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Environmental modifications to prevent and control violence

Health Factors: Community Safety
Decision Makers: Community Development Professionals Employers & Businesses Local Government State Government
Evidence Rating: Insufficient Evidence
Population Reach: 100% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Modifications to physical design and immediate situational factors can reduce opportunities for violence in the community.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Reduced arrests
Reduced incarceration
Reduced sexual violence
Reduced violent crime

Evidence of Effectiveness

Mair 2003 notes some studies that have found beneficial effects of environmental changes (e.g., workplace lighting) on violent crime rates. The article outlines a number of methods to potentially reduce violence by modifying the environment, including modifying the physical design, architectural layout, and disorder (e.g., trash, broken windows, graffiti) of a community. Alcohol availability is one component of environmental design that is of interest to many. Urban-Roman 2008 finds that on-premise alcohol outlets (but not off-premise outlets) are a significant predictor of aggravated assault.

Citations - Evidence

Mair 2003* - Mair JS, Mair M. Violence prevention and control through environmental modifications. Annual Review of Public Health. 2003;24:209-25. Accessed on February 29, 2016
Urban-Roman 2008 - Roman CG, Reid SE, Bhati AS, Tereshchenko B. Alcohol outlets as attractors of violence and disorder: A closer look at the neighborhood environment. Washington, DC: Urban Institute; 2008. Accessed on May 24, 2016

Page Last Updated

January 1, 2011

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