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NCJ Number: 158111 Find in a Library
Title: Routine Activities and Social Control in the Aftermath of a Natural Catastrophe
Journal: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research  Volume:3  Issue:3  Dated:(1995)  Pages:56-69
Author(s): P Cromwell; R Dunham; R Akers; L Lanza-Kaduce
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 14
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: Routine activity concepts were used to analyze the impact of a natural disaster, Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992, on crime.
Abstract: Data were gathered by means of semistructured interviews with 101 residents of the neighborhoods in the hurricane's destructive path; with 60 police officers, officials from the affected area, and those who came to the area to assist in the aftermath of the storm; and with 10 individuals arrested for hurricane-related offenses. Results revealed that hurricane paralyzed all formal systems of social control in some towns for some weeks. Against all expectations, this absence of the usual personnel who provide guardianship, coupled with an influx of people who might reasonably be considered to be motivated offenders, appears not to have prompted a surge in crime. The analysis indicated that informal social control expanded to fill the vacuum, consistent with Donald Black's theory of law, in which law varies inversely with other social control. Black referred to the relationship between law and informal social control under ordinary conditions of social life. These findings suggested that the anticipated relationship between formal and informal control also holder under the extraordinary conditions caused by catastrophic events. 23 references
Main Term(s): Police crime-prevention
Index Term(s): Criminology; Disaster related crimes; Florida; Routine activity theory
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