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Title: Reducing Crime Affecting Urban Aboriginal People: The Potential for Effective Solutions in Winnipeg
Author: Monchalin, Lisa A
Abstract: This study examined the knowledge relevant to reducing crime affecting urban Aboriginal people through a risk-focused approach to prevention and a growing body of knowledge about how it gets implemented. It then examined this knowledge in a case study of its application in Winnipeg.
Interviews were undertaken using a structured questionnaire with program stakeholders and policy planners involved in crime prevention initiatives, programming and policy in Winnipeg. Approximately half of the stakeholders were involved primarily with Aboriginal people and the other half were involved with programs that included both Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people. The interviews took place from September to November 2009.The interviews show that many stakeholders agree with the risk-focused prevention literature on risk factors and that there are prevention programs operating in Winnipeg serving at-risk Aboriginal people. Therefore, there exists the possibility of reducing crime given that they are tackling risk factors in a way which is consistent with crime prevention research.
However, when the interviews turned to issues of implementation, it showed:
• There is no responsibility centre to mobilize different sectors to tackle crime
• Many programs are not implemented comprehensively
• There is a lack of localized coordinated action (including support from the police chief and public engagement)
• There is a lack of political leadership
• There is no city-wide strategic plan, and
• Programs are in constant competition for funding in order to continue operations.
If we are to reduce the disproportionate rates of victimization and offending affecting urban Aboriginal peoples, we need to find more effective ways to implement the strategies that are proven to tackle risk factors. There must be support from the mayor and police chief, training and capacity development, and public engagement which fosters strong use of proven strategies. A responsibility centre with Aboriginal representation must be created. Funding must be expanded to support the community based organizations that are tackling established risk factors. Finally, sustained and adequate funding must be provided to these programs and the responsibility centre.
Supervisor: Waller, Irvin
Faculty: Sciences sociales / Social Sciences
Department: Criminologie / Criminology
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