NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH RESEARCH STUDY
Criminology has various theories that are directly related to the issue of neighborhood watch programs (Siegel, 2011, p. 14). The theories in the discipline can be related to some extend to the factor of neighborhood watch programs. However, in this paper, the social control theory, as a core taught and practiced theory in criminology, and its relevance will be used as a reference to the factor of neighborhood watch programs. It can be stated that the neighborhood watch program, as currently initiated by numerous suburbs, is overly hinged on the provisions of this theory.
The social control theory ideally refers to the concept which asserts that when certain social constraints on behavior that can be termed anti-social are absent, the chances of emerging and flourishing of delinquent behavior are high (Siegel, 2011, p. 44). The theory is based on the premise that committed societal crimes and delinquent behavior as a direct result of the weakened or absent social constraints of restraining them. Therefore, people do not indulge in crime related behavior in the neighborhood because of the driving force inside them.
The neighborhood watch program is based on this premise. When a control and watch system is put in the suburb as a system, the rates of crime in the specified region will eventually reduce. Criminals and potential criminals, according to the social control theory in criminology, will tend to avoid the suburb with a neighborhood watch program. This is because the instituted program increases the chances of having crime perpetrators intercepted. This provision therefore brings about the needed constraints as a crime restraining factor directed to potential criminal and related activities in the given suburb. Therefore, the social control theory is largely influential and supportive in the factor of the success of neighborhood watch programs.
Siegel, J. L. (2011). Criminology. London, UK: Cengage Learning.