Jeffrey Fagan

Jeffrey Fagan
Columbia University | CU · Columbia Law School

About

84
Publications
23,367
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7,010
Citations
Citations since 2016
2 Research Items
4003 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600

Publications

Publications (84)
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Objectives The objective of the current study is to examine the hypothesis that correctional environments can facilitate the accumulation of “criminal capital” and might actually encourage offending by serving as a school of crime. Methods We use panel data from a sample of 615 serious juvenile offenders who reported illegal earnings and informatio...
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Objectives Prior research indicates that public assessments of the manner in which the police exercise their authority are a key antecedent of judgments about the legitimacy of the police. In this study, the importance of context in influencing people’s assessment of police wrongdoing is examined. Methods A randomized factorial experiment was used...
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This 7-year study of 1,170 male adjudicated youth examined how self-esteem, psychopathy, and psychosocial maturity relate to gang status (low-level member, leader, and non-gang member). Low temperance, perspective, and responsibility predicted being a low-level gang member, whereas only lower temperance predicted being a gang leader. Low self-estee...
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Objective: Legitimacy-based approaches to crime prevention operate under the assumption that individuals — including violent offenders — are more likely to comply with the law when they believe that the law and its agents are legitimate and act in ways that seem inherently “fair” and “just.” While mounting evidence finds an association between such...
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Human capital theory (Becker 1962; Mincer 1958; Schultz 1960; 1961) posits that individuals can increase their labor market returns through investments in education and training. This concept has been studied extensively across several disciplines. An analog concept of criminal capital, while the focus of speculation and limited empirical study, re...
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A growing consensus suggests that incarcerating offenders tends to have either null or criminogenic effects at both the individual and neighborhood levels. There is also further evidence that there are unintended consequences of incarcerating juvenile offenders such as delayed psychosocial development and school dropout. The current study considers...
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The relationship between citizens and police occupies a central place both in urban politics and in the political economy of cities. In this respect, for nearly 50 years, New York and Los Angeles have been bellwethers for many of the nation’s larger cities. In each city, as in cities across the world, citizens look to police to protect them from cr...
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Drugs, crime and public housing are closely linked in policy and politics, and their nexus has animated several intensive drug enforcement programs targeted at public housing residents. In New York City, police systematically conduct “vertical patrols” in public housing buildings, making tens of thousands of Terry stops each year. During these patr...
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Immigration and crime have received much popular and political attention in the past decade, and have been a focus of episodic social attention for much of the history of the U.S. Recent policy and legal discourse suggests that the stigmatic link between immigrants and crime has endured, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. This study addr...
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Perceptual deterrence has been an enduring focus of interest in criminology. Although recent research has generated important new insights about how risks, costs, and rewards of offending are perceived and internalized, there remain two specific limitations to advancing theories of deterrence: (a) the lack of panel data to show whether issues of ch...
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Frustrated by federal inaction on immigration reform, several U.S. states in recent years have proposed or enacted laws designed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. and to facilitate their removal. An underappreciated implication of these laws is the potential alienation of immigrant communities - even law abiding, cooperative indi...
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The present study investigates the relation between moral disengagement-one's willingness to conditionally endorse transgressive behavior-and ongoing offending in a sample of adolescent male felony offenders (N = 1,169). In addition, the study attempts to rule out callous-unemotional traits as a third variable responsible for observed associations...
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The nationwide trend to criminalize juvenile delinquency in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in the placement of large numbers of adolescent criminal offenders in adult correctional facilities. Prior research has assessed the consequences of this practice through comparisons of youth in juvenile corrections with youths placed in adult prisons and jails...
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Objectives This study examines the prevalence of overconfidence in the perceived risk of committing crime and whether such overconfidence is related to criminal behavior. Methods Two samples were used—a sample of high school students who committed minor offenses and a sample of serious juvenile offenders most with felony arrests. Overconfidence in...
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In a large sample of urban police officers, 18.1% of males and 15.9% of females reported experiencing adverse consequences from alcohol use and 7.8% of the sample met criteria for lifetime alcohol abuse or dependence. Female officers had patterns of alcohol use similar to male officers and substantially more than females in the general population....
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The present study investigates the relation between moral disengagement—one’s willingness to conditionally endorse transgressive behavior—and ongoing offending in a sample of adolescent male felony offenders (N 1,169). In addition, the study attempts to rule out callous–unemotional traits as a third variable responsible for observed associations be...
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Although possession of small quantities of marijuana has been decriminalized in New York State since the late 1970s, arrests for marijuana possession in New York City have increased more than tenfold since the mid-1990s, and remain high more than 10 years later. This rise has been a notable component of the city's “Order Maintenance Policing” strat...
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The Critical Incident History Questionnaire indexes cumulative exposure to traumatic incidents in police by examining incident frequency and rated severity. In over 700 officers, event severity was negatively correlated (r(s) = -.61) with frequency of exposure. Cumulative exposure indices that varied emphasis on frequency and severity-using both no...
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New research has identified the consequences of high rates of incarceration on neighborhood crime rates, but few studies have looked beyond crime to examine the collateral effects of incarceration on the social and economic well being of the neighborhoods themselves and their residents. We assess two specific indicia of neighborhood economic well-b...
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Following Soto v State (1999), New Jersey was among the first states to enter into a comprehensive Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice to end racially selective enforcement on the state’s highways. The Consent Decree led to extensive reforms in the training and supervision of state police troopers, and the design of information techn...
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This essay explores the contradictions and puzzles of modern juvenile justice, and illustrates the enduring power of the child-saving philosophy of the juvenile court in an era of punitiveness toward offenders both young and old. The exponential growth in incarceration in the U.S. since the 1970s has been more restrained for juveniles than adults,...
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Because many serious adolescent offenders reduce their antisocial behavior after court involvement, understanding the patterns and mechanisms of the process of desistance from criminal activity is essential for developing effective interventions and legal policy. This study examined patterns of self-reported antisocial behavior over a 3-year period...
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We compare homicide rates in two quite similar cities with vastly different execution risks. Singapore had an execution rate close to one per million per year until an explosive 20-fold increase in 1994–1995 and 1996 to a level that we show was probably the highest in the world. Then, over the next 11 years, Singapore executions dropped by about 95...
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Extant research regarding juvenile transfer has focused primarily on the negative effects of current policies, with little consistent and rigorous work on the variation among the adolescents transferred to adult court and their later adjustment in the community. Using a sample of 193 transferred youth from Arizona, we consider how certain individua...
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Prior research indicates that adolescent offenders transferred to adult court are more likely to recidivate than those retained in the juvenile system. The studies supporting this conclusion, however, are limited in addressing the issue of heterogeneity among transferred adolescents. This study estimates the effect of transfer on later crime using...
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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 confine...
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The contributions of order-maintenance policing and broken windows theory to New York City’s remarkable crime decline have been the subject of contentious debate. The dominant policing tactic in New York since the 1990s has been aggressive interdiction of citizens through street encounters in the search for weapons or drugs. Research showed that mi...
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Research on procedural justice and legitimacy suggests that compliance with the law is best secured not by mere threat of force, but by fostering beliefs in the fairness of the legal systems and in the legitimacy of legal actors. To date, however, this research has been based on general population surveys and more banal types of law-violating behav...
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Last year marked the twentieth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in McCleskey v. Kemp, a case whose ramifications for the pursuit of racial equality within criminal justice are still felt today. McCleskey set an impossibly high bar for constitutionally-based challenges seeking fundamental racial fairness in capital punishment. The Mc...
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The purpose of this study was to estimate the deterrent effect of capital punishment by employing a methodology that accounted for model uncertainty by integrating various studies into a single coherent analysis. First, this study replicated the results from two previous studies, Dezhbakhsh, Rubin and Shepherd (2003) and Donohue and Wolfers (2005),...
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The purpose of this study was to estimate the deterrent effect of capital punishment by employing a methodology that accounted for model uncertainty by integrating various studies into a single coherent analysis. First, this study replicated the results from two previous studies, Dezhbakhsh, Rubin and Shepherd (2003) and Donohue and Wolfers (2005),...
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Recent case law and social science both have claimed that the developmental limitations of adolescents affect their capacity for control and decision making with respect to crime, diminishing their culpability and reducing their exposure to punishment. Social science has focused on two concurrent adolescent developmental influences: the internaliza...
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Recent studies by police departments and researchers confirm that police stop persons of racial and ethnic minority groups more often than whites relative to their proportions in the population. However, it has been argued that stop rates more accurately reflect rates of crimes committed by each ethnic group, or that stop rates reflect elevated rat...
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This research uses a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the impact of Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) initiatives on neighborhood-level crime rates in Chicago. Four interventions are analyzed: (1) increased federal prosecutions for convicted felons carrying or using guns, (2) the length of sentences associated with federal prosecutions, (3) supp...
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Three decades of legislative activism have resulted in a broad expansion of states' authority to transfer adolescent offenders from juvenile to criminal (adult) courts. At the same time that legislatures have broadened the range of statutes and lowered the age thresholds for eligibility for transfer, states also have reallocated discretion away fro...
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The goal of this study was to examine whether panic mediates the relationship between fear, helplessness, and horror (PTSD criterion A2) and dissociation at the time of trauma. The study sample included 709 police officers and 317 peer-nominated civilians who had been exposed to a variety of critical incidents. Participants filled out measures of c...
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Using data from five Spouse Assault Replication Program (SARP) sites, this study examined the extent to which domestic violence offenders exhibit a specialized proclivity toward violence and the extent to which attack severity escalates, de-escalates, or stays about the same over time. The specialization question was examined using official arrest...
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Using data from five Spouse Assault Replication Program (SARP) sites, this study examined the extent to which domestic violence offenders exhibit a specialized proclivity toward violence and the extent to which attack severity escalates, de-escalates, or stays about the same over time. The specialization question was examined using official arrest...
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The reintroduction of capital punishment in 1976 that ended the four-year moratorium on executions generated by the Supreme Court in the 1972 decision Furman v. Georgia has permitted researchers to employ state-level heterogeneity in the use of capital punishment to study deterrent effects. However, no scholarly consensus exists as to their magnitu...
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This study examined whether peritraumatic dissociation serves to protect trauma-exposed individuals from experiencing high levels of peritraumatic distress or is an epiphenomenon of high levels of peritraumatic distress. The sample was comprised of 709 police officers and 317 peer-nominated civilians exposed to a variety of critical incidents. Part...
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This study examined whether peritraumatic dissociation serves to protect trauma-exposed individuals from experiencing high levels of peritraumatic distress or is an epiphenomenon of high levels of peritraumatic distress. The sample was comprised of 709 police officers and 317 peer-nominated civilians exposed to a variety of critical incidents. Part...
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Since 1968, violence and other crimes in New York City have followed a pattern of recurring epidemics. There have been three consecutive and contiguous cycles characterized by sharp increases in homicides and assaults to an elevated rate followed by equally steep declines to levels near the previous starting point. The most recent epidemic, from 19...
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Both legal scholars and social scientists have leveraged new research evidence on the deterrent effects of the death penalty into calls for more executions that they claim will save lives and new rules to remove procedural roadblocks and hasten executions. However, the use of total intentional homicides to estimate deterrence is a recurring aggrega...
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The relationship of type of critical incident (CI) stressor with peritraumatic responses and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms was examined in police. Officers (N = 662) provided narratives of their most distressing CI experienced during police service and completed measures of related peritraumatic responses and posttraumatic stress disorder...
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Over the past quarter century, intimate partner violence research has occupied an increasingly important position in the research agenda of criminology, public policy, and public health. Yet, a number of questions about the criminal careers of domestic violence offenders remain unresolved. This study attempts to determine (1) the extent to which cr...
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Recent studies by police departments and researchers confirm that police stop racial and ethnic minority citizens more often than whites, relative to their proportions in the population. However, it has been argued stop rates more accurately reflect rates of crimes committed by each ethnic group, or that stop rates reflect elevated rates in specifi...
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The relationship of alexithymia to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology was examined cross-sectionally in 166 urban police officers surveyed between 1998 and 1999 and prospectively in 54 of these officers who participated in a follow-up survey after the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks. In cross-sectional analyses, alexith...
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In 2003, the Missouri Supreme Court set aside the death sentence of Christopher Simmons, who was 17 when he was arrested for the murder of Shirley Crook. The Simmons court held that the "evolving standards of decency" embodied in the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments barred execution of persons who committed capital cr...
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Research on children and the law has recently renewed its focus on the development of children's ties to law and legal actors. We identify the developmental process through which these relations develop as legal socialization, a process that unfolds during childhood and adolescence as part of a vector of developmental capital that promotes complian...
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For decades, violence, drugs and public housing have been closely linked in political culture and popular imagination. In 1990, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made funds available to public housing authorities to combat drug and crime problems. This program, the Drug Elimination Program (DEP) combined several strategies under...
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Improving juvenile court decision making requires information about how serious adolescent offenders desist from antisocial activity. A systematic research agenda on this topic requires consideration of several processes, including normative development in late adolescence, what constitutes desistance, and the factors likely to promote the end of i...
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Because different methods for studying criminal behavior all suffer from important limitations, it is useful to apply different methodologies to the same population whenever possible. In this analysis, we examine the relationships between self-report and official record-based measures of offending activity using populations of adolescent serious of...
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Few studies have applied life course methods to understand the natural history of crime rates in neighborhoods or other small social areas. Recent research on neighborhood effects has produced evidence of small area variations in child development and maltreatment, teenage sexual behavior and childbearing, school dropout, home ownership, several in...
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In Atkins v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court held that mentally retarded people lacked a range of developmental capacities that were necessary to establish the higher threshold of culpability for the execution of murderers in the Court's death penalty jurisprudence. The Court emphasized that the impairments of mental retardation lead to a . . . sp...
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The phenomenal growth of drug courts and other forms of 'problem-solving' courts has followed a pattern that is characteristic of many successful innovations: An individual or small group has or stumbles upon a new idea; the idea is put into practice and appears to work; a small number of other actors adopt the innovation and have similar experienc...
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The social concentration of incarceration among non-whites is a recurring theme in criminal justice research and legal scholarship. Despite robust evidence of its social concentration, few studies have examined its spatial concentration, or the effects of spatially concentrated incarceration over time on individuals and social areas. In this articl...
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In the past two decades, nearly every state has expanded its authority and simplified its procedures to transfer adolescent offenders from juvenile to criminal (adult) courts. As a result, the use of jurisdictional transfer has grown steadily. These developments reflect popular and political concerns that punishment in juvenile courts is too lenien...
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The relationship between routine work stress and psychological distress was investigated among 733 police officers in three US cities, during 1998-1999. The Work Environment Inventory (WEI) was developed to assess exposure to routine work stressors, while excluding duty-related traumatic stressors (critical incidents). The WEI and its general prope...
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Since 1990, nearly every state has enacted new laws to expand the transfer adolescent offenders from juvenile to criminal courts for sentencing and punishment. What happens to adolescents once placed in the criminal justice system, the returns to crime control from these policies, and the potential violations of human rights that ensue, are the foc...
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Police officers face many stressors that may negatively impact sleep quality. This study compares subjective sleep quality in police officers with that in control subjects not involved in police or emergency services. We examined the effects of critical incident exposure (trauma exposure) and routine (nontraumatic) work environment stressors on sle...
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We studied 655 urban police officers (21% female, 48% white, 24% black, and 28% Hispanic) to assess ethnic and gender differences in duty-related symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We obtained self-report measures of. a) PTSD symptoms, b) peritraumatic dissociation, c) exposure to duty-related critical incidents, d) general psychiatr...
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Patterns of "stop and frisk" activity by police across New York City neighborhoods reflect competing theories of aggressive policing. "Broken Windows" theory suggests that neighborhoods with greater concentrations of physical and social disorder should evidence higher stop and frisk activity, especially for "quality of life" crimes. However, while...
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There is a growing bipartisan consensus that flaws in America's death-penalty system have reached crisis proportions. Many fear that capital trials put people on death row who don't belong there. Others say capital appeals take too long. This report?the first statistical study ever undertaken of modern American capital appeals (4,578 of them in sta...
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Since the early 1970s, the number of individuals in jails and state and federal prisons has grown exponentially. Today, nearly 2 million people are currently incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails. The growth of imprisonment has been borne disproportionately by African-American and Hispanic men from poor communities in urban area...
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Published reports from seven jointly developed experiments have addressed whether or not arrest is an effective deterrent to misdemeanor spouse assault. Findings supporting a deterrent effect, no effect, and an escalation effect have been reported by the original authors and in interpretations of the published findings by other authors. This review...
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We welcome criticism by responsible scholars and readers, and the chance to address it in journals that enforce appropriate standards of accuracy and integrity. We have done just that in exchanges in Judicature and the Indiana Law Journal. 1 But the inaccuracies in Adam VanGrack's Note, 2 and new problems with his present explanation, 3 lead us to...
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Thank you for inviting me to address the Committees on this most urgent of topics. This is an important moment historically in the debate on capital punishment, both in the state and the nation. This moment presents opportunity for the citizens of New York State to carefully consider this most serious exercise of the state's authority and power.

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