Violence prevention and control through environmental modifications

Annu Rev Public Health. 2003:24:209-25. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.24.100901.140826. Epub 2001 Nov 6.


Violence traditionally had been considered a problem exclusively within the criminal justice domain, although it is now widely viewed as a public health issue as well. Public health has brought new and complementary tools for understanding and preventing violence. Whereas public health has long recognized the environment as a determinant of disease and injury, it has paid less attention to the environment when considering violence prevention strategies. For several decades though, some criminologists and others have been researching environmental factors in crime prevention. This article aims to discuss the main environmental crime-prevention strategies, provide examples of promising interventions, review public health literature that uses these strategies, discuss what public health can contribute, and suggest public health research to test the hypothesis that violence can be prevented and controlled through environmental modifications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Environment Design*
  • Humans
  • Public Health Practice*
  • Terrorism / prevention & control*
  • United States
  • Violence / prevention & control*