Crime Control in America
Individual, Family, and Household Crime Control
Kevin Thompson & Shirley McMillan Embry
Over View of Chapter
Government May Still Be Involved
Individual Crime Control
-Guns and Personal Defense
-Measuring Gun Prevalence
-How often are guns used in Self-Defense?
-Armed Resistance and Crime Completion
-Armed Resistance and Victim Injury
-Do Criminals Care?
-Compensating Risk and Offsetting Behavior
-Guns and Accidental Deaths
-Comparing the United States to other Nations
-A Gun in Every Home?
Risk Avoidance Behaviors
-Characteristics of Victims
-A Simple Explanation and a Complex Solution
-Risk Avoidance Effectiveness: Further Complications
-Risk Management Behaviors
-Self Defense Training
-Non forceful Resistance
-Vigilantism? The Minuteman Project and Illegal Immigration
Household and Family Crime Control
-The Aim of Crime Control in Households and in Families
-How Families Influence Delinquency and Youth Victimization
-Varieties of Crime Control in Households and Families
-Parent Training and Education
-Family Preservation Therapy
-Multi systematic Therapy
-Financial Assistance to Families
Ms. Shirley's Chapter
Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)- Published in 1983,
DeFronzo found that AFDC payments adjusted for cost of living, had
significant negative effects on homicide, rape, and burglary rates.
Compensating Risks- Offsetting the behavior of risk.
Family Preservation Therapy- FPT is sometimes pursued when there is
evidence of child abuse and /or neglect in a home that is characterized by
parental conflict. This type of therapy is to help prevent future negative
actions of the child.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST)- It is a reactive method of dealing with
crime and delinquency after FPT and Parent Training have shown no
Offsetting Behavior- Compensating risk behavior.
Risk-Avoidance Behavior- Actions that people take to avoid being
victimized or coming face to face with criminals.
Risk-Management Behaviors- Include actions that people take when
they know that they cannot fully avoid the potential for victimization.
Strengthening Families Program (SFP)- Started in 1983, this is a drug
abuse program for high-risk drug using parents to educate them in
appropriate parenting skills.
How Much Power Should We Give ‘Big
Some researchers have found an inverse relationship between
welfare expenditures and crime, leading them to conclude that
more welfare money to families will reduce any need to commit
crime to obtain basic necessities.
Individual actions rely on virtually no governmental intervention.
But family and household crime control tend to rely heavily on
funding by governmental organizations.
Former NRA Spokesmen Charlton Hesston believed that having
gun ownership among private citizens would prevent potential
home invasions among private citizens.
To much power or not enough power in the hands of the
government or private citizens should not be the issue but the
safety and security of our homes should be the issue at hand.
Are Guns Used More By Civilians for Self Defense Or For
A survey completed by three professors at Harvard University came up with this
To determine the relative incidence of gun victimization versus self-defense gun use by
civilians in the United States, as well as the circumstances and probable legality of the
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS
Two national, random-digit dial-telephone surveys of the adult population were conducted
in 1996 and 1999, respectively. These Harvard surveys appear unique among private
surveys for asking both open-ended questions about defensive gun use incidents and
detailed questions about gun victimization and self-defense gun use. Five criminal court
judges were asked to rate the probable legality of the self-reported defensive gun uses.
Are Guns Used More By Civilians for Self Defense Or For
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
Even after many of the firearm victimization reports were excluded, the data show that more
survey respondents report having been threatened or intimidated with a gun than having used a
gun for self-protection. Most judges rated the reported self-defense gun uses as probably illegal in
most cases, even assuming that the respondent had a permit to own and carry the gun and that
the respondent had described the event honestly.Guns are used to threaten and intimidate more
often than they are used in self-defense. Most self-reported self-defense gun uses may be illegal
and against the interests of society.
Information Provided by Professors D. Hemenway, D. Azrael, and M. Miller of Harvard University
in Boston Mass.
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gun Rights
Guns and Personal
“If someone breaks into my house,
I’m going to shoot them. Nobody’s
going to threaten my family without
facing the consequences”. Unknown
DO YOU AGREE?
The United States has no central registry of guns that are in
In 1999, the General Social Survey, revealed that 36 percent of
household reported ownership of at least one gun.
The General Social Survey can not be 100 percent accurate.
According to John Worral the best way to measure gun
ownership is by the number of gun related suicides.
It’s Not True If You Don’t
Have Research TO Back It Up.
“A GUN RICH COMMUNITY PORVIDES MORE LUCRATIVE BURGLARY OPPORTUNITIES THAN
ONE IN WHICH GUNS ARE MORE SPARSE.”
Mark Duggan used subscriptions to Guns and Ammo magazine
as his estimate of gun prevalence, he found that burglaries
increased in areas with high levels of gun ownership.
An increase in gun prevalence causes an intensification of
criminal violence- a shift towards greater lethality, and hence
greater harm to the community.
National Crime Victimization
Armed Resistance and Crime
In 1994 a telephone survey was conducted by Datastat and found
that in the previous 12 month period there were 500,000
instances of gun use in self defense.
In more recent years they have found 3.6 million instances of gun
use in self defense.
The National Crime Victimization Survey tells a different story…
this survey is conducted by the Census Bureau every six months.
It has found estimates that there were only 32,000 “gun
instances” per year from 1979 through 1987.
According to another study there was roughly 1 million burglaries
per year between 1979 and 1987. This means that half of those
burglaries guns were used.
The NCVS also states that only one in thirty burglaries did victims
attempt to interrupt the crime.
Reasons these surveys may not have 100 percent accurate data
is because of-
- A person might fend off a trespasser with a gun but because
criminal trespassing is not measure in the NCVS, this type of of
gun use would never be reported.
- If a person prevents a crime by using a gun, then the prevented
crime would not be reported in the NCVS because it did not
- People may want to conceal gun use from these governmental
employees who conduct these surveys.
Do They Wear Their Heart on
Their Sleeve Like A Bruise Or
Do Criminals Really Care?
In 1982, 1,823 state prisoners were surveyed and 74 percent of
the respondents agreed that “one reason burglars avoid houses
when people are at home is that they fear being shot.”
One inmate stated that “A gun is money with a trigger.”
Risk Avoidance Behavior and
Risk Management Behaviors
What are some types of ways to
prevent risk and becoming a victim
Vigilantism? The Minute Man
Project and Illegal Immigration.
The Minuteman Project is considered to be a
Volunteer duties include-
-500 percent increase in Boarder Patrol funding.
-200 percent increase in funding for Boarder
Patrol agents to acquire technologies to
further their mission.
-A minimum of $50,000 in fines against
businesses that employ illegal aliens.
-Deployment of military reserve units and the
National Guard to aid police officials near the
U.S- Mexico border and the Border Patrol.
-A Corps of Engineers- constructed fence that
would span the entire southern boarder from
east to west.
DOES IT WORK?
“Using a gun in self defense is taking the law into one’s own hands.”
John l. Worrall
Crime In The Public Is Hard to Control But
How Do You Control Crime Behind Closed
“Crime control in households and in families is relatively popular but
difficult to evaluate. This is so for at least three reasons”. (P 258)
Reason One- First Consider the example of a program that is designed
to educate parents about the wrongs of child abuse. Do the parents
consider their actions as child abuse?
Reason Two- Crime control in households and families can be
confounded by contextual factors, such as the neighborhood in which a
family is located.
Reason Three- Criminal activity in private residences is inherently difficult
Thoughts To Previous
To the extent that such abuse occurs, its effects on children will
take a great deal of time to measure. This is because what
happens during a child’s early years can affect delinquency
As one researcher put it, “clinic based parent training for parents
of aggressive elementary school children may work in all
neighborhoods in Oregon, nut not in many neighborhoods in
The central problems are low completion rates of personal
interviews with victims of family crimes who have been treated,
low or inconsistent reporting rates of subsequent crimes to police
and unwillingness to disclose crimes committed in the family
during interviews in the home while other family members are
Class Room Exercise
This is a digital recording of a
911 telephone call made by a
child about the abuse taking
place in his home.
Warning! This recording is
graphic and if you feel this may
make you uncomfortable please
take a break and return in a few
During this exercise please write
down your thoughts and feelings
about what you encounter. At the
end please discuss your
thoughts and feelings please.
Crime Runs In
63 percent of boys with fathers with criminal convictions had convictions
of their own compared to 30 percent of boys who did not have ‘crime run’
In one recent study, the researchers concluded that domestic violence
during the first six months of child rearing significantly linked to child
physical abuse, psychological abuse, and neglect, up to the child’s fifth
How Families Influence Delinquency and Youth
Not only can family behavior lead
children to act inappropriately as they
age, but family types and contexts
apart from parental behavior and
neglect. This can also influence the
probability of children themselves
becoming victims in the home.
Divorce plays a factor! Youth in a
single parent families experience
significantly higher risks for violence
than youth in two parent families
Families may be more important than
communities when it comes to
predicating victimization of children.
Children who are born into large
families are at a high risk of
delinquency. Our government can do
little to keep people married and
family sizes small.
Varieties of Crime Control in
Households and Families
Parent training and education programs.
Research on family preservation therapy programs will be
Multi-systematic therapy (for families with delinquent
Family financial assistance (welfare programs?).
Strengthening Families Program
An Interesting Tid Bit
Started in 1983.
Is a program for high risk, drug using parents to educate
them in appropriate parenting skills.
Figure 12.6 and 12.7 on pages 261 - 262 present an
overview of the program.
Parent training and education occur in at least 5 forms.
- One method of such training and education consists of
home visits by trained professionals- generally during the
Elmira - New York
To improve the outcomes of pregnancy.
To improve the quality of care that parents provide to their
children (and their children’s subsequent health and
To improve the women’s own personal life course
development (completing their education, finding work,
and planning future pregnancies).
Established in 1962 in Ypsilanti.
Targeted poor African American children and their parents.
The children participated in a Head Start program that taught them how to
use thinking and reasoning skills.
The project showed positive results in the children that had participated-
nearly all children had improved to a degree that officials made
assumptions that these children would not become delinquent juveniles.
John Bowlby theorized more than fifty years ago that children
from broken homes are more likely to grow up to be delinquent
juveniles and potentially unruly adults.
Children who experience the divorce of their parents within the
first five years are twice as likely to be convicted for a criminal
conviction compared to happily married families.
What About Divorce Predicts
Delinquency In Children ?
David Farrington believes this to be the answer…
“Trauma theories suggest that the loss of a parent has a
damaging effect on a child, most commonly because of the effect
on attachment to the parent. Life course theories focus on
separation as a sequence of stressful experiences and on the
effects of multiple stressors such as parental conflict, parental
loss, reduced economic circumstances, changes in parent
figures, and poor child rearing methods. Selection theories argue
that disrupted families produce delinquent children because of
pre existing differences from other families in risk factors such as
parental conflicts, criminal or antisocial parents, low income
families, or poor child rearing methods.”
Financial Assistance to
Many families lack sufficient resources and therefore might
become involved in criminal activity to obtain basic necessities.
A common sentiment that many Americans express is that
welfare threatens individual responsibility and contributes to an
attitude among its recipients that entitlements are due to them.
DeFronzo found that Aid to Families with Dependant Children
(AFDC) payments, adjusted cost of living and had significant
negative effects on homicide, rape, and burglary rates.
Does It Work?
A wealth of research suggest that parent training and education
can favorably influence child behavior, mostly when it contains an
in home dimension.
Multisystemic therapy for families with delinquent juveniles
appears to be effective.
Increased welfare spending might be associated with a reduction
in crime, but it is unclear whether, at the level of individual
families, such assistance improves people’s conditions.
Family preservation therapy does not appear to do much to help
children who are being raised in broken homes.
Are we as individuals unable or unwilling to do what it takes to control crime? Is it
best that government control crime instead of individuals?
Professionals state it is a proven fact that child abuse or “poor parental
performance” is a large indicator to delinquency in our youth and puts them on to a
track for criminal activity… is this a fair statement?
Does financial income or the lack of produce crime in neighborhoods?
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3.Cook PJ, Ludwig J, Hemenway D. The gun debate's new mythical number: How many
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4.Hemenway D, Azrael D, Miller M. Gun use in the United States: results from two
national surveys. Inj Prev 2000;6: 263-267.
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death? JAMA 1998;280: 471-473.
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7. Worral J. Crime Control in America “What Works” 2nd Ed. 2008; Pearson Ed.