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.
Kathryn Wuschke and J. Bryan Kinney
Grounded within environmental criminology, several theoretical frameworks have emphasized the important connection between land use and concentrations of urban crime. Guided by these approaches, this chapter provides an overview of existing research, exploring the varied connections between urban land use and crime. These concepts are illustrated through the use of a multiscale research example centered on Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. The results highlight the importance of locally based studies, and emphasize that the relationship between land use and crime varies according to both crime type and scale of analysis. Among the findings is that both property crimes and crimes against persons occur in highest numbers on residential properties; but in disproportionately highest rates on addresses classified as commercial and civic, institutional, and recreational.
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.
Dainis Ignatans and Ken Pease
This chapter begins by sketching out where the practice of policing may be heading, and what we need to do differently, so as to arrive at a roughly envisioned future ethically and in good order. A police presence at all places at all times being impossible, the practical issue is where and when to place officers or their technological surrogates. It then considers optimized distribution of effort and resource, given the central aim of fairness in the distribution of crime harm. It illustrates current levels of inequality of victimization, and claim that reducing the current concentration, at individual and area levels, should be an explicit underpinning vision for policing. It briefly reviews the relevant literature and its implications.
Cody W. Telep and David Weisburd
Every research enterprise takes place in a context, political, economic, and technological context. So it is with policing research. This chapter begins by sketching out where the practice of policing is heading, and what we need to do differently, so as to arrive at a roughly envisioned future ethically and in good order. A police presence at all places at all times being impossible, the practical issue is where and when to place officers or their technological surrogates. The chapter considers optimized distribution of effort and resource, given the central aim of fairness in the distribution of crime harm. It illustrates current levels of inequality of victimization, and claims that reducing the current concentration at individual and area levels should be an explicit underpinning vision for policing. It also briefly reviews the relevant literature and its implications.
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.
John Carter Wood
This essay examines crime news between the late eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, focusing on the newspaper press in Great Britain. It lays out trends in crime and media historiography; describes the main press discourses about “crime,” “criminals,” and “criminal justice”; identifies the key agents who created crime news; and considers the press’s role in “moral panics.” Showing that the press has been a dominant source of crime information from the late eighteenth century and that crime reporting has constituted a substantial proportion of newspaper content, it argues that crime news has consistently offered a distorted view of crime, with the greatest attention being given to those crimes that least frequently appear in official statistics; this inaccuracy can reveal distinctive fears and attitudes in particular historical contexts. Moreover, “human interest” reporting, while often sensationalist, has sometimes contained quasi-political social critiques cast in a more digestible language for a general readership.
Tamara D. Madensen and John E. Eck
When asked whether they can predict where crime will occur, most police officers say no. However, most police officers can identify a particular neighborhood where one can possibly be mugged. In the first case, the police officers are asked about crime in general and in an unspecified area, for an undefined purpose. In the second case, they are asked about the risk of a specific crime in very small areas, for the purposes of prevention. Specificity is a key factor in crime prevention, and is evident in places which are very specific geographic locations. This article explores why crime levels are extraordinarily high in some places but low or totally absent in most places, and how place management accounts for this disparity. In particular, it reviews empirical studies and associated theory related to crime at places (that is, addresses, buildings, and land parcels) and the management of these locations. It also discusses extensions of routine activity theory, as well as displacement, diffusion of benefits, and neighborhood effects.
Carina Gallo and Mimi E. Kim
This essay provides a synthesis of criminological and social welfare theoretical frameworks, along with empirical data illuminating the links between crime policy and welfare policy. It also reviews current debates regarding the extent to which European countries are undergoing a shift toward more punitive welfare or crime policies. Building upon Gøsta Esping-Andersen’s classic typology of welfare regimes, current scholarship ties liberal welfare regimes to punitive penal ideologies and high rates of incarceration and social democratic welfare regimes to lenient attitudes toward punishment and low incarceration rates. Research also underscores the significance of economic and social inequality in the production and outcomes of crime and welfare policies. Comparative empirical data supports the persistence of penal-welfarism in Europe, particularly in social democratic states, exemplified by Sweden, while indicating more punitive policies targeting marginalized sectors of the population, notably immigrants.
Vania Ceccato and Mats Wilhelmsson
This chapter examines the impact of crime and accessibility on housing prices. In particular, it assesses the effect of residential burglary on apartment prices in Stockholm, building on previous research that indicated residential burglary—not violence or vandalism—had the greatest effect on apartment prices in the Swedish capital. A review of the literature on hedonic modeling covering more than three decades shows that, despite different modeling strategies, these studies consistently find evidence that crime affects housing prices. Two measures of accessibility are used: a “global” distance decay from Stockholm city center and a “local” measure of accessibility to work expressed as travel costs. Results for all of Stockholm County confirm previous findings once limited to Stockholm municipality only, that residential burglary reduces apartment prices. However, such an effect varies across space and levels of accessibility.
Deanna L. Wilkinson
Youth violence is a public health problem that compromises the healthy development of youth and communities. This article makes an attempt to develop a theoretical model of the situational and transactional features of urban youth violence. It describes the heuristic presentation of the compositional aspects of youth violence events focusing on the most central situational characteristics. Following this, it describes how those characteristics converge in the early stages of a conflict interaction. It emphasizes on opening interactions, interpretations of social cues, relational distance between actors, and respondents' perceptions of the hostile intent of others. Furthermore, it specifies an emergent transactional model by focusing on the sequential stages of the event and the roles that actors play as the event moves through time. It concludes by situating the emergent transactional theory for urban youth violence within the broader violence literature and make suggestions for its relevance to juvenile justice policy.
Nicholas Branic and Charis E. Kubrin
The rapid expansion and growing pervasiveness of gated communities across the United States in recent decades has made it essential for researchers to consider the implications of this emerging trend for various facets of social life. This chapter analyzes the relationship between gated communities and crime across neighborhoods in Orange County, California, a county with a large number of gated communities and considerable diversity in terms of population demographics and crime rates. It begins by defining gated communities and situating the gated communities–crime relationship within existing scholarship and criminological theories. Next, it describes the data and methodological approach, and presents findings from the analysis. It concludes by discussing the findings within the context of the study’s limitations and identifying some promising new directions for research on gated communities and crime.
The historical transformation in the distribution of crime between towns and rural areas in the Western world between 1750 and 1950 remains a complex and debated issue. The few comparative studies on long-term crime seem to indicate a sharp decrease in urban crime, although with considerable variation in chronology and intensity. Conversely, the rapid urbanization of industrial cities was accompanied by outbreaks of violence, before declining as well. Certain types of crime are directly related to their environment, such as rural wood theft, arson, poaching, or urban street gang violence; yet most types of crime in towns and countryside share common characteristics. Accordingly, rural banditry shares many features with organized crime in the urban underworld, while the social and economic motivations behind urban riots may not differ so much from rural revolts as previously thought. A geographical history of crime should therefore consider both broader and more specific historical phenomena including the influence of war, immigration, and urban policies, as well as the definition and registration of criminal offenses by the police. Finally, in each country, crime rates were affected differently by the evolution in the relationship between state and society at the national and regional levels.