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SOC316H5 Lecture Notes - Informal Social Control, Risk Governance, Community Mobilization

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Paula Maurutto

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Jan 16th
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
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

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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
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