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NCJ Number: 220343 Find in a Library
Title: Considering the Efficacy of Situational Crime Prevention in Schools
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:35  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2007  Pages:511-523
Author(s): Lauren O'Neill; Jean Marie McGloin
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined relevant policies and general utility of situational crime prevention (SCP) by investigating the relationship between school crime and SCP techniques.
Abstract: The findings indicated that at the national level, there were relatively few tactics that were used by schools that emerged as significant prevention for situational crime. The basic tenet of SCP relies on problem analysis and evaluation; by altering opportunity structures impacts the risks, benefits, and effort associated with specific crimes in particular settings. Schools should begin with simple SCP policies that are not invasive or costly and engage in sequential interventions if and when they become necessary. At each stage, schools should conduct detailed problem analysis and only implement the strategies that match the specific problem and school environment. Schools that had locked doors, did not close campus for lunch, and had fewer classroom changes tended to report less property crime. In addition, schools with fewer classroom changes also tended to report less violent crime. Both closing campus for lunch and having a number of classroom changes so that students did not remain in one room throughout the day might have served to corral motivated offenders and suitable targets into confined spaces at the same time, essentially creating criminal opportunities that required minimal effort. Conversely, controlling access to the school via locked or monitored doors likely increased the effort a motivated offender would need to expend to commit property crime. The research highlights the need for more evaluations as there are potential substantive reasons as to why tactics did not emerge as significant. First, schools might have relied on SCP techniques that did not match actual school problems that were prevailing in their respective environments. Data for this project, in which the unit of analysis was primary and secondary schools were obtained from the 2000 School Survey on Crime and Safety, administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): School security; Security standards
Index Term(s): Crime in schools; Crime prevention measures; Juvenile crime control; Security surveys
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