Community-based crime reduction programs are not as effective as they should be and often create disturbing and dangerous tensions along class and racial lines, says William DeLeon-Granados in this groundbreaking work. He argues that current strategies remain rooted in a punitive criminal justice system and fail to address the heart of the crime problem. Instead, programs that exploit community power should focus on fostering informal social controls and indigenous problem solving.
Going beyond traditional criminological and sociological research methods, DeLeon-Granados traveled across the United States to cities with model community-based programs to experience and observe firsthand efforts to build community and control crime. He visited and lived with public officials and citizens to uncover and assess the strengths and weaknesses of various ways of establishing community-leadership, community policing, citizen mobilization, urban design and planning, and laws.
DeLeon-Granados's eloquent narrative style combines peoples' stories with the author's personal reflections and analysis to provide a richly textured, cohesive, and accessible picture of community-building as a response to crime and social problems. Challenging current discourse, the author proposes a new conceptual framework for crime control, asserting that effective problem-solving strategies must restore community strength and forge new relations, connections, and shared values among citizens.
DeLeon-Granados offers a fresh perspective on the important relationship between crime and place. This volume will appeal to criminologists, urban sociologists, and general readers alike.