Crime prevention can be influenced by many things like social work, sociology, community, urban planning and design, criminology and even education. This paper will focus on the dominant approaches to crime prevention that is used by law enforcement, courts and corrections. It will compare and contrast all the dominant approaches and then analyze which are the most effective.
Dominant approaches to crime prevention
The dominant approaches to crime prevention for law enforcement is situational, social developmental, community, policing. Situational is to reduce the number of crime events by focusing on limiting the opportunities for crime to occur. This approach normally assumes that the offender makes decisions that are broadly rational. They use five techniques to make it harder by increasing the effort that is required to commit a crime, target hardening, controlling access to targets, tools required to commit the crime and increasing levels of formal surveillance or guardianship. Social developmental crime prevention favors the struggle against the underlying cause of criminal activity and victimization. This is considered a long term approach which requires the mobilization of dynamic forces within a community.
Criminal activity has many causes that can be complex. But there are several factors that can bring someone to commit a crime. These things are called risk factors: Poverty, Drug addiction, Bad acquaintances, Abusive treatment, Weak self-esteem, School dropout, no parent skills. Community is strategies and programs based on targeting changes in the community’s infrastructure, culture, or the physical environment in order to reduce crime. Some of these diversity approaches maybe neighborhood watch, community policing, urban or physical design and comprehensive or multi-disciplinary efforts.
Policing researchers and police have developed different policing strategies, philosophies, and methods for dealing with crime. Hot spot policing is one that identifies and formulates a strategic response to hot spots within the high crime area. This can help in reducing crime in both the hot spot and surrounding areas. Information led policing should be the heart of every police department. This type of policing is more effective when multiple agencies access, share and analyze intelligence and other data.
Courts and Corrections
The court and corrections look at crime prevention different than law enforcement does. They have six categories they go by Incapacitation, Deterrence, Rehabilitation, community restraints, Structure, Discipline and Challenge, Combining Rehabilitation and Restraint. Incapacitation is the concept that as long as the offender is incarcerated they cannot commit a crime outside of prison. This will reduce crime in the community as long as they are serving time. This can also deter crime by the thought of spending time in prison. They hope it will help the offender serving time to not commit a crime after their released. Deterrence is a strategy used in early criminological theory that repugnant punishments will keep people from committing crime. Some of the deterrence maybe programs like scared straight, chain gangs and shock probation.
These programs major emphasis is on the punitive nature not reducing crime through restraint, discipline or challenge. Some others could have to with fines that fit the crime. Rehabilitation and treatment this focuses on changing the individual offender in hopes they will not continue their criminal activities by using programs such as therapy and consoling. Community Restraints this refers a group of alternative punishments to increase the amount of surveillance and control over offenders when they are in the community. These programs could be referred to as semi incapacitation because it should reduce the offender of committing a crime.
Some of the programs are house arrest, electronic monitoring, halfway house and intensive supervision. Structure, Discipline and Challenge this refers to programs such as boot camps for juveniles and adults and even wilderness programs. These programs focus on structure and discipline and physical or mental challenges. The different experiences the offender goes through during the program should change them in a positive way as to not commit any more crimes. This should increase their self-esteem and increase their bond with other people involved in the program. Combining Rehabilitation and Restraint this is a combination of programs such as boot camp and rehabilitation some may take drug testing and consoling classes. These type of programs have shown some promise on being successful.
Compare Both Law Enforcement and Courts, Corrections
If we look at the dominant approaches of crime prevention through law enforcement they concentrate on programs that will stop or prevent the crime from taking place. The courts and corrections take the offender after committing the crime and try and find ways to prevent them from reoffending. While deterring others from committing the same crime. I believe in the law enforcement area I would pick community programs over most of them. These programs go after the involvement of the public and police working together to solve issues in their own neighborhoods. This strategy works the best because no one knows their neighborhood better than the people living in it.
This will also bring the police department closer to the public as to gain working relations and information on other crimes in the community. Looking at the courts and corrections I would have to pick two of them. The first being incapacitation because some offenders need to be locked up and receive treatment while being in prison. The other program I would pick is the combining rehabilitation and restraint. I believe this program gives you more options to combine the programs that fit the offender’s needs. This program also works on their self-esteem and their bonding with other people that can make a example for them.
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