Scott H. Decker

Scott H. Decker
Arizona State University | ASU · School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

PhD

About

240
Publications
193,734
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
9,319
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 1977 - June 2006
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Position
  • Curator's Professor

Publications

Publications (240)
Book
Full-text available
Gangs are multifaceted and varied, so any attempt to understand them cannot be restricted to a singular approach. On Gangs provides a diverse and comprehensive survey of the available theories for understanding this social issue as well as the broad range of responses to it. The authors look at the many influences on gangs’ operation, growth, preve...
Article
The gang has been a rising issue of contemporary history in the United States since post World War II. Gang activity can be explained with several social elements—gender, community, and drug—and it was found that it causes delinquency, drug sales, and violent activities. In order to respond to gangs, social intervention community programs were init...
Article
Full-text available
Gang research has spanned nearly a century. In that time, we have learned that gang membership increases the chances of involvement in homicide as a victim or offender. The violence that embroils gang life, both instrumental and symbolic, often has consequences. In this paper we review the gang homicide literature covering topics such as definition...
Preprint
Full-text available
The present study examines the impact of Proponte M as, a family based , multiple gated prevention program in Honduras. The primary goal of Proponte M as is to reduce the risk factors for problem behavior associated with youth in Honduras through family-based intervention services. At risk youth were randomly assigned to a treatment and control gro...
Article
Full-text available
Snitching refers to conveying inside and potentially incriminating information about others to authorities. In contrast to prior criminological accounts of snitching, which rely on small and purposive samples, we used a probability sample of 802 male prisoners in Texas to study the status, prevalence, acceptability and correlates of snitching. We a...
Article
Full-text available
A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12117-020-09404-9
Article
Full-text available
There is considerable speculation that prisons are a breeding ground for radicalization. These concerns take on added significance in the era of mass incarceration in the United States, where 1.5 million people are held in state or federal prisons and around 600,000 people are released from prison annually. Prior research relies primarily on the sp...
Article
Full-text available
Longitudinal data are essential to research in criminology and criminal justice. Despite attrition's implications for validity, understanding its sources is underexplored empirically. We examine the correlates of retention using covariates organized into domains of prediction, prevention, and projection. Data from the LoneStar Project, a three-wave...
Article
Full-text available
There is a paucity of research comparing gang members and domestic extremists and extant studies find few explicit linkages. Despite this, there remains a great deal of interest in possible similarities between these criminal groups. Driving this interest is the possibility of adapting policies and practices aimed at preventing entry into criminal...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Reentry experiences for the 600,000 people released annually from federal and state prisons differ vastly. We contend that gangs, which rose to prominence alongside mass incarceration, are an overlooked source of variation in reentry experiences. Drawing on precepts from the street gang literature, we test whether patterns of recidivism...
Chapter
Full-text available
Despite increased attention to the process of disengagement from gangs, there is still much to learn. Recent research has underscored the importance of religious beliefs and practices in the process of disengaging from membership in gangs and desisting from involvement in crime. Using a large sample of prison inmates (N = 802), 301 of whom were for...
Article
In the United States, 400,000 children are in state custody through child protection systems (CPS), most commonly for parental neglect. While states focus on removing children from danger, familial separation leaves a social void with negative impacts that can extend into adulthood. To better understand how youth in state custody navigate that soci...
Article
Full-text available
The convict code guides behaviors, beliefs, and interactions of incarcerated people by encouraging them to mind their own business, never back down, keep to themselves, and not get too close with correctional officers. Within communities, a similar subculture exists, termed the code of the street, which values respect, toughness, autonomy, and anti...
Article
Full-text available
The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. The name of the second author was spelled incorrectly. The correct name of the second author is “David Pyrooz.”
Article
Violence prevention efforts must take into consideration the potentially stigmatizing labels associated with violence, and how youth perceive different types of violence in their communities. Somali communities and individuals in North America have at times been labeled as at-risk for violence, with two notable examples being gang violence and ideo...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Serious head injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), are associated with an increase in aggression and violent tendencies. The current study extends the literature on head injuries by examining whether gang membership is associated with an elevated risk of head injury in prison, and the extent to which this relationship is...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter provides an overview of civilian oversight in American policing, including its evolution as an accountability mechanism, the different models of police review, the existing empirical research on the topic, and potential solutions to increase the practice’s effectiveness moving forward.
Article
Full-text available
Measurement is critical to advancing theory and research in criminology. Yet, criminologists are often forced to rely on data sources that are not intended to be used for research or collected in contexts where subjects may have incentives to misreport. This is particularly true of data in institutional corrections research. This study leveraged no...
Book
Pyrooz and Decker pull apart the bars on prison gangs to uncover how they compete for control. While there is much speculation about these gangs, there is little solid research. This book draws on interviews with 802 inmates - half of whom were gang members - in two Texas prisons; one of the largest samples of its kind. Using this data, the authors...
Article
Full-text available
In an era of decarceration, social scientists need to understand prisoner reentry experiences. Longitudinal studies are one strategy to accomplish this goal. Yet, the retention of a formerly incarcerated population across waves of interviews is challenging due to their transient lifestyles and limited support systems, which may be further complicat...
Article
Full-text available
Mounting evidence suggests that social media can exacerbate tensions among gangs that ultimately lead to violence, but serious questions remain about precisely how conflict online translates to conflict offline. The purpose of this study is to examine the ways in which gang violence can be mediated by the Internet. We conducted a sociolinguistic st...
Preprint
Full-text available
Measurement is critical to advancing theory and research in criminology. Yet, criminologists are often forced to rely on data sources that are not intended to be used for research, or collected in contexts where subjects may have incentives to misreport. This is particularly true of data in institutional corrections research. This study leveraged n...
Article
This study examines the association between childhood physical abuse and an increased risk for violent victimization in youth and young adulthood in China. It further assesses if this relationship is mediated by an individual’s routine activities. Data used in this study were collected from more than 2,000 individuals of school-based samples in Cha...
Chapter
The Cambridge Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression - Edited by Alexander T. Vazsonyi, University of Kentucky , Daniel J. Flannery, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio , Matt DeLisi, Iowa State University
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – Many examinations of police misconduct involve case study methodologies applied to a single agency, or a handful of agencies. Consequently, there is little evidence regarding the types of misconduct across agencies, or the impact of department-level characteristics on the nature and prevalence of officer deviance. The purpose of this pape...
Article
Full-text available
There is considerable speculation that prison plays a role in radicalization. Many individuals involved in acts of political extremism have spent time in prison, adding credibility to such claims. Despite these assertions, there is little empirical evidence regarding the prison-radicalization link because access to prisons is challenging and there...
Article
Full-text available
American Indian women across all ages are significantly more likely than women of other ethnic groups to be victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Despite their increased risk of interpersonal violence, there are few published studies or reports that explicitly examine the needs of victimized American Indian women. Therefore, b...
Article
Full-text available
Prisons have been described as the final frontier for research on gangs and gang members. Criminological research in prisons is rare due to restricted access to facilities, concerns about harsh public scrutiny, and worries about security. There are added challenges for survey research involving prison gang members, as it is believed that gang norms...
Article
Understanding the relationships between immigrants and refugees and the police is a critical research task with implications for both community–police partnerships and the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts. This study contributes to such an understanding by examining perceptions of police and police interactions among Somali immigrants and r...
Chapter
Researchers in the social sciences face conflicting pressures to produce work that is both impactful to their field of study and feasible within time and resource constraints. These pressures are particularly acute for junior academics, but they extend throughout the career of professional researchers. Ethnography is an approach to research that ca...
Article
Full-text available
After decades of prohibition, laws allowing marijuana use for medical and, in some cases, recreational purposes have been enacted across the country. To date, however, little is known about medical marijuana use, particularly regarding its relationship to criminal offending and use by nonauthorized persons. The current study bridges this gap by exa...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of parenthood on leaving a street gang is not well understood. This is likely because researchers in prior studies have not accounted for multiple dimensions of gang exit, possible gender differences, and potential selection bias. In this study, we use a sample of 466 male and 163 female gang members from the National Longitudinal Study...
Article
Full-text available
The origins and escalation of group violence are central to the criminological enterprise. Explanations of collective violence were developed when face-to-face interactions constituted the primary form of social exchange. The Internet and related technologies provide new formats for social interaction and collective behaviors and have become increa...
Article
Purpose: Increasing minority representation in law enforcement has long been viewed as a primary means to improve police-citizen relations. The recommendation to diversify police departments was endorsed by the Kerner Commission and, most recently, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. While these recommendations make intuitive sense...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to situate knowledge on the pushes and pulls of disengagement from gangs within the inventory of gang intervention programs. Drawing on developmental and life course criminological theory and three major, multi-site studies on gang disengagement, we examined the self-reported pushes and pulls that led gang members to...
Chapter
Carjacking is a bold crime characterized by unpredictability and danger. Media reports have identified carjackings throughout the world, and estimates suggest 34,000 occur annually in the United States alone. Research with active offenders has examined carjacking in the context of US street crime, but official reporting inconsistencies and a focus...
Article
Full-text available
Despite calls for research on the similarities and differences between violent extremist groups and criminal street gangs, there have been few empirical comparisons. We develop a comparative model that emphasizes explicit, spurious, and indirect linkages between the two groups and use national sources of data on domestic extremists and gang members...
Article
Full-text available
There has been recent interest in applying contemporary criminological theories to better understand historical criminal behavior and events. Retrospective studies—much like case studies—can be a useful methodology to help us understand the justice system responses to crime and in particular what strategies “worked” or were ineffective. This study...
Article
Purpose: This study explored whether police departments have engaged in " de-policing " —withdrawal from active police work—in response to unprecedented levels of negative attention, as well as the correlates of changes in police behavior. Methods: Using data from 118 of the 121 police departments serving jurisdictions over 5000 residents in Missou...
Book
This comprehensive reference work presents an in-depth analysis of juvenile justice systems across the world. The second edition of this Handbook has been updated with 13 new chapters, now covering a total of 34 countries, across North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East from an international and comparative perspective.The...
Article
Purpose: Increasing minority representation in law enforcement has long been viewed as a primary means to improve police-citizen relations. The recommendation to diversify police departments was endorsed by the Kerner Commission and, most recently, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. While these recommendations make intuitive sense...
Article
Full-text available
We use 16 characterizations of crews, codes, and contexts to determine if offender subcultures (code of the street, convict code, street and prison gangs) converge, complement, or are independent of one another. We find extensive overlap across offender subcultures with “belief” subcultures in street and prison settings mirroring the “group” subcul...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Internet has opened up new opportunities for crime and deviance. Although there is growing interest in gang activity on the web, there is a lack of systematic and comparative evidence about online gang activities. This chapter examines the differences and similarities in online behavior and criminal activity between gang members in the USA and...
Book
Full-text available
The United States deported nearly two million illegal immigrants during the first five years of the Obama presidency—more than during any previous administration. President Obama stands accused by activists of being “deporter in chief.” Yet despite efforts to rebuild what many see as a broken system, the president has not yet been able to convince...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: There has been widespread speculation that the events surrounding the shooting death of an unarmed young black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri—and a string of similar incidents across the country—have led to increases in crime in the United States. This study tested for the “Ferguson Effect” on crime rates in large U.S....
Chapter
The 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games began in February just five months after the events of September 11, 2001.1 This tragedy combined with the memory of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games created a sense among some that such global public events bring unnecessary risks. In fact, a group of security exp...
Article
Full-text available
This study takes stock of empirical research examining the relationship between gang membership and offending by subjecting this large body of work to a meta-analysis. Multilevel modeling is used to determine the overall mean effect size of this relationship based on 1,649 effect size estimates drawn from 179 empirical studies and 107 independent d...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines the organization and structure of gangs as well as the group processes within gangs. Street gangs are a form of criminal association that have been the topic of scholarly attention for nearly a century. The chapter compares street gangs to other organized crime groups, including transnational organized crime, drug smuggling ne...
Chapter
This chapter assesses the reciprocal relationship between theory and policy in criminology. The central argument of the chapter is that good policy needs good theory and that good theory finds its ultimate test in its application to policy and practice. The chapter argues that there is a solid foundation for strengthening the reciprocal relationshi...
Article
Full-text available
Crime and deviance reflect the dynamic nature of social life. The Internet has changed opportunities for crime and deviance, much as it has changed other aspects of social life. Accompanying the movement of offending and victimization to the Internet has been the expansion of deviant groups—including gangs—into online settings. Drawing from web-fac...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to assess the role of race/ethnicity and prior prison sentences on employment opportunities. Secondarily, we compare the impact of applying for jobs (in-person and online), and the role of education in securing employment. This work was conducted in a large southwestern city (Phoenix AZ) with high rates of imprisonment...
Article
Full-text available
One of the difficult tasks in the social sciences is integrative, interdisciplinary work. There are many commonalities across the social sciences in method, theory, and policy. The study of gangs has a tradition in the U.S. that dates back nearly 100 years, with an emerging focus in Europe and other parts of the world. This Research Note argues tha...
Chapter
Full-text available
From 1989 to 1995 my colleague Richard Wright and I studied hundreds and hundreds of active offenders. When I say “studied” I mean interviewed, followed, observed, created experimental conditions, re-interviewed, cross-validated results, obsessed about ethics, worried about their safety and ours, rode around with them in cars, read and reread trans...
Book
Pulling together the most salient, current issues in the field today, The Handbook of Gangs provides a significant assessment by leading scholars of key topics related to gangs, gang members, and responses to gangs. Chapters cover a wide array of the most prominent issues in the field of gangs, written by scholars who have been leaders in developin...
Article
Full-text available
Despite attention to the role of gangs in urban gun violence, much remains to be learned about the spatial distribution and consequences of residential gang membership. This study uses data from St. Louis to examine the effects of resident gang membership on rates of gun assault. We also consider whether gun violence is conditioned by the level of...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The study of gang members is closely linked to the self-nomination method. It is timely to revisit the criterion validity of self-nomination, as recent theoretical and empirical advancements in gang disengagement necessitate further differentiating current from former gang members. This study assessed differences in gang embeddedness—a c...