Kristen M. Zgoba
This essay begins with a review of public reaction to sexual offenses and the rise in social awareness that sex offenses have promoted. Statistics exploring the prevalence of sexual abuse in the United States and the United Kingdom will be given. As a result of a number of widely publicized sexual abuse cases (particularly child sexual abuse cases), a variety of laws applied to sexual offenders have been enacted from 1990 to 2010. Although different, these policies tend to center around four common themes: sex offender registration and notification, civil commitment, residency restrictions, and risk assessment. The essay examines these legislative efforts to assess their effectiveness at reducing sexually offensive behaviors and discusses the controversies surrounding such legislation.
Michael Tonry and Harriet Bildsten
This article discusses antisocial behavior orders (ASBOs) in England and Wales and recent U.S. policies based on the broken windows hypothesis. The broken windows hypothesis and its policy progeny and ASBOs implicate different categories of troubling behavior, each of which raises distinct normative and policy issues. It discusses developments and related research. The important questions about ASBOs are the reduction of the prevalence of antisocial behavior, the concern of people with respect to them, and the costs they entail. With broken windows, the important issues are the correctness of the slippery slope hypothesis, the contribution of police initiatives to the crime rate, and the justification of the collateral costs of new policing policies. The article discusses a series of normative and policy issues.
John J. Sloan III and Bonnie S. Fisher
Although crime on college and university campuses in the United States has existed since their founding and despite available data, unanswered questions remain about the scope and nature of the problem. Notwithstanding these knowledge gaps, beginning in the late 1980s and the 1990s campus crime was “discovered” by the media and various interest groups, whose claims about the problem spurred efforts by policy makers, the courts, and postsecondary administrators to address it. The effects of their efforts, however, have not been well documented, as most have never been evaluated. Ultimately the picture that emerges from 30 years of available research is that college campuses are neither immune to the problem of crime and violence, nor are they hot beds of murder, mayhem, and vice as commonly depicted by the media.
Charis E. Kubrin
The community or neighborhood in which juvenile lives constitute an important context and it influences juvenile delinquency. This article describes the role of communities in the production of delinquency. It begins by identifying community characteristics of importance and describes why researchers have most frequently been examining these. Following this, it discusses the various theoretical mechanisms proposed to account for the link between community characteristics and rates of delinquency. It then presents two critical weaknesses in the communities and delinquency literature, and explains how they have been addressed to some degree in contextual studies of delinquency. Furthermore, it reviews the main findings from the contextual effects literature. Finally, the article concludes by identifying more general issues that warrant attention in communities and delinquency studies and by charting some promising new directions for research.
Michael D. Reisig
This article is divided into five sections. Section I provides an overview of community and problem-oriented policing, highlighting the key of elements of the two approaches. Section II discusses the history of the American police, with an emphasis on the antecedents and outcomes associated with prior reform efforts. Section III describes the federal government's involvement in community and problem-oriented policing via the COPS program, and reviews the research assessing the impact of the program on crime rates is reviewed. Section IV focuses on the theoretical frameworks that guide community and problem-oriented policing interventions, and extant empirical research. Community policing is rooted in two theories of neighborhood crime (i.e., broken windows and social disorganization), whereas problem-oriented policing is often couched in theories of criminal opportunity (i.e., rational choice and routine activity). Section V concludes with a discussion specifying priorities for future research.
Graham C. Ousey and Matthew R. Lee
One of the most exciting developments in the field of criminology is the emergence of studies that seek to explain variation in crime rates across aggregate social communities. These studies have an underlying theoretical theme: crime rates across communities are strongly correlated with structural inequality, or the stratification of communities on several key socioeconomic dimensions. This article reviews the current state of knowledge on the link between structural inequality and crime rates across communities. Specifically, it looks at theory and research that examines whether and how structural inequality affects crime rates in macro-level social communities such as cities, metropolitan areas, counties, and neighborhoods. It also discusses the notion that dimensions of structural inequality increase crime rates by increasing criminal motivation among those individuals who directly experience deprivation, and that such inequality contributes to crime by creating community-level differences in the extent of collective informal social control.
Tim Goddard and Andrea Headley
Community-based organizations have proliferated throughout Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Undergirded by the neoliberal privatization of turning social policy over to the market to foster “better” and cheaper social interventions, community-based organizations are funded to prevent adolescent “problem” behaviors including substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, school dropout, delinquency, and youth violence. This article reviews research on the practices and effectiveness of community-based organizations, mostly in the United States, regarding crime prevention. After discussing the background social context, the article reviews research on the range of services and programs that community-based organizations deliver followed by a review of the research on their effectiveness for preventing crime. The article then discusses a pattern by which organizations veer from program fidelity and reformulate and revise mandated evidence-based practices. It concludes with a discussion of some of the implications and possible consequences of shifting the provision of services to nonstate actors.
Steven F. Messner and Gregory M. Zimmerman
This article discusses community-level influences on offending and crime. It shows how the general ecological model can help understand the spatial distributions of patterns of urban activity and unconventional behaviors including crime and delinquency. It then identifies the supporting causal explanations of neighborhood effects and studies the emerging research on reciprocal causation and the role of crime in the stratification of neighborhoods. The last section of the article comments on the lessons learned and the challenges that needs to be faced for further development in the field.
Dennis P. Rosenbaum and Amie M. Schuck
This article studies comprehensive community initiatives to prevent violence, crime, and drug abuse. It focuses on the role of partnerships or coalitions as the main tool for imagining, executing, and maintaining these crime-prevention strategies. It studies the literature on coalitions that are mostly outside the public safety domain, and then reviews evidence on program impact. It then lists the factors that help determine the effectiveness of partnership. The article also identifies various efforts in America to prevent youth violence by introducing complete community strategies.
Until recently, there has been little serious research into the scale and nature of offending by military personnel during and after their service and virtually none into the history of the problem. This article focuses primarily on the nature and scale of offending by service personnel since the beginning of the First World War and on the extent to which the concept of brutalized veteran had any reality particularly during the twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries. Much of the evidence is drawn from British examples, but comparisons are made with the experience of other countries where appropriate research and publication allows. The chapter emphasizes the temptations to offending provided or occasioned by military service and, occasionally, the authority given to commit crime during armed conflict. It stresses also the problems of identifying service personnel and veterans within the statistics and of assessing the way military service may have influenced post-service offending.