U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Controlling Vandalism Through Design - Is It Possible?

NCJ Number
R Daniels
Date Published
6 pages
This analysis of how lighting, color, and furnishings affect behavior is accompanied by recommendations on ways these features can be chosen so as to reduce the incidence of vandalism in college buildings.
Space gives off visual cues which affect feelings and behaviors. Recent studies indicate that lighting may affect glandular behavior. Studies of the effects of windowless classrooms indicate the importance of sunlight to psychological well-being. However, too much light may make people so excitable that they cannot do the task required in a particular environment. Like light, color is known to affect the human organism, although the relationship is not completely clear. Red is believed to be dynamic; green, to reduce nervous and muscular tension; bluish green, to be restful; and purple, to be biologically neutral. Alex Schauss, former prison and probation officer, believes that pink with a wavelength of 620 nanometers can calm disorderly conduct. Cultural conditioning also affects the way colors are perceived. A further strong visual clue is the furnishings and their spatial arrangements. Understanding the effects of light, color, and furnishings can create a satisfying environment where vandalism is kept to a minimum. A worksheet is included.