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Policy, Theory, and Research Lessons from an Evaluation of an Agricultural Crime Prevention Program

NCJ Number
217908
Author(s)
Daniel P. Mears; Michelle L. Scott; Avinash S. Bhati; John Roman; Aaron Chalfin; Jesse Jannetta
Date Published
January 2007
Length
44 pages
Annotation
This study evaluated the theory and impacts of California's Agricultural Crime, Technology, Information, and Operations Network (ACTION) project, which was designed to counter the theft of farming-related commodities, supplies, and equipment.
Abstract
The evaluation supported the validity of the criminological theories underlying ACTION's design, i.e., the theories of opportunity, situational crime prevention, and deterrence. The analyses found that these theories helped predict agricultural crime and that ACTION measures reduced targeted crimes. ACTION increased arrests for agricultural crime, along with prosecutions and the recovery of stolen property, and farmers' investment in crime prevention. The evaluation concluded that ACTION's effectiveness was based on its ability to implement each of a set of diverse activities efficiently while being faithful to the program's design. The evaluation suggests that one or more of ACTION's activities could be adopted in other areas. The evaluation recommends that ACTION's efforts be continued and expanded. ACTION developed a database for tracking agricultural crime, and it mounted education campaigns to the public and farmers regarding agricultural crime and what could be done to prevent it. It encouraged and facilitated the use of equipment-marking and crop-marking, as well as farmers' use of surveillance equipment. ACTION involved law enforcement agency's targeting of agricultural crime and the vertical prosecution of offenders. Evaluation strategies included the collection of data from the Agricultural Census and Census Bureau; victimization surveys in 2004 and 2005; and interviews with ACTION staff and law enforcement and agricultural officials in the intervention site and other States. The impact evaluation examined the causal logic of ACTION, the extent to which program implementation influenced victimization outcomes, and other measures that provided a balanced assessment of program impact. 3 tables and 35 references

Date Published: January 1, 2007