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Crime Prevention Policy and Government Research: A Comparison of the United States and United Kingdom

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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This paper examines Garland's (2000) view that both the United States and United Kingdom have fundamentally similar approaches to the prevention of crime. Whilst conceding their superficial similarity, we argue that the U.K. policy was driven by research on situational crime prevention, whilst the U.S. federal research agenda has been more supportive of policy than formative, and has invested relatively little in situational studies. We describe the ways in which U.K. research influenced policy, and consider the structural and philosophical reasons why a similar approach would be more difficult in the United States. We note, however, that the pressure on both policy makers and practitioners to deliver outcomes may lead to increasing interest in bringing the U.S. federal research agenda closer to policy development. If this happens then the U.K. experience may become more relevant in the United States.

Affiliations: 1: National Institute of Justice, 810 7th Street, NW, Washington DC, 20531, USA


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