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Science, politics, and crime prevention: Toward a new crime policy

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Abstract

Objective: Crime prevention has entered a new, more robust phase of research activity and holds greater relevance to policy and practice today than ever before. It stands as an important component of an overall strategy to reduce crime. This paper sets out a modest proposal for a new crime policy to help build a safer, more sustainable society. Materials and methods: Narrative meta-review of the crime prevention literature. Results: The central features include: ensuring that the highest quality scientific research is at center stage in the policy-making process; overcoming the "short-termism" politics of the day; and striking a greater balance between crime prevention and crime control. Both simulation studies and experiences in Washington State show that early prevention can reduce crime, save money, and reduce the need for costly incarceration. Conclusions: Quality criminological research should be used to strike a policy balance between crime prevention and crime control.

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... Posteriormente, y a partir de la acumulativa evidencia respecto del fracaso del modelo punitivo en la disminución de la reincidencia y de investigaciones más recientes que muestran la efectividad de la rehabilitación, es que, actualmente, ésta es considerada como una estrategia fundamental para la disminución de la delincuencia (Andrews & Bonta, 2010;Pantoja, 2010). Sin embargo, a pesar de la evidencia en favor de la rehabilitación, aun el enfoque punitivo-custodial guía gran parte de las políticas del sistema carcelario (Welsh & Farrington, 2012). ...
... La práctica penal es moldeada por los significados sociales que existen sobre la delincuencia y sus posibilidades de recuperación. En este contexto, la reinserción social es una meta en tanto sea vista como una posibilidad real por la ciudadanía, es decir, el sistema judicial obedece a una comprensión social que propugna determinadas concepciones sobre el sujeto infractor y su tratamiento (Kunz, 2010;Welsh & Farrington, 2012). En este sentido, la cárcel, como institución social, está cargada de significado; históricamente ha sido una herramienta de control social para grupos desfavorecidos y estigmatizados representados por la figura del delincuente (Foucault, 2009;Tijoux, 2002). ...
... El sujeto que delinque pertenece al exogrupo y se le clasifica dentro de una categoría social que lo excluye en base a los valores sociales imperantes (Ajzenstadt, 2002). Esta forma de significar la delincuencia permea al conjunto de la sociedad y, por tanto, también está presente en el personal que trabaja en los recintos penitenciarios (Welsh & Farrington, 2012). Las actitudes hacia el crimen que tienen los profesionales en el sistema judicial penitenciario son relevantes para la implementación de medidas de control del delito y para los programas de tratamiento en las prisiones (Ortetfabregat & Perez, 1992). ...
Article
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Social rehabilitation (SR) of people who break the law is the key objective of intervention programs in Chilean jails. The goal of this research was to elicit the meaning that prison officers attach to social rehabilitation and their implications for relational practices. We conducted semi-structured interviews to fifteen officers: uniformed staff, professional staff, chaplains and instructors. The full texts of the interviews were analyzed in terms of contents and topic. Results were organized around four categories: political-institutional; subjective-formative; inter-jail; and significance to the inmate. The first conceives SR as an institutional goal related to its value-based mandate. In the second category, SR anchors on the acquisition of technical skills and on personal experience. The third category sees it as a way to regulate different types of intra-jail dynamics. In the last category, SR centers on the inmate, including his/her personal dimension, family and community. These forms of understanding the concept make a contribution to establish the social practices that generate inside jails.
... Still, as sentinels, Nagin et al. (2015) argue that police may be able to have a deterrent effect if they can increase the probability of apprehension to the point where a target becomes unattractive to a potential offender, which does not have to involve increased arrests. Consistent with Lum and Nagin (2015), scholars (Cullen & Pratt 2016;Welsh & Farrington 2012) recognize that policing could be a better alternative to incarceration as long as there is a focus on the front end, and not just solving crimes "after the fact." To our knowledge, there are no previous studies that have explored public preferences for whether police should focus more on solving crimes or patrolling the streets. ...
... This statement implies that multiple interventions, not just policing, could produce an overall benefit in crime reduction. Raphael (2014) and others (Durlauf & Nagin 2011;Welsh & Farrington 2012) discuss the potential benefits of early childhood education, for instance, as a possible intervention. Evidence indicates that early family and parenting training can effectively reduce behavioral issues among younger children, and delinquency and crime in adolescence and adulthood (Piquero et al. 2009). ...
Article
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As one approach to prison downsizing and criminal justice reform, scholars recommend altering the nature of policing by reallocating resources toward policing and increasing sentinel patrols and hot spots interventions. Public attitudes toward these reforms are unknown. In the current police crisis, shifting policies in ways disfavored by the public can impact police‐community relations, especially among those disproportionately affected. The current study uses survey data from a nationally representative sample of Americans to evaluate whether the public is receptive to the suggested reforms. Our results indicate that the majority of the general public believes policing is more cost‐effective than incarceration and supports a focus on sentinel patrols and crime hot spots, although there is less support for hot spots policing among blacks, Hispanics, and lower income individuals. The hot spots policing strategy most preferred is situational prevention, and the least supported is aggressive order‐maintenance policing.
... Still, as sentinels, Nagin et al. (2015) argue that police may be able to have a deterrent effect if they can increase the probability of apprehension to the point where a target becomes unattractive to a potential offender, which does not have to involve increased arrests. Consistent with Lum and Nagin (2015), scholars (Cullen & Pratt 2016;Welsh & Farrington 2012) recognize that policing could be a better alternative to incarceration as long as there is a focus on the front end, and not just solving crimes "after the fact." To our knowledge, there are no previous studies that have explored public preferences for whether police should focus more on solving crimes or patrolling the streets. ...
... This statement implies that multiple interventions, not just policing, could produce an overall benefit in crime reduction. Raphael (2014) and others (Durlauf & Nagin 2011;Welsh & Farrington 2012) discuss the potential benefits of early childhood education, for instance, as a possible intervention. Evidence indicates that early family and parenting training can effectively reduce behavioral issues among younger children, and delinquency and crime in adolescence and adulthood (Piquero et al. 2009). ...
Preprint
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As one approach to prison downsizing and criminal justice reform, scholars recommend altering the nature of policing by reallocating resources toward policing and increasing sentinel patrols and hot spots interventions. Public attitudes toward these reforms are unknown. In the current police crisis, shifting policies in ways disfavored by the public can impact police-community relations, especially among those disproportionately affected. The current study uses survey data from a nationally representative sample of Americans to evaluate whether the public is receptive to the suggested reforms. Our results indicate that the majority of the general public believes policing is more cost-effective than incarceration and supports a focus on sentinel patrols and crime hot spots, although there is less support for hot spots policing among blacks, Hispanics, and lower income individuals. The hot spots policing strategy most preferred is situational prevention, and the least supported is aggressive order-maintenance policing.
... Persistence in offending is at the basis of criminal recidivism. Psychological and clinical longitudinal studies (Farrington, 1995a(Farrington, , 2007(Farrington, , 2010(Farrington, , 2012Farrington and Loeber, 2014;Loeber and Farrington, 1998a, 2001, 2011Loeber et al., 2003Loeber et al., , 2008Farrington, 1973, 1977) are concordant in pointing out the importance of identifying the risk processes and criminogenic needs that, acting as stepping-stones, direct a person towards a persistent antisocial trajectory. While it is never too late to intervene, the early promotion of programmes of social integration, family support and schooling is critical as a buffer against social exclusion, individual maladjustment, family conflicts, school dropout, unemployment, and mental health problems. ...
... Research (Farrington, 2003;Sanders, 2004;Schindler and Black, 2015;Sherman et al., 1998Sherman et al., , 2002Webster-Stratton and Taylor, 2001;Webster-Stratton et al., 2001, 2004Welsh and Farrington, 2012;Zara and Farrington, 2014) shows that specific multimodal levels of intervention could be really effective with chronic offenders, given the variety of criminogenic needs burdening their life, and also because 'it takes severe biographical shocks [better described as 'turning points'] to disintegrate the massive reality internalized in early childhood' (Berger and Luckman, 1966: 142). ...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to delve into the psychology of chronic offenders by exploring not only their criminal careers but also their life stories. The syndrome of antisociality is relevant in so far as it explains how delinquent behaviour is a relatively minor aspect of a life characterised by extremely abusive parental relationships, emotional neglect, substance abuse, unemployment, social rejection, and domestic violence. This examination allows for a more integrative quantitative and qualitative explanation of why chronic offenders remained entrapped in a life characterised by an accumulation of failures and losses, in which their persistent offending is only one feature of their life development.
... Persistence in offending is at the basis of criminal recidivism. Psychological and clinical longitudinal studies (Farrington, 1995a(Farrington, , 2007(Farrington, , 2010(Farrington, , 2012Farrington and Loeber, 2014;Loeber and Farrington, 1998a, 2001, 2011Loeber et al., 2003Loeber et al., , 2008Farrington, 1973, 1977) are concordant in pointing out the importance of identifying the risk processes and criminogenic needs that, acting as stepping-stones, direct a person towards a persistent antisocial trajectory. While it is never too late to intervene, the early promotion of programmes of social integration, family support and schooling is critical as a buffer against social exclusion, individual maladjustment, family conflicts, school dropout, unemployment, and mental health problems. ...
... Research (Farrington, 2003;Sanders, 2004;Schindler and Black, 2015;Sherman et al., 1998Sherman et al., , 2002Webster-Stratton and Taylor, 2001;Webster-Stratton et al., 2001, 2004Welsh and Farrington, 2012;Zara and Farrington, 2014) shows that specific multimodal levels of intervention could be really effective with chronic offenders, given the variety of criminogenic needs burdening their life, and also because 'it takes severe biographical shocks [better described as 'turning points'] to disintegrate the massive reality internalized in early childhood' (Berger and Luckman, 1966: 142). ...
Book
Criminologists and psychologists have always been interested in exploring the longitudinal patterning of criminal behaviour: how and why it begins, how and why it continues, and how and why it ends. Nonetheless we are still puzzled by the question: Why do individuals continue to offend? This book aims to summarise knowledge about persistent criminal behaviour within the context of criminal careers. It extends this analysis to the realm of criminological psychology and developmental and life-course theories of offending, by using data from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development (CSDD), which is a longitudinal study of 411 males whose lives have been followed up from age 8 to age 56. This book goes beyond previous recidivism analyses because the theoretical approach is an integrative one. It is based on an extensive range of longitudinal data on criminal careers, and also combines official and self-reported delinquency data with an array of psychological, psychiatric, family, school, social, and life-success data collected during a period of over 40 years. The scientific analysis of criminal recidivism is supplemented by case studies of chronic offenders who embarked on a life of crime, making the book groundbreaking in merging quantitative and qualitative analyses of criminal careers. The book identifies key factors that encourage recidivism. Risk assessment is a central issue because it helps to foster both an accurate evaluation of those criminogenic needs involved in a persistent criminal career, and an identification of those protective factors that aid in the treatment of offenders. Psychopathy and sex offending are studied according to the Risk-Need-Responsivity model that moves from the static measurement of risk to the dynamic assessment of who to target, and when and how to intervene to stop offenders persisting in their criminal careers.
... Initial prevention can reduce crime. Innovative approaches like built environment to reduce crime [66] increased Social capital [67] and crime prevention organizations [68] to overcome political challenges to prevent crime are available [69]. ...
Article
Sport in all societies’ leads to a return on social capital. Many politicians use sports-based programs to reduce crime in society because sport plays an important role in the social development of societies. On the other hand, crime causes insecurity in the neighborhood, and when people realize their fear of crime, they reduce their social activities, such as sports participation. Therefore, this study determines the interaction effect between crime and sport participation and we test an econometric model with simultaneous equations approach using the two-stage least squares method (2SLS). We used panel data of all provinces of Iran from 2004 – 2017. The results showed that a significant and negative interaction effect exists between crime and sport participation. Also, the number of coaches, sport facilities, and, sport budget have a significant and positive effect on sport participation. Per capita GDP has a significant and negative effect on crime and per capita GDP”×”sport participation has a significant and positive effect on crime. Finally, drugs have a significant and positive effect on crime.
... The development of policies takes place within a larger governance context in which sets of institutions and actors are seeking to further their objectives and goals (Howlett 2014). Policies are subject to political realities, and governments must constantly juggle with different priorities which are competing for scarce public resources (Welsh and Farrington 2012). Since governments have limited resources, implementing a policy means that other policies will not be implemented. ...
Article
Full-text available
Policy formulation is a crucial stage of the policy cycle, where social problems and demands are addressed, and transformed into government policies. This stage is complex and is one of the least analytically developed stages of the policy making process. In this article, we propose an adaptation of the EMMIE framework (created to review and rate the quality of evidence on crime reduction initiatives) as a practical means of encouraging an evidence based, systematic way of formulating policies. We argue that the five components of EMMIE (i.e. Effect, Mechanisms, Moderators, Implementation and Economics) provide useful dimensions that policy makers can apply to understand, plan and formulate successful policies. We suggest the application of the adapted EMMIE framework can improve policy formulation and in turn increase the likelihood of effective policy implementation and evaluation.
... Perhaps more important than the academic literature, benefit-cost analysis is beginning to be systematically employed by public policy analysts in real policy decisions. The result has been improved science-based criminal justice policy (for an overview, see Welsh & Farrington, 2012). This is most apparent at the state levelnotably by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) (Aos, 2015; WSIPP, 2017)-which is mandated by their state legislature to provide benefit-cost analyses of policy options. ...
... Once such risk factors are identified, tailored prevention messages can appropriately address attitudes and beliefs related to sexual violence perpetration among these men. Such an approach suggests prevention responses should target high-risk men to reduce the likelihood of individuals developing into perpetrators (Welsh & Farrington, 2012). Few studies have examined prevention efforts that tailor programs to differing risk groups for sexual violence perpetration (for examples of studies using risk groups, see Elias-Lambert & Black, 2016;Stephens & George, 2004) despite suggestions by scholars that such research is needed (Stephens & George, 2009); these include recommendations to conduct research on men who demonstrate a proclivity to rape (Gidycz et al., 2011). ...
Article
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Both rape myth acceptance (RMA) and rape proclivity are associated with acts of sexual aggression. Although this relationship is assumed to be unidirectional with RMA contributing to rape proclivity, no studies have examined the possibility of a predictive relationship, with rape proclivity also impacting RMA. This is important to consider in a longitudinal context, as both constructs may increase risk of sexual assault perpetration and support each other over time, further escalating the risk of a sexual assault. Using longitudinal data with a sample of 488 college men, this study used cross-lagged panel analysis to investigate these relationships across 4 time points according to 2 models: autoregressive effects of RMA and rape proclivity, meaning each construct predicts itself over time, and RMA and rape proclivity predicting each other over time. The results of this study indicate that causality exists for RMA and rape proclivity. These findings have implications for prevention efforts directed toward modifying attitudes associated with sexual assault perpetration—particularly for men who are at high risk of perpetrating sexual assault, including those with high rates of RMA and rape proclivity. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
... Developmental prevention is one of several crime prevention strategies that operate outside of the criminal justice system, representing an alternative to punishment and crime control tactics [69]. One of developmental prevention's distinguishing features (in contrast to criminal justice responses) is a commitment to prevention in the first instance-intervening before a delinquent act has been committed, before a child comes in conflict with the law. ...
Article
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PurposeTo begin to develop an understanding of knowledge translation of early developmental crime prevention.Methods Involves a narrative review of experiments of early developmental prevention with measures of delinquency and criminal offending, and profiles two leading experiments, the Cambridge-Somerville Youth Study (CSYS) and the Montréal Longitudinal-Experimental Study.ResultsWhile the roots of early developmental crime prevention can be traced to studies of human development, experiments of preventive interventions are at the heart of knowledge translation and policy influence. This can be seen in the form of replications, the process of scaling up effective interventions for wider dissemination, and inspiration for prevention scientists to launch new and innovative experiments—sometimes with the aim to improve upon past results. For example, far from curtailing policy interest in a developmental approach to delinquency prevention or dampening the need for prevention experiments, the harmful effects reported in the 30-year follow-up of the CSYS instead had an influence on some new longitudinal-experimental studies in developmental and life-course criminology.Conclusions New experiments are needed to continue to advance early developmental crime prevention, and further research is needed to add to our understanding of knowledge translation in this area.
... The youths participating in this study were all youth involved in the justice system, who are at risk for problematic personal, familial, and societal outcomes across their lives (Craig et al., 2011;Horizons Community Development Associates, 2008;Howell, 2003). Through leveraging technology (Berzin, Singer, & Chan, 2015), along with the incorporation of best-practices for youth involved in the justice system (Horizons Community Development Associates, 2008;Lipsey, 2009;Lipsey, Howell, Kelly, Chapman, & Carver, 2010;Welsh & Farrington, 2012), including cognitive restructuring related to attitudes and beliefs (Baglivio et al., 2017;Howell, Braun, & Bellatty, 2017), and targeting self-control (Piquero et al., 2016), the SNAP YJ program is developing evidence of skill acquisition, understanding, and perspective taking as presented by youth participants. All of these are required to enhance self-regulation (emotion regulation, selfcontrol, and problem-solving), and are mechanisms needed for prosocial skills and behaviors contributing to positive well-being and avoiding recidivism. ...
Article
Purpose: In this paper, we present an exploratory, qualitative strand of a multiphase program evaluation of the Canadian-based SNAP® Youth Justice (SNAP YJ) model for males involved with the youth criminal justice system. SNAP YJ’s therapeutic approach is founded on the evidence-based SNAP (Stop Now And Plan) model which focuses on strategies to enhance emotion regulation, self-control, and problem-solving for latency-aged children and their families. Integrating best practices from the literature, the SNAP YJ intervention uses technology (digital modules) to convey the manualized strategies and program sessions, engaging youth in an interactive manner. This systemic, cognitive behavioral intervention is designed to reduce further contact with the law and/or gang affiliation. The objectives of this study are to understand youth experiences of programing, enrich and contextualize preliminary outcome findings, and further develop programing through the inclusion of the youth perspective and feedback. Methods: A thematic analysis of 15 interviews with program participants from diverse backgrounds was conducted. Results: The results revealed a continuum of learning related to self-understanding and awareness of feelings; thinking and consequences; and prosocial skills and behavior. Discussion: Refinements to the program to target increased program effectiveness as a result of youth experiences are discussed.
... Also of critical importance is overcoming the short-term perspectives of politicians and instead balancing crime control with crime prevention (Welsh & Farrington, 2012). Farrington (2013) discusses how cost-benefit analyses can greatly help to encourage policy makers and practitioners to choose effective programs and develop policies based on scientific evidence. ...
Article
Children whose parents exhibit criminal behavior (CB) appear to have an increased risk of displaying CB themselves. We conducted a systematic review and pooled results from 23 samples in 25 publications (including 3,423,483 children) in this meta-analysis of intergenerational transmission of CB. On average, children with criminal parents were at significantly higher risk for CB compared with children without criminal parents (pooled OR = 2.4). Studies taking into account covariates also showed increased risk for CB (pooled OR = 1.8). Transmission was strongest from mothers to daughters, followed by mothers to sons, fathers to daughters, and fathers to sons. Moreover, transmission appeared stronger for cohorts born after 1981. When we examined methodological quality and other characteristics of studies, response rates, sample size, or use of official records vs. self- or other-reports of parental CB did not moderate outcomes. However, we found stronger transmission for samples that used convenience or case-control sampling, and in studies in which parental CB clearly preceded offspring CB. We discuss mechanisms underlying intergenerational transmission, including social learning, criminogenic environments, biological proneness, and criminal justice bias. Finally, we consider limitations and directions for future research as well as policy implications for breaking the cycle of intergenerational crime.
... In addition, research evidence about the risk factors for a variety of crimes 8,9,10,11 , about resilience and protective factors 12 , as well as economical factors 13,14 , have put a greater emphasis on crime prevention 15 . ...
Article
Full-text available
The increase in crime data recording coupled with data analytics resulted in the growth of research approaches aimed at extracting knowledge from crime records to better understand criminal behavior and ultimately prevent future crimes. While many of these approaches make use of clustering and association rule mining techniques, there are fewer approaches focusing on predictive models of crime. In this paper, we explore models for predicting the frequency of several types of crimes by LSOA code (Lower Layer Super Output Areas — an administrative system of areas used by the UK police) and the frequency of anti-social behavior crimes. Three algorithms are used from different categories of approaches: instance-based learning, regression and decision trees. The data are from the UK police and contain over 600,000 records before preprocessing. The results, looking at predictive performance as well as processing time, indicate that decision trees (M5P algorithm) can be used to reliably predict crime frequency in general as well as anti-social behavior frequency.
... With respect to the latter, and in reference to crime prevention efforts specifically, rather than crime control strategies such as community policing (Welsh & Farrington, 2012), there is a growing recognition that early intervention and prevention programs may be effective to prevent or forestall the onset of antisocial and delinquent behaviour in at-risk children and youth (Farrington & Welsh, 2006;Welsh & Farrington, 2000). The argument in favour of proactive crime prevention strategies versus more reactive offender rehabilitation approaches has been bolstered by the growing literature on both the staggering costs imposed by crime on society (Anderson, 1990(Anderson, , 2012Zhang, 2011), and the cost savings gained by reducing the number of participants involved in criminal activity through prevention (Aos, Phipps, Barnoski, & Lieb, 2001). ...
Technical Report
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The past 15 years have seen a growing interest in studies that estimate the costs of crime. In that time, there have been advances in data linkage and methodological procedures that have resulted in better cost estimates of official and unofficial offending. Such information is crucial for cost-benefit analysis which seeks to understand whether the long-term costs of crime can be offset by investments in early intervention. This report presents findings on the longitudinal costs of criminal offending for a sample of 386 male offenders in Ontario whose offence costs were tabulated for a 15-year period, between the ages of 12 and 26 years. Cost estimates were obtained for four components: 1) victim costs; 2) correctional costs; 3) other criminal justice system (CJS) costs, for example, police, court, prosecution, and legal aid expenditures; and 4) costs associated with undetected crimes. The results indicated that the aggregate longitudinal cost of offending for this sample was $2.26 billion, an average of $5.86 million per person. Moreover, costs differed across risk trajectory groups and across developmental periods. Costs were disproportionately higher for the small group of high-rate offenders and disproportionately lower for the large group of low-rate offenders. The most costly period was mid to late adolescence, between the ages of 15 and 17, which accounted for 40% of the total costs. These results suggest that tremendous costs savings can be gained if effective developmental crime prevention programs successfully target high-risk children and youth.
... Furthermore, if the return on investment of these programs is achieved in the short term, it would add an additional incentive for politicians and policy makers to prioritize them. One of the criticisms of crime policy is that decisions are often driven by "shorttermism," a desire to see immediate results (Welsh & Farrington, 2012). Of course, politicians and policy makers respond to constituencies who like to see crime reductions at once, but this tendency has the undesirable effect of making less appealing programs that take longer to produce effects. ...
Article
This study tested the hypothesis that investments in early childhood schools have short-term crime reducing effects in neighborhoods. Time series data from the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, were analyzed to evaluate the effects of an early childhood school built in the neighborhood of Kendall-Whittier as part of a larger neighborhood revitalization plan, on violent and property crime. Results revealed that after controlling for city-wide crime trends and monthly fluctuations, violent crime declined significantly in Kendall-Whittier. Further analysis indicated that the possible crime-reducing effects of school investments on violent crime spread beyond Kendall-Whittier, and no displacement was found. The results for property crime were mixed. The study demonstrates the use of clustering analysis, a useful tool in neighborhood-level research to identify comparison neighborhoods. The findings shed light on the possibility that investments in early childhood schools can yield results in a shorter term than anticipated, making them a desirable component of urban revitalization.
... Crime-prevention researchers have advanced our knowledge about successful and promising programs for reducing antisocial behavior and promoting a healthy course of youth development (Welsh and Farrington 2012)and in the process have reinvigorated less punitive responses to delinquency and youth violence. Clearinghouses now exist that list prevention programs, many of which community-based organizations can adopt. ...
Chapter
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Community-based organizations have proliferated throughout Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Undergirded by the neoliberal privatization of turning social policy over to the market to foster “better” and cheaper social interventions, community-based organizations are funded to prevent adolescent “problem” behaviors including substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, school dropout, delinquency, and youth violence. This article reviews research on the practices and effectiveness of community-based organizations, mostly in the United States, regarding crime prevention. After discussing the background social context, the article reviews research on the range of services and programs that community-based organizations deliver followed by a review of the research on their effectiveness for preventing crime. The article then discusses a pattern by which organizations veer from program fidelity and reformulate and revise mandated evidence-based practices. It concludes with a discussion of some of the implications and possible consequences of shifting the provision of services to nonstate actors.
... Criminologists are increasingly advocating for the use of evidence-based approaches to prevent and reduce crime (Elliott, 2013;Sherman et al., 1997;Welsh and Farrington, 2012). This emphasis is rooted, in part, in the life-course/developmental perspective that recognizes that human behavior is complex and affected by many disparate influences that often interact to shape development (Elder, 1995;Le Blanc and Loeber, 1998;Sampson and Laub, 1993). ...
Article
In this article, we outline the potential ways that genetic research can be used to inform the development, testing, and dissemination of preventative interventions. We conclude by drawing attention to how the incorporation of genetic variables into prevention designs could help identify individual variability in program effectiveness and thereby increase program success rates. Policy Implications: Evidence-based prevention science seeking to reduce crime and other related behavioral disorders has made significant progress in the identification of risk factors involved in the development of antisocial behavior, as well as in the creation and testing of such programs intended to target these risk factors. Nonetheless, issues of program effectiveness remain as individual responsivity to prevention interventions is often overlooked. Paralleling the movement toward evidence-based prevention science, but largely isolated from such efforts, has been an area of research devoted toward identifying how genetic factors interact with social environments to influence behavioral outcomes. By joining these two fields, genetically informed prevention interventions have the potential to increase our understanding of the causes of crime and other problem behaviors, as well as to help identify individual variability in program effectiveness.
... The optimal destination of any public health and crime policy is prevention (Rocque, Welsh, & Raine, 2012;Welsh & Farrington, 2012). Given the correlates associated with the severe subtype, the problem clearly extends beyond just carrying of the handgun. ...
Article
Despite a wealth of research finding that adolescents who carry handguns are involved in risky behaviors, there has been little exploration into the heterogeneity of this behavior. Using a pooled sample of 12- to 17-year-olds from the National Study on Drug Use and Health who report past-year handgun carrying (N = 7,872), this study identified four subgroups of handgun carriers: low risk (n = 3,831; 47.93%), alcohol and marijuana users (n = 1,591; 20.16%), fighters (n = 1,430; 19.40%), and severe externalizers (n = 1,020, 12.51%). These subgroups differed on demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial characteristics. Findings are discussed in light of prevention and focused deterrence.
... And, of course, punishment drives the costs of large police forces and widespread prison construction and operation, which has emerged as a major budget issue in American states. Thus, even when judged by purely instrumental criteria, public spending on crime control is not cost-effective (Durlauf & Nagin, 2011;Welsh & Farrington, 2012). ...
Article
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The May 2015 release of the report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing highlighted a fundamental change in the issues dominating discussions about policing in America. That change has moved discussions away from a focus on what is legal or effective in crime control and toward a concern for how the actions of the police influence public trust and confidence in the police. This shift in discourse has been motivated by two factorsfirst, the recognition by public officials that increases in the professionalism of the police and dramatic declines in the rate of crime have not led to increases in police legitimacy, and second, greater awareness of the limits of the dominant coercive model of policing and of the benefits of an alternative and more consensual model based on public trust and confidence in the police and legal system. Psychological research has played an important role in legitimating this change in the way policymakers think about policing by demonstrating that perceived legitimacy shapes a set of law-related behaviors as well as or better than concerns about the risk of punishment. Those behaviors include compliance with the law and cooperation with legal authorities. These findings demonstrate that legal authorities gain by a focus on legitimacy. Psychological research has further contributed by articulating and demonstrating empirical support for a central role of procedural justice in shaping legitimacy, providing legal authorities with a clear road map of strategies for creating and maintaining public trust. Given evidence of the benefits of legitimacy and a set of guidelines concerning its antecedents, policymakers have increasingly focused on the question of public trust when considering issues in policing. The acceptance of a legitimacy-based consensual model of police authority building on theories and research studies originating within psychology illustrates how psychology can contribute to the development of evidence-based policies in the field of criminal law.
... Crime prevention refers to all actions and efforts that aim to reduce crime and fear of crime (Marzbali et al., 2012). Crime prevention can be defined as an effort to prevent crime or criminal offending in the first instance before the act has been committed (Welsh and Farrington, 2012). Government and public officials conduct a comprehensive effort to enhance the effectiveness of crime prevention (Li et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Increasing volume of crimes has brought a serious problem to many countries across the world. Crime prevention is an important component of an overall strategy to reduce crime and to strengthen public safety. Although, Supporting Decision Making (SDM) in crime prevention is an important topic but a comprehensive literature review on the subject has yet to be implemented. Thus, this study presents a systematic and comprehensive review on a classification framework for SDM in crime prevention. Forty four journal articles on the subject published between 2000 and October, 2015 were analyzed and classified into two categories of index crime (violent crime and property crime) and six classes of data mining techniques (prediction, classification, visualization, regression, clustering and outlier detection). The results of this study clearly show that data mining especially prediction and clustering techniques have been applied most extensively in both index crime categories. The main data mining techniques used for SDM in crime prevention are Bayesian, neural network and nearest neighbor. This study also addresses the gaps between SDM in crime prevention and the needs of practitioners to encourage more researches in crime analysis. Finally, it concludes with some suggestions for future research on SDM in crime prevention.
... It appears as if prison and criminal justice policies have too often eschewed viable theory or valid empirical data. Welsh and Farrington (2012) argue that it is vital to overcome "the short time horizons of politicians" (p. 130), and to balance crime prevention and crime control. ...
Chapter
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This chapter provides an overview of theories and empirical studies on the relationship between incarceration and reoffending and on the impact of parental incarceration on the criminal behavior of children. How does incarceration impact on offending behavior when an individual leaves the prison? Rigorous scientific evidence is lacking, but the available empirical evidence suggests that incarceration has a null or criminogenic effect on reoffending. How are children of those incarcerated affected by their parents’ prison sentence? Although several theoretical mechanisms have been voiced, such as social, economic and psychological strain, intergenerational transmission, and stigmatization, research into these mechanisms is scarce. The available research points to parental incarceration being a risk factor with effects partly caused by caretaker stress and weakened family bonds. http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199324675.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199324675-e-10
... Furthermore, the greatest economic impacts from criminal activity tend not to become manifest until youth enter the labor force or the criminal justice system (Bongers, Koot, van der Ende, and Verhulst, 2004;Cohen, Piquero, and Jennings, 2010;Hao and Woo, 2012;Heckman et al., 2010). Consequently, the delayed benefits to youth from prevention programs makes investing in new developmental efforts difficult not only from a budgetary standpoint but also from a political one (Welsh and Farrington, 2012). Interestingly, some forms of developmental crime prevention programs seek to target not only youth but also their families (St. ...
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he aftermath of the global recession has encouraged policy makers to confront the staggering public burden of crime (Cohen, 1988, 2005; Ludwig, 2010;McCollister, French, and Fang, 2010;Miller, Cohen, and Rossman, 1993). In this context, there is growing acceptance that many “tough-on-crime” policies have become primary drivers of crime’s increasing societal cost (Andrews and Bonta, 2010; Artello, 2013; Becker, 1968; Braga andWeisburd, 2011; Cameron, 1988; Cohen, 2005; Paternoster, 2010; Rikard and Rosenberg, 2007; Vitiello, 2013). Policy makers have responded with growing interest in making strategic investments in youth that prevent the development of lifetime offenders, instead of continuing to institute harsher punishments that lead to costly mass incarceration (Dodge, 2001; Farrington, 1994; Heckman, 2006; Homel, 2013; O’Connell, Boat, and Warner, 2009). In response, innovative strategies for preventing crime and controlling costs are being engaged (Barnett andMasse, 2007; Guyll, Spoth, and Crowley, 2011;Welsh and Farrington, 2010). At the forefront are developmental prevention programs that intervene early in life to reduce risk factors for delinquent and criminal behaviors (Durlak, 1998; Eckenrode et al., 2010; Hawkins, Catalano, andMiller, 1992; Hawkins and Weis, 1985; Reynolds, Temple, White, Ou, and Robertson, 2011). As a growing body of evidence illustrates, when implemented appropriately, these developmental prevention efforts not only effectively prevent crime but also are cost-effective solutions that save public resources (Crowley, Hill, Kuklinski, and Jones, 2013; Crowley, Jones, Greenberg, Feinberg, and Spoth, 2012; Heckman, Moon, Pinto, Savelyev, and Yavitz, 2010; Klietz, Borduin,and Schaeffer, 2010; Kuklinski, Briney, Hawkins, and Catalano, 2012; Reynolds et al., 2011).
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The two constructs of rape myth acceptance (RMA) and rape proclivity are associated with sexual violence (SV) perpetration. Further understanding these constructs can help improve prevention efforts aimed at reducing SV perpetration. Latent profile analysis was conducted to examine typologies of RMA among 474 incoming college men and found that male college students can be categorized into four profiles. Some groups endorsed lower or mid-levels of rape myths (RMs) and others endorsed higher levels of some or all RMs, indicating the heterogeneity of RM beliefs. And within each subgroup of college men's RMA, intention to join an all-male sports team and/or a fraternity (two risk factors) and bystander attitudes (a protective factor) were examined as covariates in the model. Bystander attitudes appear to act as a protective factor as they are higher among profiles of men with lower RMA. Furthermore, this study examined the four subgroups (latent profiles) of college men based on their RMA to examine whether membership within each subgroup/profile is differentially associated with rape proclivity. The findings indicate that subgroups of men with high levels of RMA have higher mean rape proclivity scores compared to the subgroup of men with the lowest level of RMA. Implications for prevention programming tailored for high-risk groups of men, based on their RMA beliefs, as well as possible future research within this area are discussed.
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This paper provides a summary history and critique of the development and implementation of restorative justice in the Queensland youth justice system through an analysis of official data and documentary sources. The paper focuses on policy changes, including government responses to program reviews, issues regarding the availability of conferencing, connections between conferencing and prevention and program transparency and accountability. The study provides several important lessons applicable across jurisdictions. The main finding was that conferencing in Queensland remains substantially underutilised. This was associated in large part with the discretionary gatekeeping role of police, the absence of a systematic and comprehensive consultation process with victims and accused persons and governments ignoring the science of restorative justice. In terms of prevention, the study identifies the need for a more integrated approach involving conferencing, risk assessments and the post-conference supervision and welfare needs of offenders.
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The use of social science research in reaching a judicial decision with broad societal implications dovetails with the emerging push for evidence-based policies regarding criminal procedure issues. This article examines the use of social science research by individual U.S. Supreme Court Justices and the type of publication from which they cite over a fifteen-term period. Results indicate that peer-reviewed articles are a prevalent type of social science research relied upon by Supreme Court Justices and that the use of social science varies widely among members of the Court. Policy implications and future research avenues are discussed.
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There is growing recognition that policymakers can achieve substantially better results by using an evidence-based approach to solve social problems. Nevertheless, there is still considerable debate as to how best to identify evidence-based information, aggregate and process this information, and then disseminate it to non-technical users. This manuscript discusses the sources of this discord within the context of evidence-based registries and propose ways in which to ameliorate it.
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This study examined the relationship between early childhood risk factors for antisocial behavior and the monetary costs associated with criminal convictions for 379 clinic-referred boys. Participants were assessed using a structured risk assessment instrument, the Early Assessment Risk List for Boys (EARL-20B), intended for use with boys aged 6-11 with conduct problems. Criminal conviction data were used to calculate costs borne by victims, the correctional system, and other areas of the criminal justice system for participants between the ages of 12 and 20. For the total sample, the average cost per person was $580,181. Using the EARL-20B total score to derive quartile groups, the average lowest and highest risk quartile boys cost $361,581 and $878,460, respectively. Including estimates associated with undetected crimes increased per-person estimates to $1,058,854 and $3,536,441. For all risk groups, most of the costs occurred during mid-to-late adolescence, between the ages of 15-17. Analyses of individual EARL-20B items revealed that the three most expensive risk factors were manifesting antisocial attitudes ($920,657), poor coping ability ($768,416), and poor academic performance ($772,256). The results from this study show that it is possible to quantify childhood risk in monetary terms, and that substantial cost savings can be realized if developmental crime prevention programs are targeted at antisocial children before they reach the age of criminal liability. Psychologists play an important role in this pursuit by developing and using risk/needs assessment instruments, choosing and targeting interventions based on the results, developing new programs, training personnel, and evaluating the effectiveness of programs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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The monetary costs of criminal offending were calculated for a sample of 386 male offenders, between the ages of 12 and 26 years, in Ontario over a 15-year period. Cost estimates were obtained for four components: (1) victim costs; (2) correctional costs; (3) other criminal justice system (e.g., police, court, prosecution, legal aid) costs; and (4) undetected crimes. Results indicate that the aggregate longitudinal cost of offending for the sample was more than $671 million, or an average of $1.74 million per person. Factoring in undetected crime increased aggregate costs to $2.26 billion, or $5.86 million per person. The cost to victims for violent offending was approximately 10 times higher than for property offences ($165 million vs. $17 million). The costliest period was mid- to late adolescence, consisting of individuals between the ages of 15 and 17, which accounted for 40% of the total costs. During this interval, youths within the study committed a relatively large number of property crimes, which resulted in open and closed custody dispositions, driving up correctional costs. The results of this study demonstrate that tremendous monetary savings can be gained if effective developmental crime prevention programs successfully target high-risk youth early in their lives.
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This chapter focuses on young people, as social discourse has blamed them for the societal breakdown and the rise in crime in Japan. Attention to youth crime is important because of findings from developmental and life course criminology, which suggests that early prevention is important in stopping the development of persistent, serious offenders. We discuss the use of typologies as found in psychological studies in understanding serious, youth violence. The debate on the use of crime prevention is also explored.
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Purpose The past 20 years have seen an increase in the number of studies on the monetary costs of crime. More recently, researchers have turned to trajectory analysis to derive longitudinal cost estimates to generate more precise figures across subgroups of offenders. This approach is thought to provide policy makers with more nuanced information for informed decision-making about the targeted allocation of limited resources. The present study adds a Canadian perspective to the literature by providing cost estimates for seven criminal trajectory groups generated for a sample of male offenders in Ontario, Canada, based on their longitudinal pattern of offending from ages 12 to 26 years. Methods The study sample consisted of 386 individuals who had been sentenced between 1986 and 1997 as juvenile offenders to one of two open custody facilities in Toronto. Costs included victim-related costs, disposition-related correctional costs, other criminal justice costs, and costs of undetected crimes. Results The total aggregate, longitudinal cost of offending was 2.26 billion, or an average of 5,855,318 per person. Across the seven trajectories, average costs varied from a low of 3,546,154 per person in the low desister group to a high of 16,954,604 per person in high late group. Conclusions Given the high monetary costs incurred by crime victims, the correctional system, and by other aspects of the criminal justice system, investments in crime prevention programs for those at risk for a high highrate criminal trajectory are likely to yield long-term cost savings. Similarly, prevention efforts aimed at moderate or even lower-risk groups may also yield positive benefit-to-cost ratios with effective, targeted interventions.
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We surveyed 75 staff and administrators involved in Oakland (CA)’s Second Chance Initiative from diverse agencies (e.g., probation, behavioral health, public health/medical, education, community-based service providers) to assess the local juvenile reentry system. Sharing and using data across partner agencies, mutual trust, opportunities for interagency collaboration, system-level youth and family engagement, shared governance, and limited resources repeatedly arose as areas for improvement. Many defined reentry success using positive youth developmental outcomes. Government and community perspectives around barriers and effectiveness often differed with some similarities.
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Randomized controlled trials are reported on with increasing frequency within the criminological literature. This development, which is commonly seen as being a part of a global shift towards evidence-based policies, relies heavily on reviews of American research. However, other regions face distinct challenges and employ distinct policy solutions, potentially undermining the uniformity of this trend. In particular, the Scandinavian nations (Denmark, Norway and Sweden), with distinct penal philosophies, may offer a counter-narrative. Here, we conduct a multi-lingual systematic review of crime-related experiments in Scandinavia. Findings show that only eight experiments with an offending or delinquency outcome were published before 2015, six of which focused primarily on medical or psychological treatments. We suggest this distribution is driven by unique, regional epistemological traditions and conclude by outlining distinctive opportunities for experimental criminology in Scandinavia.
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Spätestens seit dem Düsseldorfer Gutachten über empirisch gesicherte Erkenntnisse kriminalpräventiver Wirkungen aus dem Jahre 2002 hat sich auch in Deutschland eine umfangreiche Entwicklungs- und Präventionsforschung etabliert. Der Artikel zeigt die weltweite und insbesondere US-amerikanische Entwicklung evidenzbasierter Kriminalprävention auf und stellt das Düsseldorfer Gutachten, seine Ergebnisse und Wirkungen dar. Es wird deutlich, dass zum einen die Forderungen des Gutachtens bis heute für die kommunale Kriminalprävention Bestand haben. Zum anderen können daraus erstmalig Anregungen für eine Gesamtstrategie evidenzbasierter Kriminalprävention in Deutschland abgeleitet werden. Im Mittelpunkt dabei stehen die Förderung echter Wirkungsevaluation nach höchsten methodischen Standards, der Ausbau einer Implementationswissenschaft mit klaren Ableitungen für den Übertrag und die Replikation verschiedener Programme in unterschiedliche Kontexte, die weitere Beschäftigung mit Kosten-Nutzen-Analysen für die Prävention, der systematische Austausch mit der europäischen und internationalen Ebene, die Förderung von Meta-Evaluationen und systematischen Überblicksarbeiten, die übergreifende Koordination und Strukturierung des Bereichs der Aus- und Fortbildung, die Förderung von Netzwerken zwischen Wissenschaft, Politik und Praxis sowie von Lehrstühlen, Sonderforschungsbereichen, Instituten und Studiengängen für die Erarbeitung von übergreifenden Standards, Qualitätskriterien und die Etablierung einer einheitlichen sozialwissenschaftlichen Evaluationsdisziplin – einer echten Präventionswissenschaft.
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Behavioral change due to fear of crime is also known as the perception of fear, and it has been determined that different variables -such as victimization, street lighting and trust in local authorities, for example- have a significant influence. This work is attempted to determine what variables can be useful to explain the perception of fear in both Mexican States, Guerrero and Yucatan, as well as the potential existence of explanatory models typical of each State. Method: By means of the database of the National Survey on Victimization and Perception about Public Security ("Encuesta Nacional de Victimizacion y Percepcion sobre Seguridad Publica 2013 (n=5, 539), a lineal regression model was carried out using ten variables to determine which of them help explain the perception of fear in both States. Results: it was established that some of them, like illegal sales of alcohol for example, do not help explaining the perception of fear, and that those variables that do have a significant influence are safety and security in the neighborhood, risk perception, and the number of activities carried out by the authorities. Likewise, clarifying variables typical of each federative entities were identified. Discussion: implications of the findings reported are addressed and recommendations given so that results may be used in the planning of prevention programs based on evidence.
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Crime imposes a significant human and fiscal toll on both the immediate victims of criminal behavior and society at large. These costs include tangible expenditures relating to hospitalization, medical and psychological care, criminal justice system operations, and personal security and intangible expenditures relating to avoidant behaviors, fear of crime, and reduced quality of life. Here, the criminological literature on the costs of crime is reviewed. Although monetization studies of crime are a relatively small, niche area of scholarship, it is an important area because it demonstrates the fiscal, human, and social costs of antisocial behavior. Methodological and substantive challenges to monetizing crime costs are discussed along with suggestions for future research.
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Public policy on violence prevention has increasingly focused on early childhood interventions to reduce violence over the life course. This paper examines public attitudes toward funding of programs in schools to enhance learning and to reduce violence. The data come from telephone surveys in a large Southern US City collected from 2004 to 2007. The paper explores the relationship between public funding of programs and increased taxes for programs. PLUM Ordinal Regression models were used to predict attitudes toward prevention programs controlling for demographic variables and political affiliation. Implications of these findings are discussed for understanding of attitudes toward school-based programs and their funding.
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Research Summary This article compares the criteria and methods applied by three registries designed to identify what works in crime and delinquency prevention. We discuss and demonstrate how variation in the methodological rigor of these processes affects the number of interventions identified as “evidence based” and provide recommendations for future list‐making to help increase the dissemination of effective crime prevention programs and practices. Policy Implications As support for evidence‐based crime prevention grows, so too will reliance on what works registries. We contend that these lists must employ scientifically rigorous review criteria and systematic review processes to protect public resources and ensure interventions recommended for dissemination do not risk harming participants. Lists must also be constructed and findings communicated in ways that are responsive to community needs. Ensuring this balance will help increase public confidence in scientific methods and ensure greater diffusion of evidence‐based interventions.
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To determine whether the Communities That Care (CTC) prevention system is a cost-beneficial intervention. Data were from a longitudinal panel of 4,407 youth participating in a randomized controlled trial including 24 towns in 7 states, matched in pairs within state and randomly assigned to condition. Significant differences favoring intervention youth in sustained abstinence from delinquency, alcohol use, and tobacco use through Grade 12 were monetized and compared to economic investment in CTC. CTC was estimated to produce $4,477 in benefits per youth (discounted 2011 dollars). It cost $556 per youth to implement CTC for 5 years. The net present benefit was $3,920. The benefit-cost ratio was $8.22 per dollar invested. The internal rate of return was 21%. Risk that investment would exceed benefits was minimal. Investment was expected to be recouped within 9 years. Sensitivity analyses in which effects were halved yielded positive cost-beneficial results. CTC is a cost-beneficial, community-based approach to preventing initiation of delinquency, alcohol use, and tobacco use. CTC is estimated to generate economic benefits that exceed implementation costs when disseminated with fidelity in communities.
This paper addresses the Conservative Party of Canada's three-phase effort (2007–2012) to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act to prioritise public protection, accountability and victims' rights over prevention and rehabilitation. Drawing on critical discourse analysis and criminology and critical policy scholarship, the paper situates this tough-on-crime initiative in relation to a US-led punitive turn that Canada is belatedly catching-up on, positions this catch-up effort in relation to the Conservative's larger transforming Canada agenda, and explores cultural, institutional and political contingencies salient to its impacts on Canadian law and society.
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In June 1956 President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill launching the interstate highway system in the United States. Over the next twenty years, close to 40,000 miles of superhighways were built across America. As the era of massive federal highway building came to an end in the mid-1970s, it was replaced by the next massive public-works project in America: the boom in prison construction. Just as scholars have debated the extent and value of the stimulus to economic growth that followed from the $114 billion spent on road construction, there has been spirited debate over the value of the comparable expenditure devoted to building the vast array of roughly one-thousand-person prisons and other facilities that now warehouse over 2.1 million Americans in federal prisons, state prisons, and local jails (Harrison and Beck 2005). After three decades of prison expansion, approximately 700 out of 100,000 Americans are behind bars; over the period from 1933 and 1973, this figure oscillated between approximately 100 and 120 per 100,000.1 Except for Russia, which is only somewhat behind the United States, no other country in Europe or Asia incarcerates its citizens at even half the rate of the United States.2 Figure 9.1 illustrates the steady growth in the U.S. incarceration rate from the mid-1970s until the leveling off at the end of the twentieth century. By the
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This article clarifies how one can identify good governance systems and build and apply a science of implementation. The first section briefly discusses the nature of modern crime prevention, and then shifts to a study of prevention science. The next section takes a look at the stages of implementation and analyzes the Crime Reduction Program (CRP). A comparison of the CRP with other crime-prevention implementations and a summary of the lessons taken from implementation case studies are included.
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Community crime prevention refers to actions intended to change the social conditions that are believed to sustain crime in residential communities. Different approaches have evolved, which can be best understood as a succession of policy paradigms emerging as responses to changing urban conditions: community organizing; tenant involvement; resource mobilization; community defense (both intentional organizing and environmental modification); preserving order; and protecting the vulnerable. Prevention in high-crime areas presents particular difficulties for community approaches. Community approaches have foundered mostly because of insufficient understanding of the nature of social relations within residential areas and of how community crime careers are shaped by the wider urban market.
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Despite portrayals of Americans as exceptionally punitive and as favoring “get tough” solutions to offending, a wealth of survey research shows that the public also supports a social welfare, rehabilitative approach to crime control. Opinion polls reveal that citizens are particularly supportive of efforts to intervene with at-risk children and youths—so much so that belief in child saving can be considered an American “habit of the heart.” It is clear that public opinion is not a barrier to early intervention programs. In fact, such public support, combined with increasing evidence of the behavioral and cost effectiveness of treatment programs, might soon coalesce to create a “tipping point” in which early intervention becomes a viable policy agenda on the national level.
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Investigators of the influence of evaluations on policy decisions have noted three main routes to influence: instrumental, conceptual, and political/symbolic. This study, an inquiry into the effect of evaluations of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, found a fourth main way that evaluations exert an influence: imposed use. The Safe and Drug Free Schools office of the U.S. Department of Education obliged districts to select a program that met its “Principles of Effectiveness,” which most districts construed to mean that the program had to be on the department’s approved list. Because results of D.A.R.E. evaluations repeatedly showed that D.A.R.E.’s effectiveness on knowledge and attitudes was neither sustained nor led to lower use of drugs, D.A.R.E. did not make the “lists.” Hence, many districts dropped or scaled back D.A.R.E. This kind of imposed use is likely to become more common when government agencies make greater demands for accountability.
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history of the project / theoretical foundations / parent involvement component / parent organization / Children's Center component / infant-fold / family style education (multi-age differentiated environment groupings) / short-term impact on child functioning longitudinal follow-up study / demographic profile / school functioning / family interviews / juvenile delinquency (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In 2006, long-term forecasts indicated that Washington faced the need to construct several new prisons in the following two decades. Since new prisons are costly, the Washington legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to project whether there are "evidence-based" options that can reduce the future need for prison beds, save money for state and local taxpayers, and contribute to lower crime rates. The institute conducted a systematic review of all research evidence that could be located to determine what works, if anything, to reduce crime. We found and analyzed 545 comparison-group evaluations of adult corrections, juvenile corrections, and prevention programs. We then estimated the benefits and costs of many of these evidence-based options and found that some evidence-based programs produce favorable returns on investment. This paper presents our findings and describes our meta-analytic and economic methods. During the mid-1990s, the Washington legislature began to enact statutes to promote an "evidence-based" approach to several public policies. While the phrase "evidence-based" has not always been precisely defined in legislation, it has generally been constructed to describe a program or policy supported by outcome evaluations clearly demonstrating effectiveness. Additionally, to deter-mine if taxpayers receive an adequate return on investment, the legislature began to require cost-benefit analyses of certain state-funded programs and practices.
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Rational crime policy constitutes a basic goal for society. If, however, evidence-based, cost-efficient crime prevention is the standard, there is little indication that current policies—including programs, laws, and court decisions—are rational. To support that assessment, this article uses an evaluation research perspective to highlight five prominent problems with extant crime policies: (1) a lack of empirical assessment of the need for them; (2) a range of design issues, including gaps between crime theory and policy, and, most notably, the pursuit of silver bullet solutions; (3) a range of implementation issues, including disjunctures between ideal and actual practice; (4) the lack of rigorous impact evaluations and the sometimes misplaced emphasis on them; and (5) a scarcity of cost-efficiency analyses for guiding investment decisions. It then discusses the implications of these problems and suggests steps that can be taken to place crime policy on a more evidence-based foundation.
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Although current evidence suggests that the positive effects of multisystemic therapy (MST) on serious crime reach as far as young adulthood, the longer term impact of MST on criminal and noncriminal outcomes in midlife has not been evaluated. In the present study, the authors examined a broad range of criminal and civil court outcomes for serious and violent juvenile offenders who participated on average 21.9 (range = 18.3-23.8) years earlier in a clinical trial of MST (C. M. Borduin et al., 1995). Participants were 176 individuals who were originally randomized to MST or individual therapy (IT) during adolescence and averaged 3.9 arrests for felonies prior to treatment. Arrest, incarceration, and civil suit data were obtained in middle adulthood when participants were on average 37.3 years old. Intent-to-treat analyses showed that felony recidivism rates were significantly lower for MST participants than for IT participants (34.8% vs. 54.8%, respectively) and that the frequency of misdemeanor offending was 5.0 times lower for MST participants. In addition, the odds of involvement in family-related civil suits during adulthood were twice as high for IT participants as for MST participants. The present study represents the longest follow-up to date of an MST clinical trial and demonstrates that the positive impact of an evidence-based youth treatment such as MST can last well into adulthood. Implications of the authors' findings for policymakers and service providers are discussed.
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To examine the effect of prenatal and infancy nurse home visitation on the life course development of 19-year-old youths whose mothers participated in the program. Randomized trial. Semirural community in New York. Three hundred ten youths from the 400 families enrolled in the Elmira Nurse-Family Partnership program. Intervention Families received a mean of 9 home visits (range, 0-16) during pregnancy and 23 (range, 0-59) from birth through the child's second birthday. Youth self-reports of educational achievement, reproductive behaviors, welfare use, and criminal involvement. Relative to the comparison group, girls in the pregnancy and infancy nurse-visited group were less likely to have been arrested (10% vs 30%; relative risk [RR], 0.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.13-0.82) and convicted (4% vs 20%; 0.20; 0.05-0.85) and had fewer lifetime arrests (mean: 0.10 vs 0.54; incidence RR [IRR], 0.18; 95% CI, 0.06-0.54) and convictions (0.04 vs 0.37; 0.11; 0.02-0.51). Nurse-visited girls born to unmarried and low-income mothers had fewer children (11% vs 30%; RR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.12-1.02) and less Medicaid use (18% vs 45%; 0.40; 0.18-0.87) than their comparison group counterparts. Prenatal and infancy home visitation reduced the proportion of girls entering the criminal justice system. For girls born to high-risk mothers, there were additional positive program effects consistent with results from earlier phases of this trial. There were few program effects for boys.
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One of the most astonishing aspects of juvenile crime is how little is known about the impact of the policies and programs put in place to fight it. The most commonly used strategies and programs for combating juvenile delinquency problems primarily rely on intuition and fads. Fortunately, as a result of the promising new research documented in Changing Lives, these deficiencies in our juvenile justice system might quickly be remedied. Peter W. Greenwood here demonstrates here that as crimes rates have fallen, researchers have identified more connections between specific risk factors and criminal behavior, while program developers have discovered a wide array of innovative interventions. The result of all this activity, he reveals, has been the revelation of a few prevention models that reduce crime much more cost-effectively than popular approaches such as tougher sentencing, D.A.R.E., boot camps, and "scared straight" programs. Changing Lives expertly presents the most promising of these prevention programs, their histories, the quality of evidence to support their effectiveness, the public policy programs involved in bringing them into wider use, and the potential for investments and developmental research to increase the range and quality of programs.
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This article evaluates the cost and crime-reducing potential of prisons and social spending, setting forth the conditions under which a shift in resources from an expanding prison population into social spending would lead to a reduction in total crime. Preschool enrichment programs coupled with family intervention have generated impressive results in reducing crime in a number of different studies. Targeting of resources toward those children most at risk of criminal behavior is necessary to generate cost-effective crime reduction, but this may be difficult to achieve because of political or constitutional constraints. Given precise targeting, and if a broadly implemented preschool program (more enriched than the current Head Start program) could generate half the crime-reduction benefits achieved in the pilot studies, then cutting spending on prisons and using the savings to fund intensive preschool education would reduce crime. The elasticity of crime with be .15. Copyright 1998 by the University of Chicago.
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The first decade of the new century proved to be a deadly one for many children and young people in the United States. Despite increased policing on the streets, higher rates of incarceration, harsher sentencing, stricter control of illegal drugs, and attempts to reduce access to firearms, FBI reports show that more than 7,300 young people between the ages of 15 and 29 were murdered in 2008 alone. It’s clear that traditional crime reduction strategies have not stemmed the rising tide of homicides perpetrated by and upon one of society’s most vulnerable populations. Innovative, practicable solutions are needed to staunch this lethal trend. Based on the findings of a unique longitudinal study, Young Homicide Offenders and Victims: Risk Factors, Prediction, and Prevention from Childhood now provides experts with unprecedented analysis of prospectively collected data on 1,517 boys and young men who grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Following these males from childhood into early adulthood, examining their lives and the conditions under which they grew up in a representative mid-sized American city, the study forms the basis of this unique volume designed to stimulate debate on key questions of prevention and intervention as well as dispel popular myths about the childhood and adolescent features of homicide offenders and homicide victims. Key areas of coverage include: • Early childhood risk factors of young homicide offenders and victims. • Insights into homicide offenders’ lives as told in their own words. • The effectiveness of screening for at-risk youth. • Risk factor–based prevention and intervention strategies. • The impact of interventions on homicide rates. • Policy implications at the local, state, and national levels. Young Homicide Offenders and Victims: Risk Factors, Prediction, and Prevention from Childhood is essential reading for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers across the fields of juvenile justice and criminology, developmental psychology, sociology, psychiatry, public health, and policy making. ------- “This book changes the game in violence research … The analysis is masterful, the prose is readable, and the achievement is nothing short of stunning.” Richard Rosenfeld, Ph.D. / Curators Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis “This book will stand the test of time as a landmark homicide study.” James C. Howell, Ph.D. / Senior Research Associate, National Gang Center “This is a fascinating, pioneering book … The authors’ sophisticated analyses demonstrate convincingly the considerable value of prospective longitudinal data for enhancing our understanding of the etiology and control of lethal violence.” Steven F. Messner, Ph.D. / Distinguished Teacher Professor, Department of Sociology, University at Albany, SUNY / President, American Society of Criminology
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This article focuses on public opinion with regards to crime prevention. It analyzes research on public attitudes toward crime preventions, which shows that the public has a complicated view of crime and its causes. It then examines the political and news media context where public attitudes are considered, as well as the public's belief that the main causes of crime and the responsibility for prevention are located outside the criminal justice system. Next, it focuses on the public perceptions of the most effective responses to crime and the public support for prevention and punishment. This article concludes with a report on the public awareness of prevention initiatives.
Book
How can a society prevent-not deter, not punish-but prevent crime? Criminal justice prevention, commonly called crime control, aims to prevent crime after an initial offence has been committed through anything from an arrest to a death penalty sentence. These traditional means have been frequently examined and their efficacy just as frequently questioned. Promising new forms of crime prevention have emerged and expanded as important components of an overall strategy to reduce crime. Crime prevention today has developed along three lines: interventions to improve the life chances of children and prevent them from embarking on a life of crime; programs and policies designed to ameliorate the social conditions and institutions that influence offending; and the modification or manipulation of the physical environment, products, or systems to reduce everyday opportunities for crime. Each strategy aims at preventing crime or criminal offending in the first instance-before the act has been committed. Each, importantly, takes place outside of the formal criminal justice system, representing an alternative, perhaps even socially progressive way to reduce crime. This comprehensive publication reviews up-to-date research on crime prevention. Bringing together top scholars in criminology, public policy, psychology, and sociology, the volume includes critical reviews of the main theories that form the basis of crime prevention, evidence-based assessments of the effectiveness of the most important interventions, and cross-cutting essays that examine implementation, evaluation methodology, and public policy.
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Surveys conducted over the past twenty years in several English-speaking countries reveal that most members of the public subscribe to a number of misperceptions about juvenile crime and justice. Regardless of actual trends, significant majorities believe youth crime to be increasing, and most people have quite negative views of youth courts. The public display considerable ambivalence with respect to juvenile justice. While strong majorities favor punishing violent juveniles with the same severity as adults, there has always been considerable support for rehabilitation. There is a clear consensus among scholars that public concern about youth crime, particularly violent crime, has been a driving force behind reforms that facilitated the transfer of accused juveniles to adult criminal court and made penalties harsher for offenders sentenced in youth court.
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American Criminal Justice Policy examines many of the most prominent criminal justice policies on the American landscape and finds that they fall well short of achieving the accountability and effectiveness that policymakers have advocated and that the public expects. The policies include mass incarceration, sex offender laws, supermax prisons, faith-based prisoner reentry programs, transfer of juveniles to adult court, domestic violence mandatory arrest laws, drug courts, gun laws, community policing, private prisons, and many others. Optimistically, Daniel P. Mears argues that this situation can be changed through systematic incorporation of evaluation research into policy development, monitoring, and assessment. To this end, the book provides a clear and accessible discussion of five types of evaluation – needs, theory, implementation or process, outcome and impact, and cost-efficiency. and it identifies how they can be used both to hold the criminal justice system accountable and to increase the effectiveness of crime control and crime prevention efforts.
Article
This article considers the potential of preschool interventions to prevent crime. It highlights how certain kinds of preschool programs may help decrease crime later in life, and how prevention during early childhood can be viewed as reducing levels of early behavior problems and improving socialemotional development. It identifies some possible pathways of prevention, which includes child-and parent-based pathways. This is followed by a discussion of some interventions that target both child-and parent-based pathways. This article also considers some cross-cutting issues that are important across various intervention strategies in prevention science in preschool.
Article
Three changes need to be made in economic evaluations of the crime-reductive effects of developmental prevention programs. The changes address three questions concerning the appropriate unit of analysis: Individuals or crimes? Society or government? The crime rate and its social consequences or the criminal event and its consequences for the victim? Concerning the first question, the conclusion that developmental prevention is a cost-effective alternative to criminal sanctions for averting crime events cannot be convincingly sustained. Instead, a more holistic, individual-level approach is necessary that values benefits across multiple domains of individual functioning. Concerning the second question, analyses that have valued more than crime benefits, by and large, measure financial effects on the public treasury. This is too narrow a focus. Finally, estimates of the costs of crime focus on victim consequences rather than on aggregate social consequences. While consequences for victims are important, they do not capture the full effects of crime on society. Estimates of the costs of crime should value tangible consequences to nonvictims and victims alike.
Chapter
This chapter addresses offender rehabilitation. It discusses the translation of effective programs into policy and practice. In some countries this is done through accreditation. While the future looks bright for this new approach in corrections, the chapter draws attention to a number of future perspectives, including the challenges of identification and management of special populations of offenders and the need for more attention to treatment fidelity.
Book
Career Criminals in Society examines the small but dangerous group of repeat offenders who are most damaging to society. The book encourages readers to think critically about the causes of criminal behavior and the potential of the criminal justice system to reduce crime. Author Matt DeLisi draws upon his own practitioner experience, interviewing criminal defendants to argue that career criminals can be combated only with a combination of prevention efforts and retributive criminal justice system policies.
Article
Prevention experiments with children have targeted the development of antisocial behavior and confirm the hypothesis that early childhood factors are important precursors of delinquent behavior and that a cumulative effect model best fits the data. Experiments have aimed to prevent criminal behavior or one of three important delinquency risk factors: socially disruptive behavior, cognitive deficits, and poor parenting. Experiments with juvenile delinquency as an outcome demonstrate that positive results are more likely when interventions are aimed at more than one risk factor, last for a relatively long period of time, and are implemented before adolescence. Experiments featuring early childhood interventions with socially disruptive behavior, cognitive deficits, or parenting as an outcome generally have positive effects. The majority of studies, small-scale confirmation or replication experiments, need to be followed by large-scale field experiments that test the efficacy and cost of implementation in re...
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An essay on the involvement of the Juvenile Justice System in early intervention is presented. It discusses recommendations of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 and examines the usefulness of the Early Intervention Program (EIP) as compared to the Prosecutor's Early Intervention Program (PEIP), the Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) and Girls Connection (GC). The author relates the importance of effective interventions for children from 6 to 11 years old.
Article
Accumulated research over the last decade has shown that preventive strategies which address the ‘root causes’ or scientifically identified risk factors for delinquency or later offending (developmental prevention) or which reduce opportunities for crime (situational prevention) hold much promise in reducing crime. The economic benefits of these strategies have also been shown to be substantial. In most industrialised countries, particularly England and Wales, situational prevention dominates governmental crime prevention policy and local practice; little attention is paid to developmental prevention. This paper assesses the feasibility, crime reduction potential, and economic efficiency of integrating developmental and situational crime prevention strategies. A review of the theoretical research on the integration of these two strategies suggests that integration is feasible. Using previously identified studies which had produced high positive benefit to cost ratios (the Perry and Kirkholt studies), preliminary conclusions are drawn about the effectiveness and economic benefits of an integrated developmental and situational crime prevention programme. Each method appears to complement the other in the time frame of impact on crime; an integrated programme appears to yield a greater level of economic efficiency than the individual strategies; and an integrated programme may produce important benefits for other sectors of society (e.g., health and education).
Article
Evaluators sometimes wish for a Fairy Godmother who would make decision makers pay attention to evaluation findings when choosing programs to implement. The U.S. Department of Education came close to creating such a Fairy Godmother when it required school districts to choose drug abuse prevention programs only if their effectiveness was supported by “scientific” evidence. The experience showed advantages of such a procedure (e.g., reduction in support for D.A.R.E., which evaluation had found wanting) but also shortcomings (limited and in some cases questionable evaluation evidence in support of other programs). Federal procedures for identifying successful programs appeared biased. In addition, the Fairy Godmother discounted the professional judgment of local educators and did little to improve the fit of programs to local conditions. Nevertheless, giving evaluation more clout is a worthwhile way to increase the rationality of decision making. The authors recommend research on procedures used by other agencies to achieve similar aims.
Article
Increasing demands by government for “evidence-led” policy raise the risk that research evidence will mislead government rather than leading to an unbiased conclusion. The need for unbiased research conclusions has never been greater, yet few consumers of research understand the statistical biases with which science must always struggle. This article introduces the volume's discussion of those issues with an explanation of the major threats of bias in social science research and a map of the differing scientific opinions on how to deal with those threats. The thesis of the volume is that many of these threats could be reduced by making social science more experimental. The fact that even experimental evidence contains threats of bias does not alter that claim but merely suggests another: that educated consumers of social science may be the best defense against misleading evidence of all kinds.
Article
This review highlights the importance of recognizing the possibility for doing harm when intentions are good. It describes several examples showing that well-planned and adequately executed programs provide no guarantee for safety or efficacy. The author concludes with recommendations for scientifically credible evaluations to promote progress in the field of crime prevention.
Chapter
Situational crime prevention is quite different from most other criminological approaches to crime control. Proceeding from an analysis of the settings giving rise to specific kinds of crime or disorder, it seeks to introduce discrete managerial and environmental changes that will reduce the opportunities or incentives for crime. Thus, it is focused on the settings in which crimes occur, rather than on those committing criminal acts. It does not try to eliminate criminal tendencies by arresting and sanctioning offenders or by improving society or its institutions. Rather, it seeks to make crime less attractive and it operates, not through the criminal justice system, but through a host of public and private organizations and agencies – schools, hospitals, transit systems, shops and malls, manufacturing businesses and phone companies, local parks and entertainment facilities, pubs and parking lots – whose products, services, and operations spawn opportunities and incentives for a vast range of different crimes.
Article
Based on evidence that early antisocial behavior is a key risk factor for delinquency and crime throughout the life course, early family/parent training, among its many functions, has been advanced as an important intervention/prevention effort. There are several theories concerning why early family/parent training may cause a reduction in child behavior problems including antisocial behavior and delinquency (and have other ancillary benefits in non-crime domains over the life course). The prevention of behavior problems is one of the many objectives of early family/parent training, and it comprises the main focus of this review. Results indicate that early family/parent training is an effective intervention for reducing behavior problems among young children, and the weighted effect size was 0.35. The results from a series of analog to the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and weighted least squares regression models (with random effects) demonstrated that there were significant differences in the effect sizes of studies conducted in the USA versus those conducted in other countries and that studies that were based on samples smaller than 100 children had larger effect sizes. Sample size was also the strongest predictor of the variation in the effect sizes. Additional evidence indicated that early family/parent training was also effective in reducing delinquency and crime in later adolescence and adulthood. Overall, the findings lend support for the continued use of early family/parent training to prevent behavior problems. Future research should test the main theories of early family/parent training and detail more explicitly the causal mechanisms by which early family/parent training reduces delinquency and crime, and future evaluations should employ high quality designs with long-term follow-ups, including repeated measures of antisocial behavior, delinquency, and crime over the life course.
Article
This paper reviews lessons learned from evaluations of crime prevention programs in the past three decades and discusses how crime prevention approaches have changed in terms of theory, research, evaluation, and public policy. We argue that present strategies of crime prevention may be best understood by tracing the failures of earlier American crime prevention efforts. The paper discusses different types of crime prevention strategies and draws upon examples from developmental, law enforcement, and criminal justice approaches. From this discussion emerges a set of principles for a new approach to crime prevention that is specific in terms of the problems addressed and the contexts examined. The paper concludes with examples of recent crime prevention strategies that utilize these lessons and that appear to have promising effects on crime. While these approaches suggest optimism in terms of the crime prevention potential of new strategies, we urge caution in that these new crime prevention efforts are at an early stage of development.
Article
It is a widely held view--in both research and policy communities--that desirable effects on delinquency and later offending from early prevention trials will attenuate once they are "scaled-up" or "rolled-out" for wider public use. Some of the main reasons for this include a reduced level of risk, a more heterogeneous population, insufficient service infrastructure, and loss of program fidelity. If attenuation of program effects is not only possible but is highly probable, then the issue for researchers and policymakers should be how to preserve or even enhance effects in moving from efficacy trials to community effectiveness trials to broad-scale dissemination. This paper surveys the knowledge base in an effort to contribute to an improved understanding of the theoretical and empirical dimensions for successfully taking early crime prevention programs to scale. It also outlines some proposals for how future research can make progress on this critical policy issue.
Article
Public policy in the United States has historically considered youth violence as a moral problem to be punished after the fact, but growing scientific evidence supports a public health perspective on violent behavior as an interaction between cultural forces and failures in development. Prevention science has provided a bridge between an understanding of how chronic violence develops and how prevention programs can interrupt that development. Articles in this journal supplement provide yet another bridge between efficacious university-based programs and effective community-based programs. It is suggested that yet one more bridge will need to be constructed in future research between community-based programs that are known to be effective and community-wide implementation of prevention efforts at full scale. This last bridge integrates the science of children's development, the science of prevention, and the science of public policy.
Article
A growing body of research suggests that the first few years of life are a particularly promising time to intervene in the lives of low-income children, although the long-term effects on children of the U.S. government's primary early childhood program--Head Start--remains the topic of debate. In this article we review what is known about Head Start and argue that the program is likely to generate benefits to participants and society as a whole that are large enough to justify the program's costs. Although in principle there could be more beneficial ways of deploying Head Start resources, the benefits of such changes remain uncertain and there is some downside risk.
Imprisoning communities: How mass incarceration makes disadvantaged neighborhoods worse Opportunities, precipitators and criminal decisions: A reply to Wortley's critique of situational crime prevention
  • T R Clear
  • D B Cornish
  • R V Clarke
Clear, T. R. (2007). Imprisoning communities: How mass incarceration makes disadvantaged neighborhoods worse. New York: Oxford University Press. Cornish, D. B., & Clarke, R. V. (2003). Opportunities, precipitators and criminal decisions: A reply to Wortley's critique of situational crime prevention. In M. J. Smith & D. B. Cornish (Eds.), Theory for practice in situational crime prevention. Crime prevention studies (vol. 16, pp. 41-96). Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press.