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NCJ Number: 51425 Find in a Library
Title: CRIME IN SOCIETY AND SCHOOLS
Author(s): J Q WILSON
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE TESTING OF PRACTICAL APPROACHES TO ENHANCING THE SECURITY OF SCHOOLS IS SUGGESTED AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CONTINUING IDEOLOGICAL DEBATE OVER THE CAUSES OF AND SOLUTIONS TO SCHOOL CRIME.
Abstract: AS HAS BEEN THE CASE WITH CRIME IN SOCIETY, DISCUSSION OF SCHOOL CRIME IS BASED NOT ON ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION, BUT ON PERSONAL IDEOLOGY AND ORGANIZATIONAL AND INSTITUTIONAL INTERESTS. ONE VIEW IS THAT THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH SCHOOL CRIME OR THAT THE PROBLEM IS EXAGGERATED. THE OPPOSITE VIEW IS THAT THE SCHOOLS THEMSELVES ARE TO BLAME BECAUSE THEY CREATE VIOLENCE. YET OTHER VIEWS ARE THAT THE RIGHTS OF SCHOOL CHILDREN ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PROBLEM OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE AND THAT PHYSICAL SECURITY DEVICES AND POLICE MUST BE INSTALLED THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOLS. THERE IS ALSO THE FAVORITE ALL-PURPOSE SOLUTION: CONCENTRATION SHOULD INVOLVE ELIMINATING THE ROOT CAUSES OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE. THE PROPONENTS OF THESE VARIOUS VIEWS ARE NOT COMMUNICATING WITH EACH OTHER. THE PROBLEM OF SCHOOL CRIME EXISTS, ITS CAUSES ARE NOT UNDERSTOOD AND ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE UNDERSTOOD VERY WELL, AND THE PROBLEM CANNOT BE READILY ELIMINATED. SCHOOL CRIME IS ONE REFLECTION OF A PROFOUND SHIFT IN VALUES AND INSTITUTIONAL ATTACHMENTS THAT IS PRODUCING REBELLION. WITHOUT UNACCEPTABLE REDUCTIONS IN PERSONAL LIBERTY AND UNACCEPTABLE INTRUSIONS INTO FAMILY LIFE OR THE INDOCTRINATION OF YOUTH, THIS CHANGE IN VALUES IS NOT LIKELY TO BE REVERSED. IN THE MEANTIME, IT IS POSSIBLE TO EXPERIMENT WITH PRACTICAL, ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS TO ENHANCING THE SECURITY OF SCHOOLS SO THAT EDUCATION CAN TAKE PLACE REASONABLY FREE OF DISTRACTIONS AND THREATS. SUCH EFFORTS SHOULD BE DIRECTED AT DETERMINING WHO IS ACTUALLY VICTIMIZED IN SCHOOL SETTINGS AND UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES, AND AT EXPERIMENTING WITH ALTERNATIVE SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS IN SCHOOLS AND WITH ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL BUILDING PLANS. THERE SHOULD ALSO BE AN EFFORT TO EXAMINE LONGITUDINALLY WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUTHS WHO TAKE VARIOUS 'ROUTES' IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL, WITH A VIEW TO ABANDONING THE NOTION THAT HIGH SCHOOL IS THE ONE FUNNEL THROUGH WHICH ALL YOUNG PERSONS MUST BE PROCESSED IDENTICALLY. IT IS ALSO NECESSARY TO REALIZE THAT CRIME DOES NOT OCCUR IN THE SCHOOLS IN ISOLATION FROM CRIME IN THE REST OF SOCIETY. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Crime in schools; School security
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51425

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