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TUESDAY, JULY 8, 1997202/307-0703



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) today released a report, Solving Crime Problems in Residential Neighborhoods: Comprehensive Changes in Design, Management, and Use, which examines changing security and crime prevention methods in both urban and suburban neighborhoods. Law enforcement officials, urban planners, architects, multi-family housing managers and public housing administrators can use this document to learn about environmental design and management techniques that can reduce crime and fear of crime in residential neighborhoods and housing complexes.

"This report amply illustrates the notion that crime prevention need not take a 'one-size-fits-all' approach," said NIJ Director Jeremy Travis. "Multiple options are possible as long as they are grounded in a thorough analysis of the problem."

Visits were made to four sites: Boston, Massachusetts, East Oakland, California, Charlotte, North Carolina and Oak Park, Illinois. Each community represented a different approach to crime prevention.

"Place-specific crime prevention," the focus of this report, involves changes to physical design, public and private management, and use patterns that target a specific place and its crime problems. This problem-solving approach to crime prevention uniquely complements community-oriented policing practices now being implemented around the nation.

Examples of place-specific crime prevention include closing off pedestrian tunnels and opening up hidden areas so that residents and management can easily view activities, dismantling known crack houses, creating on-site police substations, enclosing a community with fencing and/or gating, and re-routing or restricting vehicular traffic through a community.

The most effective place-specific, crime prevention strategies are those that carefully consider the geographic, cultural, economic and social characteristics of the target community. The study reveals that individual communities need to modify and make use changes to physical designs according to the specific location. The most effective security and crime prevention efforts are those involving a coalition of different individuals working together on problem solving, the report also concluded.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the Department of Justice, is the primary federal sponsor of criminal justice research and evaluations of programs to reduce crime. For general information about NIJ, the Internet address is General information about NIJ's parent organization, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), is available at

To obtain a copy of the report, please write to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), P.O. Box 6000, Rockville, Maryland 20849-6000 or call toll free 1-800/851-3420.

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NIJ 97-086

After hours contact: James Phillips at 888/582-6750