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Chapter 11

Ch. 11 Social Policy

Course Code
CRIM 101
Bryan Kinney

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Chapter 11 Social Policy
Criminal-justice policy can be seen to have two prongs:
1. The social responsibility perspective takes a reactive approach to crime control.
It tends to promote “get-tough” crime-control policies that focus on strict
enforcement of existing laws and on strict punishment.
2. The social problems perspective emphasizes a proactive approach. It focuses
on the root causes of crime by addressing the need for improvements in the social
3. A new aspect of the social problems approach utilizes the social epidemiology
or public health model approach to crime control. Under this model, crime becomes
an illness, but one that can be cured if the necessary resources are dedicated to its
treatment and eradication.
Types of Crime-Prevention Strategies.
1. The range of effective crime-prevention alternatives can be classified into three
types of strategies:
a. Nurturant Strategies, which attempt to forestall the development of criminality by
improving early life experiences and channelling child and adolescent
development into desirable directions.
b. Protection/avoidance Strategies, which attempt to reduce criminal opportunities by
changing people’s routine activities, increasing guardianship, or by incapacitating
convicted offenders.
c. Deterrence Strategies, which attempt to diminish the motivation for crime by
increasing the perceived certainty, severity, or celerity of penalties.
2. Some criminologists contend that a comprehensive crime-prevention strategy
would reflect a balance of all three strategies.
Recent Crime-Prevention Policy Initiatives.
A. The National Crime-Prevention Strategy.
Introduced in 1994 by the federal government (and known then as The National
Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention) this strategy is referred to as
“crime prevention through social development” and is emblematic of a nurturant strategy.
The objectives of this initiative are:
a. To promote the integrated action of key governmental and nongovernmental
partners to reduce crime and victimization.
b. To assist communities in developing and implementing community-based
solutions that contribute to crime and victimization, particularly as they affect
children, youth, women and Aboriginal people.
c. To increase public awareness of and support for effective approaches to crime
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