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Crime Prevention: Approaches, Practices, and Evaluations.

Crime Prevention: Approaches, Practices, and Evaluations Author: Steven P. Lab Publisher: Anderson Publishing Co., Cincinnati, OH, 1988; 247 pages, softback: $19.95 Reviewer: Francis D'Addario, CPP, Director of Security, Jerrico Inc., Lexington, KY; Member of the ASIS Standing Committee on Crime/Loss Prevention Crime Prevention; Approaches, Practices, and Evaluations by Steven P. Lab catches one's eye with its ugly pink jacket. Though I tried to avoid judging the book by its cover, the contents failed to hold my attention.

The material is not in itself uninteresting. Lab compensates for the absence of state-of-the-art prevention techniques by reviewing an overwhelming number of studies in crime delinquency and recidivism over the past 30 years. He cites over 400 references in 195 pages of text.

Lab prefaces his work with the intention of providing an academic text as a relief from the many other how-to books on crime prevention. However, his model of primary, secondary, and tertiary crime prevention is arguable. Although significant stock is placed in fear of crime as an objective measurement, Lab gives the contributory aspects of the awareness prerequisite to prevention too little attention while he gives dispute resolutions, delinquency, and recidivism too much.

Lab's subscription to pleasure versus pain as opposed to risk versus gain in offender target selection is interesting. Although the deterrent aspects of penalties are well discussed, the certainty of interruption and intervention or at least discovery are wanting.

Also, Lab did not underpin any of his 20th century research with a historical perspective, including early criminology theory. I agree with Lab that crime prevention courses need an evaluation of previous prevention efforts, which requires more than a review of the literature. Students of crime prevention are well-advised to read Lab's work but must realize that dated material is suspect.

All things considered, I do recommend Lab's book. At the very least, it is thought provoking; at best, it is literature to review. How-to books have their place; this work leaves much to be desired as an academic text.
COPYRIGHT 1989 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:D'Addario, Francis
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1989
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