Learning from the Offenders' Perspective on Crime Prevention

Scott Jacques, Georgia State University
Elizabeth Bonomo, Georgia State University

To learn more about the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Reaserch visit https://aysps.gsu.edu/ and https://ebcs.gsu.edu/.


Criminals have a firsthand perspective on why and how to commit crime. In this chapter, we outline and illustrate five ways that offender-based research can be used to inform understanding of crime prevention, more specifically situational crime prevention: namely, (1) by directly determining what works to reduce crime; (2) generating findings that are suggestive of what prevention measures to invent and employ; (3) refining understanding of why a given prevention method reduces crime; (4) figuring out how offenders get around particular prevention measures; and, (5) gathering information on not only the positive but also the unintended, negative outcomes of prevention procedures. We conclude by discussing the choices involved in conducting offender-based research for the betterment of situational crime prevention.