Social Disorganization Theory

1115 Words5 Pages
Question #1 The paradigm of policy analysis is best described as a model that identifies patterns, defines an apparent problem (criminal behavior), and develops research designs and policies that address concerns produced by criminal behavior (Walker, Ch. 2). Given this, theory and research are essential to policy examination with emphasis on the theoretical advancement between the fields of criminal justice and criminology in how they report policy effectiveness (Cooper & Worrall, 2012). From a practical perspective continuing a policy that is wasteful of police time and resources if they fail to prevent or reduce criminal behavior. Continuing ineffective policy is atheoretical (Ibid.), which is why policy analysis is important to gauge their…show more content…
Social disorganization theory emerged from the early school of criminology and focused on the characteristics of neighborhoods which indicate a lack of collective efficacy that prevents deviancy and criminal behaviors. These aspects are summarized as poverty, high residential mobility, deteriorating physical conditions, homogeneity of residents and other social ills present. A neighborhood watch group collaborates with a neighborhood in order to organize themselves against aspects of social disorganization (Bennett et al, 2006), by improving neighborhood conditions, running patrols and reporting suspicious behavior to the police. The goal of this polices that, is to create collective efficacy which causes reductions in criminal behavior. The issue with neighborhood watch is that is characterized as a "black-box" where many aspects of multiple criminological theories have been incorporated making it difficult to determine which concepts are effective for reducing crime. Just some of the additional theories include deterrence, social bond theory and routine activities theory as some of the most influential theories to neighborhood watch. In addition to the menagerie of theoretical applications, neighborhood watches are not employed uniformly and are in many aspects tailored to the…show more content…
85). In empirical research, we always prefer the clear support of the theory and not simply doing "what works" (Ibid.) to support or disprove a given theory or policy. The everything and the kitchen sink approach that neighborhood watch has produced mostly positive results of reducing crime in those neighborhoods (Bennett et al.). But Aker 's stance that "good practice informs good theory" (p. 100) is preferable to a more concise design of the policy and better research on the effect of neighborhood watch even though the results have been moderately positive via Bennett and company 's meta-analysis. Without committing to a theoretical design for studying or implementing neighborhood watch, or clarifying their concepts and effectively operationalizing them, it 's hard to determine which research designs, and thus policies are
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