The Czech Republic is at the leading edge of rapid changes that are transforming the former socialist societies of East and Central Europe. Although considerable attention is being paid to the economic and political reformation of this and other East and Central European nations, less is known about broader processes of social change in these societies. For example, while increasing concern is expressed about rising levels of crime in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in East and Central Europe, relatively few attempts have been made to understand or explain the crime problems that are a part of the remarkable transitional events occurring in these settings. 2