Communities and Crime Prevention

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This chapter aims to review the existing scientific evidence on the effectiveness of community-based programs to prevent crime. The three programs I am going to look and discuss are community mobilization, after-school recreation, and the removal of criminogenic commodities (specifically gun buy-back programs). First, let’s take a look at community mobilization. The definition of community mobilization is greatly varied, “from the creation of formal community development organizations to the mobilizations of resources from outside the community to help solve local problems like crime and unemployment.” There are four community mobilization programs meeting the criteria for inclusion in the book review. They all took place in high-crime areas. The first one was done by Bibb in 1967 in New York and it includes detached workers, individual and family services, job training, and education. The duration of this type of intervention and the sample size is not applicable in this program. It took place in nonresidential centers, in schools, and on the streets. The second community mobilization program was done by Fowler and Mangione in 1986. It includes community organization, recreation, localized policing, and environmental modification. The sample size was 5,000 residents of the North Asylum Hill area. The third community mobilization program includes violent-crisis intervention, mediation, family support, and youth skill development and was done by Fagan in 1987. The sample size was 6 high-crime cities. The fourth and final community mobilization program was done by Bennett and Lavrakas in 1989. It included neighborhood watch, crime prevention education, youth employment and recreation. The sample size was 10 high-crime inner cities. The treatment duration of three of the four programs was 4 years; information for the duration of the fourth program (Bibb, 1967) is unavailable. The methodological ratings of the four programs were low. The results of three of the...
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