Tag Archives: effective prevention

Policing in the 21st Century and Smarter Crime Control: What shifts policy to cost effective public safety?

Compared to 50 years ago, health policy has led to much longer life expectancy. Technology has led to a much easier life. But criminal justice policy has only recently been associated with rates of street crime close to those in the 1960´s when the USA had 3 Presidential Commissions on violence. We are also now more aware that intimate partner and sexual violence is much more rampant than debated 50 years ago.

Recent innovations in Canada and evidence based initiatives in the USA suggest that a shift in policy could reduce interpersonal violent crime by 50% or more combined with huge savings in tax expenditures. So what do we know about how to make this shift? To what extent will these innovations and initiatives lead to application of the evidence and so less interpersonal violent crime and greater public safety at less cost? Will they achieve the potential for a 50% reduction in street crime and intimate partner and sexual violence? Will they reduce taxes on crime and justice by $6 billion in Canada and $75 billion in the USA?

The CCA Panel on the Future of Policing Canada in the 21st century emphasized that policing is just one player in reducing interpersonal violence and providing public safety. The book on Smarter Crime Control reviewed the accumulated evidence on cost effective public safety to show that (i) specific policing strategies that are pro-active and in partnerships to be effective and (ii) that many pre-crime prevention investments are proven to be more cost effective in preventing much of violent crime.

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Let´s prevent violence against women and girls – we have more knowledge than we think

It is time for developed and developing countries alike to take the issues of the prevention of gender based violence seriously by investing in what will stop the violence and assist the victims to survive better.

We have evidence on what works and how to implement it, but we are not using it. Currently victims experience pain and loss equivalent to 5% of GDP for inter-personal violence in developed countries and much higher in many less affluent countries. Yet the evidence shows that a relatively small investment – maybe 2/10th of one percent of GDP – would reduce violence by 50% within 10 years.

The critical implementation steps require a shift from over-relying on what does not work to investing in what has been proven to work. It must also include greater investment in (secondary) pre-crime prevention programs that follow a ¨logical model¨ to reduce violence against women and children. The World Health Organization is providing leadership to help governments make the shifts in orientation and resources.

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Let´s Get Smart on Crime in Canada – Make A Safe Canada, Safer for All (and, SaveTaxes)

The time is long overdue to shift from over-reliance on a ¨reactive, punishment and sensational case¨ agenda to a ¨victim centred, prevention and evidence based agenda¨. Canada must get smart on crime by supporting its pioneering best practices in effective community safety and victim rights, catch up with other advanced nations, and use evidence on what is cost effective.

Canada needs a Crime Reduction and Victim Assistance Act that establishes a National Crime Reduction and Victim Assistance Board to spearhead the shift to an effective violence reduction and victim assistance agenda, through federal, provincial, territorial and municipal collaboration to support all sectors with funding to establish standards, research and development, training and data. It should establish consensus to set and evaluate targets for 2025.

Interpersonal violence does $83 billion in harm to victims each year in Canada – equivalent to 5% of the Canadian GDP. We have the knowledge that investing as little as 1/10th of one percent of our GDP – $1.6 billion – in proven and logical prevention strategies annually would reduce this harm of interpersonal violence to victims by at least 50% by 2025. Why not?

Because investment in proven violence prevention would reduce street and intimate partner violence, it will reduce the demand for: expensive policing; jails overcrowded with persons waiting trial; and unnecessary incarceration. By 2025, it could avoid growth in expenditures on policing and prisons and so save $6 billion a year in current dollars.

Canada must also champion national standards for services and rights for all crime victims that are at least as good as other advanced nations. This will require a proportion of the new investment in prevention to go to the implementation and evaluation of actions that would truly support and show respect for victims of violence on streets, in intimate partnerships and in other areas of living.

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Major UN Crime Congress to Celebrate and Advance Magna Carta for Victim Rights

Millions of people, including many women and children, throughout the world still suffer harm unnecessarily as a result of crime, abuse of power and terrorism. Despite 30 years of progress, too many victims have too few rights. In addition, too many suffer hardship when assisting in the prosecution of perpetrators.

In 1985, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a land mark decision for victims by resolving to prevent victimization and implement the UN Declaration on Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.

The UN Organization on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is organizing a special ¨High Level Event¨ to take stock of progress and provide guidance for the future at the UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The Congress is expected to be attended by more than 7000 persons, including the top Justice and Public Safety officials from more than 150 national governments.

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Smarter Crime Control – An Agenda for Action – for 2014!

My new book on Smarter Crime Control uses the evidence on what are effective ways to reduce violent crime to propose an agenda for action to cut violence by 50% and save taxpayers billions – in the USA $100 billion a year.

Current rates of murder, traffic fatalities, drug overdoses, and incarceration are unacceptable in 2014. We have the knowledge and best practices to make them history and reduce the waste of taxes on what has not worked. The book organizes the knowledge to show how to retool policing, improve corrections, and make criminal courts more preventive. It confirms ways to help youth in problem neighborhoods start on a path that does not lead to chronic offending, gang violence, and incarceration. It proposes promising ways to stop violence against women and fatalities on the roads. It shows how cities can take charge of making their neighborhoods safer for less. It is written as A guide to a safer future for citizens, communities, and politicians.

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