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NCJ Number: 211580 Find in a Library
Title: Preventing Hate Crimes: Experiences From Two East-German Towns
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:45  Issue:5  Dated:September 2005  Pages:634-646
Author(s): Rainer Strobl; Jana Klemm; Stefanie Wurtz
Date Published: September 2005
Page Count: 13
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study compared the effectiveness of two East-German towns in dealing with hate crimes.
Abstract: The study hypothesized that the strengthening of basic democratic norms would have a preventive effect in reducing hate crimes in the long term. The study was conducted in two relatively small East-German towns called Konigsforst and Steinfee, both of which had histories of right-wing extremist violent attacks. The two towns were relatively similar, but used different prevention and intervention strategies for crime control. Experts in the field of right-wing extremism describe Konigsforst's strategy as being effective, but Steinfee was found to have difficulty in dealing with this problem. The findings of this study confirmed the experts' assessment; the study's aim was to explain why differences existed between the two towns and identify effective strategies for strengthening a democratic local culture. The study analyzed data from 10 focus groups, 66 qualitative interviews, a qualitative content analysis of local newspapers, and 69 protocols of participant-observations and informal conversations during fieldwork. The study found no evidence that positive general prevention of hate crimes can be achieved solely by sanctioning offenders. Positive effects were found from a combined effort to discourage hatred and nationalist propaganda while strengthening democratic norms and values. A permanent group should provide information for interested citizens and initiate and coordinate activities against the ideologies of right-wing extremists that foment hate crimes. These activities against right-wing extremism should be visible and well-publicized among the local population. Although positive general prevention cannot replace conventional forms of law enforcement and deterrence, it provides the added prevention component of encouraging and defining positive behaviors and the characteristics of a community with democratic norms. 1 figure and 32 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Community crime prevention programs; Crime specific countermeasures; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Foreign crime prevention; Germany; Hate Crimes
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