The Criminal Justice System of The United States of America consists of Corrections, Courts
and Law Enforcement. Crime Prevention is the attempt to deter and reduce crime throughout
the United States. Crime Prevention Programs are available throughout many different agencies
throughout the United States. Crime Prevention Programs do not only include law enforcement
and politicians but members of the communities throughout our nation. The dominant approach
law enforcement uses for crime prevention includes situational prevention, social development,
environmental design, community crime prevention and policing.
The first dominant approach I will discuss is situational crime prevention. “Situational crime
prevention reduces the opportunity for criminals to commit crimes by making changes to or
altering the environment with the assistance of the police, neighbors and other agencies.”
(Clarke, R. (1995). The techniques that can be used to help prevent situational crime are
Target hardening is one, examples include installing extra deadbolts, locks, windows
having screens, fences and landscaping. Installing cameras at ATM machines may deter
a criminal from trying to rob someone for fear of getting caught. Crime cannot happen without
motive and opportunity.
Social development refers to activities which are intended to increase positive(reduce undesired)
motivations, attitudes or behavior in individuals by influencing their experiences in areas such as
family life, education, employment, housing or recreation. (NCJRS,1986) Youth are more at risk
if they grow up in poverty, lack of resources and lack of parenting. Social development is a long
term approach this not only requires parenting, but educators, and people in the community for
positive social development in our youth.
Environmental design is another influence to help prevent crime.
• Defensible Space- “Defensible space” is the term used to describe an area that has been made a “zone of defense” by the design characteristics that create it.(Gardner,Robert,2018)
• Territoriality involves an individual’s perception of, and relationship with, the environment. A strong sense of territoriality encourages an individual to take control of his or her environment and defend it against attack.(Gardner,Robert,CCP,2018)
• Surveillance is the principal weapon in the protection of a defensible space. Criminals are least likely to act when there is a high risk of their actions being witnessed. Environments in which legitimate occupants can exercise a high degree of visual control increase the likelihood of criminal acts being observed and reported. (Gardner, Robert, CCP,2018)
Landscaping, Security Cameras, Security Guards, Fencing and Lighting
are environmental designs to prevent crime. If you think about the placing of the
bushes and how cameras can be installed so they are not being covered by landscaping
is a strategical process.
There are different types of policing that can be effective in certain areas.
Community Policing involves when law enforcement officers become familiar with
a community and building a relationship with those in the community. Law
Enforcement become aware of the communities needs, what the problems are in
the community and how to address them effectively. Community Policing
can be an effective crime prevention in some areas that are willing to work with
police as well as police working with the communities. Communities can also
be an effective tool in preventing crime by forming neighborhood watches, being
aware of who comes and goes in the community and reporting any suspicious activity.
If the area is a hot spot police can come up with a strategic plan to try to prevent crime
from happening. Law Enforcement and Communities can work together to try and
prevent crime from happening and reducing the crime rate.
The Courts and Corrections have categories that they go by, Incapacitation,
Deterrence and Rehabilitation.