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NCJ Number: 222634 Find in a Library
Title: Lessons of the Street Code: Policy Implications for Reducing Violent Victimization Among Disadvantaged Citizens
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:24  Issue:2  Dated:May 2008  Pages:137-147
Author(s): Eric A. Stewart; Christopher J. Schreck; Rod K. Brunson
Date Published: May 2008
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article focuses on policy implications regarding street code, violent victimization, and offending.
Abstract: Findings suggest that one approach for mitigating the street code and reducing victimization is to promote the broad legitimacy of legal institutions. Because many residents of structurally disadvantaged communities feel estranged from formal institutions, they may lack social and/or political capital to engage law enforcement to address various problems within their neighborhood. Residents often complain of dissatisfaction with loose, inadequate police protection, and police abuse, with the consequence being strained relationships between residents and legal authorities. Repressive law enforcement tactics reinforce and further destroy the legitimacy of legal authorities. This is especially pronounced for individuals, in particular African-Americans, who live in structurally disadvantaged neighborhoods where police are viewed as untrustworthy and uncaring. Building trust is of paramount importance to improving police-citizen interactions and for developing meaningful partnerships between citizens and police. Although there have been mixed results regarding community policing effectiveness at improving police-citizen relations, there is still some possible benefit for community policing to improve strained relationships depending on implementation tactics. Research indicates that participants in mediation techniques, such as restorative justice, when they are implemented properly, tend to be more satisfied. As these programs promote higher levels of understanding between residents of the community level, the street code should become less necessary for order maintenance. Effective victimization prevention policy, such as improving police-citizen interactions and providing meaningful and effective opportunities for residents in a dispute to peacefully settle their differences should be explored further. References
Main Term(s): Citizen dispute mediation training; Mediation; Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Community action programs; Community conflict; Community crime prevention programs; Community involvement; Community policing; Community resources; Community support; Police community relations
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