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Media-Crime Nexus Revisited: On the Re-Construction of Crime and Law-and-Order in Crime-Appeal Programming
Max-Planck-Institute Fur Auslandisches und Internationales Strafrecht Germany, United
This book critiques two "crime-appeal" television programs (programs that profile real criminal cases) in terms of their impact on audiences' views of crime. Critiques of Aktenzeichen XY...ungelost, a "crime-appeal" program in Germany, and Crimewatch UK, a similar program in the United Kingdom, show that they foster a punitive criminal justice policy, select rare random violent crimes while ignoring other types of crime, and tend to portray crimes that have been committed by Blacks and foreign-born offenders. The programs ignore the more prevalent property crimes, white-collar crimes, and acquaintance and domestic crimes. The programs also tend to exaggerate the victimization rates of the most vulnerable parts of the population, such as women, children, and the elderly. Offenders are portrayed as "evil" and abnormal without reference to the social and structural causes of criminal behavior and deviance. The programs' producers are less interested in presenting an objective and balanced view of real crime than they are in feeding the public's appetite for real-life drama and extreme tragedy that pits good (the police, victims, and viewing audience) against evil (people who aren't like the rest of us). The research underlying this book was based on coded observations of programming; documentation of the history, selection, and production of programming; and analysis of viewers' incentives for watching the programs. 18 tables and 590 references
David W.M. Sorensen
Scandinavian Prospects for a Place-Based Randomized Experiment on Burglary Reduction
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention Volume:8 Issue:1 Dated:2007 Pages:97 to 112
This article discusses the problems of prior evaluations on situational crime prevention programs for residential burglary and provides a plan for a place-based, randomized experimental study of a situational crime prevention program in Denmark. The main problem with previous evaluation studies on situational crime prevention programs is that very few of them have been carried out under controlled, experimental conditions. Prior evaluations have produced contradictory results, been subject to a lack of subject compliance, have been contaminated by the use of multi-tactic interventions and publicity campaigns, and have either lacked control groups or equivalent comparison groups. The author argues that a place-based randomized experiment in burglary reduction is well suited to Denmark and should be conducted to contribute to the dearth of knowledge in this area. The author outlines an experimental design in which the unit of analysis is the individual household dwelling rather than the neighborhoods, police beats, or cities that have been the unit of analysis in previous research. By making household dwellings the unit of analysis, dwellings can be randomly assigned to treatment and control groups and post-treatment differences in burglary levels can be observed. Denmark proves a particularly fertile ground for such experimentation because of the quality of the Dutch registries on dwellings and the fact that residential burglaries are relatively well reported to police in Denmark. Tables, footnotes, references