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Criminology

Impact factor: 3.268 5-Year impact factor: 3.861 Print ISSN: 0011-1384

Subject: Criminology & Penology

Most recent papers:

  • The Funny Side Of Drug Dealing: Risk, Humor, And Narrative Identity.
    Timothy Dickinson, Richard Wright.
    Criminology. July 11, 2017
    In this study, we explore the role humor plays in the narrated identities of drug dealers, in their negotiation of the threat of formal punishment, and in their cultural membership and authority. By drawing from interview and observation data gathered from 33 active drug dealers residing in St. Louis, Missouri, we find that humor facilitates identity work among illicit drug dealers in several ways. Humor is an important symbolic boundary marker distinguishing dealers from others they consider “stupid” or less circumspect. It also indicates dealers’ identities as “smart” and simultaneously establishes and validates their subcultural authority and membership in the symbolic group of “smart” dealers. Furthermore, drug dealers use denigrating humor in their narratives to distance their former and virtual identities from their present identities. Finally, humor also reduces dealers’ perceptions of the threats posed by police and potential snitches by casting dealers’ present identities and former reactions to the threat of punishment in a positive light. We conclude by discussing implications for narrative criminology, extant humor research, and current understanding of symbolic boundaries, identity work, and deterrence.
    July 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12148   open full text
  • Stress, Genes, And Generalizability Across Gender: Effects Of Maoa And Stress Sensitivity On Crime And Delinquency*.
    Jessica Wells, Todd Armstrong, Danielle Boisvert, Richard Lewis, David Gangitano, Sheree Hughes‐Stamm.
    Criminology. July 07, 2017
    In the current study, we extend the gene‐by‐environment interaction (cGxE) literature by examining how a widely studied polymorphism, the MAOA upstream variable number tandem repeat (MAOA‐uVNTR) interacts with distal and proximal stressors to explain variation in crime and delinquency. Prior research findings have revealed that MAOA‐uVNTR interacts with single indicators of environmental adversity to explain criminal behavior in general‐population and incarcerated samples. Nevertheless, the genetically moderated stress sensitivity hypothesis suggests that increased risk for criminal behavior associated with variation in the MAOA‐uVNTR can be best understood in the context of both distal stress during childhood and proximal stress in adulthood. Therefore, we employed Tobit regression analyses to examine a gene–distal–proximal environment (CGxExE) interaction across gender in a sample of university students (n = 267) and with data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health; n = 1,294). The results across both sets of analyses demonstrate that variation in the MAOA‐uVNTR interacts with distal and proximal stress to lead to increased risk for criminal behavior in males. Although proximal life stress is associated with an increase in crime and delinquency, this effect is more pronounced among MAOA‐L allele carriers that have experienced distal stress.
    July 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12147   open full text
  • On The Reliability And Validity Of Self‐Reported Illegal Earnings: Implications For The Study Of Criminal Achievement*.
    Holly Nguyen, Thomas A. Loughran.
    Criminology. July 04, 2017
    The study of the monetary returns to criminal activity is a central component in many emerging areas of criminology, including rational choice and offender decision‐making, desistance, and criminal achievement. Scholars have been increasingly captivated with specification of the earnings function and with examining how variations in illegal earnings predict important outcomes such as persistence in offending. The potential utility of findings in related empirical studies hinges on the quality of the key measure, self‐reported illegal earnings. Yet to date scant attention has been paid by researchers to the measurement properties of this metric. We analyze self‐reported illegal earnings generated from a variety of instrumental crimes by using data from the Pathways to Desistance Study (n = 585) and the National Supported Work Project (n = 1,509), which are two longitudinal data sets of active offenders separated by more than 30 years. Findings based on analyses both within and between data sets reveal support for the internal consistency reliability and criterion validity of self‐reported illegal earnings. Moreover, the results reveal premiums in terms of higher earnings associated with different crime types, which are persistent both over time and across data sets. Implications and future directions for advancing the theoretical study of criminal achievement are also discussed.
    July 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12144   open full text
  • Neighborhood Social Control And Perceptions Of Crime And Disorder In Contemporary Urban China*.
    Lening Zhang, Steven F. Messner, Sheldon Zhang.
    Criminology. July 04, 2017
    By drawing on the two streams of Western literature on “neighborhood effects” and perceptions of neighborhood disorder adapted to the distinctive organizational infrastructure of neighborhoods in contemporary urban China, we examine the contextual effects of different forms of neighborhood social control (i.e., collective efficacy, semipublic control, public control, and market‐based control) on different types of perceived disorder (i.e., criminal activity, social disorder, physical disorder, and total disorder) across neighborhoods. The analyses are based on data collected in the year 2013 from a survey of approximately 2,500 households in 50 neighborhoods across the city of Tianjin. Collective efficacy as a form of informal control has a significant effect only for perceived social disorder. Public control as measured by the activities of neighborhood police stations has a significant contextual effect on all forms of perceived disorder, whereas the role of market‐based control as represented by contracted community services is limited to perceived physical disorder. Finally, semipublic control as measured by the activities of neighborhood committees significantly affects all forms of perceived disorder, but the direction of the effect is positive. We interpret this positive effect with reference to the complex processes surrounding the “translation” of neighborhood disorderly conditions into perceptions of disorder.
    July 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12142   open full text
  • The Language Of Stigmatization And The Mark Of Violence: Experimental Evidence On The Social Construction And Use Of Criminal Record Stigma.
    Megan Denver, Justin T. Pickett, Shawn D. Bushway.
    Criminology. June 30, 2017
    After years of stagnation, labeling theory has recently gained new empirical support. Simultaneously, new policy initiatives have attempted to restructure criminal record stigma to reduce reintegration barriers, and subsequent recidivism, driven by labeling. For example, in a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) language policy, person‐first terms (e.g., “person with a conviction”) were substituted for crime‐first terms (e.g., “offender”). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also issued guidelines to structure how decision‐makers use criminal records. Unfortunately, little is currently known about the social construction and use of criminal record stigma or the potential effects of such policy changes. In the current study, we provide two unique empirical tests. In study 1, we examine the social construction of stigma by testing DOJ's language policy with experimental data from a nationally representative sample of American adults (N = 996). In study 2, we use a separate nationwide experiment (N = 1,540) to examine how the contextualization of criminal records influences social exclusion decisions. Across both studies, we find consistent evidence of a “mark of violence.” The public perceives that individuals with violent convictions are the most likely to commit future crimes, and it is more supportive of excluding these individuals from employment. Crime‐first terms exacerbate perceived recidivism risk for individuals with violent convictions.
    June 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12145   open full text
  • When Policy Comes To Town: Discourses And Dilemmas Of Implementation Of A Statewide Reentry Policy In Kansas.
    Andres F. Rengifo, Don Stemen, Ethan Amidon.
    Criminology. June 26, 2017
    In this case study, we document challenges to reform implementation posed by line staff, supervisors, and managers during a large‐scale realignment of the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) in which they sought to replace a traditional approach of “risk containment” focused on surveillance and incarceration with a new model of “risk reduction” focused on service delivery and reintegration. We draw on interviews, observations, and archival research to document the staff's discursive challenges to the rollout of the new policy. More specifically, we describe how varying challenges to the reforms—“denial,” “dismissal,” and “defiance”—reflect actors’ positions within the organization, the local contexts in which they operate, and more general frames of interpretation of the long‐term orientation of the KDOC. We integrate these perspectives to contribute to the ongoing expansion of conventional models of penal change that highlight the role of actors and local social and institutional context as moderators of the gap between “law on the books” and “law in action.”
    June 26, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12146   open full text
  • Facial Profiling: Race, Physical Appearance, And Punishment*.
    Brian D. Johnson, Ryan D. King.
    Criminology. June 06, 2017
    We investigate the associations among physical appearance, threat perceptions, and criminal punishment. Psychological ideas about impression formation are integrated with criminological perspectives on sentencing to generate and test unique hypotheses about the associations among defendant facial characteristics, subjective evaluations of threatening appearance, and judicial imprisonment decisions. We analyze newly collected data that link booking photos, criminal histories, and sentencing information for more than 1,100 convicted felony defendants. Our findings indicate that Black defendants are perceived to be more threatening in appearance. Other facial characteristics, such as physical attractiveness, baby‐faced appearance, facial scars, and visible tattoos, also influence perceptions of threat, as do criminal history scores. Furthermore, some physical appearance characteristics are significantly related to imprisonment decisions, even after controlling for other relevant case characteristics. These and other findings are discussed as they relate to psychological research on impression formation, criminological theories of court actor decision‐making, and sociological work on race and punishment.
    June 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12143   open full text
  • Marriage, In‐Laws, And Crime: The Case Of Delinquent Brothers‐In‐Law*.
    Lars HØjsgaard Andersen.
    Criminology. April 19, 2017
    With marriage comes in‐laws, and if the in‐laws include delinquent males, their delinquency could affect the prosocial effects of the given marriage. In this article, I focus on the effect of having a convicted brother‐in‐law as a general indicator of this broader phenomenon of family‐formation processes impairing the positive impact of marriage on crime desistance. I use registry data on all men from birth cohorts 1965–1975 in Denmark (N = 69,066) to show that when a man marries, his new family ties to delinquent brother(s)‐in‐law do indeed hinder his criminal desistance. The results that take into account the characteristics of husbands, wives, their shared family‐formation process, and the criminality of male family members suggest that 1) family dynamics tend to keep criminality within family networks and 2) influences from one's broader social network through marriage are important for the protective effects of marriage. Analyses of previous conviction, co‐offending between a man and his brother‐in‐law, as well as analyses of in‐laws who reside in close proximity confirm the two mentioned main findings. In all, the findings reported in this article add to our understanding of the processes by which families are tied, and how these family‐formation processes influence men's behavior.
    April 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12137   open full text
  • Age And Its Relation To Crime In Taiwan And The United States: Invariant, Or Does Cultural Context Matter?*.
    Darrell Steffensmeier, Hua Zhong, Yunmei Lu.
    Criminology. April 18, 2017
    Current empirical and theoretical understanding of the relation between age and crime is based almost entirely on data from the United States and a few prototypical Western societies for which age‐specific crime information across offense types is available. By using Western databases, Hirschi and Gottfredson (1983) projected that the age distribution of crime is always and everywhere robustly right‐skewed (i.e., sharp adolescent peak)—a thesis that is both contested and widely accepted in criminology and social science writings. In the study described here, we tested this age–crime invariance thesis by comparing age–crime patterns in Taiwan (a non‐Western Chinese society) with those in the United States. In light of Taiwan's collectivist culture versus the U.S. individualist gestalt, we anticipated more divergence than homogeneity in their age–crime schedules. Our findings show robust divergence in Taiwan's age–crime patterns compared with U.S. patterns and the reverted J‐shaped norm projected by Hirschi and Gottfredson. Implications for research and theory on the age–crime relation and for studying human development or life‐course topics more broadly are discussed.
    April 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12139   open full text
  • Explaining The Gender Gap In Crime: The Role Of Heart Rate.
    Olivia Choy, Adrian Raine, Peter H. Venables, David P. Farrington.
    Criminology. April 06, 2017
    Although it is well established that males engage in more crime compared with females, little is known about what accounts for the gender gap. Few studies have been aimed at empirically examining mediators of the gender–crime relationship in a longitudinal context. In this study, we test the hypothesis that a low resting heart rate partly mediates the relationship between gender and crime. In a sample of 894 participants, the resting heart rate at 11 years of age was examined alongside self‐reported and official conviction records for overall criminal offending, violence, serious violence, and drug‐related crime at 23 years of age. A low resting heart rate partially mediated the relationship between gender and all types of adult criminal offending, including violent and nonviolent crime. The mediation effects were significant after controlling for body mass index, race, social adversity, and activity level. Resting heart rate accounted for 5.4 percent to 17.1 percent of the gender difference in crime. This study is the first to produce results documenting that lower heart rates in males partly explain their higher levels of offending. Our findings complement traditional theoretical accounts of the gender gap and have implications for the advancement of integrative criminological theory.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12138   open full text
  • Juvenile Waiver As A Mechanism Of Social Stratification: A Focus On Human Capital*.
    Megan Bears Augustyn, Thomas A. Loughran.
    Criminology. March 23, 2017
    The historic transformations of the criminal justice system must be justified and interpreted through the effects on criminals (Maruna and Immarigeon, 2011). The push for harsher sentencing policies for juvenile offenders specifically through the use of juvenile waiver to criminal court is one such policy that is not well understood in terms of its effects on offenders, especially in terms of broader outcomes beyond recidivism. We use data from the Pathways to Desistance Study, which consists of a sample of adolescent offenders followed for 7 years postadjudication, to investigate the effect juvenile waiver has on human capital acquisition and yield among 557 adolescents from Maricopa County, Arizona. By using various matching specifications, our findings demonstrate that juveniles transferred to adult court experience no deleterious effects on human capital in terms of educational acquisition compared with similar youth retained in the juvenile system, yet they still earn considerably less income 7 years postadjudication. These results suggest that an important and unintended collateral consequence of juvenile waiver is an increase in social stratification potentially through labeling and labor market discrimination.
    March 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12136   open full text
  • Consequences Of Incarceration For Gang Membership: A Longitudinal Study Of Serious Offenders In Philadelphia And Phoenix*.
    David C. Pyrooz, Nancy Gartner, Molly Smith.
    Criminology. March 14, 2017
    Gang members are overrepresented among incarcerated populations in the United States. The link between incarceration and gang membership is beyond dispute, but serious questions remain about the causal mechanisms underlying this relationship. In this study, we develop and test theoretical models—origination, manifestation, and intensification—that focus on whether gang membership is exogenous or endogenous to incarceration. We used 7 years of monthly life calendar data nested within an 11‐wave longitudinal study of 1,336 serious offenders in Philadelphia and Phoenix to examine the effects of incarceration on gang membership. Multilevel models indicated that offenders were more likely to be in gangs while incarcerated in jail and prison settings than when not, although longer spells of incarceration corresponded with prolonged gang membership only in Phoenix. Incarceration in juvenile facilities maintained adverse between‐ and within‐individual effects on gang membership only in Phoenix. Additional descriptive findings revealed that gang status was durable to transitions into and out of incarcerated settings, and that more offenders exited than entered gangs while incarcerated. We situate these findings within our theoretical models and the body of knowledge on incarceration, concluding with a call for future research that is focused on the symbiosis between gangs in street and incarcerated settings.
    March 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12135   open full text
  • Role Of The Street Network In Burglars' Spatial Decision‐Making*.
    Michael J. Frith, Shane D. Johnson, Hannah M. Fry.
    Criminology. March 10, 2017
    Explaining why crime is spatially concentrated has been a central theme of much criminological research. Although various theories focus on neighborhood social processes, environmental criminology asserts that the physical environment plays a central role by shaping people's activity patterns and the opportunities for crime. Here, we test theoretical expectations regarding the role of the road network in shaping the spatial distribution of crime and, in contrast to prior research, disentangle how it might influence offender awareness of criminal opportunities and the supply of ambient guardianship. With a mixed logit (discrete choice) model, we use data regarding (N = 459) residential burglaries (for the first time) to model offender spatial decision‐making at the street segment level. Novel graph theory metrics are developed to estimate offender awareness of street segments and to estimate levels of ambient guardianship, distinguishing between local and nonlocal guardianship. As predicted by crime pattern theory, novel metrics concerning offender familiarity and effort were significant predictors of residential burglary location choices. And, in line with Newman's (1972) concept of defensible space, nonlocal (local) pedestrian traffic was found to be associated with an increase (decrease) in burglary risk. Our findings also demonstrate that “taste” preferences vary across offenders, which presents a challenge for future research to explain.
    March 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12133   open full text
  • Can Hot Spots Policing Reduce Crime In Urban Areas? An Agent‐Based Simulation*.
    David Weisburd, Anthony A. Braga, Elizabeth R. Groff, Alese Wooditch.
    Criminology. February 24, 2017
    Over the past two decades, there has been a growing consensus among researchers that hot spots policing is an effective strategy to prevent crime. Although strong evidence exists that hot spots policing will reduce crime at hot spots without immediate spatial displacement, we know little about its possible jurisdictional or large‐area impacts. We cannot isolate such effects in previous experiments because they (appropriately) compare treatment and control hot spots within large urban communities, thus, confounding estimates of area‐wide impacts. An agent‐based model is used to estimate area‐wide impacts of hot spots policing on street robbery. We test two implementations of hot spots policing (representing different levels of resource allocation) in a simulated borough of a city, and we compare them with two control conditions, one model with constant random patrol and another with no police officers. Our models estimate the short‐ and long‐term impacts on large‐area robbery levels of these different schemes of policing resources. These experiments reveal statistically significant effects for hot spots policing beyond both a random patrol model and a landscape without police. These simulations suggest that wider application of hot spots policing can have significant impacts on overall levels of crime in urban areas.
    February 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12131   open full text
  • How And Why Does Work Matter? Employment Conditions, Routine Activities, And Crime Among Adult Male Offenders*.
    Robert Apel, Julie Horney.
    Criminology. February 21, 2017
    An inverse relationship between employment and crime is well established, although the mechanisms that account for the correlation remain poorly understood. In the current study, we investigate the role of work quality, measured objectively (hours, income) as well as subjectively (commitment). A routine activities perspective is proposed for the work–crime relationship, and it inspires hypotheses about the way that work reduces crime indirectly, in part, through unstructured leisure and substance‐using behaviors that tend to carry situational inducements to offend. The results derive from within‐person analyses of monthly data provided by adult male offenders recently admitted to state prison in the Second Nebraska Inmate Study (N = 717; NT = 21,965). The findings indicate that employment significantly reduces self‐report crime but only when employed men report strong commitment to their jobs, whereas other work characteristics are unrelated to crime. This indicates that, among serious criminally involved men, the subjective experience of work takes priority over its objective characteristics. The results also indicate that routine activities only partly mediate the relationship among work, job commitment, and crime, whereas the majority of the work–crime relationship remains unmediated.
    February 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12134   open full text
  • Heuristics And Biases, Rational Choice, And Sanction Perceptions*.
    Greg Pogarsky, Sean Patrick Roche, Justin T. Pickett.
    Criminology. February 02, 2017
    The relevance of several cognitive heuristics and related biases for rational choice perspectives on crime, and for perceptions of sanction risk, were investigated. We present findings from a series of randomized experiments, embedded in two nationwide surveys of American adults (18 and older) in 2015 (N = 1,004 and 623). The results reveal that offender estimates of detection risk are less probabilistically precise and more situationally variable than under prevailing criminological perspectives, most notably, rational choice and Bayesian learning theories. This, in turn, allows various decision‐making heuristics—such as anchoring and availability—to influence and potentially bias the perceptual updating process.
    February 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12129   open full text
  • Judicial Rotation As Centripetal Force: Sentencing In The Court Communities Of South Carolina*.
    Rhys Hester.
    Criminology. February 02, 2017
    Courts as communities theory emphasizes the sentencing differences that can arise between localities within a single state. The results of published studies have highlighted how local differences emerge based on informal sociological and political processes defined by the communities perspective. The findings from recent quantitative studies from South Carolina have revealed notably less county variation in sentencing than has been observed elsewhere. I use qualitative interviews with 13 South Carolina trial judges to investigate sentencing processes and to shed light on these findings. The interviews explore the state's legal structure and culture, including the practice of circuit rotation in which judges travel among counties holding court. The results suggest rotation serves as a centripetal force of sentencing culture, homogenizing what might otherwise be a more varied collection of county‐specific norms. Rotation leads to increased uniformity through judge shopping and the cross‐pollination of ideas and norms. Defendants can strategically judge shop and plead in front of a lenient judge—a process that gives rise to the term “plea judge,” which is a label for the most lenient judges who sentence a large number of defendants. Rotation also increases the interactions among judges and prosecutors, expanding networks and grapevines, and leading to cross‐pollination and the sharing of ideas.
    February 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12132   open full text
  • A New Look At The Employment And Recidivism Relationship Through The Lens Of A Criminal Background Check*.
    Megan Denver, Garima Siwach, Shawn D. Bushway.
    Criminology. January 30, 2017
    Criminal background checks are increasingly being incorporated into hiring decisions by employers. Although originally uncompromising—almost anyone with a criminal record could be denied employment—court rulings and policy changes have forced criminal background checks to become more nuanced. One motivation for allowing more individuals with criminal records to work is to decrease recidivism and encourage desistance. In this article, we estimate the causal impact of receiving a clearance to work on subsequent arrests for individuals with criminal records who have been provisionally hired to work in certain nonlicensed health‐care jobs in New York State (N = 6,648). We employ an instrumental variable approach based on a substantive understanding of the state‐mandated criminal background check process. We examine age‐graded effects within this group of motivated individuals and differential effects by sex in the rapidly growing health‐care industry, which is typically dominated by women. Our estimated local average treatment effect indicates a 2.2‐percentage‐point decrease in the likelihood of a subsequent arrest in 1 year and a 4.2‐percentage‐point decrease over 3 years. We find meaningful variations by sex; men are 8.4 percentage points less likely to be arrested over the 3‐year period when cleared compared with a 2.4‐percentage‐point (and nonsignificant) effect for women. Older women in particular are driving the nonsignificant results for women.
    January 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12130   open full text
  • Subnational Determinants Of Killing In Rwanda*.
    Hollie Nyseth Brehm.
    Criminology. January 05, 2017
    Nearly one million people were killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Although scholars have theorized why this violence occurred, we know comparatively less about how it unfolded. Accordingly, this article assesses the determinants of subnational levels of killing in 142 Rwandan communes by relying on data from the Rwandan Ministry of Local Administration and Community Development, the National University of Rwanda, and the 1991 Rwandan census. Fixed effects analyses reveal that top‐down and bottom‐up factors coalesced to influence violence across Rwanda. The state orchestrated and implemented the violence, and more violence occurred near the extremist center of the country as well as where state actors met strong opposition. Local conditions also shaped the violence, however, and indicators of low community cohesion and social control are associated with comparatively more violence. When put together, a unique model is introduced that integrates state conflict theories and social control theories of crime to explain subnational killing during the genocide in Rwanda.
    January 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12126   open full text
  • Contextualizing Community Crime Control: Race, Geography, And Configurations Of Control In Four Communities*.
    Andrea Leverentz, Monica Williams.
    Criminology. December 30, 2016
    Criminology and urban sociology have long‐standing interests in how neighborhoods and communities respond to and control crime. We build on the literature on social disorganization, collective efficacy, and new parochialism to develop a framework that explains how and why communities respond differently to crime. We draw on more than 2 years of comparative ethnographic data and 56 resident and stakeholder interviews on responses to crime in four communities in two states. We find that the intersections of racial composition, geography, and crime narratives in each place contributed to distinct community responses to crime. By analyzing these dynamics across the four sites, we propose three types of public–parochial partnerships that communities use to respond to crime: public alliances that rely primarily on public forms of control, tentative public–parochial partnerships that rely on tenuous connections with public institutions, and grassroots engagement with public institutions. We explain the emergence of these three approaches as patterned responses rooted in characteristics of local contexts, including racial composition and geographic isolation.
    December 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12127   open full text
  • Interorganizational Utility Of Welfare Stigma In The Criminal Justice System*.
    Armando Lara‐MillÁn, Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve.
    Criminology. December 30, 2016
    The appropriation of “welfare stigma” or stereotypes about poor people's overreliance and abuse of public aid in two core criminal justice functions is examined: felony adjudication in a court system and space allocation in a jail. Through a comparative ethnographic study in which an abductive analysis of data (20 months of fieldwork) was used, we show that criminal justice gatekeepers utilize welfare stigma to create stricter eligibility criteria for due process in criminal courts and occupancy in jails. Specifically, the number of court appearances, motions, trials, jail beds, food, showers, and medical services is considered by professionals to be the benefits that individuals seek to access and abuse. Professionals view their role as preventing (rather than granting) access to these resources. The comparative nature of our data reveals that welfare stigma has interorganizational utility by serving two different organizational goals: It streamlines convictions in courts, which pulls defendants through adjudication, and conversely, it expands early release from jails, which pulls inmates out of the custody population. In the context of diminishing social safety nets, our findings have implications for understanding how discretion is exercised in an American criminal justice system increasingly tasked with the distribution of social services to the urban poor.
    December 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12128   open full text
  • Paternal Incarceration And Children's Risk Of Being Charged By Early Adulthood: Evidence From A Danish Policy Shock*.
    Christopher Wildeman, Signe Hald Andersen.
    Criminology. December 09, 2016
    In this article, we exploit a Danish criminal justice reform that dramatically decreased the risk of incarceration for individuals convicted of some types of crimes to isolate how having a father who was eligible for a noncustodial sentence under the reform affected a child's risk of ever subsequently being charged with a crime. Specifically, we use a difference‐in‐differences framework to compare all Danish children 12–18 years of age whose fathers were eligible for a noncustodial sentence instead of incarceration under the reform [N = 1,546] with a reference group of children whose fathers were convicted of similar crimes but were ineligible [N = 1,852] in the 2 years surrounding when the reform was enacted [July 1, 2000] as a way of testing the effects of the reform on children's risk of ever being charged with a crime by 22–28 years of age. Our estimates indicate that having a father sentenced under the reform sharply decreased the risk of being charged in the next 10 years for boys but not for girls. Taken together, these results indicate that both paternal criminality and paternal incarceration promote the criminal justice contact of male children and, hence, that paternal incarceration is not solely a symptom of criminality but also a cause of it.
    December 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12124   open full text
  • Age, Gender, And The Crime Of Crimes: Toward A Life‐Course Theory Of Genocide Participation*.
    Hollie Nyseth Brehm, Christopher Uggen, Jean‐DamascÈne Gasanabo.
    Criminology. November 23, 2016
    This article asks whether genocide follows the age and gender distributions common to other crime. We develop and test a life‐course model of genocide participation to address this question using a new dataset of 1,068,192 cases tried in Rwanda's gacaca courts. Three types of prosecutions are considered: 1) inciting, organizing, or supervising violence; 2) killings and other physical assaults; and 3) offenses against property. By relying on systematic graphic comparisons, we find that the peak age of those tried in the gacaca courts was 34 years at the time of the genocide, which is older than the peak age for most other types of crime. We likewise find that women were more likely to participate in crimes against property and comparatively unlikely to commit genocidal murder. Symbolic–interactionist explanations of crime suggest people desist from crime as a result of shared understandings of the expectations of adulthood. We argue that this process may be turned on its head during genocide as participants may believe they are defending their communities against a perceived threat. Thus, in contrast to other criminological theories suggesting that people must desist from crime to be accorded adult status, some adults may participate in genocide to fulfill their duties as adult men.
    November 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12122   open full text
  • General Theory Of Spatial Crime Patterns*.
    John R. Hipp.
    Criminology. November 07, 2016
    I propose a general theory for examining the spatial distribution of crime by specifically addressing and estimating the spatial distribution of the residences of offenders, targets, guardians, and their respective expected movement patterns across space and time. The model combines information on the locations of persons, typical spatial movement patterns, and situational characteristics of locations to create estimates of crime potential at various locations at various points in time and makes four key contributions. First, the equations make the ideas involved in the theory explicit, and they highlight points at which our current state of empirical evidence is lacking. Second, by creating measures of spatial “potentials” of offenders, targets, and guardians, this theory provides a precise grounding for operationalizing spatial effects in studies of place and crime. Third, the equations provide an explicit consideration of offenders and where they might travel and, therefore, incorporates offenders into crime‐and‐place research. Fourth, these equations suggest ways that researchers could use simulations to predict stable patterns, as well as changes, in the levels of crime at both micro and macro scales. Finally, I provide an empirical demonstration of the added explanatory power provided by the theory to a study of place and crime.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12117   open full text
  • Risk, Race, And Recidivism: Predictive Bias And Disparate Impact*.
    Jennifer L. Skeem, Christopher T. Lowenkamp.
    Criminology. November 03, 2016
    One way to unwind mass incarceration without compromising public safety is to use risk assessment instruments in sentencing and corrections. Although these instruments figure prominently in current reforms, critics argue that benefits in crime control will be offset by an adverse effect on racial minorities. Based on a sample of 34,794 federal offenders, we examine the relationships among race, risk assessment [the Post Conviction Risk Assessment (PCRA)], and future arrest. First, application of well‐established principles of psychological science revealed little evidence of test bias for the PCRA—the instrument strongly predicts arrest for both Black and White offenders, and a given score has essentially the same meaning—that is, the same probability of recidivism—across groups. Second, Black offenders obtain higher average PCRA scores than do White offenders (d = .34; 13.5 percent nonoverlap in groups’ scores), so some applications could create disparate impact. Third, most (66 percent) of the racial difference in PCRA scores is attributable to criminal history—which is already embedded in sentencing guidelines. Finally, criminal history is not a proxy for race, but instead it mediates the relationship between race and future arrest. Data are more helpful than rhetoric if the goal is to improve practice at this opportune moment in history.
    November 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12123   open full text
  • Crime Diversity*.
    P. Jeffrey Brantingham.
    Criminology. October 12, 2016
    Large geographic areas should host a greater diversity of crime compared with small geographic areas. This proposition is reasonable given that larger geographic areas should not only support more crime but also contain a greater diversity of criminogenic settings. This article uses a neutral model to characterize crime richness as a function of area. The model starts with two neutral assumptions: 1) that all environments are statistically equivalent and exert no influence on what types of crimes occur there; and 2) that different crime types occur independently of one another. The model produces rigorous predictions for the mean and variance in crime richness with increasing area. Tests of the model against a sample of 172,055 crimes occurring in Los Angeles during the year 2013 are qualitatively consistent with neutral expectations. The model is made quantitatively consistent by constant scaling. Resampling experiments show that at most 20 percent of the mean crime richness is attributable to nonrandom clustering and assortment of crime types. A modified neutral model allowing for variation crime concentration is consistent with observed variance in crime richness. The results suggest that very general and largely neutral laws may be driving crime diversity in space.
    October 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12116   open full text
  • The Implications Of Arrest For College Enrollment: An Analysis Of Long‐Term Effects And Mediating Mechanisms*.
    Alex O. Widdowson, Sonja E. Siennick, Carter Hay.
    Criminology. October 07, 2016
    This study draws on labeling theory and education research on the steps to college enrollment to examine 1) whether and for how long arrest reduces the likelihood that high‐school graduates will enroll in postsecondary education and 2) whether any observed relationships are mediated by key steps in the college enrollment process. With 17 years of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) and propensity score matching, we derived matched samples of arrested and nonarrested but equivalent youth (N = 1,761) and conducted logistic regression and survival analyses among the matched samples to examine the short‐ and long‐term postsecondary consequences of arrest. The results revealed that arrest reduced the odds of 4‐year college enrollment directly after high school, as well as that high‐school grade point average and advanced coursework accounted for 58 percent of this relationship. The results also revealed that arrest had an enduring impact on 4‐year college attendance that extended into and beyond emerging adulthood. Two‐year college prospects were largely unaffected by arrest. These findings imply that being arrested during high school represents a negative turning point in youths’ educational trajectory that is, in part, a result of having a less competitive college application. Implications are discussed.
    October 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12114   open full text
  • Revisiting The Criminological Consequences Of Exposure To Fetal Testosterone: A Meta‐Analysis Of The 2 D:4 D Digit Ratio*.
    Travis C. Pratt, Jillian J. Turanovic, Francis T. Cullen.
    Criminology. September 22, 2016
    As criminology has become more interdisciplinary in recent years, biosocial criminology has earned a place at the table. Although this perspective comes in many forms, one important proposition has gained increasing attention: that the 2D:4D finger digit ratio—a purported physical biomarker for exposure to fetal testosterone—is related to criminal, aggressive, and risky/impulsive behavior. Strong claims in the literature have been made for this link even though the findings seem to be inconsistent. To establish the empirical status of this relationship, we subjected this body of work to a meta‐analysis. Our multilevel analyses of 660 effect size estimates drawn from 47 studies (14,244 individual cases) indicate a small overall effect size (mean r = .047). Moderator analyses indicate that this effect is rather “general” across methodological specifications—findings that are at odds with theoretical propositions that specify the importance of exposure to fetal testosterone in predicting criminal and analogous behavior later in life. We conclude with a call for exercising caution over embracing the findings from one or two studies and instead highlight the importance of systematically organizing the full body of literature on a topic before making decisions about what does, and what does not, predict criminal and analogous behavior.
    September 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12115   open full text
  • Cynical Streets: Neighborhood Social Processes And Perceptions Of Criminal Injustice*.
    Mark T. Berg, Eric A. Stewart, Jonathan Intravia, Patricia Y. Warren, Ronald L. Simons.
    Criminology. August 09, 2016
    Studies have found that African Americans are more likely to perceive racial biases in the criminal justice system than are those from other racial groups. There is a limited understanding of how neighborhood social processes affect variation in these perceptions. This study formulates a series of hypotheses focused on whether perceived racial biases in the criminal justice system or perceptions of injustice vary as a function of levels of moral and legal cynicism as well as of adverse police–citizen encounters. These hypotheses are tested with multilevel regression models applied to data from a sample of 689 African Americans located in 39 neighborhoods. Findings from the regression models indicate that the positive association between structural disadvantage and perceptions of injustice is accounted for by moral and legal cynicism. Furthermore, adverse police encounters significantly increase perceptions of injustice; controlling for these encounters reduces the strength of the association between cynicism and injustice perceptions. Finally, the findings reveal that cynicism intensifies the association between adverse police encounters and perceptions of criminal injustice. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for research regarding perceived biases in the criminal justice system and neighborhood social processes.
    August 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12113   open full text
  • Violent Offending And Victimization In Adolescence: Social Network Mechanisms And Homophily*.
    Jillian J. Turanovic, Jacob T.N. Young.
    Criminology. August 01, 2016
    Although violent offending and victimization share many features, they can affect adolescent social relationships in distinct ways. To understand these differences, we take a network approach to examine the mechanisms responsible for similarities (i.e., homophily) in violent offending and violent victimization among friends. Our goal is to determine whether the social network mechanisms that produce homophily for violent offending are similar to or different from those that produce homophily for violent victimization. By using stochastic actor‐oriented modeling and two waves of friendship network data for 1,948 respondents from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we examine homophily mechanisms of preference for similarity, avoidance, and influence with respect to youth violence and victimization. The results demonstrate that homophily observed for violent offending primarily reflects selection of similar others, whereas homophily observed for victimization reflects the tendency among alters to avoid victimized youth. These findings have important implications for future research and suggest that, among adolescents, violent offending and victimization homophily are the result of unique social processes.
    August 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12112   open full text
  • Spatial Dimensions Of The Effect Of Neighborhood Disadvantage On Delinquency*.
    Matt Vogel, Scott J. South.
    Criminology. July 07, 2016
    Research examining the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage and adolescent offending typically examines only the influence of residential neighborhoods. This strategy may be problematic as 1) neighborhoods are rarely spatially independent of each other and 2) adolescents spend an appreciable portion of their time engaged in activities outside of their immediate neighborhood. Therefore, characteristics of neighborhoods outside of, but geographically proximate to, residential neighborhoods may affect adolescents’ propensity to engage in delinquent behavior. We append a spatially lagged, distance‐weighted measure of socioeconomic disadvantage in “extralocal” neighborhoods to the individual records of respondents participating in the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 Cohort (N = 6,491). Results from negative binomial regression analyses indicate that the level of socioeconomic disadvantage in extralocal neighborhoods is inversely associated with youth offending, as theories of relative deprivation, structured opportunity, and routine activities would predict, and that the magnitude of this effect rivals that of the level of disadvantage in youths’ own residential neighborhoods. Moreover, socioeconomic disadvantage in extralocal neighborhoods suppresses the criminogenic influence of socioeconomic disadvantage in youths’ own neighborhoods, revealing stronger effects of local neighborhood disadvantage than would otherwise be observed.
    July 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12110   open full text
  • Family Matters: Effects Of Family Members’ Residential Areas On Crime Location Choice*.
    Barbara Menting, Marre Lammers, Stijn Ruiter, Wim Bernasco.
    Criminology. July 05, 2016
    According to crime pattern theory, offenders are likely to select crime locations within their awareness space. Previous studies have shown that offenders often commit crimes within their current and former residential areas and in areas they previously targeted. However, offenders’ awareness spaces obviously consist of more locations that potentially influence their crime location choices. This study examines the importance of the residential areas of offenders’ family members. Most offenders visit their families at least occasionally and consequently get familiar with the areas in which their families live. It is hypothesized that family members’ residential areas are at increased risk of being targeted. Unique data were used to reconstruct residential histories of the parents, siblings, and children of 7,910 offenders who committed 19,420 offenses. The results of discrete spatial choice models showed that residential areas of family members are indeed at increased risk of being targeted. Current familial residential areas had stronger and more consistent effects than had former familial residential areas. Effects were strongest for the residential areas of offenders’ children compared with those of their parents and siblings. The residential areas of male and female family members affected the crime location choices of male and female offenders equally.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12109   open full text
  • Incentives For Collective Deviance: Group Size And Changes In Perceived Risk, Cost, And Reward*.
    Jean Marie Mcgloin, Kyle J. Thomas.
    Criminology. June 23, 2016
    Research has demonstrated that the presence of others shifts decision‐making about risky/deviant behavior. One reason for this shift could be changes in the anticipated experience of formal sanctions, informal costs, and rewards. To investigate this possibility, this study conducted two randomized controlled trials with hypothetical vignettes, in which a range of how many other people were also involved in the criminal act defined the treatment conditions. Across two samples of university students (Ns = 396 and 263), the results revealed that as the size of the involved group increased, the anticipated experience of sanction risk and several informal social costs associated with engaging in the act decreased, and the anticipated experience of two rewards increased. Additional analyses suggest that, with one exception in each data set, these changes are not only tied to the solo/group distinction.
    June 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12111   open full text
  • Indefinite Punishment And The Criminal Record: Stigma Reports Among Expungement‐Seekers In Illinois*.
    Simone Ispa‐Landa, Charles E. Loeffler.
    Criminology. June 08, 2016
    Although criminal records in the United States are more publicly accessible than ever before, we lack knowledge about how record‐bearers seek to overcome the negative consequences associated with a visible criminal record as they apply for jobs, housing, and financial aid. Furthermore, although criminal histories record all arrests—and not just those that result in conviction—researchers have yet to compare how those with more extensive versus minor criminal records cope with criminal record stigma. We present interview data from a comparative study of expungement‐seekers (N = 53) who have petitioned the courts to remove their criminal records from public view. One group had extensive criminal records (46 percent); the other group had more minor criminal records (54 percent). Several key findings emerged. First, both groups of participants tried, but failed, to persuade potential employers and landlords to overlook the criminal record. They also faced restricted educational opportunity. Second, participants in both groups expressed distress that criminal justice contact could follow them throughout their lives, subjecting them to ongoing stigma. However, those with extensive versus minor criminal records offered different rationales explaining why the visible criminal record history unfairly burdened them. Implications for reintegration theory and policy are discussed.
    June 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12108   open full text
  • Why Is Involvement In Unstructured Socializing Related To Adolescent Delinquency?*.
    Evelien M. Hoeben, Frank M. Weerman.
    Criminology. May 20, 2016
    The relationship between unstructured socializing (peer‐oriented activity without supervision) and adolescent delinquency is widely established and recognized, but less is known about why this relationship exists. The present study integrates the unstructured socializing perspective with insights from social learning theory and other theoretical perspectives on peer influence and empirically investigates four possible explanatory processes. The study applies time diary data to operationalize accurately the concept of unstructured socializing and survey data to capture mediating variables and self‐reported delinquency (a general frequency measure of various offenses, as well as specified measures for violence, theft, and vandalism). Data were collected longitudinally with two waves of surveys and space–time budget interviews among 610 adolescents (11 to 20 years of age). A multilevel‐path model was estimated to analyze within‐individual changes over time. The findings indicate that three of the four proposed explanatory processes contribute to the explanation of the relationship between unstructured socializing and delinquency.
    May 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12105   open full text
  • Incarceration And Population Health In Wealthy Democracies*.
    Christopher Wildeman.
    Criminology. April 26, 2016
    Everywhere you look, incarceration seems to be doing harm. Research has implicated incarceration not only in worse outcomes for individuals, their families, and their communities but also in growing inequality. Yet incarceration may not always harm society—even if it does harm those who experience it. To consider this possibility, I build an argument demonstrating how the macro‐level consequences of incarceration may be distinctively harmful in the United States, focusing on the incarceration–health relationship as one indicator of a broader phenomenon. I then test my hypothesis by using an unbalanced panel data set including 21 developed democracies (N = 414) and a series of ordinary least‐squares models predicting three measures of population health as a function of incarceration. Models including only a main effect of incarceration demonstrate an inverse association between changes in incarceration and changes in population health. Models including an incarceration by U.S. interaction, however, indicate that the population health consequences of changes in incarceration are far worse in the United States than elsewhere. Taken together, the results indicate that the United States is exceptional for both its rate of incarceration and its effects of incarceration, although it is unclear what drives this exceptionalism in effects.
    April 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12107   open full text
  • How Judges Think About Racial Disparities: Situational Decision‐Making In The Criminal Justice System*.
    Matthew Clair, Alix S. Winter.
    Criminology. April 22, 2016
    Researchers have theorized how judges’ decision‐making may result in the disproportionate presence of Blacks and Latinos in the criminal justice system. Yet, we have little evidence about how judges make sense of these disparities and what, if anything, they do to address them. By drawing on 59 interviews with state judges in a Northeastern state, we describe, and trace the implications of, judges’ understandings of racial disparities at arraignment, plea hearings, jury selection, and sentencing. Most judges in our sample attribute disparities, in part, to differential treatment by themselves and/or other criminal justice officials, whereas some judges attribute disparities only to the disparate impact of poverty and differences in offending rates. To address disparities, judges report employing two categories of strategies: noninterventionist and interventionist. Noninterventionist strategies concern only a judge's own differential treatment, whereas interventionist strategies concern other actors’ possible differential treatment, as well as the disparate impact of poverty and facially neutral laws. We reveal how the use of noninterventionist strategies by most judges unintentionally reproduces disparities. Through our examination of judges’ understandings of racial disparities throughout the court process, we enhance understandings of American racial inequality and theorize a situational approach to decision‐making in organizational contexts.
    April 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12106   open full text
  • Violence Begets Violence … But How? A Decision‐Making Perspective On The Victim–Offender Overlap*.
    Margit Averdijk, Jean‐Louis Van Gelder, Manuel Eisner, Denis Ribeaud.
    Criminology. April 13, 2016
    This study applied a decision‐making perspective to examine the causal mechanisms underlying the relation between violent victimization and offending. We theorized that having been victimized affects an individual's appraisal of subsequent potentially conflictive situations in such a way that victims become more attuned toward the benefits of violence perpetration than toward its costs. Furthermore, we argued that this altered appraisal mediates the relation between violent victimization and violent offending. We tested these hypotheses by using data from the Zurich Project on the Social Development of Children and Youths, a longitudinal study of Swiss youth (N = 1,013; 11–15 years of age). In line with expectations, path analysis results showed that prior victimization influenced the appraisal of decision‐making situations that, in turn, predicted subsequent self‐reported violent offending. Importantly, these mediation effects held when controlling for a variety of time‐stable factors, such as self‐control and risky activities, as well as prior victimization and delinquency. Implications for research and theorizing on the victim–offender overlap are elaborated in the discussion.
    April 13, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12102   open full text
  • Debt Problems And Crime*.
    Mikko Aaltonen, Atte Oksanen, Janne Kivivuori.
    Criminology. April 07, 2016
    The few existing studies on the association between debt problems and crime have suggested that the two are correlated, but the causal nature and direction of this association has been unclear. By using longitudinal register data (N = 20,696) from Finland on young adults’ debt default and crime, we examine the potentially reciprocal association between debt problems and crime with both cross‐sectional and longitudinal models. Debt problems and crime have a strong association in the data, which persists after controlling for several measures of socioeconomic status. The longitudinal analyses using fixed‐effects regression models show that levels of crime are higher during periods of debt enforcement, ruling out stable between‐person heterogeneity as the sole cause. The final analysis examining the exact timing of new debt defaults and crime shows signs of a mutually reinforcing association; the rate of newly enforced debt increases in the months preceding the first crime leading to a conviction and continues to increase afterward mostly because of criminal monetary sanctions left unpaid. The conclusion of the analysis is that debt problems have a dynamic association with criminal offending. We discuss the difficult barrier that unpaid debts pose to offenders seeking to desist from criminal activity in the current Finnish context.
    April 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12103   open full text
  • Voluntary Organizations And Neighborhood Crime: A Dynamic Perspective*.
    James C. Wo, John R. Hipp, Adam Boessen.
    Criminology. March 04, 2016
    Although numerous theories suggest that voluntary organizations contribute to lower crime rates in neighborhoods, the evidence for this proposition is weak. Consequently, we propose a dynamic perspective for understanding the relationship between voluntary organizations and neighborhood crime that involves longitudinal analyses and the measurement of the age of organizations. By using longitudinal data on a sample of census blocks (N = 87,641) located across 10 cities, we test the relationship between age‐graded measures of different types of voluntary organizations and neighborhood crime rates. We use fixed‐effects negative binomial regression models that focus on change within neighborhoods of the relationship between voluntary organizations and neighborhood crime. Our results show that although each type of voluntary organization is found to exhibit crime‐reducing behavior in neighborhoods, we find that many of them are consistent with what we refer to as the “delayed impact scenario”—there is a pronounced delay between the placement of a voluntary organization and a neighborhood subsequently experiencing a reduction in crime. With protective effects of organizations typically not demonstrated until several years after being in the neighborhood, these patterns suggest a need for long‐term investment strategies when examining organizations.
    March 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12101   open full text
  • Institutional Ineffectiveness, Illegitimacy, And Public Support For Vigilantism In Latin America.
    Amy E. Nivette.
    Criminology. February 15, 2016
    Why do individuals or groups support vigilantism as a means of conflict resolution? Most researchers tend to agree that support for and participation in vigilantism occurs in “stateless locations,” that is, when formal justice institutions are weak or absent. Despite this general consensus, quantitative evidence of this relationship is limited to a handful of country‐specific studies that used only subjective survey‐based measures of institutional weakness. This study seeks to extend research on vigilantism by assessing the relationship between subjective and objective conditions of formal justice institutions and public support for vigilantism across 323 provinces in 18 Latin American countries by using the 2012 AmericasBarometer Survey. Specifically, this study uses multilevel logistic regression techniques to examine the variability of public support for lethal vigilantism within and across Latin American countries. When controlling for a wide range of potential confounds, the results show that the most robust predictors of support for violent vigilantism are subjective indicators of institutional illegitimacy, personal victimization, and punitive attitudes. Evidence also exists that objective insecurity, as measured by province‐level homicide rates, fosters public support for violent vigilantism in certain situations.
    February 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12099   open full text
  • The Influence Of Early School Punishment And Therapy/Medication On Social Control Experiences During Young Adulthood.
    David M. Ramey.
    Criminology. January 11, 2016
    The use of suspensions and expulsions by American public school administrators has increased dramatically over the past 40 years. Meanwhile, a growing number of childhood misbehaviors have been diagnosed by doctors as medical conditions and are being treated with therapy or medication. As these trends develop at different rates for boys of different racial and ethnic groups, the connection between childhood and adult social control remains untested empirically. By using a prospective panel of 3,274 White, Black, and Hispanic males (15,675 person‐years) and multilevel logistic models, I examine whether and how school punishment and/or the use of therapy or medication during childhood contributes to involvement in the criminal justice or mental health systems during young adulthood. The findings suggest that school punishment is associated with greater odds of involvement in the criminal justice system but not the mental health system. The use of therapy and/or medication during childhood is associated with higher odds of involvement in the mental health system but not the criminal justice system. Finally, although the relationship between school punishment and involvement with the criminal justice system is similar for White, Black, and Hispanic men, the relationship between medicalized social control during childhood and young adulthood is stronger for Whites than for non‐Whites.
    January 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12095   open full text
  • Differentiating Serious Adolescent Offenders Who Exit The Justice System From Those Who Do Not.
    Carol A. Schubert, Edward P. Mulvey, Lindsay Pitzer.
    Criminology. January 11, 2016
    Numerous factors have been posited to promote desistance from criminal offending in late adolescence and early adulthood. Research in this area has generally examined these factors for their impact on offending for a period shortly after the occurrence or shifts in possible predictors. The current study takes a slightly different approach. It examines the broad relation of life changes and developmental patterns to wholesale shifts in offending behavior. The current study uses data from the Pathways to Desistance study to compare the developmental patterns of two groups of serious adolescent male offenders: those who are “system successes” with no subsequent criminal justice system involvement and a matched sample for a 7‐year period after court involvement for a felony offense. Findings from growth curve analyses indicate that patterns of change in criminal attitudes, psychosocial development, and legal employment over this extended follow‐up period are related to an absence of offending. These results support further investigation of the synergistic effects of psychological changes and entry into the job market as possible mechanisms promoting desistance during this developmental period. The policy and practice implications of these findings are discussed.
    January 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12098   open full text
  • How The U.S. Prison Boom Has Changed The Age Distribution Of The Prison Population.
    Lauren C. Porter, Shawn D. Bushway, Hui‐Shien Tsao, Herbert L. Smith.
    Criminology. January 08, 2016
    This article provides a demographic exposition of the changes in the U.S prison population during the period of mass incarceration that began in the late twentieth century. By drawing on data from the Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities (1974–2004) for inmates 17–72 years of age (N = 336), we show that the age distribution shifted upward dramatically: Only 16 percent of the state prison population was 40 years old or older in 1974; by 2004, this percentage had doubled to 33 percent with the median age of prisoners rising from 27 to 34 years old. By using an estimable function approach, we find that the change in the age distribution of the prison population is primarily a cohort effect that is driven by the “enhanced” penal careers of the cohorts who hit young adulthood—the prime age of both crime and incarceration—when substance use was at its peak. Period‐specific factors (e.g., proclivity for punishment and incidence of offense) do matter, but they seem to play out more across the life cycles of persons most affected in young adulthood (cohort effects) than across all age groups at one point in time (period effects).
    January 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12094   open full text
  • Can Rational Choice Be Considered A General Theory Of Crime? Evidence From Individual‐Level Panel Data.
    Thomas A. Loughran, Ray Paternoster, Aaron Chalfin, Theodore Wilson.
    Criminology. January 08, 2016
    In the last few decades, rational choice theory has emerged as a bedrock theory in the fields of economics, sociology, psychology, and political science. Although rational choice theory has been available to criminologists for many years now, the field has not embraced it as other disciplines have. Moreover, rational choice scholars have fueled this skepticism of the theory's generality by modeling offender decision making that is one‐sided—large on the costs of crime (sanction threats), short on the benefits of crime. In this article, we directly assess the generality of rational choice theory by examining a fully specified model in a population that is often presumed to be less rational—adolescents from lower socioeconomic families who commit both instrumental (property) and expressive crimes (violence/drugs). By using a panel of N = 1,354 individuals, we find that offending behavior is consistent with rational responses to changes in the perceived costs and benefits of crime even after eliminating fixed unobserved heterogeneity and other time‐varying confounders, and these results are robust across different subgroups. The findings support our argument that rational choice theory is a general theory of crime.
    January 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12097   open full text
  • The Company You Keep? The Spillover Effects Of Gang Membership On Individual Gunshot Victimization In A Co‐Offending Network.
    Andrew V. Papachristos, Anthony A. Braga, Eric Piza, Leigh S. Grossman.
    Criminology. October 20, 2015
    The effects of gang membership on individual social, behavior, cognitive, and health outcomes are well documented. Yet, research consistently has shown that gang membership and the boundaries of gangs are often fluid and amorphous. The current study examines how social proximity to a gang member in one's co‐offending network influences the probability of being a gunshot victim. We re‐create and analyze the social network of all individuals who were arrested, summonsed for a quality‐of‐life violation, and subjected to noncustodial police contacts in Newark, New Jersey, during a 1‐year time period (N = 10,531). A descriptive network analysis finds an extreme concentration of fatal and nonfatal gunshot injuries within a small social network: Nearly one third of all shootings in Newark occur in a network that contains less than 4 percent of the city's total population. Furthermore, a series of logistic regression models finds that being directly or indirectly linked to a gang member in one's co‐offending network has a significant effect on one's probability of being a gunshot victim. Implications of these findings for the study of gangs, gun violence, and a public health approach to violence are discussed.
    October 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12091   open full text
  • Toward A Better Understanding Of Politicized Policing Attitudes: Conflicted Conservatism And Support For Police Use Of Force.
    Jasmine R. Silver, Justin T. Pickett.
    Criminology. October 20, 2015
    America is in the midst of an extraordinary public debate about police policy. “Conflicted conservatives,” who are symbolically conservative but operationally liberal, may have a disproportionate influence on policy making. Specifically, conflicted conservatives may be more likely to vote across party lines because they attend more to utilitarian concerns about social conditions and government performance than to symbolic issues. Prior criminological research, however, typically has treated conservatives as a homogenous group. We use data from the General Social Survey to explore the extent and correlates of global and situational support for police use of force among conflicted conservatives and other political groups. The findings from logistic regression models estimated with two analytic samples (N = 11,119 and 2,069) indicate that conflicted conservatives’ attitudes about police use of force are distinct from those of “consistent conservatives” who are both symbolically and operationally conservative, but do not reflect a unique consideration of utilitarian concerns over symbolic beliefs. Two other notable findings emerged: 1) Racial attitudes predicted support for police use of excessive force invariably across political groups and 2) public support for excessive force increased substantially during the first decade of the twenty‐first century, sharply contrasting trends in general punitive sentiment.
    October 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12092   open full text
  • Early Life Risks, Antisocial Tendencies, And Preteen Delinquency.
    Jeremy Staff, Corey Whichard, Sonja E. Siennick, Jennifer Maggs.
    Criminology. October 20, 2015
    Early age‐of‐onset delinquency and substance use confer a major risk for continued criminality, alcohol and drug abuse, and other serious difficulties throughout the life course. Our objective is to examine the developmental roots of preteen delinquency and substance use. By using nationally representative longitudinal data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (N= 13,221), we examine the influence of early childhood developmental and family risks on latent pathways of antisocial tendencies from 3 to 7 years of age, and the influence of those pathways on property crime and substance use by 11 years of age. We identified a normative, nonantisocial pathway; a pathway marked by oppositional behavior and fighting; a pathway marked by impulsivity and inattention; and a rare pathway characterized by a wide range of antisocial tendencies. Children with developmental and family risks that emerged by 3 years of age—specifically difficult infant temperament, low cognitive ability, weak parental closeness, and disadvantaged family background—face increased odds of antisocial tendencies. Minimal overlap is found between the risk factors for early antisocial tendencies and those for preteen delinquency. Children on an antisocial pathway are more likely to engage in preteen delinquency and substance use by 11 years of age even after accounting for early life risk factors.
    October 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12093   open full text
  • Work, Income Support, And Crime In The Dutch Welfare State: A Longitudinal Study Following Vulnerable Youth Into Adulthood.
    Janna Verbruggen, Robert Apel, Victor R. Van Der Geest, Arjan A. J. Blokland.
    Criminology. October 08, 2015
    Life‐course criminological research has consistently suggested that employment can reduce criminal behavior. However, it is unclear whether the financial aspects of employment or the social control that inheres in employment best explains the relationship between employment and reduced offending. By using longitudinal information on a sample of men and women (N = 540) who were institutionalized in a Dutch juvenile justice institution in the 1990s, this study examines the effects of employment as well as the different types of income support on crime. Random‐ and fixed‐effects models show that for men, both work and income support are associated with a reduction in the rate of offending. For women, however, although employment is correlated with a lower offending rate, receiving income support, and in particular disability benefits, is correlated with a higher offending rate. The findings support both theories that stress the financial motivation for crime as well as theories that emphasize the importance of informal social control for reducing offending.
    October 08, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12080   open full text
  • Federal Sentencing As A Complex Collaborative Process: Judges, Prosecutors, Judge–Prosecutor Dyads, And Disparity In Sentencing.
    Byungbae Kim, Cassia Spohn, E. C. Hedberg.
    Criminology. September 24, 2015
    Investigations of how criminal justice actors contribute to variation in sentencing typically focus on the role played by the judge. We argue that sentencing should be viewed as a collaborative process involving actors other than the judge and that the role of the prosecutor is particularly salient. We also contend that the courtroom workgroup literature has suggested that sentences may vary depending on the particular judge and prosecutor to whom the case is assigned. By using a unique data set from three U.S. district courts (N = 2,686) that identifies both the judge and the prosecutor handling the case, we examine how the judge, the prosecutor, and the judge–prosecutor dyad contribute to variance in offender sentences. We do this by employing cross‐classified random‐effects models to estimate the variance components associated with judges, prosecutors, and judge–prosecutor interactions. The results indicate that disparity attributable to the prosecutor is larger than disparity from the judge. Moreover, the role that the judge plays is moderated by the prosecutor to whom the case is assigned, as the judge–prosecutor effect is consistently larger than other random effects across the models. We also find that results vary by judicial district.
    September 24, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12090   open full text
  • Development And Fracture Of A Discipline: Legacies Of The School Of Criminology At Berkeley.
    Johann Koehler.
    Criminology. September 10, 2015
    In the early twentieth century, the University of California—Berkeley opened its doors to police professionals for instruction in “police science.” This program ultimately developed into the full‐fledged School of Criminology, whose graduates helped shape American criminology and criminal justice until well into the 1970s. Scholarship at the School of Criminology eventually fractured into three distinct traditions: “Administrative criminology” applied scientific methods in pursuit of refining law enforcement practices, “law and society” coupled legal scholarship with social scientific methods, and “radical criminology” combined Marxist critiques of the state with community activism. Those scientific traditions relied on competing epistemic premises and normative aspirations, and they drew legitimacy from different sources. Drawing on oral histories and archival data permits a neo‐institutional analysis of how each of these criminological traditions emerged, acquired stability, and subsided. The Berkeley School of Criminology provides fertile ground to examine trends in the development of criminal justice as a profession, criminology as a discipline and its place in elite universities, the uncoupling of criminology from law and society scholarship, and criminal justice policy's disenchantment with the academy. These legacies highlight how the development of modern criminology and the professionalization of American law enforcement find precedent in events that originate at Berkeley.
    September 10, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12081   open full text
  • General Assessments And Thresholds For Chronic Offending: An Enriched Paradigm For Explaining Crime.
    Robert Agnew, Steven F. Messner.
    Criminology. September 04, 2015
    General assessments refer to individuals’ overall judgment of their standing on broad dimensions that have special relevance for the explanation of crime, such as their overall bond to society or their prospects for success. These assessments are partly a function of the independent variables that are commonly considered in contemporary crime theories and quantitative research. But these standard etiological variables are far from fully determinative of general assessments because individuals differ in how they interpret, weigh, and combine their standing along these variables. The social–psychological factors that affect the subjective judgments underlying general assessments have yet to be theorized in any comprehensive, systematic manner. Nevertheless, we hypothesize that the incorporation of general assessments in models of offending will greatly enhance their explanatory power because these assessments are the most proximate, comprehensive, and personally relevant causes of crime. Moreover, we anticipate that once these assessments reach certain threshold levels, such as the view that bonds to society are severed irreparably or success is beyond reach, they result in a nonlinear jump in the frequency, seriousness, and duration of offending (i.e., chronic offending). A consideration of general assessments and their associated thresholds should therefore substantially improve efforts to explain crime.
    September 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12079   open full text
  • Delinquency And Gender Moderation In The Moving To Opportunity Intervention: The Role Of Extended Neighborhoods.
    Corina Graif.
    Criminology. August 18, 2015
    A long history of research has indicated that neighborhood poverty increases youth's risk taking and delinquency. This literature predominantly has treated neighborhoods as independent of their surroundings despite rapidly growing ecological evidence on the geographic clustering of crime that suggests otherwise. This study proposes that to understand neighborhood effects, investigating youth's wider surroundings holds theoretical and empirical value. By revisiting longitudinal data on more than 1500 low‐income youth who participated in the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized intervention, this article explores the importance of extended neighborhoods (neighborhoods and surroundings) and different concentrated disadvantage configurations in shaping gender differences in risk taking and delinquency. The results from two‐stage, least‐squares analyses suggest that the extended neighborhoods matter and they matter differently by gender. Among girls, extended neighborhoods without concentrated disadvantage were associated with lower risk‐taking prevalence than extended neighborhoods with concentrated disadvantage. In contrast, among boys, localized concentration of disadvantage was associated with the highest prevalence of risk taking and delinquency. Interactions between the immediate and surrounding neighborhoods were similarly associated with differential opportunity and social disorganization mediators. Among the more critical potential mediators of the link between localized disadvantage and boys’ risk taking were delinquent network ties, strain, and perceived absence of legitimate opportunities for success.
    August 18, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12078   open full text
  • A Threshold Model Of Collective Crime.
    Jean Marie Mcgloin, Zachary R. Rowan.
    Criminology. July 23, 2015
    The group nature of offending has been recognized as an inherent characteristic of criminal behavior, yet our insight on the decision to engage in group crime is limited. This article argues that a threshold model offers broad appeal to understand this decision. After discussing the basis of this model and its applicability to collective crime, we offer one example of the kind of research that could stem from this model. Specifically, by using survey data from 583 university students, this study asked respondents to self‐report thresholds for group theft and destruction of property. By experimentally manipulating characteristics of the hypothetical scenario used to measure thresholds, we investigated both the individual‐ and situational‐level correlates of these self‐reported thresholds. The discussion considers the results that emerge from a Tobit regression model and offers suggestions for future research that would provide further refinement of the threshold model.
    July 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12077   open full text
  • Testing For Temporally Differentiated Relationships Among Potentially Criminogenic Places And Census Block Street Robbery Counts.
    Cory P. Haberman, Jerry H. Ratcliffe.
    Criminology. July 14, 2015
    This study examined street robbery patterns in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from the years 2009 to 2011 to determine whether the effects of potentially criminogenic places are different across different periods of the day. Census block (N = 13,164) street robbery counts across four periods (6:45 a.m. to 9:59 a.m., 10:00 a.m. to 4:29 p.m., 4:30 p.m. to 9:14 p.m., and 9:15 p.m. to 6:44 a.m.) were modeled with 12 different potentially criminogenic places, 3 measures of illicit markets, 4 compositional control variables, and spatially lagged versions of the 12 potentially criminogenic places and population using simultaneously estimated negative binomial regression models. Differences in the magnitudes of the parameter estimates across the time periods were assessed with Wald tests. Overall, the patterns across the four models were mostly consistent with the effects hypothesized based on the study's crime pattern theory and time‐geography theoretical frame; yet differences in the magnitudes of the coefficients were less pronounced than hypothesized. Overall, the results provide moderate support for the crime pattern theory and time‐geography explanation of spatial‐temporal robbery patterns; however, numerous points are raised for future crime and place research.
    July 14, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12076   open full text
  • Intimate Partner Violence Risk Among Victims Of Youth Violence: Are Early Unions Bad, Beneficial, Or Benign?
    Danielle C. Kuhl, David F. Warner, Tara D. Warner.
    Criminology. June 23, 2015
    Youth violent victimization (YVV) is a risk factor for precocious exits from adolescence via early coresidential union formation. It remains unclear, however, whether these early unions 1) are associated with intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization, 2) interrupt victim continuity or victim–offender overlap through protective and prosocial bonds, or 3) are inconsequential. By using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 11,928; 18–34 years of age), we examine competing hypotheses for the effect of early union timing among victims of youth violence (n = 2,479)—differentiating across victimization only, perpetration only, and mutually combative relationships and considering variation by gender. The results from multinomial logistic regression models indicate that YVV increases the risk of IPV victimization in first unions, regardless of union timing; the null effect of timing indicates that delaying union formation would not reduce youth victims’ increased risk of continued victimization. Gender‐stratified analyses reveal that earlier unions can protect women against IPV perpetration, but this is partly the result of an increased risk of IPV victimization. The findings suggest that YVV has significant transformative consequences, leading to subsequent victimization by coresidential partners, and this association might be exacerbated among female victims who form early unions. We conclude by discussing directions for future research.
    June 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12075   open full text
  • Close‐Ups And The Scale Of Ecology: Land Uses And The Geography Of Social Context And Crime.
    Adam Boessen, John R. Hipp.
    Criminology. June 03, 2015
    Whereas one line of recent neighborhood research has placed an emphasis on zooming into smaller units of analysis such as street blocks, another line of research has suggested that even the meso‐area of neighborhoods is too narrow and that the area surrounding the neighborhood is also important. Thus, there is a need to examine the scale at which the social ecology impacts crime. We use data from seven cities from around the year 2000 to test our research questions using multilevel negative binomial regression models (N = 73,010 blocks and 8,231 block groups). Our results suggest that although many neighborhood factors seem to operate on the microscale of blocks, others seem to have a much broader impact. In addition, we find that racially and ethnically homogenous blocks within heterogeneous block groups have the most crime. Our findings also show the strongest results for a multitude of land‐use measures and that these measures sharpen some of the associations from social characteristics. Thus, we find that accounting for multiple scales simultaneously is important in ecological studies of crime.
    June 03, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12074   open full text
  • Intimate Partner Violence In Young Adulthood: Narratives Of Persistence And Desistance.
    Peggy C. Giordano, Wendi L. Johnson, Wendy D. Manning, Monica A. Longmore, Mallory D. Minter.
    Criminology. April 25, 2015
    Prior research on patterns of intimate partner violence (IPV) has documented changes over time, but few studies have focused directly on IPV desistance processes. This analysis identifies unique features of IPV, providing a rationale for the focus on this form of behavior cessation. We develop a life‐course perspective on social learning as a conceptual framework and draw on qualitative interviews (n = 89) elicited from a sample of young adults who participated in a larger longitudinal study (Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study). The respondents’ backgrounds reflected a range of persistence and desistance from IPV perpetration. Our analyses revealed that relationship‐based motivations and changes were central features of the narratives of successful desisters, whether articulated as a stand‐alone theme or in tandem with other potential “hooks” for change. The analysis provides a counterpoint to individualistic views of desistance processes, highlighting ways in which social experiences foster attitude shifts and associated behavioral changes that respondents tied to this type of behavior change. The analyses of persisters and those for whom change seemed to be a work in progress provide points of contrast and highlight barriers that limit a respondent's desistance potential. We describe implications for theories of desistance as well as for IPV prevention and intervention efforts.
    April 25, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12073   open full text
  • Delinquent Peer Influence On Offending Versatility: Can Peers Promote Specialized Delinquency?
    Kyle J. Thomas.
    Criminology. April 07, 2015
    The consistent and robust relationship between peers and frequency of offending is often cited as evidence that friends play an important role in adolescent behavioral tendencies. But Warr (2002) has argued that the empirical support for peer perspectives remains equivocal in part because research has not demonstrated that individuals and their peers display similarities in the qualitative form of their delinquent behavior (i.e., the tendency to specialize in delinquent acts). By using data from the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) evaluation (N = 1,390) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (AddHealth) (N = 1,848), this study seeks to fill this void in the literature by examining whether having friends who display specialization in specific delinquent acts relative to other offense types predicts an individual's own tendency to display specializing in those same crime types. Consistent with peer influence perspectives, the results of multilevel latent‐trait models (Osgood and Schreck, 2007) suggest that individuals who associate with friends who demonstrate specialization in violence, theft, and substance use are more likely to display greater levels of specialization in those offense types themselves.
    April 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12069   open full text
  • Biting Once, Twice: The Influence Of Prior On Subsequent Crime Location Choice.
    Marre Lammers, Barbara Menting, Stijn Ruiter, Wim Bernasco.
    Criminology. April 04, 2015
    Properties, victims, and locations previously targeted by offenders have an increased risk of being targeted again within a short time period. It has been suggested that often the same offenders are involved in these repeated events and, thus, that offenders’ prior crime location choices influence their subsequent crime location choices. This article examines repeated crime location choices, testing the hypothesis that offenders are more likely to commit a crime in an area they previously targeted than in areas they did not target before. Unique data from four different data sources are used to study the crime location choices of 3,666 offenders who committed 12,639 offenses. The results indicate that prior crime locations strongly influence subsequent crime location choices. The effects of prior crime locations are larger if the crimes are frequent, if they are recent, if they are nearby, and if they are the same type of crime.
    April 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12071   open full text
  • Women's Gender Performances And Cultural Heterogeneity In The Illegal Drug Economy.
    Heidi Grundetjern.
    Criminology. March 19, 2015
    Based on interviews with 32 female drug dealers in Norway, this study investigates different gender performances among women situated in the illegal hard drug economy—a context with strong gendered “rules of the game.” Using grounded theory methods, I have identified four predominant patterns in which women enact their gendered identities being part of the drug economy: performing emphasized femininity in the context of marginalization; performing street masculinity; employing a feminine business model; and last, flexible use of cultural repertoires. The findings suggest that different gender performances among dealers are rooted in variations in the cultural tool kits they have at their disposal. I find that the content of women's cultural tool kits varied with three sociodemographic factors: 1) age, 2) time of entrée to the drug economy, and 3) educational and employment history. Combined, these influenced the type of gender performances the dealers tended to use as well as their position in the drug market hierarchy. The research suggests that those dealers using cultural repertoires flexibly are the most successful as they skillfully employed the model best suited for the context they were in.
    March 19, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12068   open full text
  • Racially Homophilous Social Ties And Informal Social Control.
    Barbara D. Warner, Kristin Swartz, Shila RenÉ Hawk.
    Criminology. March 12, 2015
    Social disorganization theory argues that racial/ethnic heterogeneity is a key neighborhood characteristic leading to social disorganization and, consequently, higher levels of crime. Heterogeneity's effect is argued to be a result of its fragmentation of social ties along racial/ethnic lines, which creates racially homophilous social networks with few ties bridging racial/ethnic groups. Most studies of social ties in social disorganization models, however, have examined their quantity and left unaddressed the extent to which ties are within or across different racial groups. This study goes beyond previous studies by examining the effects of both racially homophilous and interracial friendship networks on informal social control. Using multilevel models and data from 66 neighborhoods with approximately 2,300 respondents, we found that heterogeneity actually increased the average percentage of residents with interracial friendship networks, but the percentage of residents with interracial networks decreased the likelihood of informal social control. In contrast, the percentage of residents with White racially homophilous networks increased the likelihood of informal social control. Examining the microcontext of individuals’ networks, however, we found residents with interracial ties reported higher likelihoods of informal social control and that this effect was enhanced in neighborhoods with higher percentages of non‐White racially homophilous networks.
    March 12, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12066   open full text
  • Police Response To Domestic Violence: Situations Involving Veterans Exhibiting Signs Of Mental Illness*.
    Fred E. Markowitz, Amy C. Watson.
    Criminology. March 11, 2015
    Drawing on attribution theory, research on police discretion, and public attitudes toward mental illness, we examine attributional processes in police decision making in response to domestic violence situations involving veterans and nonveterans with signs of mental illness. Using data from experimental vignettes varying veteran status, victim injury, and suspect compliance administered to a sample of 309 police officers, the results indicate that 1) veterans are perceived as less responsible for troublesome behavior but more dangerous than nonveterans, 2) suspects’ veteran status has a significant effect on officers’ preference for mental health treatment versus arrest, and 3) part of the effect of veteran status on officer response is mediated by internal and external attributions for problematic behavior and by perceptions of dangerousness. The study empirically demonstrates countervailing processes in police decision making—recognition of the causes for troublesome behavior and the need for mental health treatment on the one hand and concern for community safety and enforcing the law on the other.
    March 11, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12067   open full text
  • Friends With My Future Self: Longitudinal Vividness Intervention Reduces Delinquency.
    Jean‐Louis Gelder, Eva C. Luciano, Marleen Weulen Kranenbarg, Hal E. Hershfield.
    Criminology. March 05, 2015
    In a field experiment, we use a novel method to test whether instilling a greater sense of vividness of the future self motivates people to act in a more future‐oriented way and reduces their delinquent involvement. We manipulate vividness of the future self by having participants, a sample of high‐school youth (N = 133), “befriend” an avatar representing their future self on a social network website. For 7 days, they reply to short messages from their future self designed to trigger thinking about that distant self. Using repeated‐measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), we find that participants who had been linked to their future self report less delinquent involvement, whereas controls did not. Furthermore, the results of a nonparametric bootstrapping procedure show that this effect is mediated by changes in vividness of the future self, such that increases in vividness lead to lower self‐reported delinquency. We conclude that vividness of the future self holds promise not only as a cognitive explanation for the failure to make informed cost–benefit trade‐offs but also for interventions aiming to reduce delinquency.
    March 05, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12064   open full text
  • Historical Contingencies And The Evolving Importance Of Race, Violent Crime, And Region In Explaining Mass Incarceration In The United States.
    Michael C. Campbell, Matt Vogel, Joshua Williams.
    Criminology. March 04, 2015
    This article combines insights from historical research and quantitative analyses that have attempted to explain changes in incarceration rates in the United States. We use state‐level decennial data from 1970 to 2010 (N = 250) to test whether recent theoretical models derived from historical research that emphasize the importance of specific historical periods in shaping the relative importance of certain social and political factors explain imprisonment. Also drawing on historical work, we examine how these key determinants differed in Sunbelt states, that is, the states stretching across the nation's South from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, from the rest of the nation. Our findings suggest that the relative contributions of violent crime, minority composition, political ideology, and partisanship to imprisonment vary over time. We also extend our analysis beyond mass incarceration's rise to analyze how factors associated with prison expansion can explain its stabilization and contraction in the early twenty‐first century. Our findings suggest that most of the factors that best explained state incarceration rates in the prison boom era lost power once imprisonment stabilized and declined. We find considerable support for the importance of historical contingencies in shaping state‐level imprisonment trends, and our findings highlight the enduring importance of race in explaining incarceration.
    March 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12065   open full text
  • Brave New World Of Biosocial Science.
    Douglas S. Massey.
    Criminology. February 19, 2015
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    February 19, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12058   open full text
  • Abandon Twin Research? Embrace Epigenetic Research? Premature Advice For Criminologists.
    Terrie E. Moffitt, Amber Beckley.
    Criminology. February 19, 2015
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    February 19, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12061   open full text
  • Mathematical Proof Is Not Minutiae And Irreducible Complexity Is Not A Theory: A Final Response To Burt And Simons And A Call To Criminologists.
    John Paul Wright, J. C. Barnes, Brian B. Boutwell, Joseph A. Schwartz, Eric J. Connolly, Joseph L. Nedelec, Kevin M. Beaver.
    Criminology. February 19, 2015
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    February 19, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12059   open full text
  • Heritability Studies In The Postgenomic Era: The Fatal Flaw Is Conceptual.
    Callie H. Burt, Ronald L. Simons.
    Criminology. February 19, 2015
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    February 19, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12060   open full text
  • Deterrence, Criminal Opportunities, And Police.
    Daniel S. Nagin, Robert M. Solow, Cynthia Lum.
    Criminology. January 24, 2015
    In this article, we join three distinct literatures on crime control—the deterrence literature, the policing literature as it relates to crime control, and the environmental and opportunity perspectives literature. Based on empirical findings and theory from these literatures, we pose a mathematical model of the distribution of criminal opportunities and offender decision making on which of those opportunities to victimize. Criminal opportunities are characterized in terms of the risk of apprehension that attends their victimization. In developing this model, our primary focus is on how police might affect the distribution of criminal opportunities that are attractive to would‐be offenders. The theoretical model we pose, however, is generalizable to explain how changes in other relevant target characteristics, such as potential gain, could affect target attractiveness. We demonstrate that the model has important implications for the efficiency and effectiveness of police deployment strategies such as hot spots policing, random patrol, and problem‐oriented policing. The theoretical structure also makes clear why the clearance rate is a fundamentally flawed metric of police performance. Future research directions suggested by the theoretical model are discussed.
    January 24, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12057   open full text
  • Fetal Testosterone And Criminality: Test Of Evolutionary Neuroandrogenic Theory.
    Anthony W. Hoskin, Lee Ellis.
    Criminology. December 23, 2014
    Evolutionary neuroandrogenic (ENA) theory asserts that criminality is a crude form of competitive behavior over resources, status, and mating opportunities. Theoretically, males have been selected for resource acquisitiveness as a result of female preferences for mates who are successful at resource provisioning. ENA theory also asserts that brain exposure to both prenatal and postpubertal androgens (particularly testosterone) promotes all forms of competitiveness, including those that victimize others. The present study was undertaken to test ENA theory by correlating 14 self‐reported measures of offending with a biomarker for fetal testosterone exposure based on the ratio of the 2nd and 4th digits of the right hand (r2D:4D), in a nonrepresentative sample of 445. Both Spearman correlations and negative binomial regressions produced results that largely supported the hypothesized connection between offending and high prenatal androgen exposure, even when findings were analyzed separately by sex. Also, offending was significantly associated with r2D:4D for both males and females. Overall, this study supports the view that exposing the brain to high levels of testosterone and other androgens prenatally elevates the probability of offending later in life.
    December 23, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12056   open full text
  • Does What Police Do At Hot Spots Matter? The Philadelphia Policing Tactics Experiment*.
    Elizabeth R. Groff, Jerry H. Ratcliffe, Cory P. Haberman, Evan T. Sorg, Nola M. Joyce, Ralph B. Taylor.
    Criminology. December 10, 2014
    Policing tactics that are proactive, focused on small places or groups of people in small places, and tailor specific solutions to problems using careful analysis of local conditions seem to be effective at reducing violent crime. But which tactics are most effective when applied at hot spots remains unknown. This article documents the design and implementation of a randomized controlled field experiment to test three policing tactics applied to small, high‐crime places: 1) foot patrol, 2) problem‐oriented policing, and 3) offender‐focused policing. A total of 81 experimental places were identified from the highest violent crime areas in Philadelphia (27 areas were judged amenable to each policing tactic). Within each group of 27 areas, 20 places were randomly assigned to receive treatment and 7 places acted as controls. Offender‐focused sites experienced a 42 percent reduction in all violent crime and a 50 percent reduction in violent felonies compared with their control places. Problem‐oriented policing and foot patrol did not significantly reduce violent crime or violent felonies. Potential explanations of these findings are discussed in the contexts of dosage, implementation, and hot spot stability over time.
    December 10, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12055   open full text
  • An Explicit Test Of Plea Bargaining In The “Shadow Of The Trial”.
    Shawn D. Bushway, Allison D. Redlich, Robert J. Norris.
    Criminology. November 20, 2014
    Bargaining in the “shadow of the trial,” which hinges on the expectations of trial outcomes, is the primary theory used by noncriminologists to explain variation in the plea discount given to defendants who plead guilty. This study develops a formal mathematical representation of the theory and then presents an empirical test of the theory using an innovative online survey with responses to a hypothetical case from 1,585 prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges. The key outcomes are the probability that the defendant will be convicted at trial, the sentence for the defendant if convicted, and the best plea that the respondent would accept or offer. Variation in the outcomes is created through experimental variation in the information presented to the respondents. Structural regression models are estimated to fit the formal theoretical models, and the instrumental variables method is used to correct for measurement error in the estimate for probability of conviction. The data support the basic shadow model, with minor modifications, for only prosecutors and defense attorneys. Controlling for the characteristics of the individual actors and their jurisdictions adds explanatory value to the model, although these control variables did not affect the key coefficients from the shadow model.
    November 20, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12054   open full text
  • Incorporating Routine Activities, Activity Spaces, And Situational Definitions Into The Social Schematic Theory Of Crime.
    Ronald L. Simons, Callie H. Burt, Ashley B. Barr, Man‐Kit Lei, Eric Stewart.
    Criminology. November 20, 2014
    Simons and Burt's (2011) social schematic theory (SST) of crime posits that adverse social factors are associated with offending because they promote a set of social schemas (i.e., a criminogenic knowledge structure) that elevates the probability of situational definitions favorable to crime. This study extends the SST model by incorporating the role of contexts for action. Furthermore, the study advances tests of the SST by incorporating a measure of criminogenic situational definitions to assess whether such definitions mediate the effects of schemas and contexts on crime. Structural equation models using 10 years of panel data from 582 African American youth provided strong support for the expanded theory. The results suggest that childhood and adolescent social adversity fosters a criminogenic knowledge structure as well as selection into criminogenic activity spaces and risky activities, all of which increase the likelihood of offending largely through situational definitions. Additionally, evidence shows that the criminogenic knowledge structure interacts with settings to amplify the likelihood of situational definitions favorable to crime.
    November 20, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12053   open full text
  • The Edge Of Stigma: An Experimental Audit Of The Effects Of Low‐Level Criminal Records On Employment.
    Christopher Uggen, Mike Vuolo, Sarah Lageson, Ebony Ruhland, Hilary K. Whitham.
    Criminology. November 20, 2014
    Ample experimental evidence shows that the stigma of a prison record reduces employment opportunities (Pager, 2007). Yet background checks today uncover a much broader range of impropriety, including arrests for minor crimes never resulting in formal charges. This article probes the lesser boundaries of stigma, asking whether and how employers consider low‐level arrests in hiring decisions. Matched pairs of young African American and White men were sent to apply for 300 entry‐level jobs, with one member of each pair reporting a disorderly conduct arrest that did not lead to conviction. We find a modest but nontrivial effect, with employer callback rates about 4 percentage points lower for the experimental group than for the matched control group. Interviews with the audited employers suggest three mechanisms to account for the lesser stigma of misdemeanor arrests relative to felony convictions: 1) greater employer discretion and authority in the former case; 2) calibration of the severity, nature, and timing of the offense; and 3) a deeply held presumption of innocence, which contrasts the uncertainty of arrest with the greater certainty represented by convictions. In addition, personal contact and workplace diversity play important roles in the hiring process.
    November 20, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12051   open full text
  • Gender, Friendship Networks, And Delinquency: A Dynamic Network Approach.
    Dana L. Haynie, Nathan J. Doogan, Brian Soller.
    Criminology. October 27, 2014
    Researchers have examined selection and influence processes in shaping delinquency similarity among friends, but little is known about the role of gender in moderating these relationships. Our objective is to examine differences between adolescent boys and girls regarding delinquency‐based selection and influence processes. Using longitudinal network data from adolescents attending two large schools in AddHealth (N = 1,857) and stochastic actor‐oriented models, we evaluate whether girls are influenced to a greater degree by friends’ violence or delinquency than boys (influence hypothesis) and whether girls are more likely to select friends based on violent or delinquent behavior than boys (selection hypothesis). The results indicate that girls are more likely than boys to be influenced by their friends’ involvement in violence. Although a similar pattern emerges for nonviolent delinquency, the gender differences are not significant. Some evidence shows that boys are influenced toward increasing their violence or delinquency when exposed to more delinquent or violent friends but are immune to reducing their violence or delinquency when associating with less violent or delinquent friends. In terms of selection dynamics, although both boys and girls have a tendency to select friends based on friends’ behavior, girls have a stronger tendency to do so, suggesting that among girls, friends’ involvement in violence or delinquency is an especially decisive factor for determining friendship ties.
    October 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12052   open full text
  • Demonstrating The Validity Of Twin Research In Criminology.
    J. C. Barnes, John Paul Wright, Brian B. Boutwell, Joseph A. Schwartz, Eric J. Connolly, Joseph L. Nedelec, Kevin M. Beaver.
    Criminology. September 30, 2014
    In a recent article published in Criminology, Burt and Simons () claimed that the statistical violations of the classical twin design render heritability studies useless. Claiming quantitative genetics is “fatally flawed” and describing the results generated from these models as “preposterous,” Burt and Simons took the unprecedented step to call for abandoning heritability studies and their constituent findings. We show that their call for an “end to heritability studies” was premature, misleading, and entirely without merit. Specifically, we trace the history of behavioral genetics and show that 1) the Burt and Simons critique dates back 40 years and has been subject to a broad array of empirical investigations, 2) the violation of assumptions in twin models does not invalidate their results, and 3) Burt and Simons created a distorted and highly misleading portrait of behavioral genetics and those who use quantitative genetic approaches.
    September 30, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12049   open full text
  • Impact Of Victimization On Residential Mobility: Explaining Racial And Ethnic Patterns Using The National Crime Victimization Survey.
    Min Xie, David Mcdowall.
    Criminology. September 24, 2014
    Criminal victimization is known to influence households’ moving decisions, but theories suggest that the processes leading to a moving decision can vary across racial and ethnic groups. Drawing from current literature, we hypothesized that victimization would have a stronger effect on moving decisions for Whites than for Blacks or Hispanics, and that racial/ethnic residential segregation would moderate the impact of victimization on mobility. Using a longitudinal sample of 34,134 housing units compiled from the National Crime Victimization Survey for the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the United States (1995–2003), we found results that both support and contradict the hypotheses. Specifically, White residents display consistent evidence that victimization is a significant predictor of household mobility. Blacks and Hispanics, in contrast, are more varied in their moving behavior after victimization. In addition, significant differences exist among these groups in responses to victimization and in how mobility is influenced by residential segregation. Higher levels of residential segregation play a part in the victimization–mobility relationship among Blacks in a way that is more complex than we hypothesized.
    September 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12048   open full text
  • Cumulative Disadvantage: Examining Racial And Ethnic Disparity In Prosecution And Sentencing.
    Besiki L. Kutateladze, Nancy R. Andiloro, Brian D. Johnson, Cassia C. Spohn.
    Criminology. August 25, 2014
    Current research on criminal case processing typically examines a single decision‐making point, so drawing reliable conclusions about the impact that factors such as defendants’ race or ethnicity exert across successive stages of the justice system is difficult. Using data from the New York County District Attorney's Office that tracks 185,275 diverse criminal cases, this study assesses racial and ethnic disparity for multiple discretionary points of prosecution and sentencing. Findings from multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrate that the effects of race and ethnicity vary by discretionary point and offense category. Black and Latino defendants were more likely than White defendants to be detained, to receive a custodial plea offer, and to be incarcerated—and they received especially punitive outcomes for person offenses—but were more likely to benefit from case dismissals. The findings for Asian defendants were less consistent but suggest they were the least likely to be detained, to receive custodial offers, and to be incarcerated. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theoretical perspectives on racial bias and cumulative disadvantage in the justice system.
    August 25, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12047   open full text
  • Varieties Of Violent Behavior.
    Cathy Spatz Widom.
    Criminology. August 11, 2014
    There is an implicit assumption of homogeneity across violent behaviors and offenders in the criminology literature. Arguing against this assumption, I draw on three distinct literatures [child abuse and neglect (CAN) and violence, violence and post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and CAN and PTSD] to provide a rationale for an examination of varieties of violent behaviors. I use data from my prospective cohort design study of the long‐term consequences of CAN to define three varieties of violent offenders using age of documented cases of CAN, onset of PTSD, and first violent arrest in a temporally correct manner [CAN → to violence, CAN → PTSD → violence (PTSD first), and CAN → violence → PTSD (violence first)], and a fourth variety, violence only. The results illustrate meaningful heterogeneity in violent behavior and different developmental patterns and characteristics. There are three major implications: First, programs and policies that target violence need to recognize the heterogeneity and move away from a “one‐size‐fits‐all” approach. Second, violence prevention policies and programs that target abused and neglected children are warranted, given the prominent role of CAN in the backgrounds of these violent offenders. Third, criminologists and others interested in violence need to attend to the role of PTSD, which is present in about one fifth (21 percent) of these violent offenders, and not relegate the study of these offenders to the psychiatric and psychological literatures.
    August 11, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12046   open full text
  • Self‐Control Through Emerging Adulthood: Instability, Multidimensionality, And Criminological Significance.
    Callie H. Burt, Gary Sweeten, Ronald L. Simons.
    Criminology. August 07, 2014
    This study assesses self‐control theory's stability postulate. We advance research on self‐control stability in three ways. First, we extend the study of stability beyond high school, estimating GBTMs of self‐control from ages 10 to 25. Second, drawing on advances in developmental psychology and social neuroscience, especially the dual systems model of risk taking, we investigate whether two distinct personality traits—impulsivity and sensation seeking—often conflated in measures of self‐control, exhibit divergent developmental patterns. Finding that they do, we estimate multitrajectory models to identify latent classes of co‐occurring developmental patterns. We supplement GBTM stability analyses with hierarchical linear models and reliable variance estimates. Lastly, using fixed effects models, we explore whether the observed within‐individual changes are associated with changes in crime net of overall age trends. These ideas are tested using five waves of data from the Family and Community Health Study. Results suggest that self‐control is unstable, that distinct patterns of development exist for impulsivity and sensation seeking, and that these changes are uniquely consequential for crime. We conclude by comparing our findings with extant research and discussing the implications for self‐control theory.
    August 07, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12045   open full text
  • Revisiting “What They Think”: Adolescent Drinking And The Importance Of Peer Beliefs.
    Daniel T. Ragan.
    Criminology. July 25, 2014
    The association between delinquent peers and delinquent behavior is among the most consistent findings in the criminological literature, and several recent studies have raised the standards for determining the nature and extent of peer influence. Despite these advances, however, key questions about how deviant behavior is socially transmitted remain unresolved. In particular, much of the research examining peer influence has been limited to peer behavior, despite a rich literature supporting the salience of beliefs, such as expectations and moral approval, in shaping behaviors. In the current study, I model the peer influence and selection processes with longitudinal social network analysis to reexamine the contributions of peer beliefs and behaviors to adolescent drinking. I find evidence that beliefs related to peer drinking have both a direct and an indirect impact on behavior and play an important role in the friendship selection process. These results highlight the importance of understanding how peers influence deviant behavior and suggest that peer beliefs are an important part of this relationship.
    July 25, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12044   open full text
  • Imprisonment Length And Post‐Prison Employment Prospects.
    Anke Ramakers, Robert Apel, Paul Nieuwbeerta, Anja Dirkzwager, Johan Wilsem.
    Criminology. June 27, 2014
    This study considers the relationship between imprisonment length and employment outcomes. The data are a unique prospective, longitudinal study of Dutch pretrial detainees (N = 702). All subjects thus experience prison confinement of varying lengths, although the durations are relatively short (mean = 3.8 months; median = 3.1 months). This contrasts with prior research that was limited to the study of American prison sentences spanning an average of 2 years. These data thus fill a gap in the empirical base concerning short‐term confinement, which is the norm in the United States (e.g., jail incarceration) and other Western countries. Using a comprehensive array of pre‐prison covariates, a propensity score methodology is used to examine the dose–response relationship between imprisonment length and a variety of employment outcomes. The results indicate that, among prison lengths less than 6 months in duration, longer confinement is largely uncorrelated with employment. In contrast, among spells in excess of 6 months, longer imprisonment length seems to worsen employment prospects.
    June 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12042   open full text
  • The Effects Of Directed Patrol And Self‐Initiated Enforcement On Firearm Violence: A Randomized Controlled Study Of Hot Spot Policing.
    Richard Rosenfeld, Michael J. Deckard, Emily Blackburn.
    Criminology. June 27, 2014
    Targeted policing has proven effective in reducing serious crime in areas where it is highly concentrated, but the enforcement mechanisms responsible for the success of so‐called hot spots strategies remain poorly understood. This study evaluates the effects of a 9‐month randomized controlled hot spots field experiment on firearm assaults and robberies in St. Louis, Missouri. Thirty‐two firearm violence hot spots were randomly allocated to two treatment conditions and a control condition. Directed patrols were increased in both treatment conditions, whereas the experimental protocol limited other enforcement activity in one of the treatment conditions and increased it in the other. The results from difference‐in‐difference regression analyses indicate that the intervention substantially reduced the incidence of nondomestic firearm assaults, with no evident crime displacement to surrounding areas, to times when the intervention was not active, or to nonfirearm assaults. By contrast, we find no effects of the intervention on firearm robberies. Less definitive results suggest that the certainty of arrests and occupied vehicle checks account for the treatment effects on nondomestic firearm assaults.
    June 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12043   open full text
  • Labeling Effects Of First Juvenile Arrests: Secondary Deviance And Secondary Sanctioning.
    Akiva M. Liberman, David S. Kirk, Kideuk Kim.
    Criminology. June 23, 2014
    A growing literature suggests that juvenile arrests perpetuate offending and increase the likelihood of future arrests. The effect on subsequent arrests is generally regarded as a product of the perpetuation of criminal offending. However, increased rearrest also may reflect differential law enforcement behavior. Using longitudinal data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) together with official arrest records, the current study estimates the effects of first arrests on both reoffending and rearrest. Propensity score methods were used to control differences between arrestees and nonarrestees and to minimize selection bias. Among 1,249 PHDCN youths, 58 individuals were first arrested during the study period; 43 of these arrestees were successfully matched to 126 control cases that were equivalent on a broad set of individual, family, peer, and neighborhood factors. We find that first arrests increased the likelihood of both subsequent offending and subsequent arrest, through separate processes. The effects on rearrest are substantially greater and are largely independent of the effects on reoffending, which suggests that labels trigger “secondary sanctioning” processes distinct from secondary deviance processes. Attempts to ameliorate deleterious labeling effects should include efforts to dampen their escalating punitive effects on societal responses.
    June 23, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12039   open full text
  • Explaining The Association Between Incarceration And Divorce.
    Sonja E. Siennick, Eric A. Stewart, Jeremy Staff.
    Criminology. May 26, 2014
    Recent studies have suggested that incarceration dramatically increases the odds of divorce, but we know little about the mechanisms that explain the association. This study uses prospective longitudinal data from a subset of married young adults in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 1,919) to examine whether incarceration is associated with divorce indirectly via low marital love, economic strain, relationship violence, and extramarital sex. The findings confirmed that incarcerations occurring during, but not before, a marriage were associated with an increased hazard of divorce. Incarcerations occurring during marriage also were associated with less marital love, more relationship violence, more economic strain, and greater odds of extramarital sex. Above‐average levels of economic strain were visible among respondents observed preincarceration, but only respondents observed postincarceration showed less marital love, more relationship violence, and higher odds of extramarital sex than did respondents who were not incarcerated during marriage. These relationship problems explained approximately 40 percent of the association between incarceration and marital dissolution. These findings are consistent with theoretical predictions that a spouse's incarceration alters the rewards and costs of the marriage and the relative attractiveness of alternative partners.
    May 26, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12040   open full text
  • Changes In Criminal Offending Around The Time Of Job Entry: A Study Of Employment And Desistance.
    TorbjØrn Skardhamar, Jukka Savolainen.
    Criminology. April 08, 2014
    Does employment promote desistance from crime? Most perspectives assume that individuals who become employed are less likely to offend than those who do not. The critical issue has to do with the timing of employment transitions in the criminal trajectory. The turning point hypothesis expects reductions in offending after job entries, whereas the maturation perspective assumes desistance to have occurred ahead of successful transitions to legitimate work. Focusing on a sample of recidivist males who became employed during 2001–2006 (N = 783), smoothing spline regression techniques were used to model changes in criminal offending around the point of entry to stable employment. Consistent with the maturation perspective, the results showed that most offenders had desisted prior to the employment transition and that becoming employed was not associated with further reductions in criminal behavior. Consistent with the turning point hypothesis, we identified a subset of offenders who became employed during an active phase of the criminal career and experienced substantial reductions in criminal offending thereafter. However, this trajectory describes less than 2 percent of the sample. The patterns observed in this research suggest that transition to employment is best viewed as a consequence rather than as a cause of criminal desistance.
    April 08, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12037   open full text
  • Heart Rate And Antisocial Behavior: The Mediating Role Of Impulsive Sensation Seeking.
    Jill Portnoy, Adrian Raine, Frances R. Chen, Dustin Pardini, Rolf Loeber, J. Richard Jennings.
    Criminology. April 08, 2014
    Although a low resting heart rate is considered the best‐replicated biological correlate of antisocial behavior, the mechanism underlying this relationship remains largely unknown. Sensation‐seeking and fearlessness theories have been proposed to explain this relationship, although little empirical research has been conducted to test these theories. This study addressed this limitation by examining the relationship between heart rate and antisocial behavior in a community sample of 335 adolescent boys. Heart rate was measured during a series of cognitive, stress, and rest tasks. Participants also completed self‐report measures of state fear, impulsive sensation seeking, and both aggressive and nonaggressive forms of antisocial behavior. As expected, increased levels of aggression and nonviolent delinquency were associated with a low heart rate. Impulsive sensation seeking, but not fearlessness, significantly mediated the association between heart rate and aggression. This study is the first to show that impulsive sensation seeking partly underlies the relationship between aggression and heart rate, and it is one of the few to examine the mechanism of action linking heart rate to antisocial behavior. Findings at a theoretical level highlight the role of impulsive sensation seeking in understanding antisocial behavior and at an intervention level suggest it as a potential target for behavioral change.
    April 08, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12038   open full text
  • Pulling Back The Curtain On Heritability Studies: Biosocial Criminology In The Postgenomic Era.
    Callie H. Burt, Ronald L. Simons.
    Criminology. March 27, 2014
    Unfortunately, the nature‐versus‐nurture debate continues in criminology. Over the past 5 years, the number of heritability studies in criminology has surged. These studies invariably report sizeable heritability estimates (∼50 percent) and minimal effects of the so‐called shared environment for crime and related outcomes. Reports of such high heritabilities for such complex social behaviors are surprising, and findings indicating negligible shared environmental influences (usually interpreted to include parenting and community factors) seem implausible given extensive criminological research demonstrating their significance. Importantly, however, the models on which these estimates are based have fatal flaws for complex social behaviors such as crime. Moreover, the goal of heritability studies—partitioning the effects of nature and nurture—is misguided given the bidirectional, interactional relationship among genes, cells, organisms, and environments. This study provides a critique of heritability study methods and assumptions to illuminate the dubious foundations of heritability estimates and questions the rationale and utility of partitioning genetic and environmental effects. After critiquing the major models, we call for an end to heritability studies. We then present what we perceive to be a more useful biosocial research agenda that is consonant with and informed by recent advances in our understanding of gene function and developmental plasticity.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12036   open full text
  • The Pragmatic American: Empirical Reality Or Methodological Artifact?
    Justin T. Pickett, Thomas Baker.
    Criminology. March 14, 2014
    Scholars widely agree that the public is pragmatic about criminal justice. The empirical basis for this conclusion is the failure in several previous studies to find a sizable negative relationship between dispositional and situational crime attributions, or between support for punitive and rehabilitative crime policies. We suggest, however, that public pragmatism may be an artifact of the use of unidirectional question batteries in prior research to measure attribution styles and policy support. When such questions are used, acquiescent responding can introduce systematic error that is positively correlated across items and scales. Drawing on data from an experiment with a national sample (N = 826) of Internet panelists, we examine how this methodological approach impacts the bivariate correlations and multivariate relationships between attribution styles and between support for punitive and rehabilitative crime policies. The findings reveal that using unidirectional sets of questions to measure these concepts likely results in 1) inflated alpha reliability coefficients, 2) an underestimation of the magnitude of the negative relationships between attribution styles and between punitiveness and support for rehabilitation, and 3) an underestimation of the extent to which punitiveness and support for rehabilitation are driven by the same factors, working in opposite directions.
    March 14, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12035   open full text
  • Criminal Group Embeddedness And The Adverse Effects Of Arresting A Gang's Leader: A Comparative Case Study.
    Robert Vargas.
    Criminology. February 21, 2014
    Although law enforcement agencies arrest criminal group leaders to dismantle organized crime, few studies have assessed whether such interventions produce adverse effects. Through a mixed‐method comparative case study of the Latin Kings and 22 Boys street gangs in Chicago, this article examines the consequences of arresting a gang's leader. Using violent crime data, I show that a spike in violent crime took place in the first month after the arrest of the 22 Boys gang leader. In contrast, the arrest of the Latin Kings gang leader produced no change in violent crime. Using several qualitative data sources, I show that the arrest of the 22 Boys gang leader temporarily led to the gang's withdrawal from its territory, which spurred violent aggression from rival gangs in adjacent territories. In contrast, the Latin Kings gang continued its operations because the gang's prison leaders quickly appointed new leadership. The results suggest that criminal group embeddedness (or the social relations between criminal groups) can contribute to adverse effects in interventions targeting gang or other criminal group leaders.
    February 21, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12033   open full text
  • The “True” Juvenile Offender: Age Effects And Juvenile Court Sanctioning.
    Daniel P. Mears, Joshua C. Cochran, Brian J. Stults, Sarah J. Greenman, Avinash S. Bhati, Mark A. Greenwald.
    Criminology. February 21, 2014
    Age is the only factor used to demarcate the boundary between juvenile and adult justice. However, little research has examined how age guides the juvenile court in determining which youth within the juvenile justice system merit particular dispositions, especially those that reflect the court's emphasis on rehabilitation. Drawing on scholarship on the court's origins, attribution theory, and cognitive heuristics, we hypothesize that the court focuses on youth in the middle of the range of the court's age of jurisdiction—characterized in this article as “true” juveniles—who may be viewed as meriting more specialized intervention. We use data from Florida for court referrals in 2008 (N = 71,388) to examine the decision to proceed formally or informally and, in turn, to examine formally processed youth dispositions (dismissal, diversion, probation, commitment, and transfer) and informally processed youth dispositions (dismissal, diversion, and probation). The analyses provide partial support for the hypothesis. The very young were more likely to be informally processed; however, among the informally processed youth, the youngest, not “true” juveniles, were most likely to be diverted or placed on probation. By contrast, among formally processed youth, “true” juveniles were most likely to receive traditional juvenile court responses, such as diversion or probation.
    February 21, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12034   open full text
  • The Role Of Neighborhood Context In Youth Co‐Offending.
    David R. Schaefer, Nancy Rodriguez, Scott H. Decker.
    Criminology. December 23, 2013
    Despite co‐offending being a core criminological fact, locating suitable peers has many challenges. Chief among these, given the risky nature of co‐offending, is finding trustworthy accomplices. We propose that neighborhoods serve as youths’ most ready source of accomplices, and as such, their composition affects the likelihood of identifying suitable co‐offenders. In particular, youth are more likely to co‐offend in contexts with more peers of their race/ethnicity, less disadvantage, and greater residential stability—all of which promote trust among neighbors. We test our hypotheses using multilevel models applied to census data and official court records for 7,484 delinquent youth in a large metropolitan area. The results offer support for our hypotheses and provide greater insight into how individual and contextual factors combine to affect co‐offending behavior. An implication of these findings is that many of the same neighborhood characteristics that reduce crime lead to a greater proportion of co‐offending.
    December 23, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12032   open full text
  • Self‐Control And Victimization: A Meta‐Analysis.
    Travis C. Pratt, Jillian J. Turanovic, Kathleen A. Fox, Kevin A. Wright.
    Criminology. December 17, 2013
    A consequential development in victimization theory and research was the idea that individuals with low self‐control self‐select into the various risky behaviors that may ultimately result in their victimization. To establish the empirical status of the self‐control–victimization link, we subjected this body of work to a meta‐analysis. Our multilevel analyses of 311 effect size estimates drawn from 66 studies (42 independent data sets) indicate that self‐control is a modest yet consistent predictor of victimization. The results also show that the effect of self‐control is significantly stronger when predicting noncontact forms of victimization (e.g., online victimization) and is significantly reduced in studies that control directly for the risky behaviors that are assumed to mediate the self‐control–victimization link. We also note that the studies assessing self‐control and victimization are not representative of victimization research as a whole, with intimate partner violence (IPV), violence against women, and child abuse being severely underrepresented. We conclude that future research should continue to examine the causal processes linking self‐control to victimization, how self‐control shapes victims’ coping responses to their experience, and whether self‐control matters in contexts where individuals may have limited autonomy over the behavioral routines that put them at risk for victimization.
    December 17, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12030   open full text
  • Unpacking The Black Box Of Peer Similarity In Deviance: Understanding The Mechanisms Linking Personal Behavior, Peer Behavior, And Perceptions.
    Jacob T. N. Young, Cesar J. Rebellon, J. C. Barnes, Frank M. Weerman.
    Criminology. November 26, 2013
    The strong correlation between measures of personal and peer deviance occurs with near “law‐like” regularity. Yet, as with other manifestations of peer similarity (often referred to as homophily), the mechanisms generating this relationship are widely debated. Specific to the deviance literature, most studies have failed to examine, simultaneously, the degree to which similarity is the consequence of multiple causes. The current study addresses this gap by using longitudinal network data for 1,151 individuals from the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) School Project. Structural equation modeling is used to address these issues by adapting Jussim and Osgood's () model of deviant attitudes in dyadic pairs to the current data. Across two separate behavioral domains (substance use and property offending), the results provide strong support for the prediction that individuals project their own deviant tendencies inaccurately onto their peers. Conversely, the results provide little or no support for the predictions that respondents accurately perceive their peers’ deviance or that their perceptions of peer deviance influence their own behavior. Implications for understanding the role of peer behavior in the etiology of adolescent deviance are discussed.
    November 26, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12029   open full text
  • The Social Ecology Of Public Space: Active Streets And Violent Crime In Urban Neighborhoods.
    Christopher R. Browning, Aubrey L. Jackson.
    Criminology. November 22, 2013
    Drawing on one element of the discussion by Jacobs () of the social control benefits of “eyes on the street,” this article explores the link between the prevalence of active streets and violence in urban neighborhoods. Three distinct data sources from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods are merged to explore the functional form and potential contingency of the active streets–violence relationship: 1) video data capturing the presence of people on neighborhood streets; 2) longitudinal data on adolescents (11 to 16 years of age) and their self‐reports of witnessing severe violence; and (3) community survey data on neighborhood social organizational characteristics. The results from multilevel models indicate that the proportion of neighborhood streets with adults present exhibits a nonlinear association with exposure to severe violence. At low prevalence, the increasing prevalence of active streets is positively associated with violence exposure. Beyond a threshold, however, increases in the prevalence of active streets serve to reduce the likelihood of violence exposure. The analyses offer no evidence that the curvilinear association between active streets and violence varies by levels of collective efficacy, and only limited evidence that it varies by anonymity. Analyses of data on homicide and violent victimization corroborate these findings.
    November 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12026   open full text
  • Restrictive Deterrent Effects Of A Warning Banner In An Attacked Computer System.
    David Maimon, Mariel Alper, Bertrand Sobesto, Michel Cukier.
    Criminology. November 20, 2013
    System trespassing by computer intruders is a growing concern among millions of Internet users. However, little research has employed criminological insights to explore the effectiveness of security means to deter unauthorized access to computer systems. Drawing on the deterrence perspective, we employ a large set of target computers built for the sole purpose of being attacked and conduct two independent experiments to investigate the influence of a warning banner on the progression, frequency, and duration of system trespassing incidents. In both experiments, the target computers (86 computers in the first experiment and 502 computers in the second) were set either to display or not to display a warning banner once intruders had successfully infiltrated the systems; 1,058 trespassing incidents were observed in the first experiment and 3,768 incidents in the second. The findings reveal that although a warning banner does not lead to an immediate termination or a reduction in the frequency of trespassing incidents, it significantly reduces their duration. Moreover, we find that the effect of a warning message on the duration of repeated trespassing incidents is attenuated in computers with a large bandwidth capacity. These findings emphasize the relevance of restrictive deterrence constructs in the study of system trespassing.
    November 20, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12028   open full text
  • The Unintended Consequences Of Being Stopped Or Arrested: An Exploration Of The Labeling Mechanisms Through Which Police Contact Leads To Subsequent Delinquency.
    Stephanie Ann Wiley, Lee Ann Slocum, Finn‐Aage Esbensen.
    Criminology. October 06, 2013
    Much debate has taken place regarding the merits of aggressive policing strategies such as “stop, question, and frisk.” Labeling theory suggests that police contact may actually increase delinquency because youth who are stopped or arrested are excluded from conventional opportunities, adopt a deviant identity, and spend time with delinquent peers. But, few studies have examined the mechanisms through which police contact potentially enhances offending. The current study uses four waves of longitudinal data collected from middle‐school students (N = 2,127) in seven cities to examine the deviance amplification process. Outcomes are compared for youth with no police contact, those who were stopped by police, and those who were arrested. We use propensity score matching to control for preexisting differences among the three groups. Our findings indicate that compared with those with no contact, youth who are stopped or arrested report higher levels of future delinquency and that social bonds, deviant identity formation, and delinquent peers partially mediate the relationship between police contact and later offending. These findings suggest that programs targeted at reducing the negative consequences of police contact (i.e., poor academic achievement, deviant identity formation, and delinquent peer associations) might reduce the occurrence of secondary deviance.
    October 06, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12024   open full text
  • Transitory Mobility, Cultural Heterogeneity, And Victimization Risk Among Young Men Of Color: Insights From An Ethnographic Study In Cape Town, South Africa.
    Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard, Jody Miller, Danielle M. Reynald.
    Criminology. October 06, 2013
    The coupling of racial and economic stratification has been found to result in a range of adverse outcomes for youth of color, including disproportionate exposure to violence and victimization. Primary explanations of these patterns, particularly at the micro‐level, have focused on the impact of street culture. In this article, we draw from a multiyear ethnography in Cape Town, South Africa, to offer a theoretical elaboration of the place of culture in contributing to victimization risks among urban minority young men. The study is based on data collected from a sample of 26 young men of color who lived on the Cape Flats between 2003 and 2006. Using grounded theory methods, we suggest the import of unequal access to spatial mobility as a multifaceted means by which culture mediates young men's risks for victimization in disadvantaged communities. We find that transitory mobility—conceptualized as youth's temporary access to cultural spaces outside their segregated residential neighborhoods—is an important source of cultural heterogeneity in townships that can intensify the strength of local social identities and outgroup antipathies directed at those whose mobility is perceived as a cultural threat. Transitorily mobile young men's cultural repertoires are a key facet of street efficacy that can either insulate them from risk or heighten their vulnerabilities. Our findings are suggestive of important sources of variation in young men's victimization outcomes in disadvantaged communities, offering insights about factors that shape risks beyond those linked to the victim–offender overlap in high‐risk settings.
    October 06, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12025   open full text
  • High Times For Hate Crimes: Explaining The Temporal Clustering Of Hate‐Motivated Offending.
    Ryan D. King, Gretchen M. Sutton.
    Criminology. August 30, 2013
    This research explains the temporal clustering of hate crimes. It is hypothesized that many hate crimes are retaliatory in nature and tend to increase, sometimes dramatically, in the aftermath of an antecedent event that results in one group harboring a grievance against another. Three types of events are used to test and refine the argument: 1) contentious criminal trials involving interracial crimes, 2) lethal terrorist attacks, and 3) appellate court decisions concerning same‐sex marriage. The results from time‐series analyses indicate that contentious trial verdicts and lethal domestic terrorist attacks precede spikes in racially or religiously motivated hate crimes, whereas less evidence is found for antigay hate crimes after appellate court rulings that grant rights to same‐sex partners. The model put forth in this article complements prior work by explaining in part the timing of hate crime clusters.
    August 30, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12022   open full text
  • Situational Causes Of Offending: A Fixed‐Effects Analysis Of Space–Time Budget Data.
    Wim Bernasco, Stijn Ruiter, Gerben J.N. Bruinsma, Lieven J.R. Pauwels, Frank M. Weerman.
    Criminology. August 14, 2013
    Situational theories of crime assert that the situations that people participate in contain the proximal causes of crime. Prior research has not tested situational hypotheses rigorously, either for lack of detailed situational data or for lack of analytical rigor. The present research combines detailed situational data with analytical methods that eliminate all stable between‐individual factors as potential confounds. We test seven potential situational causes: 1) presence of peers, 2) absence of adult handlers, 3) public space, 4) unstructured activities, 5) use of alcohol, 6) use of cannabis, and 7) carrying weapons. In a two‐wave panel study, a general sample of adolescents completed a space–time budget interview that recorded, hour by hour over the course of 4 complete days, the activities and whereabouts of the subjects, including any self‐reported offenses. In total, 76 individuals reported having committed 104 offenses during the 4 days covered in the space–time budget interview. Using data on the 4,949 hours that these 76 offenders spent awake during these 4 days, within‐individual, fixed‐effects multivariate logit analyses were used to establish situational causes of offending. The findings demonstrate that offending is strongly and positively related to all hypothesized situational causes except using cannabis and carrying weapons.
    August 14, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12023   open full text
  • Does Economic Adversity Breed Criminal Cooperation? Considering The Motivation Behind Group Crime.
    HOLLY NGUYEN, JEAN MARIE McGLOIN.
    Criminology. July 17, 2013
    The fact that most offenders have accomplices at some point in their criminal career is curious, given the risks associated with criminal cooperation. McCarthy, Hagan, and Cohen () offered the first formal theory of the decision to co‐offend, which addressed explicitly the uncertainties attached to the decision to engage in group crime. They posited that when offenders experience adversity, they become more risk seeking and oriented toward the chance for potential gain, which essentially outweighs the uncertainties attached to criminal cooperation. McCarthy, Hagan, and Cohen's analysis of street youth offered some empirical support for their premise but left open many important questions. The current study uses data from two different samples of incarcerated felons in Nebraska (N = 321 offenders) and Colorado (N = approximately 1,120 observations nested within approximately 640 offenders) that provide information on different forms of economic adversity. Logistic regression models provide some evidence for the association between adversity and co‐offending, but they are inconsistent. In contrast, a preference for excitement is a consistent and powerful predictor of offending.
    July 17, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12021   open full text
  • Group Cohesiveness, Gang Member Prestige, And Delinquency And Violence In Chicago, 1959–1962.
    Lorine A. Hughes.
    Criminology. July 08, 2013
    Data from Short and Strodtbeck's () study of gangs in Chicago, 1959–1962, are used to examine the association between intragang friendship networks and violent and delinquent behaviors among 248 boys from 11 different gangs (9 Black and 2 White). Contrary to expectations of tightly connected gangs being the most dangerous, estimates from multilevel overdispersed Poisson regression models showed significantly increased mean levels of violence among gangs with relatively low group cohesion. No relationship was observed between delinquency and gang cohesiveness, regardless of the specific network measure employed. At the individual level, popular boys were at a significantly increased risk for both delinquency and violence, suggesting a link between prestigious positions within the structure of gang friendship networks and conformity with group processes. The implications of these findings for detached worker intervention are discussed.
    July 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12020   open full text
  • Masculinities, Persistence, And Desistance.
    Christoffer Carlsson.
    Criminology. June 21, 2013
    In life‐course criminology, when gender has been the focus of study, it has predominantly been treated as a variable. Studies that explore the gendered nature of criminal careers through the lived experiences of offenders are rare, even though these studies can make important contributions to our understanding of crime and the life course. Analyzing qualitative data, this article uses life‐history narratives of a small sample of male juvenile delinquents (N = 25), born in 1969–1974, to explore the possible link among masculinities, persistence, and desistance from crime. The findings of the study suggest that processes of persistence and desistance are imbued with age‐specific norms of what it means to “be a man” and successfully do masculinity in different stages of life. Analyzing these gender‐specific practices gives a deepened understanding of processes that underlie the offenders’ lives as they go through stages of continuity and change in crime. The findings of the study further suggest a complex intersection between gendered biographies and gendered structures, with fruitful contributions to life‐course criminology. The implications of these findings are discussed.
    June 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12016   open full text
  • The Code Of The Street And Inmate Violence: Investigating The Salience Of Imported Belief Systems.
    Daniel P. Mears, Eric A. Stewart, Sonja E. Siennick, Ronald L. Simons.
    Criminology. June 21, 2013
    Scholars have long argued that inmate behaviors stem in part from cultural belief systems that they “import” with them into incarcerative settings. Even so, few empirical assessments have tested this argument directly. Drawing on theoretical accounts of one such set of beliefs—the code of the street—and on importation theory, we hypothesize that individuals who adhere more strongly to the street code will be more likely, once incarcerated, to engage in violent behavior and that this effect will be amplified by such incarceration experiences as disciplinary sanctions and gang involvement, as well as the lack of educational programming, religious programming, and family support. We test these hypotheses using unique data that include measures of the street code belief system and incarceration experiences. The results support the argument that the code of the street belief system affects inmate violence and that the effect is more pronounced among inmates who lack family support, experience disciplinary sanctions, and are gang involved. Implications of these findings are discussed.
    June 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12017   open full text
  • Vulnerable Victims, Monstrous Offenders, And Unmanageable Risk: Explaining Public Opinion On The Social Control Of Sex Crime.
    Justin T. Pickett, Christina Mancini, Daniel P. Mears.
    Criminology. June 21, 2013
    With the possible exception of terrorists, sex offenders in the United States experience a greater degree of punishment and restriction than any other offender group, nonviolent or violent. Members of the public overwhelmingly support “get tough” sex crime policies and display an intense hostility toward persons labeled “sex criminals.” The theoretical literature has identified three models potentially explaining public opinion on the social control of sex crime: the victim‐oriented concerns model, the sex offender stereotypes model, and the risk‐management concerns model. However, empirical work that directly tests these models is absent. This article addresses that gap by analyzing national survey data that includes measures of the key concepts outlined in the different theoretical models and items gauging support for punitive sex crime laws as well as support for sex offender treatment. The findings provide partial support for all three models but suggest that extant theories can better explain support for punitive sex crime policies than views about sex offender treatment.
    June 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12018   open full text
  • Peaceful Warriors: Codes For Violence Among Adult Male Bar Fighters.
    Heith Copes, Andy Hochstetler, Craig J. Forsyth.
    Criminology. June 21, 2013
    Considerable theoretical and empirical inquiry has focused on the role codes for violence play in generating crime. A large part of this work has examined the attitudes and codes condoning retaliation and violence as well as the prevalence of these among minorities residing in impoverished neighborhoods. Much about the nature of codes remains unknown, however, and this may in part reflect a narrow interest in beliefs about provocation and uses of violence among the inner‐city poor. In this study, we elaborate on a code of violence as part of a system of order and honor as articulated by a network of White, working‐class males in a southern U.S. city who participate in bar fights. The findings suggest that the code these men use prohibits predatory violence, puts exclusive limitations on situations that warrant violence, and constrains the level of violence in a fight. We detail the contours of this code (e.g., purpose of fighting, the rules of honorable fighting, and justifications for violating these rules) and discuss the code as both a cause and a consequence of behavior.
    June 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12019   open full text
  • Examining The Generality Of The Unemployment–Crime Association.
    Mikko Aaltonen, John M. Macdonald, Pekka Martikainen, Janne Kivivuori.
    Criminology. June 10, 2013
    This article examines whether the relationship between unemployment and criminal offending depends on the type of crime analyzed. We rely on fixed‐effects regression models to assess the association between changes in unemployment status and changes in violent crime, property crime, and driving under the influence (DUI) over a 6‐year period. We also examine whether the type of unemployment benefit received moderates the link to criminal behavior. We find significantly positive effects of unemployment on property crime but not on other types of crime. Our estimates also suggest that unemployed young males commit less crime while participating in active labor market programs when compared with periods during which they receive standard unemployment benefits.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12012   open full text
  • Is Being “Spiritual” Enough Without Being Religious? A Study Of Violent And Property Crimes Among Emerging Adults.
    Sung Joon Jang, Aaron B. Franzen.
    Criminology. June 10, 2013
    Although prior research has had a tendency to confirm a negative association between religiousness and crime, criminologists have been slow to incorporate new concepts and emergent issues from the scientific study of religion into their own research. The self‐identity phrase “spiritual but not religious” is one of them, which has been increasingly used by individuals who claim to be “spiritual” but disassociate themselves from organized religion. This study first examines differences in crime between “spiritual‐but‐not‐religious” individuals and their “religious‐and‐spiritual,” “religious‐but‐not‐spiritual,” and “neither‐religious‐nor‐spiritual” peers in emerging adulthood. Specifically, we hypothesize that the spiritual‐but‐not‐religious young adults are more prone to crime than their “religious” counterparts, while expecting them to be different from the “neither” group without specifying whether they are more or less crime prone. Second, the expected group differences in crime are hypothesized to be explained by the microcriminological theories of self‐control, social bonding, and general strain. Latent‐variable structural equation models were estimated separately for violent and property crimes using the third wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The overall results tend to provide a partial support for the hypotheses. Implications for criminology and future research are discussed.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12013   open full text
  • Modeling The Association Between Academic Achievement And Delinquency: An Application Of Interactional Theory.
    John P. Hoffmann, Lance D. Erickson, Karen R. Spence.
    Criminology. June 10, 2013
    Many studies have addressed whether delinquent behavior is associated with various aspects of schooling and academics. However, this research has been limited to examining unidirectional effects. Building on Thornberry's interactional theory, we develop a conceptual model that posits reciprocal associations among delinquent behavior, school attachment, and academic achievement. The model is tested with two waves from the Add Health data set (n = 9,381) that include measures of transcript grade point average (GPA). The results of a set of structural equation models provide evidence that academic achievement is associated with less delinquent behavior over time, as well as with higher school attachment. However, the effects of delinquency are limited to an attenuating effect on subsequent school attachment; delinquency does not directly influence academic achievement. Thus, we find only partial support for interactional theory.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12014   open full text
  • The 2012 Sutherland Address Penality And The Penal State.
    David Garland.
    Criminology. June 10, 2013
    The sociology of punishment has developed a rich understanding of the social and historical forces that have transformed American penality during the last 40 years. But whereas these social forces are not unique to the United States, their penal impact there has been disproportionately large, relative to comparable nations. To address this issue, I suggest that future research should attend more closely to the structure and operation of the penal state. I begin by distinguishing penality (the penal field) from the penal state (the governing institutions that direct and control the penal field). I then present a preliminary conceptualization of “the penal state” and discuss the relationship between the penal state and the American state more generally.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12015   open full text
  • “Seeing” Minorities And Perceptions Of Disorder: Explicating The Mediating And Moderating Mechanisms Of Social Cohesion.
    Rebecca Wickes, John R. Hipp, Renee Zahnow, Lorraine Mazerolle.
    Criminology. May 14, 2013
    Research shows that residents report high levels of disorder in places with greater concentrations of minorities even after controlling for objective indicators of crime or disorder. Less understood, however, are the mechanisms that explain this relationship. Drawing on a survey of nearly 10,000 residents nested within 297 neighborhoods across two cities, we use a multiple indicators–multiple causes model to examine the cues that lead individuals to distort the presence of minorities in neighborhoods. We then employ multilevel models to test whether these distortions influence perceptions of disorder. Furthermore, we assess whether living in a socially cohesive neighborhood mediates and/or moderates the relationship between “seeing” minorities and perceiving disorder. We find that when residents overestimate the proportion of minorities living in their neighborhood, perceptions of disorder are heightened. Yet social cohesion moderates and partially mediates this relationship: Residents living in socially cohesive neighborhoods not only report less disorder than those living in less cohesive communities, but also they “see” fewer minorities when compared with residents living in less socially cohesive neighborhoods. These results suggest that social cohesion is an important mechanism for explaining how residents internalize the presence of minorities in their neighborhoods and how this then leads to perceived neighborhood disorder.
    May 14, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12011   open full text
  • A Dual‐Systems Approach For Understanding Differential Susceptibility To Processes Of Peer Influence.
    Kyle J. Thomas, Jean Marie Mcgloin.
    Criminology. April 10, 2013
    The distinct peer‐based perspectives of deviant normative influence and unstructured/unsupervised socializing with friends contend that adolescents rely on different information when deciding to offend, with the former positing that individuals offend after considering the longer term consequences of behavior, and the latter positing that decisions to offend derive from situational stimuli. We argue that these processes can be organized under a dual‐systems framework of decision making, which leads to the hypothesis that individuals at the edges of impulsivity should be differentially vulnerable to these peer influence processes because of their tendency to rely on only one system of decision making. We use two large data sets to test this hypothesis: a nationally representative sample of adolescents from the AddHealth study (N = ∼9,000) and a pooled panel data set of adolescents from the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) evaluation (N = 1,172). The results of longitudinal negative binomial analyses indicate that normative influence by deviant peers has a stronger effect on delinquency for adolescents with low impulsivity than it does for individuals with high impulsivity. Differences in the informal socializing with peers coefficients are less clear and offer minimal support for our predictions.
    April 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12010   open full text
  • When The Ties That Bind Unwind: Examining The Enduring And Situational Processes Of Change Behind The Marriage Effect.
    Bianca E. Bersani, Elaine Eggleston Doherty.
    Criminology. April 10, 2013
    Despite the continued growth of research demonstrating that marriage promotes desistance from crime, efforts aimed at understanding the mechanisms driving this effect are limited. Several theories propose to explain why we observe a reduction in offending after marriage including identity changes, strengthened attachments, reduced opportunities, and changes to routine activities. Although mechanisms are hard to measure, we argue that each proposed mechanism implies a specific change process, that is, whether the change that ensues after marriage is enduring (stable) or situational (temporary). Drawing on a medical model framework, we cast the role of marriage as a treatment condition and observe whether the effect of marriage is conditional on staying married or whether the effect persists when the “treatment” is taken away (i.e., divorce). We use 13 years of monthly level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97), a nationally representative sample containing close to 3,000 individuals with an arrest history, to examine changes in relationship status and arrest from adolescence into young adulthood. Estimates from multilevel within‐individual models reveal greater support for situational mechanisms in that divorce is detrimental particularly for those in longer marriages; yet they also reveal important caveats that suggest a closer examination of the marriage effect. This research adds to the growing body of knowledge regarding the marriage effect by redirecting desistance research away from asking if marriage matters to asking how marriage affects desistance. A better understanding of this change process has important implications for criminal justice policy.
    April 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12008   open full text
  • A Multilevel Framework For Understanding Police Culture: The Role Of The Workgroup.
    Jason R. Ingram, Eugene A. Paoline, William Terrill.
    Criminology. April 10, 2013
    Relying on a well‐established theoretical paradigm from organizational psychology, the aim of the current inquiry is to apply a multilevel approach to the study of police culture that identifies workgroups as important entities that influence officers’ occupational outlooks. More specifically, we propose that police culture be assessed in a way similar to concepts in criminology, such as collective efficacy and street culture, whereby the shared features of individuals’ environments are considered. Within this framework, we draw on survey data from five municipal police agencies to examine how strongly officers within 187 separate workgroups share culture, as well as the extent to which culture differs across these workgroups. Collectively, the findings suggest that the workgroup serves as a viable context that patterns culture in police organizations. As such, the study provides a way to move beyond conceptualizations of police culture as either a purely monolithic or an individual‐level phenomenon.
    April 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12009   open full text
  • Punitive Sentiment.
    Mark D. Ramirez.
    Criminology. March 14, 2013
    Scholarship has long noted the importance of understanding the changes that occur over time in aggregate public support for punitive criminal justice policies. Yet, the lack of a reliable and valid measure of this concept limits our understanding of this aspect of the criminal justice system. This research develops a measure of public support for punitive policies from 1951 to 2006 using 242 administrations of 24 unique survey indicators. It argues that punitive sentiment is politically constructed via frames focusing on the permissiveness of the criminal justice system. Punitive sentiment is estimated with an error‐correction model showing both the short‐ and long‐term relationships between punitive sentiment and presidential framing of crime, public dissatisfaction with social welfare policies, and perceptions of racial integration. The results highlight the complex dynamics responsible for the change over time in punitive sentiment as well as the possibilities of obtaining public support for alternative solutions to crime.
    March 14, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12007   open full text
  • Egohoods As Waves Washing Across The City: A New Measure Of “Neighborhoods”.
    John R. Hipp, Adam Boessen.
    Criminology. March 14, 2013
    Defining “neighborhoods” is a bedeviling challenge faced by all studies of neighborhood effects and ecological models of social processes. Although scholars frequently lament the inadequacies of the various existing definitions of “neighborhood,” we argue that previous strategies relying on nonoverlapping boundaries such as block groups and tracts are fundamentally flawed. The approach taken here instead builds on insights of the mental mapping literature, the social networks literature, the daily activities pattern literature, and the travel to crime literature to propose a new definition of neighborhoods: egohoods. These egohoods are conceptualized as waves washing across the surface of cities, as opposed to independent units with nonoverlapping boundaries. This approach is illustrated using crime data from nine cities: Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Sacramento, St. Louis, and Tucson. The results show that measures aggregated to our egohoods explain more of the variation in crime across the social environment than do models with measures aggregated to block groups or tracts. The results also suggest that measuring inequality in egohoods provides dramatically stronger positive effects on crime rates than when using the nonoverlapping boundary approach, highlighting the important new insights that can be obtained by using our egohood approach.
    March 14, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12006   open full text
  • Target Choice During Extreme Events: A Discrete Spatial Choice Model Of The 2011 London Riots.
    Peter Baudains, Alex Braithwaite, Shane D. Johnson.
    Criminology. March 05, 2013
    Riots are extreme events, and much of the early research on rioting suggested that the decision making of rioters was far from rational and could only be understood from the perspective of a collective mind. In the current study, we derive and test a set of expectations regarding rioter spatial decision making developed from theories originally intended to explain patterns of urban crime when law and order prevail—crime pattern and social disorganization theory—and consider theories of collective behavior and contagion. To do this, we use data for all riot‐related incidents that occurred in London in August 2011 that were detected by the police. Unlike most studies of victimization, we use a random utility model to examine simultaneously how the features of the destinations selected by rioters, the origins of their journeys, and the characteristics of the offenders influence offender spatial decision making. The results demonstrate that rioter target choices were far from random and provide support for all three types of theory, but for crime pattern theory in particular. For example, rioters were more likely to engage in the disorder close to their home location and to select areas that contained routine activity nodes and transport hubs, and they were less likely to cross the Thames River. In terms of contagion, rioters were found to be more likely to target areas that had experienced rioting in the previous 24 hours. From a policy perspective, the findings provide insight into the types of areas that may be most vulnerable during riots and why this is the case, and when particular areas are likely to be at an elevated risk of this type of disorder.
    March 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12004   open full text
  • The Cycle Of Violence In Context: Exploring The Moderating Roles Of Neighborhood Disadvantage And Cultural Norms.
    Emily M. Wright, Abigail A. Fagan.
    Criminology. March 05, 2013
    Although the cycle of violence theory has received empirical support (Widom, 1989a, 1989b), in reality, not all victims of child physical abuse become involved in violence. Therefore, little is known regarding factors that may moderate the relationship between abuse and subsequent violence, particularly contextual circumstances. The current investigation used longitudinal data from 1,372 youth living in 79 neighborhoods who participated in the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), and it employed a multivariate, multilevel Rasch model to explore the degree to which neighborhood disadvantage and cultural norms attenuate or strengthen the abuse–violence relationship. The results indicate that the effect of child physical abuse on violence was weaker in more disadvantaged communities. Neighborhood cultural norms regarding tolerance for youth delinquency and fighting among family and friends did not moderate the child abuse–violence relationship, but each had a direct effect on violence, such that residence in neighborhoods more tolerant of delinquency and fighting increased the propensity for violence. These results suggest that the cycle of violence may be contextualized by neighborhood structural and cultural conditions.
    March 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12003   open full text