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What is primary crime prevention?
- Brantingham & Faust 1976
- Broad societal measures applied to the entire population that are intended to improve general wellbeing
- This could be things such as reducing income inequalities or cleaning the streets of litter
- Not targeted specifically at criminals
What is secondary crime prevention?
- Farrington 2007
- Interventions targeted at groups judged to be in high risk of committing crime
- These are targeted at risky settings and look at low iq, broken homes, family history of crime etc as risk factors
What is situational crime prevention?
- Clarke 1997
- Criminals are seen as active decision makers who complete a cost benefit analysis of criminal activity
- Aims to reduce opportunities for crime by introducing opportunity reducing measures
- These are directed at highly specific forms of crime
- Involve the management, manipulation and design of the immediate environment as systematically and permanently as possible
- Makes crime more risky, less rewarding and less excusable by offenders
What is alleygating?
- The process of adding a lockable gate to alleyways running behind houses
- Reduces burglary rates
- 1998 British Crime survey showed that 55% of burglaries for terraced houses occurred through the back
- Shows that increasing effort for the same reward deters criminals
What is tertiary crime prevention?
- Brantingham & Faust 1976
- Occurs after the crime event
- Aimed at invdividual criminals
- Used for convicted offenders and aims to reduce recidivism
How is recidivism measured?
- Looking at rearrests, parole violations, reconviction or reincarceration
- Langhan & Levin (2002) tracked over 270,000 former criminals released from prison in 5 states from 1994-1997
- Around a 65% rearrest rate for all criminals
- Around 70% for property offences
Why do people reoffend?
- Sometimes prison can promote crime
- Once you're labelled as a criminal it can be hard to find work, easy to accept your criminal status and hard to find peers not involved with crime
- Criminal skills can be acquired in prison like a criminal training camp (Gill, 2007)
- Prison makes you more likely to reoffend, longer sentences are associated with a 3% increased likelihood of recidivism and this is greater for shorter sentences and for newer criminals (Gendreau, Goggin & Cullen, 1999)
How was reoffending different in the 50s and 60s?
- Until the 70s prison psychologists had a lot of discretion over what treatment style was used for offenders
- They were typically based on interviews, offender histories and psychological tests
- Professional guidelines were not published until the early 70s (Brodsky 1972)
- There was little investigation into which treatments actually worked
What was the 'Nothing works era'?
- Named after Martinson's (1974) article; What works? Questions and answers about prison reform.
- 231 studies from 1945-1967 reviewed
- Concluded that there was little evidence that prison reduces recidivism
- Present strategies cannot overcome or reduce criminal desires to commit crime
What was the 'What works?' movement?
- Sherman et al (1997) reviewed the methods of reducing recidivism and decided whether or not they worked
- Concluded that different measures were effective in reducing recidivism for different demographics
- E.g. for schools is effective to teach social norms, teach social competency skills and coaching in thinking skills
- For older male ex-offenders: vocational training
- For drug using prisoners: therapeutic community treatment programs
What are the mechanisms responsible for reducing recidivism?
- Describe how a measure produces an effect
- These are context sensitive and don't work for everyone
- Some measures activate more than one mechanism
- Sometimes measures activate mechanisms producing unwanted side effects
- Mechanisms are theorised using theories of change
- E.g. improving street ligjting means offenders are more easoilt seen and more people go out at night, this means the police are called and there is more informal surveillance which means more arrests and a reduction in crime. This also means that the area improves in quality meaning there is a greater community confidence, more informal control meaning less crime generally
Why is an evidence base important?
- Many crime prevention systems are based on anecdotal evidence, myth and ease, face validity or political reasons meaning they are not always effective in the long term
- Using evidence to inform reduces the likelihood of time and money being wasted and harm being inadvertently caused
What is D.A.R.E, and does it work?
- Drug abuse resistance education Gates & the LA School district (1983)
- Students pledge not to be involved in drugs or gangs and are taught by law enforcement personnel on their dangers
- Not based on evidence
- Labelled as ineffective primary prevention program by the US surgeon general (Satcher, 2001)
What is scared straight, and does it work?
- Program in which 'at risk' students are taken to prisons, speak to inmates and are put in simulated prison conditions
- Designed to debunk myths about prison being easy to act as a deterrent
- People on the program were found to twice as likely to reoffend (Petrosino et al, 2003)
Does any measure of prevention actually work?
- Lipsey (1992) reviewed over 400 studied aimed at juvenile delinquents
- Included a wide range of interventions from counselling to skill oriented programs
- 64% showed positive effects
- This was equated to an overall reduction in recidivism of around 10%