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SOCI 2450 (35)
Chapter 11

Chapter 11 policy.docx

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Carleton University
SOCI 2450
Darryl Davies

Chapter 11 Crime prevention and public policy - Public policy: (also called social policies) those standing directives, formulated by public organizations on behalf of the public good. OR: government formulated directives made on behalf of the public good to solve a problem or achieve an end - policy dealing with issues of crime and its prevention and control fall under the rubric of social policy, which can be defined as policy “concerned with the betterment of social life, the amelioration of social ills, and the allocation of public money to accomplish that end”. - Analysts of public policy observed that policies undergo 5 stages in their development: 1. Identification of the problem 2. Agenda setting or the prioritization of problems 3. Policy formation 4. Program implementation and reassessment 5. Program evaluation and reassessment - The government seeks to promote policies that can contribute to the common good without resulting in political disruption - Criminality is decided as much by legal and political authorities, and by their strategies of criminalization, enforcement, and control, as by criminals themselves Crime prevention philosophies today - Policy response to crime has 2 prongs: • One defines crime as an issue of individual responsibility  This is known as the “social responsibility perspective” • The other sees crime and criminal behavior as resulting from poor social conditions and dysfunctional social structures  This is known as the “social problems perspective” - Detractors of “get tough” policies claim that they may not provide the solution sought by those advocating them • They argue that those crime-prevention strategies that attempt to resolve the root causes of crime are more effective in the long run - Political support for nurturant programs might be obtainable if we could reverse the vicious cycle of media sensationalism, short-sighted policy, and public impatience that encourage ineffective ‘quick fixes’for crime - By addressing social problems and the need for improvements in the social infrastructure, the social problems perspective takes a proactive rather than reactive approach to the reality of crime - Stephen Harper proposed legislation that would appear close to the “get-tough” approach to crime and criminality • He scraped the proposition that would decriminalize having small amounts of weed, and brought in tougher sentences for those convicted of a criminal offense • He proposed a reform targeting the Criminal Code provisions governing the dangerous offenders, to make it easier for the Crown to obtain dangerous offender designations. Acornerstone of the reform was that an offender found guilty of a third conviction of a designated violent or sexual offense must prove that he or she does not qualify as a dangerous offender • The reform would also strengthen for lengthier and aggressive supervision after designated offenders are released back into communities Types of crime-prevention strategies - Policies classified into 3 different types of strategies. They are distinguishable from one another `by whether they attempt to block opportunities for crime, alter the outcome of conscious or unconscious decision making that precedes a criminal act, or alter the broad strategic style with which people approach many aspects of their lives”. • Nurturant strategies: a crime prevention strategy that attempts to forestall development of criminality by improving early life experiences and channelling child and adolescent development into desirable directions  Focus on prevention of criminality rather than its remediation, or control  Include increased infant and maternal health care, child care for low-income families, training in parenting skills, enhanced public education and stay-in- school programs • Protection/avoidance strategies: a crime prevention strategy that attempts to reduce criminal opportunities by changing people’s routine activities, increasing guardianship, or incapacitating convicted offenders  Incapacitating convicted criminals through incarceration or the use of electronic monitoring  Target hardening or opportunity reduction through the use of architectural design, crime prevention programs such as neighborhood watch, and increased policing • Deterrence strategies: a crime prevention strategy that attempts to diminish motivation for crime by increasing the perceived certainty, severity, or celerity of penalties  New and tougher laws, quicker trial-court processing, harsher punishment, and faster imposition of sentences are all deterrence strategies - In Canada, many crime prevention initiatives continue to emphasize the nurturant approach - Political constituencies have increased pressure for protection/avoidance and deterrence strategies Recent crime prevention initiatives: The National Crime Prevention Strategy - Canadian federal and provincial governments have been paying greater attention to crime and community safety, targeting resources to understanding and addressing risk factors associated with crime and victimization. Parliament called for a more concerted, national approach to crime prevention. - In 1994, the federal government responded by introducing the National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention - National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention: a federal crime prevention initiative designed to create safer communities by supporting community- based crime-prevention efforts, enhancing communities’knowledge and experience with respect to crime prevention, and fostering partnerships, and collaboration - Objectives of the NSCSCR: • To promote the integrated action of key governmental and non-governmental partners to reduce crime and victimization • To assist communities in developing and implementing community-based solutions that contribute to crime and victimization, particularly as they affect children, youth, women, andAboriginal people • To increase public awareness of and support for effective approaches to crime prevention - Referred to as “crime prevention through social development”, this initiative is emblematic of a nurturant strategy - Phase I • With a mission to “develop strategies to empower individuals and their communities to improve their safety, security and wellbeing,: the counsel identified children and youths as its immediate focus for a national crime prevention pol
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