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Unresolved Issues for Crime Prevention Research

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2005
70 pages
This paper presents an overview of important crime prevention issues in a manner that ties the diverse avenues of crime prevention into a unified and consistent package of activities with the potential to drive a research and evaluation agenda.
One of the main findings of the research was that most of the crime prevention issues identified in this report were typically handled by a myriad of diverse agencies under different headings and themes. Some of the topics identified as important from a crime prevention perspective are not even addressed because “crime prevention” is not the central issue or purview of any one agency. As a consequence, crime prevention is addressed only when it fits in with other topics being addressed. The author illustrates the need for a comprehensive research and evaluation project on a wide range of crime prevention approaches. It is recommended that research and evaluation projects should utilize a variety of research methodologies that most appropriately fit with the research questions and program contexts. The research plan was varied and involved a review of research that was currently being funded in the area of crime prevention, primarily through Internet searches of funding activities and publications since the mid-1990s. Interviews were conducted with over 100 experts in crime prevention research and experts in the implementation of crime prevention program, including both academics and practitioners. Main questions included questions about which crime prevention programs and activities that need no further study; what crime prevention issues, topics, or programs should be focused on over the next 5 years; and methods or approaches for addressing future research needs. The research also included a literature review of all published books and articles, reports from past funding initiatives, and governmental publications on crime prevention since 1990. Areas of crime prevention under examination were physical design and access control strategies, neighborhood mobilization strategies, partnership approaches, school-based prevention strategies, prevention programs for businesses, individual prevention activities, community prevention initiatives, citizen fear of crime, developmental prevention, firearm control, anti-gang programs, and repeat victimization. References, appendix

Date Published: January 1, 2005