Situational crime prevention
Professor Lawrence Sherman explains how policing can prevent far more crimes than prison per dollar spent. His analysis of the cost-effectiveness of prison compared to policing suggests that states can cut their total budgets for justice and reduce crime by reallocating their spending on crime: less prison, more police.
The surge in incarceration since 1980 has been fueled in part by the mistaken belief that the population can be divided neatly into "good guys" and "bad guys." In fact, crime rates are not determined by the number of at-large criminals, any more than farm production is determined by the number of farmers. Crime is a choice, a choice that is influenced by available opportunities as much as by character. This perspective, drawn from economic theory, supports a multi-faceted approach to crime control. Dr.
NIJ Conference panelists will present the results of three studies that applied situational crime prevention (SCP) principles: (1) an evaluation of the Safe City initiative in Chula Vista, Calif., designed to combine the expertise and resources of local law enforcement, retailers and the community to increase the safety of designated retail areas; (2) a randomized controlled trial (in partnership with the Washington Metro Transit Police) that assessed the effectiveness of SCP to reduce car crime in Metro's parking facilities; and (3) an evaluation of the impact of SCP on pr