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Chapter

CRIM 3654 - NOVEMBER 22ND READINGS

9 Pages
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Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRIM 3654
Professor
James Sheptycki

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CRIM 3654 – FALL BOOK NOTES nd Readings for November 22 Schneider: Community Crime Prevention: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview - Community mobilization model  the most visible community-based crime prevention strategy in the latter 20 century o Neighbourhood residents agree to act collectively to reduce the opportunity for crime by assuming a more vigilant and proprietary concern over their neighbourhood o Presumes what is needed most is a caring and vigilant citizenry o Theory underlying this strategy is that once educated about the processes and benefits of a collective effort to address crime, concerned residents will participate in local crime prevention programs, or at least keep a watchful eye out for suspicious people or activities during daily routines - Inherent in community crime prevention (CPP) is a situational approach to crime prevention that is primarily concerned with reducing criminal opportunities from occurring in a particular time and place - Program universally associated with this model is neighbourhood watch Community Crime Prevention and its Component Parts: A Theoretical Overview - Central to community mobilization model of crime prevention are four fundamental parts: a community-based orientation, collective action, informal social control, and opportunity reduction The Community - Community-based approach to crime prevention predicated on assumption that private citizens play a major role in maintaining order in a free society, and thus should be encouraged to accept more responsibility for interventions aimed at reducing or precluding criminal acts - Partial transfer in responsibility for proactive, preventative efforts from state to citizenry - Responsibility for control, primary punishment, and rehabilitation of identified juvenile criminals remains with court, but responsibility for prevention given back to community o Shows the shared implicit division of labour between state and community - Nation’s ability to prevent serious violent crime may depend heavily on our ability to help reshape community life (Sherman) - Within crime prevention field, community is also conceptualized as an organic collective of people who are bound together by enduring personal ties and networks, a high level of social interaction and cohesion, a shared identity and goals, and a sense of wholeness - The loss of the socially cohesive community has contributed to crime and disorder o The complexity of mass society has robbed individuals in urban areas of “solidary bonds”, which is theorized as an essential form of interpersonal attachment that prevent people from victimizing one another  Results in intrapersonal outcomes of anomie, alienation that propel them toward crime and deviance - Underlying assumption of Community crime prevention is that the efficacy of crime prevention programs at the neighbourhood level is contingent on the existence of solidary bonds at the local level - Recommended that communities develop programs that familiarize local residents with each other and with the neighbourhood to help encourage intervention and reduce fear o This familiarity would allow the indentification of strangers - Crime prevention theory suggests that such interactions may lead to a cohesive neighbourhood o Social interaction can play an important role in preventing, detecting, and reporting criminal behaviour - Community crime prevention theory is premised on belief that both the problem of and the solutions to crime are strongly influenced by concept of community Informal Social Control - One implication of the shift in crime prevention responsibilities from the state to local communities is the increased importance of informal social control, which is said to prevent crime locally when exerted by private citizens acting collectively - Informal social control is central to, and an enduring part of, the spatial community - Community crime prevention is concerned with reinforcing or modifying individual and collective behaviours of residents to produce or strengthen a local social environment that can informally regulate itself, which includes preventing opportunity for criminal and disorderly acts to occur - Informal social control is based on, and is said to restrict, crime and incivilities through a proprietary enforcement by community members of local custom, common agreement, social norms, and unwritten rules that guide what they consider to be appropriate and accepted behaviour in their neighbourhood - As a response to undesirable behaviour, instruments of informal social control include the subtle (raised eyebrow, gossip, ridicule), direct confrontation (warnings), and structured activities (Neighbourhood Watch) - Informal social control premised upon and incorporates the threat of peer-imposed stigma if individuals violate norms endorsed by peers and the threat of self-imposed guilt feelings if actors violate norms they themselves have internalized - Local stability is contingent upon the capacity of a neighbourhood to continually reproduce itself as a social system - Essential elements of informal social control are forged through a commitment and attachment to the neighbourhood by individual residents and a strong sense of social cohesion at the collective level - Important variable in community crime prevention is collective efficacy, a concept that has been defined as the linkage of mutual trust and the willingness to intervene for the common good, or the realization of common values and the ability of groups to regulate their members according to desired principles - Residents who trusted their neighbours were also more likely to have confidence in the police o Mutual trust among neighbours brought down the mutual suspicion and promoted mutual understanding - Informal social control can develop naturally where there is a low rate of population turnover, where patterns of local association and interaction are well established, and where social cohesion is strong o Or it can be induced in a neighbourhood where it does not currently exist through community development programs Collective Action - A way to distinguish between crime prevention strategies is whether they are individualistic or private-minded o Individualistic/private-minded (target hardening, carrying weapons, avoiding parts of city) o Collective or “public-minded” (neighbourhood watch, citizen patrols) - Individualistic approach may serve to undermine collective action, social cohesion and informal social control underpinning of community crime prevention - Newman: when people begin to protect themselves as individuals and not as a community, the battle against crime is effectively lost - Argument that crime can only be prevented through efforts that transcend the capacity of the individual is reinforced by the considerable role played by social cohesion and informal social control in community crime prevention - Promoting collective responses is the best way to counter the disorganized community that is unable to exercise informal control over deviant behaviour - Solidarity will lead to less crime and more political power for the community Opportunity Reduction - Approach is concerned with removing or reducing the opportunity for a criminal act to occur in a particular time and place, rather than addressing the root causes of criminal and deviant behaviour - Reducing the opportunity for a criminal act to occur is the single greatest crime prevention goal of community crime prevention - Opportunity for crime can be reduced in one of two ways: o Through management and/or design of the physical environment (target hardening) o By influencing the individual and collective behaviours of residents to minimize their vulnerability to crime through both personal and collective measures (neighbourhood watch) - Within community crime prevention, increasing the risk of detection and apprehension as a means to reduce crime opportunities is contingent upon collective action and informal social control conditions Summary: The Theorized Processes of Community Crime Prevention - Premise of community mobilization model is that implementation of crime prevention initiatives will marshal the concern of residents into collective effort that promotes vigilance and cohesion. Collective and cohesive effort – in partnership with police – expected to lead to decline of local crime and disorder problems - Framework for community crime prevention built upon five essential concepts: collective action, informal social control, crime prevention, behaviour modification, and social cohesion - Community crime prevention is premised upon conceptual constructs of systems theory: communities are self-guiding, goal-oriented, adaptive systems that continuously function through feedback loops that can intensify either a downward spiral of disorder or upward cycle of informal social control theoretical tenets of CCP as such: (1) neighbourhood residents can be mobilized by community organizations to participate in collective crime prevention projects; (2) involvement in these activities creates a stronger community because people will take greater responsibility for their collective protection and interactions among neighbours will increase; (3) an increase in social interaction and a stronger sense of community leads to more effective informal social control; and thus, (4) apart from the direct effects of community crime prevention activities in reducing crime or fear of crime, these activities may also reduce crime or fear by rebuilding local social control in the neighbourhood. Empirical Overview: CCP Research and Program Evaluations - Community crime prevention strategies and applied programs have had only a modest or no impact on crime and fear of crime at the local level - They have also been unable to engineer the social and behaviour precondition necessary for applied community crime prevention programs to reach their objectives - Past research suggests that crime prevention programs produce very few changes in social interaction, surveillance, stranger recognition, feelings of control, satisfaction with the neighbourhood and attitudes towards the police - There are no community-based programs of proven effectiveness by scientific standards to show with reasonable certainty that they work in certain kinds of settings Participation in Community Crime Prevention: Theoretical and Empirical Scholarship - Some communities mobilize and gather at community meetings to discuss crime prevention - There may have been participation but they had minimal success in initiating and sustaining a broad-based mobilization of neighbourhood residents - Based on observations of three sites in 1992, argued that Neighbourhood watch cannot be described as a success because there is a general lack of participation, projects quickly become dormant, and they have little impact on crime - Neighbourhood surveillance, social interaction, bystander intervention and specific crime prevention behaviours as a result of situational crime prevention interventions are rare - Neighbourhoods most averse to community crime prevention are those where levels of participation are lowest, and areas in the greatest need o
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