Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design


































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Carter and Carter Associates is a unique and dynamic partnership of urban planning and law enforcement professionals. Sherry Plaster Carter, AICP, planner, and retired Captain Stanley L. Carter are nationally recognized leaders in the field of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Their program and projects have received state and national awards.

The Carters provide CPTED training, assessments, consultations, and implementation.

Contact Information:

Carter & Carter Associates
37 Grouse Hollow
Murphy, NC 28906
(828) 835-9039
(828) 342-8837

CPTED Concept and Principles

The physical environment can have a dramatic effect upon our feelings, behavior, and the way in which we view the behavior of others. The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) theory is that form, arrangement, design and use of buildings and open spaces can encourage or discourage undesirable behavior and criminal activity. Likewise, good design can increase perceptions of safety and create an environment conducive to positive social interaction. "The CPTED Concept is credited to Dr. C. Ray Jeffery and is commonly defined as follows:

CPTED - The proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the fear and the incidence of crime, and to an improvement in the quality of life.

Simply stated, CPTED uses design, management and activity strategies to reduce opportunities for crime to occur, to reduce fear and to improve overall quality of life. Carter & Carter Associates uses six core principles to support the application of the CPTED concept.

CPTED Principles (Strategies):

  • Natural Surveillance
  • Natural Access Management
  • Territoriality
  • Physical Maintenance
  • Order Maintenance
  • Activity Support

There are always other factors to consider which include but are not limited to demographic characteristics, communications, design conflicts, distance and isolation, entrapment zones, movement predictors, target hardening, the impact of the surrounding community and even access to nature.

The CPTED concept and strategies can be applied to single sites or to larger geographic areas, such as redevelopment districts or neighborhood revitalization areas. The Carters coined the term "Community CPTED" and define it as follows.

Community CPTED - A pro-active approach to applying CPTED to large geographic areas. It requires a close examination of the interaction of selected physical, social and economic conditions and uses the details of the built environment and social behavior to create healthy, self-regulating communities.


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Training & Technical Services

arter & Carter Associates offer a variety of courses. Each course includes a basic agenda. This agenda is then customized for the client to include a variety of specialty sessions or to focus on a particular CPTED application such as mixed-use urban redevelopment, schools, parks or residential areas. Standard applications and case studies are used, but each course is customized to reflect physical, social and economic conditions of the client community or project. The client or hosting agency may choose sites or areas for field assessment exercises. A one-hour executive briefing, suitable for elected and appointed officials and supervisory personnel, is optional and can occur at any time during the course. Each course ends with a facilitated session on class-identified implementation initiatives.

Basic CPTED Course

The Basic CPTED course is a two-day to five-day curriculum designed to appeal to both newcomers and those with prior CPTED training and experience. The course includes the basic CPTED concept and principles, technical sessions, and a number of optional sessions of special interest to the host, such as urban redevelopment, schools, parks, housing projects, neighborhoods and implementation.

CPTED and Schools
(Through the National Crime Prevention Council)

Carter & Carter developed for the National Crime Prevention Council a school-based CPTED curriculum titled Safer Schools and Communities by Design: The CPTED Approach. The curriculum and manual were completed and field tested in August, 2000. Arrangements for training must be made through the National Crime Prevention Council. The program is designed for a multi-disciplined class of school administrators, staff, school resource officers, teachers, parents and students. Hosting jurisdictions may choose one or two schools for the guided field assessment exercise. Contact Joanna Cassarino at (202) 261-4170 or

CPTED and Parks

Carter & Carter Associates developed the first-ever CPTED training for the National Park Service and U.S. Park Police. This custom program identifies public safety issues and provides advanced CTPED strategies relevant to urban parks, monuments and memorials, hiker/biker trails and wilderness areas. A special session on the use of CPTED as the first line of defense against terrorism may be included. Hosting agencies may choose three sites or areas for class assessment exercises.

Residential CPTED

CPTED can be applied to all types of housing projects and residential areas. This course is customized for the client and can focus on any combination of older single-family neighborhoods, public or private multi-family projects, mixed-use areas or the overall neighborhood. It also includes assessing the community and the use of advanced "Community CPTED" strategies. The client may choose one or two areas for guided class assessment exercises.

CPTED and Urban Redevelopment

Carter & Carter Associates began their CPTED career by incorporating CPTED into the planning and design processes for redevelopment areas in the City of Sarasota, Florida. Their award-winning task team and planning projects are nationally recognized and serve as a model of implementation. This course includes planning processes, community assessment, and development of improvement strategies, task teams, design guidelines, review processes, resolutions and ordinances. It is specifically designed for multi-disciplined teams which may include planners, law enforcement officers, designers, engineers, building officials, community redevelopment officials and community activists, among others. This course
includes advanced "Community CPTED" concepts which are compatible with "New Urbanism" principles, "Smart Growth " initiatives and "Livable City" concepts, and is popular with community groups active in downtown redevelopment and in neighborhood revitalization.

Assessments and Consultations

Carter & Carter Associates has developed a standardized approach for assessing individual sites and areas. The assessment takes into consideration physical, social, economic and policy components that affect the design and safe use of the environment. Applications have included downtowns, neighborhoods, schools, college campuses, public and private housing projects, hotels, and parks. Assessments are documented and supplemented with digital photographs. Recommendations are developed and prioritized based upon risk, need and cost. The written report is suitable for assistance with funding requests and policy decisions.

Carter & Carter Associates are available to assist planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers, law enforcement officers and others with the development of recommendations to increase citizen comfort and safety in a wide variety of environments. This may include the development of general or specific design and use guidelines.

Stan Carter is available for assistance and expert testimony for selected premise liability lawsuits.

CPTED Implementation

Carter & Carter Associates provides assistance to communities interested in developing a CPTED program for their jurisdiction or a specified geographic area. This assistance can include the development of multi-disciplined teams, implementation plans, resolutions, design guidelines, ordinances, policies and educational materials for the general public. It may be a part of or an addition to a CPTED training course.









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Carter and Carter Associates, located in Sarasota, Florida, is a unique and dynamic partnership of law enforcement and urban planning professionals. Retired Police Captain Stanley L. Carter and Sherry Plaster Carter, AICP, have developed a nationally recognized model for achieving safe, attractive and economically viable communities. Drawing on their experience with a variety of planning projects, including their award-winning Administrative CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) Task Team, the Carters have provided CPTED training and technical assistance to public and private sector planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers, and law enforcement officers in more than 35 American cities.

Captain Stanley L. Carter (retired) is a partner and law enforcement specialist for Carter & Carter Associates. Responsibilities include CPTED assessments, technical assistance, CPTED applications, implementation strategies and training. Mr. Carter completed 27 years of service with the City of Sarasota's Police Department. He was the Special Projects and Long Range Planning Officer for the Director of Public Safety. Captain Carter was a founding member and co-chair of the City's CPTED Task Team. He served as liaison for multi-departmental projects including community planning projects, development review, and the update of the land development regulations. He provided assistance, law enforcement coordination and crime data analysis for local business and neighborhood associations. He is a graduate of the Administrative Officer's Course at the Southern Police Institute, University of Louisville and holds an Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Manatee Community College. He is past Chairman of the Florida CPTED Network. Email:

Sherry Plaster Carter, AICP, is a partner and urban planner. Responsibilities include community planning, public facilitation, CPTED training, technical assistance and assessments. Ms. Carter is a former Chief Planner for the City of Sarasota. In that capacity, she managed the Long Range Planning Division, conducted special studies, and facilitated public participation. She was the author of the acclaimed "North Trail" District and was project manager for the award-winning 50-year vision plan, City of Your Dreams, Sarasota 2040. Ms. Carter received the 1996 "Award of Excellence" from McGraw-Hill Engineering News Record for her contribution in promoting public safety through planning and design processes. Prior to working with the City of Sarasota, Ms. Carter spent sixteen years in the private sector in land use planning, real estate, finance and land development. She holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the School of Architecture, University of Virginia. She is current Chair for the International CPTED Association. Email:

Training and Technical Assistance
Since 1995 the Carters have provided training and technical assistance in cities across the nation. They have worked both independently and under the auspices of the National Crime Prevention Council or the National Crime Prevention Institute. Each program has included training in CPTED principles, technical sessions, data and field assessments of selected sites or areas and the development of recommendations to improve the safety, aesthetics, economic vitality and livability of the assessed sites and areas. Focus has varied from distressed urban areas to new developments and to special use sites such as schools.

Training and Technical Assistance Log,
1995 - Present

Independent Contracts:
Henrico County, Virginia
University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
Aurora, Colorado
St. Croix, Virgin Islands
Pasco County, Florida Housing Authority
Monroe, Georgia Housing Authority
National Park Service, Washington, D.C.
City of Oakland, California
Nassau County, New York
Highlands County, Florida (Schools)
Lake County, Florida (Schools)
Monroe County, Florida (Schools)

References: Provided upon request.

National Crime Prevention Council:
Austin, Texas
Baltimore, Maryland
San Francisco, California
Tempe, Arizona
St. Louis, Missouri
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Atlanta, Georgia
Calgary, Canada
Salt Lake City, Utah
Portland, Oregon
Wichita, Kansas
Freeport, Illinois
Asheville, North Carolina
Savannah, Georgia
Columbus, Georgia (Schools)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Schools)
Milton-Freewater, Oregon (Schools)

Reference: Joanna Cassarino, National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), 1000 Connecticut Avenue NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20006. Phone: 202-261-4170.

National Crime Prevention Institute:
Louisville, Kentucky
Atlanta, Georgia
Elk Grove, Illinois
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Houston, Texas
Dallas, Texas
New Britain, Connecticut
East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

Reference: Jeffrey Fryrear, Director, National Crime Prevention Institute, U. of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292.
Phone: 502-852-0098.









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Putting SOC (Safety, Order and Comfort) Back in Our Schools, Captain (Ret.) Stan Carter and Sherry Carter, AICP. Proceedings of the 2000 International CPTED Association Conference, Oakland, California.

Safer Schools and Communities by Design: The CPTED Approach. Sherry Carter, AICP and Captain (Ret.) Stan Carter. National Crime Prevention Council, 2000.

But Is It CPTED? Scratching the Surface of Jeffrey's Concept. Sherry Carter, AICP. Newsletter of the International CPTED Association. Volume 2, Issue 5, July 1999.

Neighborhood Warning Signs: CPTED to the Rescue, Captain (Ret.) Stan Carter and Sherry Carter, AICP. Proceedings of the 1998 International CPTED Association Conference.

Sarasota Florida: A CPTED City, Sherry Carter, AICP. Proceedings of the 1997 International CPTED Association Conference, Orlando, Florida. (This article describes the "North Trail" CPTED project, for a free copy send a self-addressed, stamped 9x12 envelope to Carter & Carter Associates).

Safe Place Design, Diane Zahm, Ph.D. AICP, Sherry Carter, AICP and Al Zelinka, AICP. Proceedings of the APA National Planning Conference, Planning 1997, Contrasts and Transitions, San Diego, California, April 1997.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design in Sarasota, Florida, Sherry Carter, AICP and Captain (Ret.) Stan Carter, Planning Commissioners Journal, Number 16, Fall 1994.

Planning for Prevention: Sarasota, Florida's Approach to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Captain Stan Carter and Sherry Plaster (Carter). Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 1993.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Main Street News, October 1992. National Trust for Historic Preservation. Sherry Plaster (Carter).

In addition the Carters have developed numerous training manuals and made contributions to publications of The Council on Tall Buildings, American Planning Association, Journal for Architectural Planning and Research, and the Florida Center for Community Design.


The Carters have made presentations to annual conferences of a wide variety of professional organizations, including the US Conference of Mayors, National Institute of Justice, AIA Council on Architectural Research, US Attorney's Office/American Institute of Architects (Minnesota), National Main Street, American Planning Association, American Public Works Association National Congress, Mid-west Criminal Justice Institute, Wichita State University, University of Miami, Utah Council for Crime Prevention and the International CPTED Association.


International CPTED Association (ICA)
Florida CPTED Network (FCN)
National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC)
National Crime Prevention Institute
National School Safety Center (NSSC)
Safe and Drug Free Schools Program Office
Fight Crime Invest in Kids
Congress for New Urbanism
Center for Livable Communities
National Main Street Center