Abstract

Places of worship strive to produce a welcoming environment. People in the most need of spiritual healing may have troubled pasts, including criminal records. While affording a variety of people an open place to seek a higher power, churches have become a soft target for criminals and require an adequate level of security. Rather than creating a fortress mentality with locked doors and thicker walls, houses of worship can enhance their safety through a series of non-threatening administrative controls and physical facility upgrades using the principles of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design.