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NCJ Number: 51427 Find in a Library
Title: PREVENTABLE PROPERTY DAMAGE - VANDALISM AND BEYOND
Journal: CRIME PREVENTION REVIEW  Volume:5  Issue:3  Dated:(APRIL 1978)  Pages:8-15
Author(s): R F THAW; D FELDMAN
Corporate Author: California Office of the Attorney General
Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: California Office of the Attorney General
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FACTORS IN THE SCHOOLS' FAILURE TO DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH PREVENTABLE PROPERTY DAMAGE ARE IDENTIFIED, AND AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH, BASED ON ANALYSIS OF THE PROPERTY-DAMAGING ACTS THEMSELVES, IS SUGGESTED.
Abstract: THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THE GREATEST DOLLAR LOSSES IN PREVENTABLE PROPERTY DAMAGE IN THE SCHOOLS ARE UNREPORTED AND UNRECOGNIZED BY SCHOOL SYSTEMS. THE FAILURE OF SCHOOLS TO DEAL REALISTICALLY WITH THE PROBLEM OF PREVENTABLE PROPERTY DAMAGE MAY BE TRACED TO THE TRADITIONAL FOCUS ON VANDALISM. THIS FOCUS, WITH ITS IMPLICATIONS OF INTENT AND MALICIOUSNESS, FAILS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MANY PROPERTY-DAMAGING ACTS THAT STEM FROM CARELESSNESS AND THOUGHTLESSNESS. AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE VANDALISM FOCUS IS A MODEL THAT SHOWS THE GENERIC DIMENSIONS OF PROPERTY DAMAGE AND THEIR INTERRELATIONSHIPS. THREE DIMENSIONS ARE IDENTIFIED: HOSTILITY-DIRECTED ACTS; ACTS OF THOUGHTLESSNESS; AND ACTS OF CARELESSNESS. HOSTILITY-DIRECTED ACTS ARE PERFORMED AS EXPRESSIONS OF HOSTILITY AND CARRY AN INTENT THAT MAY BE REVENGE SEEKING, CHANGE SEEKING, OR GAIN SEEKING. THIS TYPE OF ACT, WHICH IS A MINOR CONTRIBUTOR TO PREVENTABLE DOLLAR LOSS, HAS BEEN THE TARGET OF MOST ATTEMPTS AT PREVENTION. ACTS OF THOUGHTLESSNESS ARE THOSE CARRIED OUT WITH AN INTENT TO PLAY. AWARENESS OF DESTRUCTIVE CONSEQUENCES FAILS TO OVERRIDE THE DESIRE TO PLAY. ACTS OF CARELESSNESS NEED NOT INVOLVE INTENT, ARE TYPIFIED BY LITTERING, AND OFTEN TAKE PLACE IN AREAS WHERE STUDENTS 'HANG OUT.' BY FOCUSING ON PREVENTABILITY RATHER THAN ON THE INTENT OR ABNORMALITY OF AN ACT, THE MODEL MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO DISTRIBUTE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AMONG THE GENERAL STUDENT POPULATION. REMEDIATION OF THE PROBLEM MAY BE FOUND IN THE SHARING OF RESPONSIBILITY AND IN THE APPROPRIATE SELECTION AND DIRECTION OF CONSEQUENCES. MAIN STRENGTH OF THE MODEL IS THAT IT ENABLES BOTH MEASUREMENT OF PREVENTABLE LOSSES BEYOND THOSE RESULTING FROM VANDALISM, AND IDENTIFICATION OF PROPERTY DAMAGE PATTERNS AND APPROPRIATE SOLUTIONS. THE MODEL ALSO TAKES INTO ACCOUNT THE POSSIBILTY THAT, AS MINOR ACTS AGAINST PROPERTY CONTINUE DEVOID OF CONSEQUENCES TO THE PERPETRATOR AND BECOME ROUTINIZED, RISK-TAKING BEHAVIOR REQUIRES INVOLVEMENT IN MORE SERIOUS ACTS. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Cause removal crime prevention; Models; Property damage; School vandalism
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51427

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