Discuss the elements of situational crime prevention.
Situational crime prevention involves developing tactics to reduce or eliminate a
specific crime problem. Such tactics include increased efforts to discourage crime,
such as putting unbreakable glass on storefronts, locking gates, and fencing yards.
Another approach is to increase the risks of crime through better security efforts.
Reducing the rewards of crime is designed to lessen the value of crime to the potential
criminal. Crime may be reduced or prevented if we can communicate to people the
wrongfulness of their behavior and how harmful it is to society. Crime may be reduced
by making it difficult for people to excuse their criminal behavior by saying things like
“I didn’t know that was illegal” or “I had no choice.”
Analyze the elements of general deterrence.
Crime can be controlled by increasing the real or perceived threat of criminal
punishment. According to deterrence theory, criminality is affected not only by the
actual chance of punishment but also by the
that one is likely to be
punished. A central theme of deterrence theory is that people who believe they will be
punished for crimes will avoid committing those crimes. According to general
deterrence theory, if the certainty of arrest, conviction, and sanctioning increases,
crime rates should decline. The threat of severe punishment should also bring the
crime rate down. The more rapidly punishment is applied and the more closely it is
linked to the crime, the more likely it will serve as a deterrent. The factors of severity,
certainty, and speed of punishment may also influence one another.
Discuss the basic concepts of specific deterrence.
The theory of specific deterrence holds that criminal sanctions should be so powerful
that convicted criminals will never repeat their criminal acts. However, research on
specific deterrence does not provide any clear-cut evidence that punishing criminals is
an effective means of stopping them from committing future crimes. Punishment may
bring defiance rather than deterrence. People who are harshly treated may want to
show that they cannot be broken by the system. The stigma of harsh treatment labels
people and helps lock offenders into a criminal career instead of convincing them to