAP Report, the RR Forum is now closely associated with this “enforcement + assistance” model. In June, 2006, RRF became a separate legal, non-profit corporation. In January, 2007, RRF received IRS approval for tax-exempt, 501(C)3 status.
The RR Forum conducts a national meeting that brings together diverse public and private stake-holders to present academic research and state and community field projects identifying Best Practices for RR and to examine topical RR issues.
The RR Forum conducts periodic examinations of aspects of public and private RR policy.
the RRF has partnered with state regulatory / enforcement agencies and retail associations to operationalize the “enforcement + assistance” model. In Birmingham, AL, Des Moines, IA, Springfield, MO and Santa Fe, NM between September 2003 and May 2005, the RRF and its state partners pilot-tested a quality improvement tool to assist retailers to identify and implement Best Practices identified in the CSAP Report and a Mystery Shopper Reporting System to provide retailers with detailed feedback on actual store conduct as a quality assurance tool. In late 2005, RRF began a community roll-out of the new RR model, starting in Albuquerque, NM, with two additional study sites—Iowa City, IA and Waltham, MA—launched in 2006. A report of this community roll-out of what is now called the RR Systems Project shows the strong potential of this model for improving age-verification conduct. For the full report, click here.
RRF is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit corporation. The director of RRF is Brad Krevor, Ph.D, of the Heller Graduate School, the principal author of the CSAP Report. Research and evaluation is overseen be a Researcher Work Group consisting of scientists from Brandeis University, Boston University School of Public Health and the Prevention Research Center, PIRE. The Florida Center for Prevention Research maintains the RRF web site. The RRF Board of Directors establishes the conference agendas and RRF priorities.