Crime Prevention programs in Kissimmee

The city of Kissimmee offers many different crime prevention programs that are open to the public. Some programs are court enforced and others are used as educational purposes for students in hopes to deter criminal activity. There are also crime prevention programs that are geared towards victims. One program that really stands out to me is The Domestic Violence program that is sponsored by the Florida Department of Children and Families. It is very hard for a victim of domestic violence to speak out and get help. It is even harder for a victim of domestic violence to avoid a repeat relationship that is full of violence. I know this because; I am a survivor of domestic violence.
The Domestic Violence program is an outreach program that strives on the mission to “ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence by developing partnerships with community organizations to create a seamless system of services.” (Department of Children and Families, 2014) The program is funded by the state and the federal government is used as prevention and an intervention program for men, women, and children that fall victim to this crime. The program also responds to dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking crimes. The State of Florida reports that domestic violence includes crimes such as murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, forcible fondling, aggravated assault, aggravated stalking, simple assault, simple stalking, and threat or intimidation. Without help victims put themselves at a severe risk.
Centers are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services that are provided at the centers include “emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis and information hotline, safety planning, counseling, case management, child assessments, information and referrals, education for community awareness, and training for law enforcement and other professionals.” (Department of Children and Families, 2014)
Calls to the center are kept confidential if requested within means. If it is recorded that a child is victim or has witnessed the violence a full report must be filed immediately and the child and the victim must be removed from the abuser. Victim’s that seek refuge at the centers are also eligible for free legal counsel and court advocacy, transportation, relocation services, and daycare. This program is designed to intervene, educate, prevent, and help a victim start a new life free of violence.
This program has been successful in its efforts. Statistics show “in 2010, 113,378 crimes of domestic violence were reported to Florida law enforcement agencies resulting in 67,810 arrests.” (FCADV, 2014) However the downfall to this program is that not all victims are reporting the abuse or their abusers, nor are they reaching out for help. The reasons are many; fear, shame, guilt, or they can also be held against their will by the abuser. The first step to getting help in this situation is to remove you from the abusers reach. It is not easy to walk away from your abuser, especially if it is someone you love. As a victim I lied to my family and many times to the cops about my bruises and the abuse. It took an intervention and counseling which this program provides to the victim in need. The downfall to this program is that the victim must seek the help. There are no officers that will drag the victim from harm’s way and into the arms of people that care and want to help you. There is absolutely no advertising for this program, no public knowledge that this program exists. I had never heard of it till I started to research for this paper. I think if more women were aware of what the Department of Children and Families offers through the Domestic Violence Program more and more victims would start to come out of the wood works.
Victims may also be shied away because this program is headed by DCF. DCF has a reputation of being the agency that removes children from their homes and the loving arms of his/her parents. A victim may be worrisome of coming forward and losing her children.
The Domestic Violence program also heads off the Batterer Prevention Program and provides education resources for batterers. This program holds batterers for their violence, and provides the necessary tools and resources that will enable them to have nonviolent relationships.
I think the programs that are provided are rich in resources and provide a great opportunity for victims that want the help. I think they lack in presence and public knowledge. It would be nice for the Department of Children and Families to get more involved within the community and inform the public of its offerings. Ways to provide this information to the public would include; pamphlets sent home with children from school, community resource fairs, and through law enforcement agencies.
Although statistics show “in 2011 overall domestic violence offenses in Florida decreased by 1.5 percent, base on crime reports published by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,” (ATrain Education, 2014) the numbers are still quite high. This is an issue that will continue to grow in quiet numbers due to the nature of the crime.







ATrain Education. (n.d.). Domestic Violence in Florida. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from

Florida’s Domestic Violence Statistics. (n.d.). Home. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from

Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Home. Retrieved June 28, 2014, from


Understanding Crime Prevention

Crime prevention can be defined as any action that discourages criminal or unlawful behavior. Efforts to deter crime can be performed by the government, communities, and individuals with a goal to stop crime in its tracks before it can happen. The community can unite together and form neighborhood watch committees in which they act as the eyes and ears of the police department and can help reduce crime. Citizens can also secure their homes with dead locks and keep their personal vehicles locked and keep items of value out of sight. When we work together as a community we can deter the crime in our neighborhoods, but together we can only do so much. More importantly is how our criminal justice agencies relate to the area of preventing crime.
Crime prevention is a lot more than just locking the doors. Our agencies use many different methods to control and reduce the amount of crime in society.
Local law enforcement, courts, and correctional facilities unite together and use different methods including but not limited to outreach programs, rehabilitation centers, probation and parole, incarceration, and fines to deter thugs from being a menace to society.
The outreach programs are in very high demand and are used as a bridge between the FBI and the community. The local FBI offices coordinate different programs that benefit the citizens of their community such as: community fingerprinting program, stranger danger campaign, internet safety, and school partnership programs such as DARE, SWAT, and PCE. The fingerprinting program branches out reaches out to parents by offering the service at schools, daycares, malls, fairs, and malls. By creating identification sheets that include updated information on the child, including a current picture and fingerprints we are aiding the parent in preparing for an emergency. Officers also team up with schools and educate children in the new trends that are hot in their school such as bullying, drugs, and kidnapping. These officers work with children and they build a bond and an internal trust that will stay with them. Bridging the gap with the police agency and our youth is imperative to a better tomorrow. As corny as that may sound, when a child is taught that police are to be viewed as helpful and someone they can turn to, the chances that they will trust the law and call on these law fighting officials in an emergency are greater. By making the children aware of the trends and issues in school and how the act can affect them personally and their friends we are able to deter their behavior from bad to good.
Our courts also believe that to deter crime is to remove it or punish the offender in hopes they will not act out unlawfully again in the future. Ways that our criminal justice system does this is by use of fines up to thousands of dollars, community service, house arrest, and incarceration. It is believed that when an offender is punished the behavior is no longer a thrill for them. Kind of like when a parent grounds a child for disobeying and breaking the law of the home. The punishment is used as a means to stop the behavior from continuing.
Rehabilitation is a means to change the offender and remold them into a character that is safe to be released into society. Many of the offenders that enter this program are low risk. They are given a second chance and often times are able to find their place in society. The government offers counseling and treatments that restructure the individual. Much time is spent in defining the characteristics in the offender that may have caused him to act out and be harmful to society in the first place.
Crime prevention is not only a means to stop crime, but it is also used as a means to build trust in the community. Community policing and the many programs such as the weed and seed, and the McGruff Programs facilitate in communication efforts between citizens and law enforcement that ultimately strengthen communities and make the streets safer. Citizens believe that it is really up to police agencies and the government to keep the cities safer, rather than take it upon them selves. Community policing is viewed as, “a philosophy that promotes and supports organizational strategies to address the causes of crime, to reduce the fear of crime and social disorder through problem-solving tactics and community-police partnerships.” By enhancing the communication and increasing the involvement of the law abiding citizens with the police agencies we will see rapid reduction in crime and the ultimate goal of a safer community will have been reached. Crime prevention is the key to change and bridging the gap among the people our criminal justice agencies serve. When our agencies are able to reduce the crime they are able to reduce the fear of the people towards crime and they build the belief that we are all important factors in preventing crime.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d.). Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Retrieved May 24, 2014, from

Plant, J., & Scott, M. (n.d.). Effective Policing and Crime Prevention. . Retrieved May 25, 2014, from

Lea, J. (2007, January 1). Crime Prevention and Community Safety. Crime Prevention and Community Safety. Retrieved May 26, 2014, from

Daughters in Danger a book review

This book is a great tool and can be used to expose the dangers in society to our precious daughters.  As a single mother and a criminal justice student working towards my bachelor’s, I was not aware of just how common  violence, rape, and murder were  in today’s college life and youth in general.  It is a rising issue in our society that needs to be addressed.  With proper education and prevention we can bear our daughters with the armor to go out into the world and have successful and non violent relationships.  This is something that hits home more than most families.  When I was younger I found myself in a very violent relationship.  All the signs were there but I did not see them and before I knew it, it was much to late and I found myself the victim.  It wasn’t until my unborn daughter fell victim that my eyes were opened and I was able to pull myself out of the relationship to protect my baby.  Shortly after I ended up in another relationship very similar to my previous one and with help of a domestic violence group at my church I am a survivor and no longer a victim.  Daughters in Danger brings light to this ever so common issue and unmasks cases that with proper identification of the violent behavior could have been avoided and may not have ended so tragically for so many beautiful, smart, and courageous women.  Bennett also shares in great depth the programs that are offered to young women that offer education and help for victims.

As a parent it is our duty to teach our daughter’s about the dangers of the world and how to protect themselves.  We are not to imprison our girls, but to love them and nurture them and guide them, so that they are not caught off guard and fall victim.  It is our hope and desire as parents to see our children grow up, fall in love, and live happily ever after.  This book enlightens us as parents to a world that we have been oblivious to and gives us the knowledge we need to help our precious daughters make it to happily ever after.
Daughter’s in Danger is a page turner and a must read for every parent and student!  Whether you are male or female read this book!  Also a great read for anyone interested in crime prevention.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.