Ben Stickle

Ben Stickle
Middle Tennessee State University | MTSU · Department of Criminal Justice Administration

Ph.D.

About

72
Publications
19,354
Reads
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170
Citations
Introduction
Dr. Ben Stickle is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Administration at Middle Tennessee State University and has been teaching criminal justice courses since 2010. His research interests include policing (use of force, administration, and operations), property crime (metal theft, burglary, and package theft) with a theoretical focus on crime prevention, environmental crime, rational choice, and ethnography.
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - present
Beacon Center
Position
  • Fellow
August 2016 - present
Middle Tennessee State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2016 - present
Middle Tennessee State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
August 2012 - May 2015
University of Louisville
Field of study
  • Justice Administration

Publications

Publications (72)
Article
A rapidly growing crime problem in the United States and abroad, package theft is a phenomenon that is of persistent and significant concern to the public. However, the academic study on the subject has been neglected. Because package theft is understudied, the impact it has is difficult to understand, and the crime itself is hard to address. This...
Article
Though a limited amount of research has focused on conservation officers’ work, few studies have explored the levels of stress that they perceive to be associated with the work. Furthermore, no study has addressed the levels of stress that these officers associate with traditional policing duties. This is problematic since many are now being tasked...
Book
This book includes fieldwork from five continents and demonstrates the breadth of techniques used by environmental criminologists to understand crime. Environmental criminologists seek to understand crime within the physical, and even digital, contexts where it occurs – believing that crime occurs when people converge in time and space and that th...
Chapter
The integrity of law enforcement officers is essential to an impartial and effective justice system. However, on occasion, law enforcement officers betray the principles they swear to uphold, resulting in what is commonly referred to as police corruption. The results may include corrosion of trust with the officer, the agency, a community, and the...
Chapter
The Threat of Theft: The Scope of the Problem Contrary to what most people might think, in the United States, property crimes are far more prevalent than violent crimes. According to the Federal Burau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report, the ratio of property offenses to violent offenses is roughly 6:1 as of 2018. When talking about specific t...
Book
This edited collection by internationally recognized authors provides essays on police behavior in the categories of police administration, police operations, and combating specific crimes. Individual chapters strike at critical issues for police today, such as maintaining the well-being of officers, handling stress, hiring practices, child sexual...
Article
Background During the last decade, drug abuse rates, particularly prescription drugs, have increased. Simultaneously, music consumption has dramatically increased, and the leading genre is currently rap music. While the casual relationship is debated, musical preference is related to substance misuse and other risky behaviors. There is a lack of st...
Article
Full-text available
A rapidly growing crime problem in the United States and abroad, package theft is a phenomenon that is of persistent and significant concern to the public. However, the academic study on the subject has been neglected. Because package theft is understudied, the impact it has is difficult to understand, and the crime itself is hard to address. This...
Article
Full-text available
Research relating to police stress has typically focused on officers working in urban areas, neglecting their rural counterparts. This is especially true of conservation officers, who are tasked with enforcing laws in state parks and other recreational areas. To date, only a handful of studies have sought to better understand their experiences and...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose As tensions between the police and community grow, one often called upon solution is a more diverse police force. However, building diversity presents many challenges, especially if there are barriers for choosing a career as a police officer. The present study explores motivations and barriers to becoming a police officer to help reduce th...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has impacted the world in ways not seen in generations. Initial evidence suggests one of the effects is crime rates, which appear to have fallen drastically in many communities around the world. We argue that the principal reason for the change is the government ordered stay-at-home orders, which impacted the routine a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The problem Package Theft refers to stealing a package after it has been left unattended (often on a porch) by a commercial delivery organization. This type of offence has only recently been recognised (see Hicks, Stickle, & Harms, in press). Nevertheless, it has gained significant attention in social media posts and news reports, which have colloq...
Article
Full-text available
During times of imprisonment, inmates have limited opportunities to relieve sexual urges. Nearly all sexual behaviors (e.g., coerced, consensual, masturbation) are restricted or outright banned in most prison systems. The restriction on sexual behavior is implemented, in part, to maintain control and limit possible violence. However, the policies s...
Chapter
Across the streets of most North American cities, many people have witnessed but few have experienced ‘street scavengers.’ These individuals earn a subsistence living on the excess and waste of society. This activity dates back hundreds of years ( Zimring, 2005 ), the ever-increasing excess and waste, particularly found within urban areas, have con...
Technical Report
In Loss Prevention Magazine Full Access Here: https://losspreventionmedia.com/how-to-prevent-porch-package-theft/ The volume of packages shipped in the United States has increased by nearly 30 percent in the last few years. A significant portion of this increase is directly related to growth in online shopping. More consumers prefer to shop onli...
Article
Full-text available
Package theft is an emerging crime type due to the tremendous growth in online shopping and the delivery of goods directly to a home. Unattended delivery creates an opportunity for thieves to steal packages after delivery and before the resident collects them. It is believed that these types of incidents are increasing dramatically, and media atten...
Article
Full-text available
Poster
Full-text available
Conducting research with active criminals poses a broad array of difficulties, dangers, failures, and successes. This presentation focuses on a case study of a successful ethnographic study of metal thieves and provides tips and techniques for avoiding pitfalls and dangers. Topics include concern for safety, discussion of techniques of observation,...
Poster
Full-text available
Taxonomy of Scrappers & Metal Thieves
Poster
Full-text available
Metal Theft is a growing crime problem significantly affecting the built environment. This crime type is unique in that the thief finds no direct value in what is stolen, instead relies on exchanging the metal for cash, often through an established market. This criminal exchange occurs at a limited number of markets such as scrap yards or recycling...
Book
This book explores the little-known world of scrappers and metal thieves. Benjamin F. Stickle bases his study on field research collected while traversing communities with thieves and scrappers. Drawing on candid interviews, observations of criminals at work, and participation in the scrapping subculture, the volume describes the subculture of scra...
Chapter
This chapter is a thorough review of what is known, or what is thought to be known, about metal theft. Topics include the fallacious connection between drug usage (particularly methamphetamines) and metal theft. This drug addict hypothesis is built around anecdotal stories and has been encouraged through careless citations by the government and oth...
Chapter
This chapter examines the characteristics of metal thieves, finding that the highest proportion of metal thieves were 30-something white males, with some college experience, currently employed, and had past work experience in a field related to working with metals. An examination of motives for metal theft revealed that nearly all thieves drifted f...
Chapter
This chapter provides a primer on metals by identifying the differences between precious metals, ferrous metals, and non-ferrous metals (e.g., copper). It examines the historical circumstances that resulted in the dramatic rise in copper value coupled with the worldwide economic depression, which made recycling metal lucrative and thus spurred the...
Chapter
Scrappers and metal thieves have received little study. Consequently, little is known about what a scrapper is, how they operate, or even what the definition of scrapping is. This chapter defines scrapping as “the act of regularly collecting fragmented, damaged, or discarded metal items, which are no longer useful or have not maintained their origi...
Chapter
A minority of metal thieves works alone and tends to commit opportunistic thefts, be unskilled, be less effective thieves, distrust others, and is arrested by the police more often. The majority of metal thieves operate in partnerships with others. This study found that partnerships usually resulted in greater efficiency, thefts in more significant...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the approach taken to complete this study, including collection and analysis methods, field settings, respondents, and efforts at getting in. Data is the result of observation, participation, and interviews with scrappers and metal thieves, conducted in the field. Analysis of the data is completed with content analysis via a...
Chapter
This chapter discusses how scrappers have their own subcultural norms, values, and mores described as a scrapper’s code, which includes concepts to reduce territorial conflicts: first come first serve and show respect. Scrappers would ask first in an effort to keep from stealing and had disdain for metal thieves, proudly claiming they were “not a t...
Chapter
This book represents the first known qualitative examination of scrappers and metal thieves. By examining scrappers and metal thieves through observation, participation, and interviews, it has provided a rich understanding of metal thieves, their demographics, motivations, methods of learning, partnerships, theft methods and techniques, and identif...
Chapter
Metal thieves are influenced by three kinds of social controls: direct social control, indirect social control, and internal social control. Direct controls are the external risks associated with stealing metal (e.g., dogs, cameras, witnesses, and law enforcement). Indirect social controls influence behavior within relationships. For example, a pos...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the factors surrounding the built environment (place), including identifying places to steal metal, casing, and planning, and finds that thieves tend to steal from places with low guardianship, with significant amounts of high-quality metal, and in locations they are familiar with. Thefts occur during all hours of the day and...
Chapter
The recycling industry in the United States generates more than $87 billion in economic activity and employs nearly 788,000 persons, annually. The most commonly recycled metals are copper, iron, steel, aluminum, and brass that are often collected by individuals, who refer to themselves as scrappers and then sold as scrap to be recycled. However, li...
Presentation
Full-text available
The preliminary findings presented are the examination of metal theft data from the Louisville, Kentucky, Metro Police Department. The data examined contains over 8,000 cases of metal theft between 2011 and 2016. The preliminary findings examine metal theft rates, victim and offender demographics, value of property stolen, case investigation result...
Article
Full-text available
According to the theory of procedural justice, when a police officer interacts with the public in ways that enhance dignity and respect, treat individuals fairly, demonstrate neutrality, and provide the opportunity for individuals to voice their concerns, the public is likely to feel they are being treated justly and will be more inclined to cooper...
Presentation
Full-text available
Findings presented are based on a qualitative study of metal thieves involving unstructured interviews and participant observation. Results provide a better understanding of the factors thieves consider when identifying, locating, acquiring, and selling stolen metal. Specifically, the methods and techniques related to each stage of metal theft; loc...
Article
Full-text available
For decade’s law enforcement agencies have attempted to reduce use of force incidents by increasing pre-employment standards, requiring higher education, and providing extensive training. The belief is that a better educated officer, who has passed extensive pre-employment standards with enhanced training, will perform better and—among other goals—...
Presentation
Full-text available
During the last several decades a significant amount of research has focused on law enforcement selection practices. The present study contributes to this research in a unique way by analyzing the verbatim responses of law enforcement administrators’ preferences on employment selection. Specifically, the stated preferences and reasoning of administ...
Presentation
Full-text available
The present study provides the first known qualitative examination of scrappers and metal thieves. Qualitative data is derived from participant observation and unstructured interviews with scrappers as well as metal thieves. The goals are to define the characteristics, develop understanding, describe places and events, and identify the meanings, co...
Chapter
Full-text available
The prison population in the United States has increased drastically in the last 30 years. This entry provides a brief examination of the historical and current trends in prison population through examination at the individual and system levels. Overcrowding, fiscal and social costs, demographics, and methods for influencing the population are disc...
Article
Full-text available
Society is confronted with tremendous amounts of music each day and with current technological enhancements, we are able to control the types of music we often listen too. Previous research has demonstrated that by listening to music individuals identify life goals and the acceptable means for achieving those goals. In the present study we examine...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, government budgets have begun to diminish, causing funding concerns for various services and programs. This is especially true for crime prevention services, which are often seen as superfluous. Therefore, criminologists have devoted considerable attention to evaluating the cost-benefit of crime prevention programs to establish fru...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
According to the theory of procedural justice, the act of law enforcement communicating with the public in an aggressive manner (e.g. yelling, cursing or threatening to use force) may lead a person to believe they are being treated unfairly. This may result in an increased aggressive action toward law enforcement, which has a correlation with the u...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
I'm looking for a database that contains unedited surveillance style videos of crimes occurring. I will be using Video Data Analysis to answer various questions about the crimes, so all types of crimes are welcome. I've use YouTube and similar sources in the past but there are methodological issues with this technique and limited sources.
Question
How have the COVID-19 Lock-downs (or stay at home orders) impacted crime?
We provide some initial thoughts in this recent paper (available for free download) but are looking for more insight from front-line practitioners (police, corrections, government leaders, security, health care, and more) across many disciplines. We expect the results to be mixed and data and location dependent. Do you have unique data to share? What insights can you provide? What does this say about the best ways to prevent crime in the future?

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
Understanding crime during the COVID-19 pandemic is important. Especially considering the lockdowns (stay-at-Home orders) issued in many states. We hope to understand what did and did not occurs during the lockdowns to help find solutions to crime in the future.
Project
Dr. Ben Stickle, Dr. Joshua Harms, and I are in the process of publishing a scholarly paper on the individual and contextual determinates of fear of package theft in a sample of online retail consumers.
Project
Package Theft (porch piracy) is a growing concern in the US as an increasing number of purchases are made online with unattended home delivery. This is the first research into an emerging crime type with the goal to learn more about how to prevent it.