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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and Consumption Control in the United States

NCJ Number
Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 39 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2000 Pages: 267-289
Alejandro Del Carmen; Matthew B. Robinson
Date Published
August 2000
23 pages
This analysis of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED)examines the era from the early 1800’s to the early 1900’s when tuberculosis was widespread to demonstrate that efforts to control the spread of illness took place through CPTED strategies that preceded the academic writings of those regarded as the founders of CPTED.
CPTED theory, research, and practice are often held to be relatively recent developments in criminology, generated largely by the works of Newman in 1972 and Jeffery in 1971. However, this perspective on CPTED and its development does not provide an adequate understanding of the vital part it has had and can have in the advancement of crime prevention theory and public policy. The analysis of what is termed "the era of consumption" reveals that CPTED is actually broader than it is currently understood in criminology. Efforts to control tuberculosis during this era resulted from CPTED strategies aimed at preventing and controlling the interrelated health problem of consumption and the social problem of criminal behavior. These strategies included recommendations from physicians and nurses, educational campaigns aimed at promoting lifestyle changes of infected and potentially infected individuals, travel and relocation efforts, altering inner-city conditions such as poverty and unemployment, and incarceration. Such efforts sometimes aimed at preventing only tuberculosis or crime, but they inevitably helped alleviate both conditions. Both social problems stemmed from similar environmental conditions, so CPTED strategies aimed at preventing only one condition also helped alleviate the other condition. These findings have implications for the prevention of tuberculosis, HIV infection, and AIDS today. 54 references (Author abstract modified)