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Super Controllers and Crime Prevention: A Routine Activity Explanation of Crime Prevention Success and Failure

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 23 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2010 Pages: 37-51
Rana Sampson; John E. Eck; Jessica Dunham
Date Published
February 2010
15 pages
Drawing on a rational choice perspective and Situational Crime Prevention, this article examines the methods super controllers use to regulate the conduct of controllers, and the article lists and describes types of super controllers.
Why does crime prevention fail? And under what conditions does it succeed? Routine Activity Theory provides the foundation for understanding crime and its patterns by focusing on variations in the convergence of offenders, targets, and controllers in space and time. But Routine Activity Theory does not provide a full understanding of why the controllers may be absent or ineffective. This article expands Routine Activity Theory to explain controllers. It claims that the behaviors of controllers can be understood in the context of their relationship with super controllers - those who regulate controllers' incentives to prevent crime. Examples are used throughout to illustrate specific points and to show the diversity of super controlling. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of super controllers for the practice of crime prevention and research into crime reduction methods. 2 tables, 1 figure, and 33 references (Publisher Abstract)