SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Freilich, J. D. (2014). Beccaria and situational crime prevention. Criminal Justice Review, 40, 131-150.

Abstract: This article compares Beccaria’s and Situational Crime Prevention’s (SCP) claims across six dimensions. Both perspectives question harsh penalties, embrace crime reduction as a goal, and view some individuals as possessing agency and rationality. The latter two points distinguish them from most other criminological theories that are not focused on crime reduction and downplay offenders’ rationality. Both approaches have also been criticized for ignoring the root causes of crime in society. Importantly though, the approaches also differ. The Classical School and SCP are usually differentiated from positivistic approaches in their assumption of offender agency. This article found, however, that SCP does not assume offender agency in all contexts. In fact, many SCP interventions could be explained in positivistic terms. The analysis indicates that it is sometimes unclear which causal mechanisms underlie each of SCP’s 25 techniques of crime prevention. Clarifying the precise causal mechanism of each technique could lead to more effective implementation. The article places these and other issues in context and outlines a series of suggestions for future research to address to strengthen the SCP approach.

Journal Article 2: Lacoe, J., & Ellen, I. G. (2015). Mortgage foreclosures and the changing mix of crime in micro-neighborhoods. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 52, 717-746.

Abstract: The main objectives of the study are to estimate the impact of mortgage foreclosures on the location of criminal activity within a blockface. Drawing on routine activity theory, disorder theory, and social disorganization theory, the study explores potential mechanisms that link foreclosures to crime. To estimate the relationship between foreclosures and localized crime, we use detailed foreclosure and crime data at the blockface level in Chicago and a difference-in-difference estimation strategy. Overall, mortgage foreclosures increase crime on blockfaces. Foreclosures have a larger impact on crime that occurs inside residences than on crime in the street. The impact of foreclosures on crime location varies by crime type (violent, property, and public order crime). The evidence supports the three main theoretical mechanisms that link foreclosure activity to local crime. The investigation of the relationship by crime location suggests that foreclosures change the relative attractiveness of indoor and outdoor locations for crime commission on the blockface.