Beyond HotSpots: Crime Reduction Today and Tomorrow Through Community Mobilization and Governmental Change

Arnold K. Sherman, Baltimore, Maryland MOCJ

America under-rewards, overly punishes, and has a short attention plan. This is a society that overly simplifies focusing more on problematic individuals and less on the environments that produced them. We are divided between those whom lean toward equality or freedom not recognizing as did DeTocqueville that at best these two conflicting values can be optimized.

It is necessary to look at crime reduction not only in the here and now but fifteen years out. Crime prevention through criminal justice agencies collaborating with each other and with the community is an impressive move forward. But it remains to become clear that building communities that work is a more important goal than simple crime reduction in the short term. Such changes require changing legislative mandates and funding for governmental agencies. It requires future oriented crime reduction by restructuring to minimize sexual, physical, and mental child abuse and ensuring that children have learned to read by the third grade in order to read to learn by the fourth grade. It requires communities that work.

America looks to solve problems of social order through a strong state, a weak society, and a great deal of individual freedom. For quality of life to improve order needs to be achieved through a weaker state, stronger communities, and an increased commitment to equality of opportunity. This paper will examine a variety of sub-disciplines in sociology that lay the foundation to support this argument.

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Updated 05/20/2006