Journal of Experimental Criminology

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Online ISSN: 1572-8315
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Objective Test how virtual, vicarious exposure to a procedurally just versus unjust police traffic stop impacts youths’ perceptions of police legitimacy and willingness to cooperate. Methods Adolescents (N = 822) were randomly assigned to watch a video featuring a procedurally just interaction, a procedurally unjust interaction, or no video. Analyses examined the effects of video exposure on youths’ views of police. Results Virtual exposure did not impact youths’ views of police legitimacy. However, youth were more willing to cooperate with the just versus the unjust officer. Interestingly, exposure to the just officer reduced youths’ willingness to cooperate with the police in their community as compared to the control group. Conclusions A single virtual police exposure may not critically shape youths’ overall perceptions of police legitimacy, but it may impact their willingness to cooperate. Youth may differentiate their evaluations of specific officers from their views of police more broadly.
Interactions between faith in Trump and race manipulation on outcome measures. A Perceived Wrongfulness. B Perceived Harmfulness. C Prison Sentence. D Length of Prison Sentence. E Support for Deportation
Objectives The first goal of the study was to investigate the willingness of former President Trump’s supporters to punish a particular form of white-collar crime (i.e., bank fraud). The second objective was to test whether the race of the person who committed the bank fraud influenced Trump supporters’ willingness to punish. Methods This study used data from factorial vignettes that were administered to a national sample of adults in 2021 (N = 1509). A 2 (race of the individual who committed bank fraud) × 2 (prior criminal record) × 2 (COVID-19 related fraud) between-subject experimental design was used. Multivariate techniques were used to regress the dependent variables (e.g., length of prison sentence) onto the faith in Trump scale, the experimental conditions, and other variables. Results Participants who expressed a strong faith in Trump were less likely to support sending an adult male who committed bank fraud to prison, but they were more supportive of deporting the individual to another country. The effect of faith in Trump changed when the race of the person who committed bank fraud was manipulated. Specifically, participants who expressed greater faith in Trump were more likely to view bank fraud as harmful and wrong, more likely to support the use of prison and recommend longer prison sentences, and expressed greater support for deporting the individual when he was depicted as Chinese American. Conclusions Allegiance to the former president likely increased the targeting of Chinese Americans as out-group members in need of greater social control.
Objectives Drawing on Agnew’s (2006) general strain theory, this study tested the direct effects of police procedural injustice on participants’ emotionality and behavioral coping intentions. The mediating effects of emotionality were also assessed. Methods Data come from factorial vignettes depicting citizen-initiated encounters that were administered to a university-based sample in 2018 (N = 525). The procedural injustice stimuli reflected police behavior that violated the principles of procedural justice. Four emotional responses—angry, disgusted, happy, and appreciative—were assessed, and behavioral coping intentions were operationalized using two measures: immediate compliance with police directives and willingness to call the police in the future. Results Procedural injustice was directly associated with participants’ emotionality and their behavioral coping intentions. The relationships between procedural injustice and behavioral coping intentions were partially mediated by emotionality. Conclusions These findings underscore the negative consequences of procedural injustice during citizen-initiated police encounters.
PRISMA flowchart showing the number of studies identified and excluded at each stage
Objectives: The current review assesses the methodological characteristics of between-subjects experiments, in particular documenting the scenarios and treat- ments described in each vignette, the extent to which confounds are embedded or accounted for in the design, and the analytic approach to estimating direct and inter- action effects. Methods: We conducted a pre-registered systematic review of 20 publications con- taining 20 independent studies and 23 vignette scenarios. Results: We find that the majority of studies rely on non-probability convenience sampling, manipulate a combination of procedural justice elements at positive and negative extremes, but often do not address potential confounds or threats to internal validity. The procedural justice manipulations that combine different elements show relatively consistent associations with a range of attitudinal outcomes, whereas the results for manipulations that test individual components of procedural justice (e.g., voice) are more mixed. Conclusions: Based on our review, we recommend that future studies using text- based vignettes disaggregate different elements of procedural justice in manipula- tions, and include a gradient of treatment or behavior (including control) to avoid comparing extremes, to incorporate potential confounders as either fixed covariates or manipulations, and to formally assess the information equivalence assumption using placebo tests.
Property and violent crimes distribution (2007-2016 period average)
Stations, Treated and control areas locations
Matching balance
Average treatment effect on treated by the length of exposure - Above the median income
Objective This study analyses the effects of the openings of new metro and urban train stations on crime rates in the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo during the period from 2007 to 2016. Methods We conducted a Difference-in-Differences with Propensity Score Matching in quarterly geocoded data of crimes reports, aggregated in census tracts. We also investigate whether the effect varies with neighborhood income and overtime. Results The results were subdivided by the census tract’s income. Regarding all the treated census tracts, the count of crime reports increased 17.1% since 2007 in areas within 250m from the stations. For the wealthiest census tracts, we found a 30.4% impact. The effects on census tracts below the median income were not statistically significant. Conclusion Specific security policies should be near new metro and urban train stations, especially in the wealthiest districts.
Days to revocation by early reporting status. Note: In Fig. 1, the dotted line presents the likelihood of having one’s probation revoked given the number of days since one’s release for participants who reported to their probation officer within the 2-day following release. The solid line presents the data for probation clients that did not report within 2 days
Days to revocation by Pathways assignment. Note: In Fig. 2, the dotted line presents the likelihood of having one’s probation revoked for those not assigned to Pathways. The solid line presents the data for probation clients that were assigned to Pathways
Objectives We test the effects of assignment to a collaborative model of post-release community supervision (PRCS), which emphasizes release planning, prioritizes the officer-client relationship, and invites the client to actively participate in their reentry process. Methods Conditionally exogenous assignment of 261 high-risk, male clients to the collaborative Pathways Home Program or a traditional PRCS supervision model. All clients were released from California state prison to PRCS in Alameda County, California, between December 31, 2018, and July 31, 2020. Results We find that clients assigned to the collaborative model are 17 percentage points (p < 0.01) more likely than the control group to report to their first probation meeting within the required 48 h following release. In the longer-term, we find that intervention clients are 14 percentage points (p < 0.05) less likely to have their probation revoked during the year following release, relative to those assigned to the traditional probation model. Conclusions Results demonstrate that a collaborative model of post-release community supervision holds promise for helping high-risk clients successfully complete their supervision term.
Objectives To provide a partial test of routine activities theory through a spatio-temporal analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on burglary in Los Angeles. Methods Spatial point pattern tests, clustering, and non-parametric permutations tests were used to identify changes in burglary in the highest restriction period of 2020 as well as comparison periods for the past 10 years while controlling for the zoning within Los Angeles. Results COVID-19 restrictions significantly increased crime in commercial/industrial areas while it reduced crime in residential areas. Conclusions The predictions of routine activities theory were supported in regard to the importance of capable guardianship. Findings indicate that not only were the areas expected to see an increase in capable guardianship shown to have reduced crime, but that crime more generally across the city became more commercially oriented in terms of zoning as more individuals were confined to residential areas.
CONSORT diagram
To test if the Community Complex Care Response Team (C3RT), a coordinated community response model, impacts the likelihood of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation among at-risk community-dwelling older adults. One hundred forty-six participants were randomly assigned to receive either the C3RT intervention (n = 74) or the standard practice (n = 72). Cox regression analyses were used to test whether the intervention delayed incidents of EANF victimization measured by when adult protective services opened an investigation, when the police recorded a victimization, and when a hospital admission took place. Assignment to the C3RT intervention program did not significantly delay incidents of EANF victimization indicator. This C3RT approach did not produce the desired outcomes, though the project demonstrates that it is ethical and feasible to implement an RCT to test an intervention with vulnerable populations.
Predicted policy support with 95% confidence intervals
Objectives The public hold both punitive and pragmatic attitudes toward prison policy. Yet it is unclear whether the public supports compassionate efforts that do not directly relate to recidivism. This study explores the role of exclusionary symbolic aims (prioritizing non-prisoner groups), inclusionary symbolic aims (minimizing health risk for the vulnerable), and cost (taxes). Methods Using a quota-based national sample fielded in spring 2021 (N=1260), we embedded two experimental vignettes to assess support for vaccination priorities and personal protective equipment (PPE) for in-person visitation. We also examine respondent experiences (e.g., exposure to COVID-19, vaccine status, personal or vicarious arrest) and beliefs (e.g., political ideology, racial resentment, stigma). Results Consistent with dominant exclusionary symbolic aims, respondents showed strong preferences for non-prisoner groups in facilitating safe in-person visits (in long-term care facilities) and vaccine priorities (to prison guards). Inclusionary symbolic aims were less clear when examining risk from vaccine side effects or helping vulnerable populations (the elderly). High cost reduced support for compassionate policy. Conclusions Public support for policies aimed at maintaining the health of individuals who are incarcerated may be motivated by similar factors as punishment preferences.
Objectives: This study examines how characteristics of victims and types of incidents described in a media account of gun violence affect public support for three categories of policies that regulate firearms. Methods: A randomized experiment with a sample of U.S. public (N = 3,410). Results: Victim race, particularly if the victim was Black, was a strong predictor of less public support for all tested categories of firearm regulation. Respondents were less supportive of policies to address gun suicide or accidents and more supportive of policy solutions to mass shootings, compared to street-level gun homicides. Depictions of victim gender, mental illness, prior incarceration, and age were less salient to support across categories of firearm regulation, compared to race and type of incident. Conclusions: Media coverage of gun violence has heterogenous effects on public support for firearm regulation and may influence support for policies aimed at reducing specific types of gun violence.
Objectives Pair-matching with random allocation in prospective controlled trials represents a novel and highly rigorous design. First use of the design can be traced to medicine (in 1926) and criminology and the social sciences more generally (in 1935). Beginning with these trials, we examine the subsequent history of matched-pair RCTs (randomized controlled trials), and related attention to stratification prior to randomization, in both criminology and medicine over almost a century to illustrate shared interest in the design’s advantages and disadvantages. Methods We draw upon a wide range of historical and contemporary sources, including historical archives and writings on the first trials in criminology and medicine, prior reviews of RCTs and matched-pair RCTs, and searches of selected databases. Results The first trials draw attention to key factors that remain central to contemporary use, including concerns about covariate imbalance when randomization is used on its own, potential to improve study power when matching is effective, and the ability to deal with differential attrition in follow-ups. The evolution of the design also shows that the single most important application of matched-pair RCTs is when the units are clusters or places. Conclusions Over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, criminology and medicine have continued to wrestle with methodologies to most efficiently and robustly compare like with like. Both, in this setting, have turned to matched-pair randomization, though less often than its advocates would like. It is this and other shared interests between criminology/social sciences and medicine/public health, including a movement toward evidence-based policy and practice, that help us reimagine possibilities for advancing knowledge and improving public policy.
PRISMA flowchart showing the search and identification of studies
Objectives The current review has two aims: (1) to synthesize the impact of unexpected events on trust in police across different contexts and types of events, and (2) to evaluate the methodological characteristics of each study with attention to the assumptions for causal inference. Methods We conducted a pre-registered narrative systematic review on 12 independent studies. Results Studies closely adhering to causal inference assumption checks (i.e., excludability and ignorability) find significant changes in trust in police following incidents of police (non) violence and protest. Still, excludability is assessed and addressed less rigorously than ignorability in the included studies. Conclusion Regarding the procedural justice framework, this provides some causal evidence that vicarious (positive and negative) experiences can shape short-term assessments of public trust in police. We furthermore highlight issues related to design and power, statistical conclusion validity, and the evaluation of assumptions to detect threats to internal validity.
Dynamic Average Treatment Effect (ATT) for each crime type showing the point estimates and 95% confidence intervals. Time is indexed relative to a businesses's start date, where 0 is the year-quarter when the business enrolled in PGLD.
Objectives This study examines the effect Project Green Light Detroit (PGLD), an integrated CCTV program, on crime at commercial and non-commercial city parcels in Detroit, MI. Methods A quasi-experimental design was used by implementing a difference-in-differences model with adjustments made for variation in treatment timing and treatment heterogeneity. Results Findings from the study indicate that PGLD increased reporting of property crimes at some participating locations but did not significantly impact violent or disorder crimes. Most of the impact of PGLD was attributable to locations that joined the program early in its implementation. Conclusions Studies examining treatment effects that are implemented over time should adjust for variation in treatment timing and treatment heterogeneity. Several new statistical methods exist that can implement these in a variety of software packages.
Percentage comparison by experimental group for the “test” items-the identical survey items. Note: Figures show support for ransomware use by condition with 95% confidence interval
Percentage of support for the U.S. vs. Foreign Government use of ransoming. Note: Figures show support for ransomware use by condition with 95% confidence intervals
Percentage support for the use of ransoming by “Civilians”. Note: Figures show support for ransomware use by condition with 95% confidence intervals
Percentage support for the use of ransoming by political opponent. Note: Figures show support for ransomware use by condition with 95% confidence intervals
Objectives: Ransomware attacks have become a critical security threat worldwide. However, existing research on ransomware has largely ignored public opinion. This initial study identifies patterns in the American public’s support for the use of ransomware, specifically when it is framed to provide benefits to others (i.e., in-group members). Drawing on the Robin Hood decision making literature and Moral Foundations Theory, we offer theoretical predictions regarding ransomware support. Methods: In a survey of 1,013 Americans, we embedded a split-ballot experiment in which respondents were randomly assigned to indicate their level of support or opposition to one of two sets of six ransomware scenarios. We manipulated the nationality, authority level, and political affiliation of the actors. Results: We find that people are more supportive of ransomware use when the actors are from their own in-group, and the outcomes benefit their in-group members. Also, the more strongly participants endorsed the moral foundations of authority and harm/care, the more supportive they were of the use of ransomware that may benefit others from their in-group. Conclusions: These findings suggest political actors may be able to generate public support for morally questionable actions by emphasizing in-group benefits and the Robin Hood nature of an attack (e.g., outcome-based morality).
Objectives To assess variation in public support for involving violent juvenile offenders in the adult criminal justice system based on the mechanism of that involvement—waiver or blended sentencing—and whether the sentence is described as emphasizing punishment or rehabilitation. Methods Participants read a vignette describing a violent, repeat juvenile offender and were told he would normally receive a sentence in the juvenile system that emphasized punishment and accountability. Each participant was subsequently randomly assigned to receive information about one of seven alternative sentencing schemes that varied the venue and emphasis. The dependent variable measured willingness to pay additional taxes for the alternative. Results Willingness to pay varied significantly across conditions. Respondents were willing to pay relatively more for a juvenile sentence that emphasized rehabilitation than for any provision for waiver or a blended sentence. These results held even after controlling for the perceived appropriateness of the sentence length. Conclusions People are willing to involve violent juvenile offenders in the adult criminal justice system, but they prefer juvenile justice sentences and an emphasis on rehabilitation.
Experimental vignette: text and question wording
Percentage of respondents choosing each risk assessment tool (N = 474)
Percentage of respondents choosing each risk assessment tool by experimental conditions. a Offense type. b Criminal justice process. c Offense type and criminal justice process
Objectives We examine public attitudes towards false positives and false negatives in criminal justice risk assessment and how people’s choices differ in varying offenses and stages. Methods We use data from a factorial survey experiment conducted with a sample of 575 Americans. Respondents were randomly assigned to different conditions in the vignette for the criminal justice process and the offense severity and were asked to choose the cost ratio. Results While people prefer the cost ratio with higher false positives, the degree to which they accept false positives is lower than the cost ratios of existing risk assessments. The offense severity impacts people’s acceptance of false positives. Meanwhile, numeracy influences people’s decisions on the cost ratio. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate public opinion on the cost ratio in risk assessments. We suggest that public opinion on the cost ratio can be an alternative way to find the ideal cost ratio.
Objectives To experimentally examine public perceptions of police canine units. Methods As part of the between-subjects paradigm, participants were randomly assigned to view and rate an image of a police officer either with a police dog (i.e., as a police canine unit) or alone on eight dimensions: aggression, approachability, fairness, friendliness, intimidation, professionalism, respectfulness, and trustworthiness. Results The analyses reveal that the officer was perceived more negatively when presented with a police dog than when presented alone. Conclusions Police dogs play a multifaceted role in policing, including in crime control and public relations. In addition to their many functions, police canine units can also elicit many perceptual effects.
Objectives To experimentally evaluate the effects of personal protective equipment (PPE) on participants’ perceptions of police during the COVID-19 pandemic.Methods As part of the experimental paradigm, participants were randomly assigned to read a fictitious news article about the utility of PPE (i.e., pro-PPE, anti-PPE, or neutral), and then rate images of a police officer using different items of PPE (i.e., masks, goggles, face shields, and/or medical gloves) along eight dimensions.ResultsThe analyses reveal that participants overwhelmingly perceived the use of PPE as both important and beneficial, regardless of condition. The analyses also reveal that the use of PPE impacted perceptions of the pictured officer, but that the specific perceptual effects of such PPE varied by the item used.Conclusions Police worldwide have attempted to reduce the risks associated with COVID-19 by using PPE. In addition to functional benefits, many items of PPE also present perceptual benefits.
Theoretical model of key variables
Statistical path diagram of conditional process analysis (N = 441)
Objectives: Public punitiveness is closely related to the expansion of the U.S. penal system. Prior studies have examined inaccurate crime trend perceptions and negative emotions as key predictors of punitive attitudes. However, the interconnections between crime trend perceptions, negative emotions, and punitive attitudes have not been explored. It is yet unknown if exposure to accurate crime trend information reduces negative emotions and public punitiveness. Methods: I analyzed data from a survey-based experiment with a nationwide sample (N = 441) using conditional process analysis. Results: Perceptions of rising crime trends were related to punitiveness both directly and indirectly through anger about crime. Exposure to accurate crime information did not alleviate anger about or fear of crime, but, surprisingly, increased support for punitive criminal justice policies. Conclusions: The study highlights the importance of understanding the expressive and emotional elements of punishment, and the possible positive effect of providing people with accurate crime information on punitiveness.
Shadow model deviation at initial offer (n = 245) and counteroffer (n = 158)
Plea deviation and maximum shadow value by condition
Objectives The “shadow of the trial” (SOT) theory posits that plea decisions result from mathematical predictions of probability of conviction (POC) at trial and potential trial sentence (TS). Tests of the SOT model often find support in the aggregate, but not at the individual level. This study examines the factors that account for adherence to, or deviation from, the SOT model, such as mathematical competence, a factor not previously examined in tests of the SOT model. Methods Participants were randomly assigned to one of nine conditions corresponding to manipulations of probability of conviction (10%, 50%, 90%) and potential trial sentence (5, 15, 25 months). After reading a case description, participants were asked whether they would accept a plea offer and how much time in jail they would be willing to spend; a subset of participants was offered a counter plea offer. Participants then answered questions assessing numeracy and about their legal opinions and personal characteristics. Results Results showed that probability of conviction, but not trial sentence, influenced shadow model adherence. Participants assigned to 50% and 90% POC conditions were significantly less likely to deviate from the SOT model than participants assigned to 10% conditions. This effect did not interact with TS. Additionally, the odds of fitting the SOT model increased significantly as participants’ numeracy scores increased. Conclusions Our results raise questions about the validity of the SOT model at low POCs and challenge its assumption that defendants are capable of conducting the mathematical calculations required to fit the model.
Objective This study follows the lead of Makin et al. (Police Quarterly 22(1): 31–55, 2019) who found that marijuana legalization is associated with a marginal increase in clearance rates for some crimes but not for others.Methods We build on their work attempting to replicate their findings by using the synthetic control method and fixed-effects models. A 50-state panel data set was constructed and analyzed. The dependent variables were aggregated violence and property crime rates. The independent variable was dichotomously measured recreational marijuana legislation.ResultsMarijuana legalization is not a meaningful avenue of increasing clearance rates.Conclusion The synthetic control method is useful for aggregate-level crime policy analysis when experimental methods are not available. The argument that the police would do a better job at reducing serious crime and/or arresting serious criminal offenders if they were not preoccupied with marijuana users is unfounded in this analysis.
Participants’ support for punitive counter-terrorism policies before and after the Christchurch attack as a function of vignette manipulation
Support for punitive counter-terrorism policies as a function of perceptions that Muslims are threatening and survey time
Objectives We apply Unnever and Cullen’s (2010) Racial Animus Model to examine support for punitive counter-terrorism policies before and after the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack. Methods We utilize a natural experiment of survey data from Australians before (n = 1191) and after (n = 1344) the attack. Both surveys included a between-groups vignette describing a terrorist as either a right-wing or Islamic extremist. We examined if support for counter-terrorism policies differed between the two conditions and two surveys. We tested whether perceiving Muslims as threatening predicted support for punitive policies, and if the attack mitigated this association. Results Participants were more supportive of punitive policies when a terrorist was motivated by Islamic extremism, but only in the pre-Christchurch sample. Those who perceived Muslims as threatening were more supportive of such policies, but this association was weaker among post-Christchurch participants. Conclusions Results support the Racial Animus Model and suggest that empathy might play a role in weakening anti-Muslim animus.
Illustration of the Danish Education System
Proportion of boys enrolled in VET by time since finishing ninth grade in Denmark and by GPA in ninth grade final exams in Danish and math
Proportion of boys charged with a criminal offence by time since finishing ninth grade in Denmark and by GPA in ninth grade final exams in Danish and math
GPAs in Danish and math final exams in ninth grade (only boys). Cumulative distribution in 2010–2016 (left figure) and histogram in 2014 and 2015 (right figure)
Results from robustness check A: Point estimates from separate DD models by GPA percentiles for enrollment in vocational education and criminal charges 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after finishing ninth grade
Objectives To examine the short-term effects of admission requirements for upper secondary vocational education and training (VET) on enrollment and criminal offending among academically low-achieving boys. Methods We apply multi-group difference-in-differences models to full population data and analyze an educational policy reform in Denmark ( N = 60,759). Results The reform caused a 16 percentage points lower enrollment in VET among academically low-achieving boys, and their risk of being charged with a crime increased by up to two percentage points 9 months after the end of compulsory school. However, after 12 months, the effect on criminal charges disappeared. Conclusion In the education-crime nexus, educational enrollment in upper secondary education is an understudied margin, which has important implications for both scholars and policy-makers. Limitations include the short follow-up period and that the analyses examine effects for boys only.
Objectives Evaluate the impact of body-worn cameras (BWCs) on officer-initiated activity, arrests, use of force, and complaints. Methods We use instrumental variable analysis to examine the impact of BWC assignment and BWC activation on the outcomes of individual incidents through a randomized controlled trial of 436 officers in the Phoenix Police Department. Results Incidents involving BWC activations were associated with a lower likelihood of officer-initiated contacts and complaints, but a greater likelihood of arrests and use of force. BWC assignment alone was unrelated to arrests or complaints; however, incidents involving officers who were assigned and activated their BWC were significantly more likely to result in an arrest and less likely to result in a complaint. Conclusions Future researchers should account for BWC activation to better estimate the effects of BWCs on officer behavior. To maximize the effects of BWCs, police agencies should ensure that officers are complying with activation policies.
Americans’ willingness to vote for motivational stipend program, by tax change frame, risk frame, and partisan identification. a $100 tax increase. b $100 tax reduction. Note: This figure shows the weighted percentage who said they would vote for the program within groups of respondents who received particular combinations of the experimental factors (frames), for the full sample and for separate political groups
Americans’ willingness to vote for motivational stipend program, by the amount of tax change. Note: This figure shows the weighted percentage who said they would vote for the program within groups of respondents who received each of the two levels of the tax change frame ($100 increase versus $100 reduction) and also answered the follow-up question about whether a higher or lower dollar amount would affect their vote
Unweighted and Weighted Descriptive Statistics
Objectives. After years of decreasing public punitiveness and declining crime rates, politicians are seeking evidence-based crime policies to reduce mass incarceration without increasing crime. One such policy that has been implemented in several U.S. cities is the Operation Peacemaker Fellowship (OPF), which incentivizes conformity and program participation by providing monetary stipends to individuals at risk of violent offending, thereby simultaneously reducing violence and incarceration. Yet, there is no evidence about public support for such policies. Methods. Using a nationally representative survey experiment, we examine public support for violence prevention stipends. We employ a referendum-style, contingent valuation design to measure the impact of tax increases versus tax savings on public opinion, and we randomize message framing that emphasizes the stipend program’s risky versus protective features. Results. Both tax changes and risk framing matter. The public is willing to vote for stipends when they reduce taxes and are framed as a method to save lives. Most Republicans oppose stipends under all conditions. Conclusions. Reformers can increase public support for effective, non-punitive policies that target violent offenders by emphasizing both their economic and social benefits. However, such policies are likely to face consistent opposition from certain portions of the public.
Objectives: The New York City Police Department’s “Summer All Out” (SAO) initiative was a 90-day, presence-based foot patrol program in a subset of the city’s patrol jurisdictions. Methods: We assessed the effectiveness of SAO initiative in reducing crime and gun violence using a difference-in-differences (DiD) approach. Results: Results indicate the SAO initiative was only associated with significant reductions in specific property offenses, not violent crime rates. Foot patrols did not have a strong, isolating impact on violent street crime in 2014 or 2015. Deployments on foot across expansive geographies also has a weak, negligible influence on open-air shootings. Conclusions: The findings suggest saturating jurisdictions with high-visibility foot patrols has little influence on street-level offending, with no anticipatory or persistent effects. Police departments should exercise caution in deploying foot patrols over large patrol jurisdictions.
The 1983, 1993, and 1999 parole reforms’ effect on required time served before being eligible for parole. Notes: each reform effect should be read as the change (in months) when going from prior parole law. On July 1, 1983, parole laws were changed so that offenders sentenced to 2–24 months in prison were required to serve at least half the sentence before being eligible for parole, from previously two-thirds of the sentence. Parole laws were then again changed on July 1, 1993, requiring offenders sentenced to 4–23 months in prison to serve two-thirds of the sentence. On January 1, 1999, a reform was enacted that targeted inmates sentenced to more than 24 months in prison that required them to serve two-thirds of the sentence before being eligible for parole, from previously half of the sentence
Inclusion criteria and study design relative to the 1983, 1993, and 1999 parole reforms
a–c Cumulative reconviction probabilities for 1983 parole reform sample (a), 1993 parole reform sample (b), and 1999 parole reform sample (c) for treatment (post-reform) and control group (pre-reform)
a–c Cox regression models predicting the risk for reconviction in 1983 parole reform sample (a), 1993 parole reform sample (b), and 1999 parole reform sample (c). Adjusted hazard ratios accompanied by 95% confidence intervals
Objectives This study examines the relationship between incarceration time and post-release recidivism among first-time incarcerated adult offenders. Methods A quasi-experimental design was adopted consisting of three policy reforms that were treated as separate natural experiments. While holding imposed sentence length constant, these policy reforms either decreased or increased the required share of a sentence inmates needed to be incarcerated before being eligible for parole. Data consisted of large-scale administrative records containing all convictions for the Swedish cohorts born in 1958 and later. Results Results indicate that neither increased nor decreased incarceration time had a statistically significant effect on post-release recidivism, irrespective of how recidivism was measured. Conclusions Findings reveal little evidence for incarceration time having a criminogenic or specific preventive effect on post-release recidivism.
Objectives To examine the effect of prison visits on prisoners’ levels of anger, hostility, and positive feelings and examine which prisoner and visit characteristics moderate visits’ emotional impact. Method A pretest-posttest study involving 110 male inmates from two maximum security prisons in Israel was conducted. Prisoners were surveyed about their emotions a day before and day following a visit using validated scales to measure state-anger, trait-anger, hostility, and positive feelings. The survey also included questions about characteristics of the prisoner and the visit. Significant change in emotions before and after the visit is assessed with a t-test, and stepwise linear regression is used to examine the association between prisoner and visit characteristics and changes in emotions. Results State-anger, trait-anger, and hostility all declined following the visit, but the average level of positive feelings did not change. Regression results indicate an association between these changes and prisoner education, crime type, prisoners’ marital status, time in prison, and whether the prisoners’ children were present at the visit. Conclusions A significant decline in negative emotions following visits points to visits as a beneficial activity for prison inmates; theoretical and practical conclusions are discussed.
Significant interaction between police treatment of citizen and stigma on trust in the police officer following the vignette
Objectives This study examines how stigma moderates the effect of procedurally just and unjust treatment on Muslims’ trust in police. Methods Survey participants were randomly assigned to receive one of two vignettes describing a traffic stop where officer treatment was manipulated (procedurally just/unjust). Muslims’ feelings of stigma were measured prior to the vignette, while trust was measured after the vignette. Results We found that the procedural justice vignette enhanced trust in police, and perceived stigma was associated with lower trust. For Muslims who felt highly stigmatized, however, experiencing police procedural justice had a weaker positive effect on trust when compared to those who felt low levels of stigmatization. Conclusions The results suggest that feelings of stigma can moderate how individuals view police-citizen interactions. Specifically, for those who observe or experience encounters with police believing that they or their cultural group are stigmatized, procedural justice will be less effective in promoting trust.
Predicted number of casualties before and after suspension of automated enforcement, by distance from a stationary automatic speed camera (far vs. near)
Objectives The study exploits a unique situation in Israel where the distribution of traffic tickets using automatic speed enforcement cameras was suspended, while the system remained physically intact. This situation provides an opportunity to test the effects of non-enforcement on drivers’ behavior. Methods Using 3 years of data on fatal and severe crashes and a quasi-experimental design, we compared the number of casualties in crashes occurring near (< 1 km) and far (> 5 km) from the nearest camera before and after the suspension of automated enforcement. Results A multivariate negative binomial regression indicates that before the suspension there were significantly fewer casualties (by 22%) in crashes near cameras compared to crashes farther away. After the suspension of automated enforcement, this difference vanished. Conclusions The findings provide evidence for the effectiveness of stationary speed cameras in reducing casualties and show how human behavior changes in light of deterrence and enforcement.
Latent additive genetic and non-shared environment overlap between spanking and phenotypes. Notes: Proportions of covariance are calculated from coefficient estimates reported in Table SOM3. Estimates control for race and sex
Top: Mean h²cov (black, solid line) with 95% credibility intervals (gray, dashed lines) for overall effect of spanking on child and adult outcomes at different values of rg assuming effect size of d = .33, rp = .16. Bottom: Mean e²cov (black, solid line) with 95% credibility intervals (gray, dashed lines) for overall effect of spanking on child and adult outcomes at different values of re assuming effect size of d = .33, rp = .16
Background There is a vast literature on the negative associations between spanking in childhood and various psychosocial developmental outcomes; yet, control for potential genetic confounds is rare. Objectives The current research aimed to provide probable ranges of estimates of the degree to which genetic and nonshared environmental covariation could explain the reported phenotypic effects in the Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor (Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor, Family Relations 65:490–501, 2016a, Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor, Journal of Family Psychology 30:453, 2016b) meta-analysis of spanking. Participants and setting. The analytic sample for Study 1 was secured from the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (CNLSY) and consisted of 2868 respondents (siblings and half-siblings). The data for Study 2 were secured from the published literature. Methods Study 1 analyzed the data from the CNLSY using univariate ACE models and bivariate Cholesky decomposition models. Study 2 used simulation modeling to provide a summative evaluation of the psychosocial effects of spanking with regard to genetic and nonshared environmental covariation. Results Study 1 replicated previous work showing that associations between spanking and outcomes of delinquency, depression, and alcohol use were explained by moderate-to-large degrees of genetic covariation and small-to-moderate degrees of nonshared environmental covariation. Simulation estimates from Study 2 suggest that genetic covariation accounts for a substantial amount of the phenotypic effect between spanking and psychosocial outcomes (≈60–80%), with the remainder attributable to nonshared environmental covariation (≈0–40%). Conclusions Results of the current research indicate that continued work on the effects of spanking is best served by behavior genetic research on a broader range of outcomes than what is currently available.
Identifying ways to shift public attitudes toward support for alternative approaches to criminalized behavior is necessary to address mass incarceration. We test whether education on the impacts of traumatic events may be one strategy to increase such support. Drawing from mindset theory, we also test whether effects can be amplified through incorporation of growth mindset messaging. Two experimental studies assessed the impact of trauma education and growth mindset-enhanced trauma education on public attitudes. In Study 1, participants in both trauma education conditions exhibited greater support for alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent crimes compared to the control condition. In Study 2, participants in the mindset-enhanced trauma education condition exhibited greater support for alternative sentencing for violent crimes compared to those in the other two conditions. Mindset-enhanced trauma education has potential to shift public attitudes toward support for alternative sentencing, though further research is needed to substantiate effects.
Background The use of panic alarm systems for victims of domestic abuse is becoming increasingly popular. However, tests of these devices are rare. Consequently, it is presently unknown whether domestic abuse offenders are deterred by warning stickers informing them that a panic alarm system is installed on the premises, or whether alarm systems reduce domestic abuse recidivism. There is also a lack of data regarding whether adding an audio-recording feature to the panic alarm results in more prosecutions of domestic abuse offenders compared to standard panic alarm systems. Measuring the efficacy of warning stickers and audio recordings will enhance understanding of the overall effectiveness of panic alarm systems for domestic abuse. Methods This study used a pre-test-post-test, control group design, in which 300 eligible high-risk domestic abuse victims in London, UK, were randomly allocated to either a standard panic alarm system or a panic alarm system with audio-recording capabilities and a red warning sticker on a durable, A6-size sign displayed at eye level at the entrance to the premises. Each sticker was well lit to ensure maximum visibility. The gain scores of multiple measures at 6 months prior and 6 months post-randomisation were used to assess the treatment effects (including the number of calls for service, recorded crimes, and harm score), and a negative binomial generalised linear model was utilised to estimate the likelihood of criminal charges for domestic abuse offenders in the two systems. Outcomes Pre-post comparisons of recidivism suggested an overall reduction in both treatment arms, but there were no statistically significant differences between the two types of alarm systems across these crime measures. Nevertheless, the estimation model indicated a significant 57% increase in charges using the audio-recording alarm relative to the standard panic alarm system. Conclusions Using deterrent stickers to warn domestic abuse offenders of panic alarm systems does not lead to a reduction in subsequent harm to victims. Compared to ordinary panic alarms for high-risk domestic abuse victims, audio-recording systems provide valuable evidence that increases subsequent charges, and thus, these systems should be explored further.
Objectives: Here we provide a brief overview of a technique that may hold promise for scholars working on key criminological and criminal justice topics. Methods: We provide an abbreviated overview of Mendelian randomization (MR), a newer variant of instrumental variables analysis, facilitated by expanding genomic technology worldwide. Our goal is to offer readers, unacquainted with the topic, a quick checklist of key assumptions, considerations, shortcomings, and practical applications of the technique. Results: The causal inference capabilities of the design seem poised to continue pushing modern crime science forward, assuming careful attention is payed to key assumptions of the technique. Conclusions: Researchers interested in causality as it relates to antisocial behaviors may benefit by the addition of MR to the toolkit alongside other data analysis tools. This strategy also offers an avenue for cross-collaboration with scientists working in other fields, thus expanding the breadth of expertise contributing to an important societal subject in crime.
Objective Aiming to reduce distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by alerting the consciences of Internet users, this paper evaluates the effectiveness of four warning banners displayed as online ads (deterrent—control, social, informative, and reorienting) and the contents of their two linked landing pages. Methods We implement a 4 × 2 quasi-experimental design on a self-selected sample of Internet users to measure the engagement generated by the ads and the pages. Engagement is measured on the ads as the ratio of clicks to impressions and on the pages as percentage of page scrolled, average session duration, video interaction rate, and URLs click rate. Results Social ads generate significantly more engagement than the rest with low to medium effect sizes. Data reveal no differences in engagement between both landing page designs. Conclusions Social messages may be a better alternative for engaging with potential cyber offenders than the traditional deterrent messages.
Objectives This study examines the effects of a restorative justice programme in the Netherlands on educational outcomes and repeated delinquent behaviour of young people who have committed a criminal offence. Methods We use data from a field experiment, in which the participants are randomly assigned to a restorative justice programme. We link the data from the field experiment to longitudinal administrative data on education and criminal records and correct for selective attrition by implementing an instrumental variable approach. Results The results show that participation in the restorative justice programme increases the probability of recidivism one year after the programme by 39.3 percent from a base rate of 17.1 percent and decreases tertiary educational attainment by 29.1 percent from a base rate of 30.9 percent. Conclusions Altogether, the results of this study suggest that despite the design backed by criminological and sociological theory, a restorative punishment from the Halt programme does not succeed in reducing criminal involvement and improving the educational outcomes.
Predicted Margins on Racial Hate Crime Perception: Offender and Victim Races (Model 4). Note: All predicted margins are significant at .001
Objectives Bridging the power-relation framework with prejudice and bias studies, this study examines how individuals perceive and construct racial hate crimes. Methods This study employs a factorial survey experiment with randomized vignette assignments to obtain insights into respondents’ judgment principles. Participants (N = 2635) were recruited through Mechanical Turk and were asked to read a fictional scenario that could be considered a racial hate crime. Logistic regression models are estimated, followed by moderation analyses and margins tests. Results The results support an integrated model that both the power dynamics between the victims and the offenders and the prejudice and beliefs of the respondents play significant roles in perceiving a racial hate crime. Conclusions This study finds empirical evidence to establish a link between the status of incidents, respondents’ prejudice, and the perception of racial hate crimes. Future research will benefit from expanding the examination to other minority groups as well as to other bias motives.
Objectives This meta-analysis examines the efficacy of programs at increasing knowledge about dating violence, changing attitudes, increasing bystander behaviors, and reducing incidents of dating violence perpetration and victimization. Methods A systematic search yielded 38 studies contributing 73 independent effect sizes. Studies were pooled by outcome measure and ten moderators were used to examine the impacts of program and study characteristics. Results Prevention programs had a significant, positive impact on measures of knowledge (ES = 0.566, z = 3.59), attitudes (ES = 0.191, z = 3.88), and violence perpetration (ES = .157, z = 3.11), but did not significantly impact experiences of victimization or bystander behaviors. Conclusions Results indicate that dating violence prevention programs are effective at improving knowledge, attitudes, and some behaviors, providing support for the continued implementation of these programs with adolescent populations. Future research should investigate the impact of specific program content and long-term behavioral outcomes.
Map of Department of Francisco Morazan and participants
Recidivism rate by treatment condition
Nelson-Aalen cumulative hazard estimate
Nelson-Aalen cumulative hazard estimates by treatment conditions
Regression-adjusted survival function by treatment conditions
Objectives Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown promise as a tool for rehabilitating offenders in the USA and other developed nations. However, little is known about the effectiveness of CBT outside the developed world. In Central America, a region wracked by rampant violence and disorder, CBT has the potential to change the behavior of persistent offenders and improve public safety. The present study examines the results of a CBT among supervised offenders in Honduras.Methods Randomized control trial, where one hundred parolees were randomly assigned to either a treatment (n = 50) or control conditions (n = 50) group and tracked for 14 months.ResultsSubjects who participated in the CBT program were 69% less likely to reoffend at any compared with those assigned to the control group.Conclusion Despite social, economic obstacles, CBT proved to be effective in reducing recidivism among parolees in Honduras—a testament to its robustness and wide applicability.
Objectives The objective of this study is to test whether recorded rates of violent crime declined in the context of social distancing regulations in Queensland, Australia.MethodsARIMA modeling was used to compute 6-month-ahead forecasts of rates for common assault, serious assault, sexual offenses, and breaches of domestic violence orders. These forecasts (and their 95% confidence intervals) are compared to the observed data for March and April 2020.ResultsBy the end of April, 2020, rates of common, serious, and sexual assault had declined to their lowest level in a number of years. For serious assault and sexual assault, the decline was beyond statistical expectations. The rate at which domestic violence orders were breached remained unchanged.Conclusions Social distancing regulations are temporally correlated with reductions in some violent crimes. Social distancing is likely to have significantly limited interpersonal interaction, especially in locations and at times when violence is usually prevalent.
Objectives The aims of this study are to test the effectiveness of court date reminders on failure to appear (FTA) and to test their effectiveness based on demographics and case characteristics.Methods Randomized controlled trial with four treatment groups: (1) no call; (2) reminder call made 3 days in advance of the appearance; (3) reminder call made the same day of the appearance; and (4) reminder call made both 3 days in advance and the same day. Participants included individuals released before their first appearance (arraignment) for which the provider had a phone number at which to make a reminder attempt. Some demographic information is available (race, sex, and age) and some case characteristics are available (the time from arrest to arraignment, and charges).ResultsUsing an intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis, reminders reduced the FTA rate by 37%. The results suggest the timing of the reminders was not important. People of color benefited from the reminders more than white participants. Participants with a longer time between the arrest and the arraignment benefited more than participants with a shorter time between the arrest and arraignment.Conclusions Court-date reminders may reduce racial disparities in FTA rates. Future research should attempt to include measures of perceptions of procedural justice and other measures of socioeconomic status. The current study is limited by small disparities in intended and attempted treatment, and lack of data on perceptions of procedural justice, and socioeconomic status.
Objectives This study aims to examine the association between security cameras in public spaces in Japan with residents’ perceived neighborhood social cohesion and trust.Methods The present study used a postal questionnaire mailed to randomly sampled residents aged 20 and 74 years, residing in Ichikawa City, in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Data from 618 respondents in 39 neighborhoods were used. We used the instrumental variable method in our analyses to strengthen our causal inference. Using probit models, we examined the association between instrumented security camera awareness and perceived neighborhood social cohesion and trust.ResultsSecurity camera awareness was negatively related to perceived neighborhood cohesion and positively associated with trust in others.Conclusions This study demonstrated the potential causal relationship between security cameras and perceptions of communal society; i.e., a positive effect on trust in others and a negative effect on perceived social cohesion. These findings suggest the importance of considering positive and negative social aspects when implementing security camera policies.
Funnel plots for the proactive (upper panel), reactive (middle panel), and criminal identity (lower panel) clusters
In an effort to investigate and verify the developmental roots of adult criminal thinking, a meta-analysis was performed on nine social cognitive variables organized into three clusters and hypothesized to precede the criminal thinking dimensions of proactive criminal thinking, reactive criminal thinking, and criminal identity. The three proactive antecedents were moral disengagement, neutralization, and positive outcome expectancies for crime; the three reactive antecedents were hostile attribution biases, temporal discounting, and thrill/sensation seeking; and the three criminal identity antecedents were criminal self-efficacy, feared possible selves, and reflected appraisals. A series of random effects meta-analyses were performed, the results of which revealed the presence of significant pooled effect sizes for the proactive (k = 26, r = 0.34), reactive (k = 25, r = 0.25), and criminal identity (k = 11, r = 0.24) antecedents as correlates of juvenile delinquency and adult crime. Restricting the analyses to studies with prospective data indicated that each antecedent cluster successfully predicted future offending. The results of this meta-analytic review denote that social cognitive variables proposed to serve as antecedents to adult criminal thinking both correlate with and predict delinquency and general offending in adolescent populations.
Perceptions of police legitimacy by age and race (N = 959)
Effects of the Team Kids Challenge on youths’ perceptions of police legitimacy by school **p < 0.01, ***p < .0.001
Mean changes in youths’ perceptions of police legitimacy from wave 1 to wave 2 by school. This figure visually displays the results of paired t tests within each school, comparing students’ wave 2 perceptions to their wave 1 perceptions. The solid line indicates that school’s mean difference score and the dotted lines indicate the 95% confidence intervals
Perceptions of Police Legitimacy by Age and Race
Mean Changes in Youths’ Perceptions of Police Legitimacy from Wave 1 to Wave 2 by School
Objective Examine youths’ perceptions of police legitimacy. Study one establishes age-graded trends in perceptions from childhood into adolescence. Study two tests whether a structured, in-school, non-enforcement-related program involving repeated prosocial exposure to police can improve youths’ perceptions of police legitimacy.Methods In study one, a cross-sectional sample (N = 959) of youth ages 7 to 14 was used to assess age-graded perceptions of police legitimacy. In study two, a 4-school, randomized controlled trial was conducted in Compton, California (N = 499).ResultsAge-graded differences in police legitimacy perceptions vary by race, but generally begin declining during late childhood. The program significantly improved youths’ perceptions of police legitimacy.Conclusion Racial differences in perceptions of police legitimacy can be traced to childhood, and perceptions of law enforcement appear to begin declining during childhood. Further, repeated exposure to law enforcement officials in a positive, non-enforcement capacity may improve youths’ legitimacy perceptions.
Objectives Assess the capability of a mobile crisis intervention team (MCIT) to connect emotionally disturbed people (EDP) with community resources and decrease police use-of-force. Method In order to have equivalent groups, interventions managed by the MCIT were matched to incidents handled by traditional police officers with similar propensity scores. Results Average treatment effects (ATEs) were computed to assess the impact of the MCIT. The MCIT was associated with decreases in police use-of-force (ATE=-0.08; p≤0.01), EDP transported to the hospital against their will (ATE=-0.06; p≤0.10), and EDP transported to the hospital in general (ATE=-0.42; p≤0.01). EDP were more likely to be referred to community resources (ATE=0.19; p≤0.01) or managed by their social network (ATE=0.22; p≤0.01) when the MCIT was involved in the intervention. Conclusion The MCIT was effective in connecting EDP with community resources, avoiding unnecessary transports to the hospital, and reducing police use-of-force.
Percentage of swipes that resulted in successful matches for female study profiles by race and disclosure of prior victimization
Percentage of swipes that resulted in successful matches for male study profiles by race and disclosure of prior victimization
Objectives Publicly revealing prior victimization could produce negative reactions and could affect a self-identified victim’s initiation of romantic relationships. Methods To measure victim stigma, an experimental audit design used six study profiles, each with pictures of a Black, Latinx, or White cisgender female or cis-male and bio text that in the experimental condition included a briefstatement of prior victimization, to compare match rates of profiles disclosing prior victimization with identical profiles not disclosing victimization. Results Disclosing victimization reduced total matches for all profiles regardless of sex or race. Racial congruence analyses of matches indicated that relative to the White control profile, all other study profiles were more likely to match with dating app users of a different race/ethnicity, except for the White male victim profile. Conclusions The stigma of the victim label may discourage people from disclosing their prior victimization. Racial congruence findings suggests that victim stigma may differ across different racial and ethnic groups.
Top-cited authors
Alex R Piquero
  • University of Texas at Dallas
Jennifer Reingle Gonzalez
  • Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
Brie Diamond
  • Texas Christian University
Barak Ariel
  • University of Cambridge
Richard Ernest Tremblay
  • University College Dublin