Criminal Justice-COAS | Crime Prevention in Theory and Practice
P421 | 1440 | Arvind Verma

Course Description
	How do criminals choose their targets? Why do corner plots get
hit more often and why is graffiti seen on some walls and not on
others? There are understandable patterns in crime and overwhelming
evidence that crime has a skewed distribution. Some places have more
crimes than others while some periods of time pose greater risk of
victimization than other periods. All these are an indication that
offenders make a rational choice in choosing their targets. These
decisions are guided by many factors such as time, place, offence
type, absence of guardian or police, perceived opportunities and cost
benefit ratio.
	This course attempts to answer some of these questions in
several ways. We first analyze criminal behaviour and victimization
from the theoretical perspective of Environmental Criminology and
understand how situational techniques can be applied for their
prevention. By drawing from a variety of sources (e.g. architecture,
ecology, sociology, geography, anthropology, psychology, urban
planning and criminology) we also explore the macro and micro level
environments that affect crime and victimization. In particular, we
examine specific criminal events in the context of routine activities
and movement patterns in everyday life. To understand the importance
of environmental features in creating opportunities for crimes a
number of projects are given where land usage, residential layouts,
street networks, transportation systems and different regular
activities of the place are studied. We then investigate ways in which
situational methods may be applied for preventing criminal behavior in
these physical and social settings.
	The objective of the course is to teach students about
situational perspectives in preventing crimes. A variety of readings
ranging from ethnographical study of burglars to hot spot analysis
help understand how offenders perceive opportunities and select
targets. Furthermore, students are challenged to use this knowledge,
to develop skills and devise means of blocking opportunities for
specific crimes. They also examine a large number of successful and
not so successful strategies of crime prevention to evaluate what
works in preventing crimes. These studies help understand
methodological issues and importance of experimental designs in
research work. Moreover, students are introduced to crime mapping,
urban planning and security technology and are provided with
opportunities to undertake actual projects with local police and
municipal departments.
Required Texts:
1. Reader from TIS
	In addition, there will be journal articles, book chapters and
monograms for additional readings.
	Class Projects	(Individual)			20%
	Project Work	(Team)				20%
	Mid term Exam.				        25%
	Final Exam.					30%
	Class participation				5%

	Students will be required to form a team, plan, undertake and
present to the class a project related to urban design and situational
crime prevention techniques. There will be a mid-term and final
examination that will assess the student's understanding of theory and
practice of crime prevention methods.

Class meeting:  Wednesday, 2:30 - 5:00 p.m., SY 0013
Course will satisfy:  Social/Historical Studies (SHSI)

Instructor:  Professor Arvind Verma, criminal justice department