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Integrating Crime Prevention Strategies: Propensity and Opportunity

NCJ Number
P H Wikstrom, R V Clarke, J McCord
Date Published
362 pages
Papers present and discuss approaches to crime prevention that focus on influencing the propensity in individuals and factors in high-risk situations, along with how these approaches can be integrated.
The perspective that underlies all the papers is that crime prevention measures can be divided into two main groups. One group involves measures that reduce the individual propensity to commit crime, and the second group involves measures that reduce the occurrence of criminogenic situations or opportunities for crime. Research and theory in these two areas of prevention have generally developed separately and are poorly integrated. These papers contribute to an integrated crime prevention theory and a discussion of issues that arise from such a theory. A number of theoretical issues arise in the development of an integrated theory. One is how far the theory must take into account different types of offenders and offenses. Generally, situational theories have been crime-specific; whereas, developmental researchers have focused more on the versatility of offenders. The integrated theory identifies five major prevention strategies; these are a decrease in long-term criminal potential, a decrease in short-term criminal potential, a decrease in criminal opportunities, a change in decisionmaking in criminal opportunities, and making the consequences of crime less reinforcing. Tables, figures, and references accompany the papers. For individual papers, see NCJ-157413-25.