Criminology 101

The Smart Policing Initiative presented a webinar on "Criminology 101" on September 3, 2014 from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Eastern Time.  Dr. Scott Decker, SPI Subject Matter Expert and Foundation Professor at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University facilitated this webinar. The past two decades have produced an abundance of “facts” about crime. These facts have been verified in multiple research settings and now can be regarded as solid evidence about crime that can be used to build effective criminal justice and police policy. As principles supported by very strong research evidence, these facts can be used effectively by law enforcement to craft effective interventions. Many of these findings will not be new or surprising to law enforcement. However, they can be acted on and used as the foundation of a response with greater confidence. The use of evidence based strategies is a core principle in Smart Policing. The wide ranging nature of these findings offers multiple opportunities for law enforcement to craft new solutions. This review of Criminology 101 examined ten basic facts about crime and offered insights into how they can be used to reduce crime.

Webinar Materials

A copy of the slide presentation is available for download here.

Criminology 101 Q&A: Dr. Decker and Dr. James R. "Chip" Coldren, Jr. developed a fact sheet responding to questions asked during the webinar.  You can read this document here.

Recommended Reading

In order to maximize learning, we provide recommended reading for participants to undertake before the webinar presentation.  By reading the recommended materials, participants will come to the webinar presentation with a basic understanding of the issues, prepared with questions, and ready to make the most of the learning environment.

Prior to this webinar on focused deterrence, we recommend reading the following:

  • David Weisburd, Lorraine Green Mazerole. (2000) "Crime and Disorder in Drug Hot Spots: Implications for Theory and Practice in Policing," Police Quarterly.  Available online here.  (Note that this article is not freely available - you may have access via your institution.  If not, we suggest you review the abstract.)
  • Anthony Braga, Andrew Papachristos, David Hureau. (2012) "Hot Spots Policing Effects on Crime," Campbell Systematic Reviews.  Available online here.
  • Janet Lauritsen. (2003) "How Families and Communities Influence Juvenile Victimization," Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Bulletin.  Available online here.