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Evaluation of a Situational Crime Prevention Approach in Three Jails: The Jail Sexual Assault Prevention Project

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2011
331 pages
This project collected and synthesized data from multiple sources in order to identify and analyze situational factors related to inmate violence in three jails, followed by the development and implementation of violence-reduction interventions that addressed the distinctive safety challenges of each jail, including the prevention of sexual assaults.
The intervention in one jail was the development of an officer tour system; in a second jail, a recording camera system was installed; and in the third jail, crisis intervention training was conducted. The research team evaluated each intervention's impact on inmate violence, as well as its cost-effectiveness. Overall, the evaluation findings suggest that situational crime prevention may be a useful approach for identifying and applying strategies in correctional settings; however, more research is needed on the effectiveness of the particular interventions used in the current study. Although tentatively positive, the evaluation results were restricted by significant study limitations, such that the effects of the three interventions on inmate perceptions, actual incidents, and officer attitudes were inconclusive. Based on a review of relevant studies, however, the authors are convinced that the situational and environmental factors that create opportunities for violence in jails are, in many cases, within the control of correctional administrators and staff. By identifying and addressing these factors, all types of violence in jails can be reduced. 27 figures, 30 tables, and appended references, other recommended interventions, and evaluation tools used

Date Published: August 1, 2011