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Future of Crime Prevention: Developmental and Situational Strategies

NCJ Number
237329
Author(s)
Brandon C. Welsh; David P. Farrington
Date Published
December 2010
Length
66 pages
Annotation
This paper addresses three main questions related to current and future developmental and situational crime prevention: What do we know about the effectiveness of the two strategies? What do we need to know about their effectiveness? What research subjects and strategies are needed to address gaps in knowledge?
Abstract
Developmental crime prevention refers to interventions designed to prevent the development of criminal potential in individuals, especially those that target risk and protective factors discovered in studies of human development. Situational crime prevention refers to interventions designed to prevent the occurrence of crimes by reducing opportunities and increasing the risk and difficulty of offending. Regarding the first question about these two types of crime prevention strategies, evaluations and literature reviews have been conducted of many developmental and situational crime prevention programs and projects over the years, and they have reported a desirable impact on crime related to these prevention strategies. The current study focuses only on the highest quality research studies and the most rigorous literature reviews. Regarding the second question, there is a need for additional research and development on a wide range of critical issues that pertain to the effectiveness of developmental and situational crime prevention strategies. The study identifies gaps in knowledge related to the effectiveness of developmental and situational crime prevention strategies. Regarding the third question, which concerns directions for future research, attention is given to prospective longitudinal surveys that help to establish which risk and protective factors have causal effects (developmental crime prevention); the investigation of mechanisms that mediate between the intervention and the outcome, which requires repeated interviews with participants; and evaluations that include cost-benefit analysis of all programs. 183 references

Date Published: December 1, 2010