The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of different operationalizations of offending behavior on the identified trajectories of offending, and to relate findings to hypothesized dual taxonomy models. Prior research with 203 young men from the Oregon Youth Study identified six offender pathways, based on self-report data (Wiesner and Capaldi, 2003). The present study used official records data (number of arrests) for the same sample. Semiparametric group-based modeling indicated three distinctive arrest trajectories: high-level chronics, low-level chronics, and rare offenders. Both chronic arrest trajectory groups were characterized by relatively equal rates of early onset offenders, thus indicating some divergence from hypothesized dual taxonomies. Overall, this study demonstrated limited convergence of trajectory findings across official records versus self-report measures of offending behavior.
Gangs and group-level processes were once central phenomena for criminological theory and research. By the mid-1970's, however, gang research was primarily displaced by studies of individual behavior using randomized self-report surveys, a shift that also removed groups from the theoretical foreground. In this project, we return to the group level to test competing theoretical claims about delinquent group structure. We use network-based clustering methods to identify 897 friendship groups in two ninth grade cohorts of 27 Pennsylvania and Iowa schools. We then relate group-level measures of delinquency and drinking to network measures of group size, friendship reciprocity, transitivity, structural cohesion, stability, average popularity, and network centrality. We find significant negative correlations between group delinquency and all of our network measures, suggesting that delinquent groups are less solidary and less central to school networks than non-delinquent groups. Further analyses, however, reveal that these correlations are primarily explained by other group characteristics, such as gender composition and socioeconomic status. Drinking behaviors, on the other hand, show net positive associations with most of the network measures, suggesting that drinking groups have higher status and are more internally cohesive than non-drinking groups. Our findings shed light on a longstanding criminological debate by suggesting that any structural differences between delinquent and non-delinquent groups may be attributable to other attributes coincidental with delinquency. In contrast, drinking groups appear to provide peer contexts of greater social capital and cohesion.
Hirschi argued that delinquent youth tend to form relatively "cold and brittle" relationships with peers, depicting these youths as deficient in their attachments to others. The current analysis explores connections between delinquency and the character of adolescent romantic ties, drawing primarily on the first wave of the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study, and focusing on 957 teens with dating experience. We examine multiple relationship qualities/dynamics in order to explore both the "cold" and "brittle" dimensions of Hirschi's hypothesis. Regarding the "cold" assumption, results suggest that delinquency is not related to perceived importance of the romantic relationship, level of intimate self-disclosure or feelings of romantic love, and more delinquent youth actually report more frequent contact with their romantic partners. Analyses focused on two dimensions tapping the "brittle" description indicate that while durations of a focal relationship do not differ according to level of respondent delinquency, more delinquent youths report higher levels of verbal conflict.
Two landmark policy interventions to improve the lives of youth through neighborhood mobility-the Gautreaux program in Chicago and the Moving to Opportunity experiments in five cities-have produced conflicting results and created a puzzle with broad implications: Do residential moves between neighborhoods increase or decrease violence, or both? To address this question we analyze data from a subsample of adolescents ages 9-12 from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, a longitudinal study of children and their families that began in Chicago, the site of the original Gautreaux program and one of the MTO experiments. We propose a dynamic modeling strategy to separate the effects of residential moving over three waves of the study from dimensions of neighborhood change and metropolitan location. The results reveal countervailing effects of mobility on trajectories of violence: Whereas neighborhood moves within Chicago lead to an elevated risk of violence, moves outside of the city reduce violent offending and exposure to violence. The gap in violence between movers within and outside Chicago is explained not only by the racial and economic composition of the destination neighborhoods, but the quality of school contexts, adolescents' perceived control over their new environment, and fear. These findings highlight the need to consider simultaneously residential mobility, mechanisms of neighborhood change, and the wider geography of structural opportunity.
This article bridges scholarship in criminology and family sociology by extending arguments about “precocious exits” from adolescence to consider early union formation as a salient outcome of violent victimization for youths. Research indicates that early union formation is associated with several negative outcomes; yet the absence of attention to union formation as a consequence of violent victimization is noteworthy. We address this gap by drawing on life course theory and data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to examine the effect of violent victimization (“street” violence) on the timing of first coresidential union formation—differentiating between marriage and cohabitation—in young adulthood. Estimates from Cox proportional hazard models show that adolescent victims of street violence experience higher rates of first union formation, especially marriage, early in the transition to adulthood; however, this effect declines with age, as such unions become more normative. Importantly, the effect of violent victimization on first union timing is robust to controls for nonviolent delinquency, substance abuse, and violent perpetration. We conclude by discussing directions for future research on the association between violent victimization and coresidential unions with an eye toward the implications of such early union formation for desistance.
Includes Supplementary Materials.
Female romantic partners' influence on official crime occurrence for men across a 12-year period in early adulthood was examined within a comprehensive dynamic prediction model including both social learning and social control predictors. We hypothesized that relationship stability, rather than attachment to partner, would be associated with reduced likelihood of crime, whereas women's antisocial behavior would be a risk factor, along with deviant peer association. Models were tested on a sample of at-risk men [the Oregon Youth Study (OYS)] using zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) modeling predicting to 1) arrest persistence (class and count) and 2) arrest onset class. Findings indicated that women's antisocial behavior was predictive of both onset and persistence of arrests for men, and deviant peer association was predictive of persistence. Relationship stability was protective against persistence.
In this paper we develop and test a new approach to explain the link between social factors and individual offending. We argue that seemingly disparate family, peer, and community conditions lead to crime because the lessons communicated by these events are similar and promote social schemas involving a hostile view of people and relationships, a preference for immediate rewards, and a cynical view of conventional norms. Further, we posit that these three schemas are interconnected and combine to form a criminogenic knowledge structure that gives rise to situational interpretations legitimating criminal behavior. Structural equation modeling with a sample of roughly 700 hundred African American teens provided strong support for the model. The findings indicated that persistent exposure to adverse conditions such as community crime, discrimination, harsh parenting, deviant peers and low neighborhood collective efficacy increased commitment to the three social schemas. The three schemas were highly intercorrelated and combined to form a latent construct that strongly predicted increases in crime. Further, in large measure the effect of the various adverse conditions on increases in crime was indirect through their impact on this latent construct. We discuss the extent to which the social schematic model presented in the paper might be used to integrate concepts and findings from several of the major theories of criminal behavior.
This study examined the association of alcohol use with persistence and desistance of serious violent offending among African American and Caucasian young men from adolescence into emerging adulthood. Five violence groups were defined: nonviolent, late-onsetters, desisters, persisters, and one-time offenders. We examined alcohol use trajectories for these groups from ages 12 through 24/25 using a four-piecewise linear growth model (ages 12-14, 14-18, 18-21, and 21-24/25). The persisters and desisters reported the highest levels of drinking at age 13. From ages 14 through 18, however, the late-onsetters showed a higher rate of increase in drinking, compared to the persisters and desisters. Starting from age 18, the desisters' drinking trajectory started to resemble that of the nonviolent group, who showed the highest rate of increase in drinking during emerging adulthood. By age 24/25 the persisters could not be distinguished from the late-onsetters; but were lower than the nonviolent and one-timer groups in terms of their drinking. At age 24/25, the desisters were not significantly different from the other violence groups, although they appeared most similar to the nonviolent and one-timer groups. There was no evidence that the association between drinking and violence differed for African Americans and Caucasians. The findings suggest that yearly changes in alcohol use could provide important clues for preventing violent offending.
Scholars have long argued that inmate behaviors stem in part from cultural belief systems that they "import" with them into incarcerative settings. Even so, few empirical assessments have tested this argument directly. Drawing on theoretical accounts of one such set of beliefs-the code of the street-and on importation theory, we hypothesize that individuals who adhere more strongly to the street code will be more likely, once incarcerated, to engage in violent behavior and that this effect will be amplified by such incarceration experiences as disciplinary sanctions and gang involvement, as well as the lack of educational programming, religious programming, and family support. We test these hypotheses using unique data that include measures of the street code belief system and incarceration experiences. The results support the argument that the code of the street belief system affects inmate violence and that the effect is more pronounced among inmates who lack family support, experience disciplinary sanctions, and are gang involved. Implications of these findings are discussed.
The study outlined in this article drew on Elijah Anderson's (1999) code of the street perspective to examine the impact of neighborhood street culture on violent delinquency. Using data from more than 700 African American adolescents, we examined 1) whether neighborhood street culture predicts adolescent violence above and beyond an adolescent's own street code values and 2) whether neighborhood street culture moderates individual-level street code values on adolescent violence. Consistent with Anderson's hypotheses, neighborhood street culture significantly predicts violent delinquency independent of individual-level street code effects. Additionally, neighborhood street culture moderates individual-level street code values on violence in neighborhoods where the street culture is widespread. In particular, the effect of street code values on violence is enhanced in neighborhoods where the street culture is endorsed widely.
The effect of sanctions on subsequent criminal activity is of central theoretical importance in criminology. A key question for juvenile justice policy is the degree to which serious juvenile offenders respond to sanctions and/or treatment administered by the juvenile court. The policy question germane to this debate is finding the level of confinement within the juvenile justice system that maximizes the public safety and therapeutic benefits of institutional confinement. Unfortunately, research on this issue has been limited with regard to serious juvenile offenders. We use longitudinal data from a large sample of serious juvenile offenders from two large cities to 1) estimate a causal treatment effect of institutional placement, as opposed to probation, on future rate of rearrest and 2) investigate the existence of a marginal effect (i.e., benefit) for longer length of stay once the institutional placement decision had been made. We accomplish the latter by determining a dose-response relationship between the length of stay and future rates of rearrest and self-reported offending. The results suggest that an overall null effect of placement exists on future rates of rearrest or self-reported offending for serious juvenile offenders. We also find that, for the group placed out of the community, it is apparent that little or no marginal benefit exists for longer lengths of stay. Theoretical, empirical, and policy issues are outlined.
In an effort to relieve its overburdened superior courts, California introduced a statutory amendment which allowed lesser felonies to be dealt with in lower-level courts. Using an interrupted time-series methodology, this study examines the impact of this change in law on caseloads, plea bargaining, conviction rates, and sentencing in the superior courts. After the statutory intervention there was a reduction in superior court caseloads, but the overall rate of plea bargaining remained relatively constant. However, there were substantial changes in types of plea bargains with a decline in fast pleas and a corresponding rise in slow pleas. It was also found that severity of sanctions was related to the changing caseload patterns. Policy and theoretical implications of these and other findings are discussed.
This paper challenges existing images of the context and object of Cesare Beccaria's (1764) Dei delitti e delle pene. It offers textual and other evidence that the chief object of Beccaria's famous treatise was the application to crime and penality not of humanism and legal rationality, as convention holds, but of the Scottish-inspired “science of man.” This latter was a deterministic discourse whose key principles—utilitarianism, probabilism, associationism, and sensationalism—implicitly defy, conventional assumptions about the volitional basis of classical criminology. The paper thus questions Dei delitti's proper place in the history of criminology and, in so doing, casts doubt on the very existence of a distinctive “classical criminology.”
A great deal of attention has been focused on the nature and extent of contemporary gender differences in criminality and, especially, recent increases in female crime rates. The failure to examine the relation among gender roles, social control mechanisms, and crime rates within a broad historical context, however, has contributed to several shortcomings and misconceptions in current research and theorizing. Results of a time-series analysis of male and female arrests in Toronto from 1859 to 1955 reveal an overall decline in male and female rates, as well as an overriding similarity in long-term patterns of male and female arrest rates for different categories of offenses In particular, the preponderance of public order arrests for males and females strongly confirms the enduring relation between social class and official criminality, regardless of gender. To explain the long-term reduction in female arrest rates, qualitative data are used to illustrate the historically contingent relation between gender roles and changes in formal and informal structures of social control. The findings point to the prominent role of “Yrst-wave feminists” in changing the forms of both formal and informal controls on women, which contributed to a sharp decline in female arrest rates during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
A hitherto unremarked peculiarity of homicide in the United States is that women kill their husbands almost as often as the reverse. For every 100 US. men who kill their wives, about 75 women kill their husbands; this spousal “sex ratio of killing” (SROK) is more than twice that in other Western nations. Our analyses of spousal homicide samples from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain indicate that this contrast cannot be attributed to greater gun use in the United States, nor to a domain-general convergence of the sexes in their uses of violence. Significant predictors of the spousal SROK include registered versus de facto marriage, coresidency versus separation, ethnicity, and age disparity, but the impacts of these variables are not sufficient to explain the differences between US. and other nations’victim sex ratios.
This article studies radical and socialist reactions to rehabilitative or discretionary penology in the early twentieth century. Far from foreshadowing the ideas of modern radical criminology, early leftists tended to support the rehabilitative idea very strongly, despite the logical contradictions this presented. I attempt to explain the naivete of early radicals in accepting the claims of the new penology at face value. In particular, an explanation is sought in the common reliance of both socialism and positivism on Darwinian ideas and a shared belief in materialism and determinism.
This paper addresses the question of whether the “child saving” movement, a precursor of the modern juvenile justice system. was a benevolent movement to “save” delinquent youths or, as Platt (1977) contends, a class-based movement to extend social control to the children of the poor. Analysis of the child saving movement in Memphis, Tennessee, using historical data, provides support for the thesis advanced by Platt. The evidence collected here strongly suggests that it was the upper-class citizens who were in the forefront of the movement in Memphis. Also, social control was extended over a wide range of behavior (mostly noncriminal) of children and youths, particularly morals offenses and dependency/neglect cases. In Memphis the juvenile justice system was created to control and regulate the children of the poor, not to save them.
Despite the substantial body of research on the psychological and social effects of racial segregation in schools on African Americans, few studies have considered the possibility that more racially inclusive schools might reduce the risk of extremely negative adult life experiences such as incarceration. Yet such a connection is made plausible by research linking black racial isolation in schools to variables that are often associated with incarceration rates, including concentrated poverty, and low educational and occupational aspirations and attainment. In this paper, we apply methods first developed by labor economists to assess the impact of racial inclusiveness in schools on individual incarceration rates for 5-year cohorts of African Americans and whites born since 1930. We find strong support for the conclusion that blacks educated in states where a higher proportion of their classmates were white experienced significantly lower incarceration rates as adults. Moreover, our analysis suggests that the effects of racial inclusiveness on black incarceration rates have grown stronger over time. These longitudinal effects are consistent with the argument that the educational climate of predominantly black schools has deteriorated in more recent decades.
This paper presents a new data series for homicides of law enforcement officers. Available for more than two centuries, it is much longer than series previously examined. Police killings had two extreme peaks, one in the 1920s and another in the 1970s. We use the post-1930 part of the series in a time-series regression to explore structural conditions that affect police killings in the short term. Economic conditions, prison populations, and World War II have considerably larger impacts on police killings than on homicide generally. Police killings are less affected by demographic changes and by the crack epidemic.
The present article tests Cohenetal 's recent opportunity theory of crime with time series data from Sweden. Swedish welfare capitalism is viewed, from an economic perspective on crime, as possibly counteracting propensities toward crime generated from increased opportunity based, in turn, on the increased production of goods. Control variables are introduced from major alternative theories, including the econcmic, deterrence, and social bonds perspectives. The results of Cochrane-Orcutt timeseries analyses indicate that the greater the availability of goods, the greater the rate of traditional property crime. Support is also found for an economic theory based on unemployment rates and a social bonds theory based on age. The availability of goods measure from an opportunity theory of crime, however, was the variable most closely associated with the variance in crime. The four-fold increase in crime in Sweden was larger than that in the United States.
We show how cartels rely on the adaptive social structure of committee meetings to ameliorate the competitive difficulties of markets. We distill the structure of the cartel committee and test hypotheses relating market structure to committee structure and ultimately to the efficacy of cartel price-fixing. Cartel continuity and the corporate authority of the cartel are strong predictors of cartel effectiveness. Cartel continuity is responsive to market conditions that favor cartel formation. Centralization of cartel authority in decision making results in improved collusive pricing effectiveness. Centralization of cartel authority responds to expanding industry volume that bring about incentives to increase firm level market share at the expense of other cartel members.
The idea that crime and deviance are explained mostly by access to opportunities—especially those provided by employment, income, education, and family stability—is one of the most powerful assumptions about crime in postwar America. However, despite its importance, the actual relationship between opportunity measures and crime during this period remains little understood. while cross-sectional studies of these issues have become common, few longitudinal studies exist and those that do include a limited number of variables. Moreover, despite important differences in the history and experiences of African-Americans and whites during this period, researchers have assumed similar dynamics by race. In this paper, we use annual time-series data from 1957–1988 to examine the effects of economic well-being, educational attainment, and family stability on rates of robbery, burglary, and homicide for blacks and whites. Our results show that these measures have different—usually opposite—effects on black and white crime rates during the period. In general, measures of opportunity have expected effects on white but not black rates. We consider the implications for policy and research.
Using time-series techniques with national data for 1967–98, we model the effects on changes in age-race-specific arrest rates of changes in indicators of economic deprivation. A measure of child poverty is positively related to juvenile arrest rates for both races, whereas changing unemployment (lagged) yields a surprising negative effect on youth offending. Measures of intraracial income inequality are also associated with changes in juvenile arrest rates, but the effects differ by race. Between-race inequality is unrelated to changes in arrest rates for both races. Our general conclusion is that fluctuations in juvenile homicide offending over recent decades can be understood, at least in part, with reference to the macro-economic environment confronting young people and their families.
Research reported up through and including the 1970s directly bearing upon the relationship between genetics and criminality is reviewed. Studies using four classes of research designs are considered: general pedigree (or family) studies, twin studies, karyotype studies, and adoption studies. Only the latter three offer solid evidence at least consistent with a partial genetic etiological hypothesis, and of these, only one type of karyotype study and the adoption studies appear to be on the verge of definitely settling the matter. Among the fairly definitive types of studies, most of the evidence is extremely supportive of the proposition that human variation in tendencies to commit criminal behavior is significantly affected by some genetic factors.
We extend earlier analyses of the factors that explain differences among the U.S. states in imprisonment rates by demonstrating the importance of state culture and political arrangements to the explanation of imprisonment rates, and growth in those rates, for the years 1971–1991.
We use data from the National Crime Survey (NCS) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to explore changes in the likelihood of police notification in rape incidents. The findings indicate that during the 1970s and 1980s there was a significant increase in police notification by third parties and by victims raped by non-strangers. During the 1990s the increase in rates of police notification in rape incidents accelerated and broadened in scope. In addition, differences in police notification between stranger and non-stranger incidents diminished during the 1970s and 1980s and, by the early 1990s there was no significant difference.
Although many efforts have been made during the past several decades to increase the reporting of crime to the police, we know little about the nature of long-term crime-reporting trends. Most research in this area has been limited to specific crime types (e.g., sexual assault), or it has not taken into account possible changes in the characteristics of incidents associated with police notification. In this article, we advance knowledge about long-term trends in the reporting of crime to the police by using data from the National Crime Survey (NCS) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and methods that take into account possible changes in the factors that affect reporting at the individual and incident level as well as changes in survey methodology. Using data from 1973 to 2005, our findings show that significant increases have occurred in the likelihood of police notification for sexual assault crimes as well as for other forms of assault and that these increases were observed for violence against women and violence against men, stranger and nonstranger violence, as well as crimes experienced by members of different racial and ethnic groups. The reporting of property victimization (i.e., motor vehicle theft, burglary, and larceny) also increased across time. Overall, observed increases in crime reporting account for about half of the divergence between the NCVS and the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) in the estimated magnitude of the 1990s crime decline—a result that highlights the need to corroborate findings about crime trends from multiple data sources.
According to the Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime rates increased dramatically over the past two decades. National Crime Victimization Survey data, on the other hand, indicate that the rates of violent crime remained relatively stable or dropped during this period. Which series provides a “correct” estimate of crime-rate trends is of more than academic interest. Highly publicized statistics on crime trends influence the public's concerns about crime and the decisions of policymakers both directly through their own perceptions of crime trends and indirectly through demands by the general public to control crime. This article compares these two major series on trends in violent crime rates in the United States for the period 1973–1992, with the goal of assessing the extent to which they measure the same underlying phenomenon: fluctuations in violent crime rates. The series are related (but not strongly). My conclusion, with some reservation, is that changes in law enforcement agencies rather than changes in the rates of violent crime incidents have created the upward trend in UCR violent crime rates during the past two decades.
The past decades in the United States have been characterized by a widening in the distribution of wage income. While much research has attempted to uncover the causes of these earnings trends, much less is known about their impact upon social and economic factors. This study examines evidence for links between changes in distribution of wage income and criminal activity. Using extreme bounds analysis in conjunction with ordinary least squares regression, the study shows that robust results linking wage inequality and crime are obtainable across a rich set of model specifications for the violent crimes of murder and assault. No evidence is found linking wage inequality with the crimes of robbery and burglary. Results are inconclusive for larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, and forcible rape. These results should be viewed as a first stage in examining the link between wage inequality and criminal activity. Research into the specific behavioral complexities underlying these relationships should be considered to affirm these results.
This article employs self-report delinquency data from a national probability sample of adolescents to describe the epidemiology and dynamics of female delinquency from 1976 to 1980. Both age and cohort effects are examined, utilizing incidence and prevalence data categorized by race, social class, and place of residence. Within years there are few consistent, significant differences in the incidence of delinquency by any of the demographic variables analyzed. Significant race and social class differentials exist, however, in the prevalence of assaultive crimes among the panel, with substantially higher proportions of black and lower-class females reporting involvement in violent behavior for three of the five years. Strong cohort effects are observed for all delinquency measures. In general, the incidence and prevalence of serious female delinquency appear to decline with age, and the 15-17-year-old females in 1980 are significantly less involved in delinquency than their same-age peers were in 1976.
ABSTRACT* * *This article addresses the question of whether or not a more adequate measure of self-reported delinquency applied to a representative national sample would reveal class differences in r l e l i m that have not been found in earlier self-report studies. The methodological criticisms of earlier self-report measures are reviewed, a new self-report measure is described, annual sex-by-class-specific prevalence and incidence rates based on this measure are presented for a national youth panel for the years 1976 through 1980, and the implications of the class findings are discussed. Class differences in both prevalence and incidence are found for serious offenses. For males, class differences are also found in the incidence of nonserious offenses and global delinquency Class differences are more pervasive and stronger when using an incidence as opposed to a prevalence measure. Criticisms of earlier self report measures appear Justified, calling into Question conclusions about the distribution of delinquency in the adolescent population which are based on prim self-report data.
We evaluate two alternative explanations for the converging gender gap in arrest—changes in women's behavior versus changes in mechanisms of social control. Using the offense of drunk driving and three methodologically diverse data sets, we explore trends in the DUI gender gap. We probe for change across various age groups and across measures tapping DUI prevalence and chronicity. Augmented Dickey-Fuller time-series techniques are used to assess changes in the gender gap and levels of drunk driving from 1980 to 2004. Analyses show women of all ages making arrest gains on men—a converging gender gap. In contrast, self-report and traffic data indicate little or no systematic change in the DUI gender gap. Findings support the conclusion that mechanisms of social control have shifted to target female offending patterns disproportionately. Little support exists for the contention that increased strain and liberalized gender roles have altered the gender gap or female drunk-driving patterns.
Recent studies suggest a decline in the relative Black effect on violent crime in recent decades and interpret this decline as resulting from greater upward mobility among African Americans during the past several decades. However, other assessments of racial stratification in American society suggest at least as much durability as change in Black social mobility since the 1980s. Our goal is to assess how patterns of racial disparity in violent crime and incarceration have changed from 1980 to 2008. We argue that prior studies showing a shrinking Black share of violent crime might be in error because of reliance on White and Black national crime statistics that are confounded with Hispanic offenders, whose numbers have been increasing rapidly and whose violence rates are higher than that of Whites but lower than that of Blacks. Using 1980–2008 California and New York arrest data to adjust for this “Hispanic effect” in national Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data, we assess whether the observed national decline in racial disparities in violent crime is an artifact of the growth in Hispanic populations and offenders. Results suggest that little overall change has occurred in the Black share of violent offending in both UCR and NCVS estimates during the last 30 years. In addition, racial imbalances in arrest versus incarceration levels across the index violent crimes are both small and comparably sized across the study period. We conclude by discussing the consistency of these findings with trends in economic and social integration of Blacks in American society during the past 50 years.
We merge Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA) and a semi-parametric, group-based trajectory procedure (TRAJ) to classify communities in Chicago by violence trajectories across space. Total, street gun and other weapon homicide trajectories are identified across 831 census tracts between 1980 and 1995. We find evidence consistent with a weapon substitution effect in violent neighborhoods that are proximate to one another, a defensive diffusion effect of exclusively street gun-specific homicide increases in neighborhoods bordering the most violent areas, and a spatial decay effect of temporal homicide trends in which the most violent areas are buffered from the least violent by places experiencing mid-range levels of lethal violence over time. In merging these two methods of data analysis, we provide a more efficient way to describe both spatial and temporal trends and make significant advances in furthering applications of space-time methodologies.
There is a form of crime that has heretofore escaped criminological inquiry, yet its persistence and omnipresence raise theoretical and methodological issues crucial to the development of criminology as a science. I am referring to what I call “state-organized crime.”
Local officials and national observers have attributed the New York City drop in violent crime during the 1990s to the aggressive enforcement of public order, but relevant research is limited and yields contrasting conclusions regarding the effects of order-maintenance policing (OMP) on violent crime trends in New York City. The current study investigates the effects of order-maintenance arrests on precinct-level robbery and homicide trends in New York City with more reliable crime and arrest data, longer time series, and more extensive controls for other influences than used in prior research. We find statistically significant but small crime-reduction effects of OMP and conclude that the impact of aggressive order enforcement on the reduction in homicide and robbery rates in New York City during the 1990s was modest at best.
Recently, when I was having dinner at a restaurant and having trouble selecting among the fruit tart, the chocolate mousse, and the cheese cake, the waiter suggested taking a little of each. His suggestion worked so well that I decided to try the same solution for this address to you. My talk will have a bite of new information about an old intervention program, a taste of data on how social contexts affect the age of first conviction, and a morsel of reflections about research on the etiology of crime.
Do minorities live in higher crime neighborhoods because they lack the class resources to live in better areas, or do racial differences in exposure to crime persist even for blacks and whites of comparable backgrounds? Does living in the suburbs reduce exposure to crime equally for whites and blacks? This study analyzes the determinants of living in local areas with higher or lower crime rates in the Cleveland metropolitan region in 1990. Multivariate models are estimated for whites and blacks, with separate models for city and suburban residents and for violent crime and property crime. Within the city, exposure to both types of crime is strongly related to socioeconomic status for both races, but there are also strong independent effects of race on exposure to violent crime. In the suburbs, whites are concentrated in communities with low crime rates regardless of their social class. There are substantial class differences among suburban nonwhites, but even afluent blacks live in places with a higher violent crime rate than do poor whites.
This is the American Society of Criminology’s fiftieth year as a professional organization. In this signal year, I think it is appropriate to take stock of how far we have come and where we would like to go as an organization—and as a discipline.