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Biosocial Criminology and Modern Crime Prevention

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 40 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2012 Pages: 306-312
Michael Rocque; Brandon C. Welsh; Adrian Raine
Date Published
August 2012
7 pages
This paper examines the relevance of biology to modern day crime prevention.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, criminological efforts to prevent or reduce crime were centered on addressing presumed biological causes of crime. Most of these strategies involved calls for eugenics, proposals that today are considered unethical and morally reprehensible. Biologically-oriented criminology and crime control policies have re-emerged with new sophistication and attention to the importance of social context. Additionally, developmental crime prevention, with a special focus on biological/physiological risk factors in the early life course, has become influential in criminology. This paper examines the relevance of biology to modern day crime prevention. Narrative review of the theoretical and empirical literature of biology and developmental crime prevention was conducted. There are a growing number of developmental crime prevention programs that address biological risk factors for delinquency and later criminal offending. These programs are found in the family, school, and community domains. Evidence suggests that these programs can reduce crime. While "biological crime prevention" as a separate field has not yet emerged, findings show that crime prevention programs can and do address biology in a sociologically sensitive manner, and these programs have shown significant impacts on crime. (Published Abstract)


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