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​​​​Peter J. O'Neil, FASAE, CAE

Chief Executive Officer​​​

News Release

ASIS Releases the Second Edition of Crime Prevention for Houses of Worship


Alexandria, Va. 2016-05-27

​​​ASIS International, the leading organization for security management professionals, has published a new security book, Crime Prevention for Houses of Worship, 2nd Edition, by Paula L. Ratliff.

This book is the result of the author’s many years of research in crime prevention for religious facilities. Ratliff examines the various types of crime frequently occurring in houses of worship and provides recommendations on how to prevent and respond to them. In 2001, she co-authored, with Chester L. Quarles, Ph.D., the first edition of Crime Prevention for Houses of Worship, which was one of the first books published on this topic.

Ratliff notes that the greatest weakness in the religious setting is the mind-set of those attending. People visit houses of worship in order to pray, sing, meditate, and worship—not to think about crime. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly more common for churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples to be targeted for criminal activity.

When a 21-year-old entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, to attend a Bible study, no one except the shooter knew the terror that was about to unfold. As he participated in the Bible study for about an hour, eventually he did what he came to do—he pulled out a gun and killed nine people and injured one.

“The shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, should resonate with all church leaders that we must be diligent in our efforts to secure our facilities and our people,” Ms. Ratliff said.

“Many years ago, when our church in Louisville, Kentucky, was burglarized, it instilled a fear in me that I never forgot. The intruder left with just a tapestry and small change; yet, his actions made a remarkable impact on my life and it became part of my life’s mission to secure our houses of worship.”

The book's intended audience includes church leaders and staff, law enforcement officers, security guards, facility managers, and instructors/trainers in worship centers. It is also intended to be used as a text to structure training workshops on securing houses of worship.

Ratliff earned a B.S. degree in Correctional Administration and an M.S. in Justice Administration from the University of Louisville. ASIS members may purchase this new edition of Crime Prevention for Houses of Worship for $45. Pricing for nonmembers is $65. Visit the ASIS Store to purchase. It is also available in a Kindle edition from

The ASIS Bookstore offers a comprehensive collection of resources for the security practitioner, as well as for students and faculty in security management programs. It features titles from more than 40 publishers of security-specific books, guides, manuals, CDs, DVDs and more. Order online or by calling +1.703.519.6200.

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ASIS International (ASIS) is the largest membership organization for security management professionals that crosses industry sectors, embracing every discipline along the security spectrum from operational to cybersecurity. Founded in 1955, ASIS is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of security professionals at all levels.

Through hundreds of chapters across the globe, ASIS develops and delivers board certifications and industry standards, hosts networking opportunities, publishes the award-winning Security Management magazine, and offers educational programs, including the Annual Seminar and Exhibits—the security industry’s most influential event. Whether providing thought leadership through the CSO Roundtable for the industry’s most senior executives or advocating before business, government, or the media, ASIS is focused on advancing the profession, and ensuring that the security community has access to intelligence, resources, and technology needed within the business enterprise.