Linking informal social control and restorative justice: moving social disorganization theory beyond community policing


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Much of what is at the heart of social disorganization theory’s approach to neighborhood crime prevention has been ignored in favor of policies that are more closely associated with deterrence and rational choice theories. Specifically, ideas of informal social control and collective efficacy have often been translated into policies of community surveillance and the reporting of suspicious behaviors to the police. While these policies may make neighborhoods less attractive to offenders because they create higher certainty levels of recognition, and subsequently arrest, social disorganization theory, at its heart, suggests crime prevention policies of a very different nature: policies that are more closely associated with restorative justice, re‐integrative shaming and peacemaking criminology. These associations are highlighted and provide a conceptual model for a community crime prevention program that is more consistent with the underlying nature of social disorganization theory.

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