Crime and Public Policy Discussion

“Crime prevention strategies of both sorts are needed, and when these are developed the task will be to figure out the balance (Barlow, 1995, p8). ” What do others think about Barlow’s argument on crime prevention strategies, and how do we achieve a balance between the two categories he describes? It is true that crime prevention strategies are needed because crime is an antisocial act. As he recommends, it will be great and even easier to find the strategies for crime prevention of both sorts.

However, other theorists fail to agree with the assertion that there are two sorts of these strategies (Homel, 1996). They argue that the distinction is somewhat ambiguous and raises a number of critical issues: – Crime and criminality might be differently addressed but it will be hard to achieve a balance between the two. – There is a rather diverse view that criminality is what leads to crime and so there is no need of setting the two apart. Instead, there ought to be sought strategies that address criminality independently as once criminality is addressed then crime will also be addressed (Homel, 1996).

– It really cannot be possible to develop strategies to address criminality and crime differently when there is no clear balance between the two. This is what Hugh Barlow is putting forth in his argument. Therefore: 1. The right order ought to be figuring out the balance first; and once this is done, then the right strategies can be sought and be put in place. In essence, it makes little sense to try to find a solution to address two closely related issues without any prior knowledge of the extent of each of the two issues or how they affect each other.

2. On this basis, it is right to seek for crime prevention strategies, but not of both sorts. It should be the other way round: seeking to find the balance between crime and criminality before proceeding to find the right strategies to address each of them separately. Otherwise let there be no distinction between crime and criminality. Figuring out the balance between the two categories can be done by establishing the relationship between criminality and crime. And this relationship is that criminality leads to crime.

This is based on the argument that before crime (which is an event) is committed, the criminal must have within oneself the seeds of crime (criminality). On the other hand, the balance can be reached by seeking to establish the effects of each of the two. Since crime (event) is directly responsible for many of the effects, its causes are to be prevented. And the cause of crime is criminality! Prevent criminality and crime is prevented as well (Barlow, 1995). References Barlow, H. D. (1995). Crime and public policy: putting theory to work. Westview Press Homel, R. (1996). Crime Prevention Studies. New York: Criminal Justice Press