Problems Of Environmental Criminology

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The University of Chicago, home to America’s first sociology department, was founded in 1892 by some of the subject’s most renowned individuals in the field. Professionals including George Herbert Mead, Robert Ezra Park and William Isaac Thomas were some of the first sociologists who founded the institution (Sarantakos, 2005, p. 43) during a time of extensive growth in both American sociology and university education (Fine, 1995, p. 17). Although the faculty conducted research on various areas of study within sociology, one of the most recognized focuses was that on city and urban life. Their own individual studies, although researched by other professionals before their time, were momentous in seeing the city as a subject that could be researched …show more content…
Instead of just locking up criminals every time a law was broken, sociologists found that there needed to be effort put in place towards preventing crime. These attempts became known as environmental criminology: ways to limit crime in areas rather than simply punishing criminals. The concept of environmental criminology may be fairly new, but its ideas expand upon the original work done by professionals such as the ones at the Chicago School. When looking at the impoverished, these sociologists noticed that crime thrived and created many problems within neighborhoods. Such troubles continue to exist today all around the world. For instance, in the United Kingdom in recent years, in hopes to limit crime, the government has tried an approach known as situational crime prevention (SCP), an idea which focuses on creating more environments where crime is less apparent. Likewise, in many cities today, surveillance is installed which makes it more challenging for crime to take place when areas are constantly being monitored. Many businesses and homes now also have secure locks and sensitive alarms to ward off any potential crime. To some extent, these measures have reduced felonies as statistics show that the overall number of crimes committed in England and Wales has evened since the mid-1990s. Today, crime is at its lowest point in the last twenty years. However, even though this may be true and society as a whole now has better ways of protecting themselves, inequalities still exist when it comes to protecting certain social groups. Additionally, sociologists today now understand that while endless crime is occurring in specific areas, often poor ones, wealthy regions flourish in defending themselves. From this knowledge based upon the Chicago School’s original work conducted about urban life, sociologists now recognize that poor neighborhoods that may be