Self-Defense & Violence Prevention Blog

news and commentary about security, self-defense, and topics like violent crime prevention and bullying

Violent Crime Prevention Most Effective

As a society, we have a desire to drastically reduce violent crime and victimization. Unfortunately, the war on crime has not resulted in much success.

I think we can most effectively reduce violent crime and victimization through prevention.

We do need to use physical force to defend people when a criminal attacks or attempts to attack a person. We do need to detain and lock up these violent offenders. However, forceful defense and incarceration cannot solve the problem alone.

First of all, forceful defense and incarceration only do anything after an act of victimization or an attempted act of victimization has already occurred. Beyond that, the incarceration system does not rehabilitate offenders, and in many ways cannot rehabilitate them. Removing someone from free society and locking them up in an unpleasant jail with other criminals for an extended period of time obviously will not rehabilitate them. Criminals often come out of prison worse than they went into prison. Most of the inmates released from prison get rearrested within 3 years.

To stop violent crime and victimization, we need to prevent the original crime from happening in the first place. We can try to do that in many ways. For example, we can reduce the conditions that help cause criminality, such as poverty or lack of education. We can increase psychological observation and treatment of people, namely at a young age in schools.

What do you think? How do you suggest we prevent violent crime and prevent people from turning into violent criminals?

By | December 3rd, 2007 | SHOW COMMENTS (7)


I am the creator of this website, which I use to post about self-defense and violence prevention. I have two children who I love so much. I want them to be proud of me, and I hope what I do here contributes to that. Please let me know what you think about my posts by leaving a comment below. I throw my opinions around pretty openly here, but I am totally open to opposing viewpoints and a productive discussion. So please post a comment. And follow me on Twitter: @scottmhughes

7 Responses

  1. Will says

    I definitely agree that prevention is far better than attempting to rehabilitate someone. The rehabilitating process is not a guarantee that a man or woman will changes their ways. In the news, it should a rapist go back to attacking a group of college girls; and he completed a reform program. Ultimately, the only solution to reduce these type of crimes is how a person is raised. A person that is raised well has the best shot of not being a criminal; and making the best decisions that will influence their life. In addition, we need to offer our youths more options like recreation centers, going to the library, etc. that will keep their time occupy.

  2. Nimmo says

    I work for a criminal attorney in San Diego, and I can tell you that from experience prevention is way better than ‘rehabilitating’ or punishing someone after the fact. We see criminals come in and out of jail for the same offense or worse. It’s very cyclical. I also notice that the criminals tend to all have broken family or childhood upbringing. Having a complete, healthy and supportive family unit would cut down on crimes in my opinion.

  3. Garrrett Guidinger says

    I believe drugs should be legalized. They would definitely make billions of dollars in America’s economy! Also the wars on drugs and violence and crime rate an prisoners of drug possessions would cease to exist!

  4. Joanne Factor says

    Prevention is WAY more cost-effective (physically, emotionally, socially AND financially) than is after-the-fact incarceration. Two main approaches can cover most issues.

    First, much violence erupts when conflict escalates and communication fails. Teaching simple conflict resolution skills, beginning at early ages, really works.

    Second, there are chunks of violence not connected to lack of education or poverty. While domestic violence is SLIGHTLY more prevalent among the poor, overall it cuts across class and education lines. I credit the stigma placed on the victim for it’s continued prevalence. Abusers continue abusing because they too often get what they want with too few negative consequences. The trick is balancing our rights and privacy with social accountability.

  5. David DeAngelo says

    Prevention is better than cure. I think it has alot to do with a persons upbringing. If we have a society where the parent is made to be more responsible in teaching their child in ethics and values their will be less crime and violence in society. Locking up criminals with others could help them build up a network and stay in their way of thinking. However, I believe they still should be locked up and maybe even solitory confinement. Children and youths these days are getting more and more dangerous. In London this year, there has been many shootings and stabbing which left many teenagers dead. Our law here is letting them off too easily because of their age. They should be held responsible for their actions like any adult. However, the best long term plan is to teach and discipline them at a very young age.

  6. Scott says


    Thanks for your great comments! I’ll assume your questions are rhetorical because I doubt I could answer them. I agree with your view of violence as systemic. I think we need to promote a culture of peacefulness and non-violence conflict resolution, and try to shed the culture of violence and vengeance.

    You ask how we can help a would-be perpetrator before an incident occurs without restricting their liberty. I think we can do it with their consent. Most people want to help themselves. Psychologists often say that we can only help those who want to help themselves. Additionally, we can work to reduce the non-personal influences that systemically cause violent criminality, such as poverty and the previously discussed violent culture.

    I hope to hear more from you!


  7. Megan says

    Currently, I’m a seminary student and am researching the history of violence as it relates to women’s issues–specifically violence/violent language and images in the Bible…felt like you could use that background.

    Anyway, it seems to me that part of the issue with responding to violence is that we’ve adopted the vocabulary of violence–we fight violence, combat violence, have a war on violence.

    I agree that to truly end violence means to help a perpetrator before an incident occurs. How do you do this without violating someone’s rights and liberties? Perhaps the real issue is reframing what it means to educate people about the damages done by violence to the whole community. Violence is a systemic issue, and it seeps into some much of what we all say and do. What would it mean to think more deliberately about what we do and say? What would it mean to stop after we hear an offensive joke, a violent comment, or the like and talked to the person who said/did it?

    What does it mean not simply to live without war but to be an active peace maker?


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