This purpose of this project is twofold:
1. To help you become more familiar with searching for peer-reviewed academic journal articles in the library database.
2. To become more familiar with reviewing empirical (research-based) literature and the findings presented.
For this assignment, search for a peer-reviewed journal article that assesses a crime prevention program or method. If there is a particular crime prevention method discussed in your text that interests you, you are encouraged to search for an article related to this topic.
In The Future Of Crime Prevention: Developmental And Situational Strategies, (Welsh, 2010) discusses how crime prevention strategies will change in future. The author has reviewed other crime prevention approaches and analyzed their effectiveness. In most cases, crime prevention seeks to prevent crime in the first instance, before the criminal activity is committed. Crime prevention falls as the fourth pillar of crime prevention after institutions such as police, courts, and corrections. Although there are many crime prevention that have been studied and applied over time, the article dwells on developmental and situational prevention measures. Developmental prevention is a strategy that is meant to prevent criminal potential in people from developing. The strategy particularly targets protective and risk factor in human development studies. Situational prevention is a strategy that seeks to reduce crime by increasing the risk and difficulty of engaging in criminal activity as well as reducing opportunities that lead to committing crime.
The goal of the article is to address and provide answers to three main questions relating to developmental and situational crime prevention currently and in the future. These are ;
- What do we know? This is mainly about how the two strategies are effective.
- What do we need to know? This addresses the gaps between the effectiveness of the strategies and the key issues related to them.
- How can we find out? This question addresses the research strategies that can successively address the gaps in knowledge and what priorities should be considered in the research.
What do we know?
Developmental prevention targets early risk factors since most of them are well established and are replicable. Some of the predictors of delinquency that replicate over time and place include poor parental supervision, attention problems, having an antisocial parent, financial instability, being born to a young mother, coming from a broken home, large family size, poor school performance, impulsivity, and parental conflict among others. These factors can be linked to offending in one way or another.
What makes situational prevention different from developmental prevention is because it focuses on that place where the crime takes place as well as its crime-specific focus. It is known that crime is not randomly distributed across a city but rather, it is concentrated in some places. In the United States for example 10 percent of the places host around 60 percent of the crime.
What do we need to know?
As knowledge on developmental and situational crime prevention grows, there is a growing need to delve further into research in order to address a wide range of issues relating to effectiveness. Risk focused prevention has achieved considerable success over time. However, some of the risk factors identified may not lead to offending. It would be more efficient to focus on the root causes of offending rather than the risk factors. There should be mechanisms that mediate between intervention and outcomes. In addition, displacement of crime is a major concern that questions situational prevention strategy (Welsh, 2010).
How can we find out?
In order to address the gaps, a new method of longitudinal-experimental studies should be adopted. Combining longitudinal and experimental methods of research can yield better results. Longitudinal surveys are the best in determining the risk and protective factors of crime while experimental surveys establish the particular risk and protective factors that have casual effects.
In conclusion, the hypothesis of the study is correct. The already acquired knowledge about developmental and situational crime prevention is a good start in this journey. However, more research should be conducted in order to bring to light more about the issue. The methods of conducting research in order to fill the gaps should also be revisited in order to get the best results.
Welsh, B. (2010). The Future of Crime Prevention: Developmental and Situational Strategies. National Institute of Justice. Retrieved 28 March 2017, from https://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/crime-prevention-working-group/documents/future-of-crime-prevention-research.pdf