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Community and Crime Prevention

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Paula Maurutto

SOC316 th Jan 16 Community and Crime Prevention Limitations of Risk Theory 1. Actuarial techniques are objective – ad devoid of moral/political components 2. Actuarial/risk forms of power have replaced older forms a. needs orientation 3. Risk governance assumes it acting uniformly across populations Youth Risk Assessment: An Overview of Issues and Practises 1. methodological issues a. only 3 of the multiple tools was peer reviewed b. lower quality of work c. not specifically for the young offender population d. adapted it to the youth population with no other research e. generally reviewed by the author themselves (or students) – potentially biased f. risk scores are not a measure of dangerousness 2. accountability and defensibility a. enhancement of the transparency to the public b. everything is open and defensible 3. subjective/moral criteria a. moral reasoning behind suspension (or not) is not transparent b. high risk score might negatively label a young person 4. standardizations and consistency a. allow us to speak the same language 5. case management a. help identify red flag areas where a young person may need help b. one on one basis – looking at their own score 6. blending of risk and need a. risk is supposed to be a static factor that cant be changed b. lumping the two together – increase surveillance 7. gender and diversity 8. interpreting and presenting the results a. causation problem b. risk score is now a characteristic of the young person, rather than the correlative phenomenon c. about probabilistic thinking – but became more like “it WILL occur if someone is at high risk” 9. training a. inadequate training 10. use of overrides a. 8-10% of all risk scores should be adjusted 11. re-assessments a. were not being done – and when they were, there was no standard practise b. you were usually stuck with your score 12. audits a. information was missing or risk score was miscalculated (arithmetic error) 13. community resources a. disjuncture on how to perceive the case b. may not have adequate resources to implement the needs the young person has Concluding Comments - Beck: risk as a negative event - risk as probabilistic thinking - risk and the data double - Douglas: risk organizes our actions - Ewald: risk not an objective fact - has implications for crime prevention and justice and other institutions - is it devoid of morality - Ericson reading: “and so the whole basis of this sophisticated game is not so sophisticated” (p2) What is Community? - the residential neighbourhood - an organic unit of social organization characterized by enduring personal ties and networks, a high level of social interaction and cohesion, a sense of belonging and common goals, involvement in community affairs, and a feeling of wholeness - could define spatially - a neighbourhood (boundaries) - or sociologically - ex. ethnic, religious, etc - CP assumption: loss of the cohesive neighbourhood has contributed to crime and disorder - sociological concept of community forms basis of a distinct crime prevention philosophy - “death of the social” – N. Rose - the state programmed the social - the state was the answer of the problems of crime - community is now the target of the government action - targeting communities rather than the social - the integration of citizens into a community is premised upon a socialization process that involves: - the inculcation of norms and values - the reinforcement of authority structures - and the creation and an individual and collective consciousness 1. Community Mobilization Model - concerned with preventing the opportunity for crime to occur - organizing local residents to key a watchful eye out for suspicious activities or individuals - assumes that the collective, active, and sustained efforts of a caring and watchful neighbourhood will promote vigilance and informal social control - ex. neighbourhood watch 2. Community Developmental Model - focuses on promoting the physical and socio-economic development of a neighbourhood or at-risk group - the “root causes of crime” - main difference between the two models: - the CM model has traditionally been concerned with reduced the opportunity for crime – more situational - while CD is much more focused on developmental approaches that address the causes and contributors of crime at the local level Basic Premises of Community Crime Prevention (4) 1. Community Based Approach - assumption that private citizens play a major role in maintaining order in a free society - encourage them to accept more responsibility for ensuring safety and security - residents must become more involved in proactive interventions aimed at reducing or precluding criminal opportunity from occurring in their neighbourhoods what seems most clearly needed to prevent most instances of crime and other antisocial incidents in neighbourhoods is a caring and vigilant citizenry (Lavrakas) - United Nations Conference: - community is the focal point of effective crime prevention - the community needs to identify and respond to short and long term goals and needs - crime prevention efforts should bring together individuals from a range of sectors to tackle crime - strategies for preventing crime should be supported by the whole community o needs of communities are different o finding out those needs and getting citizens together to talk about those needs 2. Collective Action - individuals act jointly to undertake crime prevention activities that they could not accomplish on their own - what we cant do individually, we can do collectively - reflected in the “community mobilization” model - “when people begin to protect themselves as individuals and not as a community, the battle against crime prevention is effectively lost” (Barker and Linden) 3. Behavioural Reinforcement/Modification - the CM model is concerned with reinforcing or modifying the individual and collective behaviours of community - educating and modifying the behaviours of potential victims and thus limiting their opportunities for victimization - by producing or strengthening a local social
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