Enacted: Jan 2001
Crime prevention is the promotion of those attitudes, activities and behaviors that create and maintain safe and vital communities where crime and delinquency cannot flourish. Crime prevention practices provide a foundation for community justice initiatives and embrace the principles of restorative justice.
The American Probation and Parole Association believes that it is the responsibility of professionals working within the field of community corrections to ensure that whatever is appropriate and necessary is done to prevent crime and promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities as a whole. Crime prevention practices are the building blocks of community justice and embrace the principles and values of restorative justice.
In step with the APPA Vision, this association resolves to support the determined but balanced integration of crime prevention into the traditional roles of supervision, intervention and sanctioning of offenders. This vision will guide the organization in promoting efforts that help to create safe and vital communities where crime and delinquency cannot flourish.
Principles of Crime Prevention
Crime prevention is a key tenet in the vision statement of the American Probation and Parole Association. While not a traditional role of most agencies, crime prevention is critical to the reduction in crime victimization and the offender population. Recognizing the uniqueness of each community, the American Probation and Parole Association proclaims that community corrections professionals must demonstrate a willingness to:
- Invest in long-term crime prevention efforts. Crime prevention activities must be woven into the business of community corrections agencies in such a way as to compliment the traditional responsibilities of supervision, intervention and sanctioning of offenders.
- Make substantive and unique contributions to crime prevention efforts within the community. Probation and parole professionals have an unmatched capacity to access information about offenders; the power to intervene with offenders; and knowledge of crime and other conditions within the community. It is essential that these capacities be offered as a part of national, state and local crime prevention efforts.
- Develop partnerships to discuss, promote and practice crime prevention within the community. It is important that the community itself determine its crime prevention needs. Criminal justice entities must listen actively and collaborate in the development of strategies that meet the identified need. Each partnership will be unique to the neighborhood or community for which it was created.
- Conduct business in different and non-traditional ways. Community corrections professionals must become experts in creating opportunities to initiate and foster unique crime prevention strategies within the community.
- Actively participate in existing crime prevention planning within the community. Community corrections professionals must be involved in and supportive of developing and existing crime prevention initiatives within the community.
- Commit resources to insure the success of crime prevention activities. Support in the form of leadership, funding, advocacy, time, staff, expertise, education, research and program development, helps to insure the success of community initiatives and creates communities that thrive.
Crime Prevention Strategies
The traditional reactive position relative to the supervision of juvenile and adult offenders does not offer the possibilities for success engendered in the partnerships and community involvement that are part and parcel of crime prevention. In promoting crime prevention as an essential activity in which community corrections agencies and practitioners must engage, the following strategies will be needed:
- Shift historical paradigms of intervention, supervision and sanctioning to insure that crime prevention becomes a real part of the mission and daily activities.
- Think long-range in fostering crime prevention efforts in communities.
- Identify new success measures to gauge performance in crime prevention.
- Develop skills in the area of crime prevention awareness and practice, capacity building and community mobilization and organization.
- Advocate for resources for crime prevention initiatives at the local and national levels.
- Become catalysts for crime prevention efforts and programs.
- Join national, state and local crime prevention organizations and initiatives.
- Develop partnerships for crime prevention at the local and national levels.
- Identify new locations and methods for service delivery in an effort to be visible in crime prevention initiatives.