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by: Katherine Notetaker


Marketplace > Mississippi State University > CRM 3113 > COMM CRIME PREVENTION AND POLICY
Katherine Notetaker
GPA 3.0

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Community Crime Prevention & Policy
Frank Nichols
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This 9 page Bundle was uploaded by Katherine Notetaker on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Bundle belongs to CRM 3113 at Mississippi State University taught by Frank Nichols in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 54 views.




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Date Created: 01/28/16
Crime and the Fear of Crime Ch.1 Fundamental and Powerful concepts in Crime Prevention and Policy  Crime Prevention- any action designed to reduce the actual level of crime and/or the perceived fear of crime  Crime policy- any law or regulatory measure designed to reduce the actual level of crime and/or the perceived fear of crime The Problem of Crime in Society  The FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) are the most widely used and cited official measures of crime in the U.S.  Part 1 index crimes: these are violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, assault.  Property crimes such as burglary (enter a property unlawfully and commit another crime), larceny, auto theft, and arson also are considered Part 1 crimes.  Crime Victim Surveys are reported by victims to a source (these are higher than UCR, almost doubled)  Part 2 Crimes: These offenses include fraud, kidnapping, and drug offenses, prostitution  The police are often referred to as the gatekeepers (first persons that will come on the scene) of the criminal justice system  The UCR receives much criticism for underreporting the actual level of crime in the country  There are three major components at which the UCR can be inaccurately adjusted: o It is a voluntary system of data collection which leaves the possibility for police departments to adjust their figures in order to enhance the image of operation and/or jurisdiction o The ability of an individual police officer to adjust the crime rate (fail to formally report a crime) o Many offenses are not brought to the attention of the police. the police are a reactive force Measuring Victimization  Victimization surveys- surveys of the population carried out to measure the level of criminal victimization in society  National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)- a panel survey of household across the U.S. in which a panel of subjects (addresses) are repeatedly surveyed of a specified period.  Both official measures of crime and victimization (UCR and NCVS) suffer from a variety of shortcomings.  The exact number of crimes, nature and level of crime, is unknown  In reference to reactive forces, there is little (if any) evidence to show that the criminal justice system actually stops crime before it occurs The Costs of Crime/Victimization  The impact of crime can be measured by economic loss, injuries, the need for medical care, and lost time from work  2006 figures indicate that victims experienced over $18 billion in direct loss from crimes (avg of $731 per victim)  The UCR reports that almost $15 billion of property was stolen in 2008  The NCVS reports that in 2006, almost 26% of victims sustained physical injuries o 14% required medical care and 5% requited hospital care  Almost 9% reported lost time from work. The Fear of Crime  The “fear of crime” forms the basis for daily “inactivity” and anxiety o Ferraro (1995) defines fear as: an emotional response of dread or anxiety to crime or symbols that a person associates with crime. This definition of fear implies that some recognition of potential danger, what we may call perceived risk, is necessary to evoke fear.  People will adjust their behaviors and daily activities based on this fear Common “Fear” Questions  (NCVS) “How safe do you feel or would you feel being out alone in your neighborhood at night?”  (GSS) “Is there any area right around here- that is, within a mile- where you would be afraid to walk alone at night?”  (Harris Poll) “In the past year, do you feel the crime rate in your area has been increasing, decreasing, or has it remained the same as it was before?” Fear and Crime  It is fact the level of fear exceeds the actual levels of crime  Both official and victimization measures show that less than 10% of the population are victimized, despite fear of 40% or more Fear and Demographics  The fear of crime is most prevalent in urban populations and affects the elderly and women to a greater extent than other groups  Greater than 30% of those persons living in urban areas express fear of crime while only 30% of rural residents voice the same fear Explaining the Divergent Findings  Vicarious victimization occurs when you know someone who has been the victim of a crime, or simply being told by a friend of a harmful act against a third party, may elicit a sympathetic reaction and empathetic fear of crime Perceived Risk and Harm  Some individuals may perceive themselves to be at greater risk of victimization and harm  The elderly and women are often found to be the most fearful of crime but are actually the least victimized  Victimization is not a significant predictor of fear Incivility  Incivility refers to physical and social factors involved in disorder and community decline  Physical signs of incivility include the deterioration of buildings, litter, graffiti, vandalism, and abandoned buildings and cars  Residents may feel a lack of control in the neighborhood that in turn may generate a greater fear of crime Methodological Factors  Differing methodologies in the studies may also influence the results  Divergent finding can result from varying “fear” measures  It is not improbable that the same respondents could provide two different views of fear when asked different questions Crime and Fear  The levels of crime rates do not provide an adequate measure of the fear of crime  Media reports can greatly influence the amount of fear instilled within a community  Lower crime rates do not mean lower fear of crime. Feelings of worry, once formed, can be difficult to reverse  Benefits of Fear  While many argue that we must reduce and attempt to eliminate fear, others argue that fear is a positive thing  The Fearing subject is someone who becomes responsible for the safety of himself and his property Crime Prevention Ch.2 Crime Prevention Through the Ages  The Code of Hammurabi ( he was a king of Babylon for 42 years) (1900 B.C) outlined retribution by the victim and/or his family as the accepted response to injurious behavior  Lex talionis, the principle of “an eye for an eye”, was specifically set forth as a driving principle in the Hammurabic law  Such laws and practices provided legitimacy to individual citizen action  The Norman conquest of England in 1066 gave rise to an obligatory form of citizen policing. (Male citizens were required to band together for the purpose of policing each other)  Thief takers, were prior thieves (bounty hunters)  The Watch and Ward technique rotated the responsibility for keeping watch over the town or areas, particularly at night, among the male citizens  In the early U.S., the vigilante movement, was a major component of enforcing law and order in growing frontier landscapes  (England 1800s) the parochial police were hired by the wealthy to protect their homes and businesses  The development of juvenile courts and its efforts to combat the problems of poverty, lack of education, and poor parenting among the lower classes is an early example of “crime prevention”  The Chicago Area Project, founded in 1931, sought to work with the residents to build a sense of pride and community, thereby prompting people to stay and exert control over the actions of people in the area o The project sought to build ongoing, thriving communities that could control the behavior of both its residents and those who visited the area o Status offense is a crime if committed by an adult, it wouldn’t be a crime. If anyone under 18 does it, it is a crime Defining Crime Prevention  “Crime prevention is intervention in the causes of criminal and disorderly events to reduce the risks of their occurrence and/or the potential seriousness of their consequences” (Ekblom 2005)  Lab defines Crime Prevention as: “Crime prevention entails any action designed to reduce the actual level of crime and/or the perceived fear of crime”  Crime prevention and crime control are not synonymous (don’t mean the same thing)  Crime prevention clearly denotes an attempt to eliminate crime either prior to the initial occurrence or before further activity  Crime control alludes to maintenance of a given or existing level and the management of that amount of behavior  Control also fails to address the problem of fear of crime The Crime Prevention Model  Primary Crime Prevention identifies conditions of the physical and social environment that provide opportunities for or precipitate criminal acts o This includes: environmental design, neighborhood watch, general deterrence, private security, and education about crime and crime prevention  Activities of the criminal justice system also fall within the realm of primary prevention  The presence of the police may affect the attractiveness of an area for crime as well as lower the fear of crime  Courts and corrections may increase the perceived risk of crime for offenders  Public education concerning the actual levels of crime may also affect perceptions of crime  Primary prevention also includes broader social issues related to crime and deviance  Social Crime Prevention is activities aimed at alleviating unemployment, poor education, poverty, and similar social ills  This attempts to reduce crime and fear by attending to the root causes underlying deviant behavior  Secondary crime prevention engages in early identification of potential offenders and seeks to intervene prior to commission of illegal activity  Situational crime prevention seeks to identify existing problems at the micro level and institute interventions that are developed specifically for the given problem  Many secondary prevention efforts resemble activities listed under primary prevention  Primary prevention programs are aimed more at keeping problems that lead to criminal activity from arising  Secondary prevention programs are focused on factors that already exist and are fostering deviant behavior  Tertiary Crime Prevention deals with actual offenders and involves intervention. In such a fashion that they will not commit further offenses  the tertiary prevention also includes non-justice system inputs such as: o private enterprise correctional programs o diversionary justice within the community o some community corrections Alternate Models and Crime Science  Micro-level crime prevention targets individuals, small groups, small areas, or small businesses for intervention  Meso-level crime prevention looks at large communities or neighborhoods, or larger groups of individuals or businesses. (towns or villages)  Macro-level crime prevention looks at larger communities  Crime science is an emerging area within the realm of crime prevention  Crime science is the application of the methods of science to crime and disorder  Crime science addresses crime by coupling efforts to prevent crime with the detection of and intervention with offenders Evaluation and Crime Prevention Ch.3 Types of Evaluation  Evaluation of crime prevention refers to investigating the impact of a prevention technique or intervention on the level of subsequent crime, fear or other intended outcome  3 forms of evaluation: 1. Impact, or outcome, evaluations 2. Process evaluations 3. Cost-benefit evaluations Impact evaluation  Focuses on what occurs after the introduction of the policy, intervention, or program o Examples:  Treatment programs used in correctional settings  In-school interventions  Neighborhood watch programs  Changes in traffic patterns, walkways, etc.  (all forms focus on how they relate to crime)  One major obstacle to impact evaluation is the fact that crime prevention initiatives rarely rely on a single intervention or approach  Another obstacle revolves around the fact that the target of initiatives is a neighborhood or other geographic area Process Evaluation  Consider the implementation of a program or initiative and involve determining the procedures used to implement a specific program o The mission/goals of the program o Level and quality of program staff o Funding and other resources o Was the program carried out as planned? o Quality of data gathered o Changes made to the program over time  Process evaluation often measure success in terms other than reaching the outcome goals of the program  Success is often measured in terms of the number of meetings held, participation by different agencies, the duration of the program, the number of clients, amount of funds, or the development of operational plans Process + Impact Evaluations  Process evaluations provide information on the different settings, the implementation of the intervention Cost-Benefit Evaluation  Seeks to assess whether the costs of an intervention are justified by the benefits or outcomes that accrue from it  Cost-benefit analysis is a form of process evaluation that requires an impact evaluation to be completed at the same time  This is because you cannot determine if the costs are justified if you do not measure the ability of the program to bring about the expected change  The largest problem with cost-benefit is the inability to set economic values on factors that are not easily counted o Fear of crime o Trauma from victimization o Psychological/emotional loss  A second problem is making certain that all the costs involved in the program are counted Theoretical Concerns  In many cases, those implementing and evaluating the intervention pay no attention to the theoretical assumptions underlying the prevention program  “Research in a vacuum” = Evaluations of programs without a theoretical base (Ex. Curfew Laws)  In these instances, there is no context within which to understand the program, frame the evaluation questions, design the methodological approach, or carry out the evaluation  Truly effective evaluations need to be informed by the underlying theoretical rationale for the program under inspection  Just knowing that the program does or does not work is not enough  The underlying theory provides a great deal of information that is lost in evaluations where theory is missing Measurement Issues  One problem involves measuring the key outcome variables when the intervention is geographically based  The advent of geographic information systems that allow for the mapping of crime locations has helped to minimize this problem, but only in those locations where this technology is in use  Another issue involves finding ways to uncover the competing influences of a project  Neighborhood watch conundrum (problems) o Try to simultaneously reduce the level of crime while increasing the reporting of crime to the police o While the intent is to reduce the level of crime in the neighborhood, it is easy to see how an effective program can appear to have no impact Follow-Up Period  How long after the implementation of the program or intervention will change in crime appear? There’s really no answer.  Is there a possibility that over time any initial changes will diminish or disappear? There is. Experimental Design (gold standard)  A randomized control trail, which relies on the random assignment of cases into experimental and control groups, increases the likelihood that the 2 groups being compared are equivalent  There is enough control over the evaluation to make certain that the experimental group receives the treatment or intervention, while the control group does not  The experimental design addresses various threats to internal validity  The generalizability of the results is the question of whether the results would be applicable in other places, settings, and times  These problems involve what are called threats to external validity  Too often, experimental designs fail to consider the context within which rogram or intervention operates Realistic Evaluation (p 48)  Basic knowledge essential to crime prevention has come out of a variety of research endeavors, such ethnographic and qualitative methodologies  In realistic evaluation, rather than relying exclusively on experimental approaches, evaluation needs to observe the phenomenon in its entirety o Mechanism and context: o Mechanism refers to understanding what it is about a program which makes it work o The Context in which any intervention is implanted has an impact on its effectiveness o The theory and the context should determine the appropriate methodology for understanding what works.


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