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Evidence-Based Crime Prevention: Conclusions and Directions for a Safer Society.

Farrington, David P
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice/Revue canadienne de criminologie et de justice penale. April/avril: 337-354.

In an evidence-based society, government crime prevention policy and local
practice would be based on interventions with demonstrated effectiveness in
preventing crime – using what works best. Systematic reviews are the most
comprehensive method of assessing the effectiveness of crime prevention measures
and, in an evidence-based society, they would be the source that governments
would turn to for help in the development of policy. This article
summarizes the main findings of a project of the Campbell Collaboration
Crime and Justice Group to advance knowledge on what works to prevent
crime for a wide range of interventions, organized around four important
domains: at-risk children, offenders, victims, and high-crime places. The full
conclusions are published in the forthcoming book, Preventing Crime: What
Works for Children, Offenders, Victims, and Places. The good news from
this first wave of reviews is that most of the interventions are effective in preventing
crime and, in many cases, produce sizeable effects. This includes
social-skills training for children, cognitive-behavioural therapy and incarceration-
based drug treatment for offenders, face-to-face restorative justice conferences
involving victims and offenders, prevention of repeat residential
burglary victimization, hot spots policing, closed-circuit television surveillance,
and improved street lighting. Acting on the evidence from these systematic
reviews could contribute to a safer society, both now and in the long run.
Alongside the Campbell Collaboration effort to prepare and maintain systematic
reviews for use by policy makers, practitioners, and the general public, a
program of research into new crime prevention and intervention experiments
needs to be initiated. Author’s abstract.


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