The rate at whichcrime has been developing in the past is alarming. The increase incrime issues has raised concern in the entire society, which callsfor a reliable remedy. It is perceived that, it is better to preventthe crime from happening rather than taking action after the crimehas occurred. The prevention can be either punitive, corrective orprotective depending on the situation in hand. Crime preventionrefers to the expectation, acknowledgment, and evaluation of crimerisk and the employment of some techniques to either remove or reducethe chances of the offense occurring (McCord & Joan 19). Crimeis characterized by the desire, the ability and the opportunity tocarry out crime. Removal of either of the attributes reduces thechances of crime occurring. Some strategies have been improvised tominimize the probability of a crime occurring. The crimes have beenreduced by the introduction of preventive criminal and treatmentprograms. This research paper discusses the McGruff House crimeprevention program.
McGruffHouse Crime Prevention Program
The McGruff HouseCrime Prevention program addresses the issues that affect thechildren in between the age of four to ten years. The program is madeto create awareness about the crimes that the children are exposed tosuch as kidnapping, drug abuse, and gun violence. The motto for theprogram as "we`ll call for help.” The program mainly focusedon assigning a temporal safe harbor for the kids who were in anemergency. In the program, some volunteers were supposed to actduring the time of rescue, but they could hardly take part in givingfirst aid to the victims (McCord & Joan 25). The program isfocused on preventing the crimes that occur to the kids and how thecrime can be handle in case it has already taken place.
TheHistory and the Results of McGruff House Program
Some years beforethe establishment of McGruff House, the issue of crime had become asignificant problem in the society. The number of assassinations wasgrowing each day, and the increased number of murder scared thepublic. The public felt exposed to a great change of facing crime, asthe prominent people were also being assassinated (Arneklev et.al108). The increased assassination led to the creation of a councilthat was to come up with strategies for reducing the number ofcrimes.
In 1977, thedepartment of justice approached the advertising board to come upwith a public campaign that was geared towards reduction of offenses.The campaign was to encourage the people to take the personal safetystrategies in reducing the rate of crime, but the Ad Council feltthat the people were going to ignore the proposal as they werealready filled with fear. The council was for the campaign despitethe fear that as posed by the citizens. The Ad Council passed DancerFitzgerald Sample the idea of the campaign. Fitzgerald was expectedto collect data from different cities on the people’s views oncrime. According to the data that was collected, the people felt thatthe occurrence of crime was supposed to be protected by the police,but the citizens were not willing to pay more tax to increase thenumber of police officers. The people suggested that the governmentwas supposed to come up with a campaign that was to emphasizepersonal safety in reducing crimes and the program was expected to bereadily available, and it should allow people to participate.
After theconception of the idea, Jack Keil gave an indication of the animalmascot. He chose to use a dog, and the motto was "Take a biteout of a crime." Keil and the council settled for a talking dogdressed in raincoat and Keil had symbolized all the detectives thatcould be substantial in crime prevention. The people, the government,were too much against the campaign as they felt that there was noneed to spend a lot of money on a talking dog. After a greatrebellion, the name and the slogan of the program were confirmed in1979 in New York City. The name of the dog remained "McGruff thecrime dog" while the slogan was "Take a bite out of acrime."
The response tothe crime had a positive impact on the public. The campaign waswidely spread and with time, it was known by everybody. Only 3% ofthe population disliked the advert, and that showed that it was goingto work out well for the citizens. The personal safety measureemphasized in the campaign was locking doors, making sure that theoutdoor lights were on, asking neighbors to watch your house,reporting suspicious activity, looking at the neighborhood, puttingindoor lights on timer and formation of community groups to preventcriminality. The advert let out the idea of getting a dog.
CriminologicalTheories behind the McGruff House
According toAkers and Ronald, criminological theories are categorized into fourgroups. They include psychological based principles, sociologicallybased theories, biological theories and classical methods. The ideasare applicable in life situations according to the perception of thecriminologist. The principles are applied in different ways in theMcGruff House program.
In the case ofthe sociological theory of criminology, the primary motive behind thecrime being executed is obtained from the question “why did we doit?” Most criminals always wish to know the reason as to why theyare supposed to adhere to the social customs rather than why theyshould differ from them (Arneklev et.al 115). In the McGruff Housecrime program, the citizens have a great worry on why they shouldadhere to the campaign as the killings were increasing among thepeople. They did see the reason to stop killings, abduction, and drugabuse and gun violence. As per the Ad Council, they perceived it thatit was going hard to convince the people that the crime will endthrough the use of the McGruff House program. The only way to preventcrimes with the motive of benefits outweighing the cost is byensuring that the punishment that the person who is liable for thecrime outweighs the benefits of the crime. For instance, the killingsthat were being done in America were meant for revenge. Thus, thepeople responsible for the murder should have been subjected to adeath sentence. The death sentence can make the people avoid thecrime. However, in some cases, people who carry out crime as a way oftaking revenge rarely care about the consequences.
Strain theoryexplains why people struggle to fit a given society. In the case ofstrain, people mainly look up to through the acceptable means in thesociety such as education and employment. The theory of stress can beapplied in the program of McGruff house as the targeted populationhas low income and it is struggling to make ends meet. The childrenraised in the communities with low income are likely to leave schooland end up being involved in criminality (Gottfredson & Don 17).They may end up failing in getting a quality education, and once theyend up being unemployed, they become frustrated, and they end upbeing involved in crime. The introduction of McGruff House programhelps in preventing the children from being exposed to drug abuse.The constant misuse of medication can make the children be involvedin crimes as they grow.
Gottfredson andHirsch argued that based on the classical theory, people do changetheir behaviors to have a short-term benefit. They tend to weigh outthe cost and the benefits that they are likely to obtain fromcarrying out a crime. Thus, they first conduct a personal analysis ofthe cost and benefits to weigh out of the offense are worth beingexecuted. Under the sociological theory of criminology, every personis in a position of doing a crime. The only thing that makes thedifference is the cost and the benefits that arise because ofcarrying out a crime. For instance, in the McGruff House, thepersonality measures that are being put into practices are evidentthat anyone can carry out a crime. When the people are being advisedto lock the doors, this is a clear indication that anyone can getinto a house and do some criminality without the owner`s knowledge.The primary determinant of whether the crime ill occurs or not is thenumber of benefits one can obtain from getting into the house. If thebenefits are insignificant, then, there is a high possibility of thecrime not taking place.
The psychologicaltheory deals with the crimes that develop in the children as theygrow because of the surrounding environments. The criminal behaviordevelops in an individual as they grow from childhood to adulthood(Gottfredson & Don 18). The people with such habits are advisedto be taken for counseling even though it might take long. Forinstance, in the McGruff House Program, the behavior of killingpeople could have developed because of the habit that developed fromthe childhood behaviors. Looking at criminality from thepsychological point of view, crime is a result of the psychologicalconflict. Thus in the program, could be the people were carrying outthe killings because of a conflict within their psychology.
Self-perceptionabout the success of McGruff House Program
The McGruff Houseprogram has helped in reducing the number of crimes occurring in thesociety. The program emphasized on the use of personality styles inlessening the number of crimes taking place. Out of the seven formsdiscussed in the program, closing the door that has not been followedto the latter by the people. The adoption of the other aspects hasled to reduced number of crimes that have been taking place. Theprogram was accepted by 97 percent of the population, and this showsthat the method was acceptable amongst the people. The programentails activities that can be executed by everyone irrespective oftheir social status. That is to say that the probability of the crimeending in America is high.
Crime has been agreat concern to the society. There has been a need to come up withprograms that are going to assist in reducing the number of crimes.The prevention of a crime is usually proactive, and it calls for thepeople and the government agencies to look for the ways that we cancamp the criminality from taking place. The programs will be chosenaccording to the problem in hand. In defining the crime, differenttheories are used, and the suitability of the criminology theory isbased on the perception of the criminologist.
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