MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Criminology & Public Policy

Impact factor: 0.978 Print ISSN: 1538-6473

Subject: Criminology & Penology

Most recent papers:

  • Analyzing person‐exposure patterns in lone‐actor terrorism.
    Caitlin Clemmow, Noémie Bouhana, Paul Gill.
    Criminology & Public Policy. October 14, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary The lone‐actor terrorist population can be extremely heterogeneous and difficult to detect. Intelligence is vital to countering this threat. We devise a typology of person–exposure patterns (PEPs) that could serve as a framework for intelligence gathering and threat assessment. We use cluster analysis and a risk analysis framework (RAF) to identify relations among three components: propensity, situation, and network. The results of the analysis reveal four PEPs: solitary, susceptible, situational, and selection. The solitary PEP lacks common indicators of a propensity to pursue terrorist action. The susceptible PEP reveals cognitive susceptibility, manifesting as mental illness, to be a key factor in the emergence of a terrorist propensity. The situational PEP demonstrates how situational stressors may act as warnings of acceleration toward violent action. Lastly, the selection PEP demonstrates higher frequencies of leakage and antecedent violent behaviors. Policy Implications Our findings have two key policy implications. First, given the multifinality of terrorism risk indicators, we suggest a move toward a structured‐professional judgement approach to the risk analysis of lone‐actor terrorists. Second, we present the PEP typology as a framework for intelligence gathering. Existing frameworks are predominantly focused on mobilization indicators. We suggest expanding data collection to include propensity and situational indicators, as operationalized here, and using the PEP typology to inform decisions about the emergence of the motivation to commit an attack. To do so, it is necessary to pursue a multiagency approach to intelligence gathering. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, EarlyView. '
    October 14, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12466   open full text
  • The criminal costs of wrongful convictions.
    Robert J. Norris, Jennifer N. Weintraub, James R. Acker, Allison D. Redlich, Catherine L. Bonventre.
    Criminology & Public Policy. September 02, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary In this article, we examine criminal offending by true perpetrators after innocent people are arrested and convicted for their crimes. After investigating a set of cases in which DNA was used to exonerate the innocent and to identify the guilty party, we identified 109 true perpetrators, 102 of whom committed additional crimes. We found a total of 337 additional offenses committed by the true perpetrators, including 43 homicide‐related and 94 sex offenses. By extrapolating from our findings, we estimate that the wrong‐person wrongful convictions that occur annually may lead to more than 41,000 additional crimes. Policy Implications Our findings indicate that one consequence of wrongful convictions, allowing the true perpetrators of crimes to remain at liberty and commit new crimes that imperil prospective victims, represents an important threat to public safety and thereby dramatically compounds the harms caused to innocents. We stress the importance of framing wrongful conviction issues to capture these important crime control concerns and, thus, to help galvanize public opinion and promote policy reforms that will mutually benefit adherents of both crime control and due process perspectives. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, EarlyView. '
    September 02, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12463   open full text
  • Validation and examination of the Ohio Youth Assessment System with juvenile sex offenders.
    Jordan Papp, Christina A. Campbell, William T. Miller.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 26, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary In this study, we examined the use of an actuarial risk assessment tool—the Ohio Youth Assessment System‐Disposition Tool (OYAS‐Disposition Tool)—with juvenile sex offenders. Specifically, the main goals of the study were to (a) examine the predictive validity of the tool with sex offenders and (b) explore the nature of the use of professional discretion used to override the tool. The sample consisted of 3,235 youth from a large juvenile county court in the Midwest. The results indicated that the OYAS‐Disposition Tool was a significantly better option for predicting general recidivism for sex offenders than it was for non–sex offenders. The tool was also an effective method for predicting sexual recidivism. Most importantly, however, the use of professional overrides significantly reduced the ability of researchers to apply the tool to predict new court petitions and adjudications to nonsignificant levels. Finally, several justifications were commonly used for overrides: treatment needs, offense seriousness, and use of an alternative sex‐offender–specific assessment. Policy Implications The findings in this study highlight several important policy implications that would improve the assessment process for juvenile sex offenders. First, agencies using specialized risk assessments designed for sex offenders may consider applying a general risk assessment tool to identify a broader set of criminogenic needs and to predict risk of general recidivism. Second, there is a need to evaluate policies and practices that allow for the use of professional discretion with sex offenders given that they reduce the predictive validity of the risk tool evaluated. The high rate of overrides for juvenile sex offenders and justification for their use go against best practices in corrections. For instance, overrides were often justified based on offense seriousness; however, focusing on evidence‐based criminogenic risk factors provides the best accuracy in predicting future offending. In this study, we call into question court policies that allow for overrides based on crime type or based on a practitioner's professional judgment concerning a juvenile's level of service needs. Last, agencies should consider validation research within their agency before full adoption of a general risk assessment tool to quell concerns about the use and accuracy of a tool for special populations like juvenile sex offenders. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, EarlyView. '
    August 26, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12464   open full text
  • Clearing homicides.
    Charles F. Wellford, Cynthia Lum, Thomas Scott, Heather Vovak, J. Amber Scherer.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 16, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary Since the RAND Corporation studies on investigations were published, there has been a widely held belief among scholars that police agencies and investigative effort matter little to solving crimes. A few researchers have recently challenged this belief, however, producing results that show that investigative effort does play a role in clearing crimes. In this study, we replicate the methodological approach of the RAND studies and use multiagency, multimethod, detailed case files, as well as organizational analysis, to examine the association among investigative effort, case features, organizational factors, and the clearance of homicide cases. The results show that variation between the homicide clearances in agencies can be explained by case attributes, investigative practices, and organizational differences. Future research should be aimed at building on these results using a similar design with a larger number of agencies. Policy Implications An agency's ability to clear homicides is a function of the resources it applies to conduct investigations and how it organizes its effort. Agencies seeking to increase their ability to clear homicides should focus on increasing investigative efforts for cases (i.e., thoroughness of the initial investigative response) and prioritize oversight, management, and evaluation of investigation work. The results of our study show that providing justice to the family, friends, and communities of homicide victims is an achievable goal for law enforcement agencies when they attend to investigative efforts. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 553-600, August 2019. '
    August 16, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12449   open full text
  • “Oh hell no, we don't talk to police”.
    Rod K. Brunson, Brian A. Wade.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 16, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary We conducted face‐to‐face interviews with 50 young Black men, residents of high‐crime neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx, individuals who had considerable knowledge about illegal gun markets and the resulting bloodshed. Our findings confirm that distressed milieus reliably fail to produce cooperative witnesses as a result of the cumulative impact of anti‐snitching edicts, fear of retaliation, legal cynicism, and high‐risk victims’ normative views toward self‐help. Policy Implications Disadvantaged communities of color typically have low fatal and nonfatal shooting clearance rates in part as a result of poor witness cooperation. Diminished clearance rates have also been shown to intensify minority residents’ claims that officers do not care about keeping them or their neighborhoods safe. Respondents’ accounts identify three overlapping areas instructive for informing public policy: (1) reducing gun violence so that high‐risk individuals live in objectively safer areas, (2) using intermediaries to launch grassroots campaigns countering pro‐violence and anti‐snitching norms, and (3) improving police–minority community relations. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 623-648, August 2019. '
    August 16, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12448   open full text
  • Network exposure and excessive use of force.
    Marie Ouellet, Sadaf Hashimi, Jason Gravel, Andrew V. Papachristos.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 16, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary In this study, we investigate how a police officer's exposure to peers accused of misconduct shapes his or her involvement in excessive use of force. By drawing from 8,642 Chicago police officers named in multiple complaints, we reconstruct police misconduct ego‐networks using complaint records. Our results show that officer involvement in excessive use of force complaints is predicted by having a greater proportion of co‐accused with a history of such behaviors. Policy Implications Our findings indicate officers’ peers may serve as social conduits through which misconduct may be learned and transmitted. Isolating officers that engage in improper use of force, at least until problematic behaviors are addressed, seems to be critical to reducing police misconduct and department‐wide citizen complaints. Future studies should be aimed at investigating how social networks shape police misconduct and the ways network analysis might be used to diffuse intervention strategies within departments. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 675-704, August 2019. '
    August 16, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12459   open full text
  • Applying sentinel event reviews to policing.
    John F. Hollway, Ben Grunwald.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 16, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary A sentinel event review (SER) is a system‐based, multistakeholder review of an organizational error. The goal of an SER is to prevent similar errors from recurring in the future rather than identifying and punishing the responsible parties. In this article, we provide a detailed description of one of the first SERs conducted in an American police department—the review of the Lex Street Massacre investigation and prosecution, which resulted in the wrongful incarceration of four innocent men for 18 months. The results of the review suggest that SERs may help identify new systemic reforms for participating police departments and other criminal justice agencies. Policy Implications Police departments and other criminal justice agencies should begin implementing SERs to review a wide range of organizational errors and “near misses.” We offer guiding principles about the kinds of errors that may be more or less susceptible to fruitful review. Congress, state legislatures, and municipalities should also enact policies—such as safe harbor provisions—to encourage agencies to conduct SERs. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 705-730, August 2019. '
    August 16, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12457   open full text
  • Failing victims? Challenges of the police response to human trafficking.
    Amy Farrell, Meredith Dank, Ieke Vries, Matthew Kafafian, Andrea Hughes, Sarah Lockwood.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 16, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary The police have a duty to provide assistance to crime victims. Despite the importance of this role, scholars examining police effectiveness have historically been less attentive to the needs of victims. As the police are increasingly called on to combat sex and labor trafficking crimes, it is timely to explore how this new population of victims is served by the police. Information from a review of human trafficking investigations and in‐depth interviews with police and service providers in three U.S. communities indicates that human trafficking victims often do not trust the police and rarely seek their assistance. When the police do respond, human trafficking victims seek affirmation of their experiences and safety from future harm. Policy Implications Recommendations are offered to improve police responses to human trafficking victims including efforts to build trust, promote victim safety, and meet the needs of victims outside of the justice system. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 649-673, August 2019. '
    August 16, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12456   open full text
  • Why do gun murders have a higher clearance rate than gunshot assaults?
    Philip J. Cook, Anthony A. Braga, Brandon S. Turchan, Lisa M. Barao.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 16, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary The prevailing view is that follow‐up investigations are of limited value as crimes are primarily cleared by patrol officers making on‐scene arrests and through the presence of eyewitnesses and forensic evidence at the initial crime scene. We use a quasi‐experimental design to compare investigative resources invested in clearing gun homicide cases relative to nonfatal gun assaults in Boston. We find the large gap in clearances (43% for gun murders vs. 19% for nonfatal gun assaults) is primarily a result of sustained investigative effort in homicide cases made after the first 2 days. Policy Implications Police departments should invest additional resources in the investigation of nonfatal gun assaults. When additional investigative effort is expended, law enforcement improves its success in gaining the cooperation of key witnesses and increases the amount of forensic evidence collected and analyzed. In turn, the capacity of the police to hold violent gun offenders accountable, deliver justice to victims, and prevent future gun attacks is enhanced. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 525-551, August 2019. '
    August 16, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12451   open full text
  • The new detective.
    John E. Eck, D. Kim Rossmo.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 16, 2019
    --- - |2+ Research Summary The clearance rates for murder and other serious crimes have declined significantly for almost 60 years despite significant technological improvements in police investigations. The reasons for this are not well understood. We argue here for rethinking why, what, and how police investigators operate so as to repurpose their work for reducing crime. These changes include improved thinking by detectives to reduce investigative errors, increased focus on patterns of crimes, and better use of detective expertise in crime prevention. Policy Implications First, police should work to reduce investigative failures by improving investigative thinking. Second, tinkering with the administrative practices of investigative units seems unlikely to produce significant results. Third, police agencies should engage detectives in crime prevention. Finally, police agencies should connect investigations to problem solving. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 601-622, August 2019. '
    August 16, 2019   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12450   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    Criminology & Public Policy. August 20, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 513-516, August 2018.
    August 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12348   open full text
  • Thanks To Our Reviewers.

    Criminology & Public Policy. August 20, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 517-518, August 2018.
    August 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12396   open full text
  • Victim Compensation Policy and White‐Collar Crime.
    Miranda A. Galvin, Thomas A. Loughran, Sally S. Simpson, Mark A. Cohen.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 20, 2018
    --- - |2+ Research Summary We use survey data from a nationally representative sample to explore public support for taxpayer‐funded victim compensation programs for financial fraud, consumer fraud, identity theft, and burglary. We use contingent valuation (willingness‐to‐pay) methodology to infer preferences for compensation programs and explore predictors of those preferences. Overall, our findings reveal that the public strongly supports the implementation of victim compensation programs. Our results also indicate, however, that this support may be driven in part by perceptions of benefiting from this program directly in the future. Additionally, a small but notable minority of respondents exhibit preferences for programs without compensation. Policy Implications Our findings suggest that the general public is supportive of restitutive compensation programs, not only as paid for by offenders but also as paid for by the government. We suggest that policy makers may seek to extend victim compensation funds to white‐collar crimes, which may otherwise be more financially damaging than traditional crimes. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 553-594, August 2018. '
    August 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12379   open full text
  • Can We Downsize Our Prisons and Jails Without Compromising Public Safety?
    Bradley J. Bartos, Charis E. Kubrin.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 20, 2018
    --- - |2+ Research Summary Our study represents the first effort to evaluate systematically Proposition 47's (Prop 47's) impact on California's crime rates. With a state‐level panel containing violent and property offenses from 1970 through 2015, we employ a synthetic control group design to approximate California's crime rates had Prop 47 not been enacted. Our findings suggest that Prop 47 had no effect on homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, or burglary. Larceny and motor vehicle thefts, however, seem to have increased moderately after Prop 47, but these results were both sensitive to alternative specifications of our synthetic control group and small enough that placebo testing cannot rule out spuriousness. Policy Implications As the United States engages in renewed debates regarding the scale and cost of its incarcerated population, California stands at the forefront of criminal justice reform. Although California reduced its prison population by 13,000 through Prop 47, critics argue anecdotally that the measure is responsible for recent crime upticks across the state. We find little empirical support for these claims. Thus, our findings suggest that California can downsize its prisons and jails without compromising public safety. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 693-715, August 2018. '
    August 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12378   open full text
  • Risk Assessment and Juvenile Justice.
    Christina Campbell, Jordan Papp, Ashlee Barnes, Eyitayo Onifade, Valerie Anderson.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 20, 2018
    --- - |2+ Research Summary In this study, we examine the interaction between race, gender, and risk assessment score on risk for recidivism. We used the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) to measure criminogenic risk among a sample of delinquent youth. The results of multivariate Cox regression revealed a significant interaction between race, gender, and risk score when predicting recidivism. The findings indicated that the slope of the relationship between risk score and recidivism differed significantly for Black youth as compared with White youth and that this interaction was even more pronounced for the subsample of males. These findings suggest that there may be social or other policy/enforcement‐related factors that increase risk for recidivism for Black youth. Policy Implications We found that although there were no differences in overall risk score across White and Black youth, Black males were at increased risk for future recidivism. These findings should inform practice and policies in four primary ways. First, court practitioners, like juvenile court officers and judges, should pay special attention to responsivity factors that may minimize barriers to treatment and success. Second, court officers and service providers should implement policies that require tracking how risk assessment information is used in the decision‐making process. Third, the use of reassessments to monitor changes in dynamic criminogenic risk is necessary. Finally, future research should be aimed at investigating the extent to which policies, practices, and enforcement moderate the validity of risk assessment tools across race and gender. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 525-545, August 2018. '
    August 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12377   open full text
  • Examining Body‐Worn Camera Integration and Acceptance Among Police Officers, Citizens, and External Stakeholders.
    Michael D. White, Natalie Todak, Janne E. Gaub.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 20, 2018
    --- - |2+ Research Summary We explore integration and acceptance of body‐worn cameras (BWCs) among police, citizens, and stakeholders in one jurisdiction (Tempe, AZ) that adhered to the U.S. Department of Justice's (U.S. DOJ's) BWC Implementation Guide. We assess integration and acceptance through (a) officer surveys pre‐ and postdeployment, (b) interviews with citizens who had recent police encounters, and (c) interviews with external stakeholders. We also analyze (d) officer self‐initiated contacts, (e) misdemeanor court case time to disposition, and (f) case outcomes. We found high levels of BWC acceptance across all groups. Officer proactivity remained consistent. Time‐to‐case disposition and the rate of guilty outcomes both trended in positive directions. Policy Implications Although the results of early research on BWCs showed positive impacts, the findings from recent studies have been mixed. Implementation difficulties may explain the mixed results. Planning, implementation, and management of a BWC program are complex undertakings requiring significant resources. The technology also generates controversy, so the risk of implementation failure is substantial. The findings from our study demonstrate that adherence to the U.S. DOJ BWC Implementation Guide can lead to high levels of integration and acceptance among key stakeholders. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 649-677, August 2018. '
    August 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12376   open full text
  • Relationship Between Prison Length of Stay and Recidivism: A Study Using Regression Discontinuity and Instrumental Variables With Multiple Break Points.
    William Rhodes, Gerald G. Gaes, Ryan Kling, Christopher Cutler.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 20, 2018
    --- - |2+ Research Summary In this study, we use both a regression discontinuity design and an instrumental variable identification strategy to examine the relationship between prison length of stay and recidivism among a large sample of federal offenders. We capitalize on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines structure to apply these strong inference, quasi‐experimental approaches. We find that average length of stay can be reduced by 7.5 months with a small impact on recidivism. We also examine whether there is treatment heterogeneity. We find that length‐of‐stay effects do not vary by criminal history, offense seriousness, sex, race, and education level. Policy Implications We show that reducing the average length of stay for the federal prison population by 7.5 months could save the Bureau of Prisons 33,203 beds once the inmate population reaches steady state. This back‐of‐the‐envelope estimate reveals how reductions in time served can have a much larger impact on prison reductions compared with diverting low‐level offenders from prison to probation. Prison length‐of‐stay reductions can impact the entire prison population, whereas diversion typically affects a small subset of offenders whose consumption of prison beds is a small fraction of the total number of beds. We also discuss the potential impact of reducing levels of imprisonment on other collateral consequences. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 731-769, August 2018. '
    August 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12382   open full text
  • Confidence in the Police, Due Process, and Perp Walks.
    Shanna R. Slyke, Michael L. Benson, William M. Virkler.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 20, 2018
    --- - |2+ Research Summary Perp walks have been declared constitutionally acceptable even though the practice could be perceived to be a form of preconviction punishment and a manifestation of populist punitiveness. In adjudicating the constitutionality of perp walks, courts have employed a balancing test in which the interests of the press and the public's desire to know about the activities of law enforcement are weighted heavily. No research has been aimed at examining public opinion about this practice, however. We report the results of a national opt‐in survey of public opinion on perp walks and find that less than one third of the sample respondents support them. By employing models derived from research on the influence of race and ethnicity on attitudes toward criminal justice policies, we find that, after controlling for concerns about the police and due process rights violations, African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are more supportive of perp walks than are Whites. These findings suggest that perp walks are one of a few areas in which racial/ethnic minorities might take a harsher view of punitive criminal justice policies compared with Whites. Policy Implications Media coverage of some perp walks is likely unavoidable in a society with a free press, but the unscripted media coverage of a perp walk is different than the intentional coordination of a perp walk between law enforcement and the media. This practice of deliberately publicizing the arrest of criminal suspects has been defended by prosecutors and police. Contrary to claims that the public wants perp walks, however, we find that more people oppose than support perp walks. In light of the multiple constitutional concerns surrounding this practice, these results suggest that the orchestration of perp walks by law enforcement should be reconsidered. - 'Criminology &Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 605-634, August 2018. '
    August 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12380   open full text
  • Perp Walks.
    Kevin Drakulich.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 601-604, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12394   open full text
  • Anticipated Effects of Across‐the‐Board Reductions in Time Served.
    Gary Sweeten.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 727-730, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12393   open full text
  • Moving Beyond Punitive Interventions.
    Cecilia Chouhy.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 547-551, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12391   open full text
  • Considering Race and Gender in the Validity of Juvenile Justice Risk.
    Michael Baglivio.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 519-523, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12385   open full text
  • Reducing the Rate of U.S. Incarceration One State at a Time.
    Gerald G. Gaes.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 689-692, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12381   open full text
  • The Politics of Public Punishment.
    Sarah Esther Lageson.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 635-642, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12392   open full text
  • Sentence Length and Recidivism.
    Sara Wakefield.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 771-777, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12390   open full text
  • Cops and Cameras.
    Wesley G. Jennings.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 643-648, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12375   open full text
  • Where Is the Goal Line? A Critical Look at Police Body‐Worn Camera Programs.
    Geoffrey P. Alpert, Kyle McLean.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 679-688, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12374   open full text
  • White‐Collar Crime Is Crime.
    Nicole Leeper Piquero.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 595-600, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12384   open full text
  • Next Steps in Jail and Prison Downsizing.
    Ryken Grattet, Mia Bird.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 08, 2018
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, Page 717-726, August 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12383   open full text
  • Redeemed Compared to Whom?
    Samuel E. DeWitt, Shawn D. Bushway, Garima Siwach, Megan C. Kurlychek.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 09, 2017
    Research Summary By using data on provisional employees with and without criminal records, we find that existing standards of a “reasonable amount of [arrest] risk” (derived from “time to redemption” research) for an employer to incur in hiring individuals with criminal histories prove too onerous for many employees without records to meet, let alone those with records. We then propose an alternative method of assessing arrest risk across these populations—benchmarking—and provide several alternative standards, illustrating that they (a) clear a demonstrable majority of employees without records and a sizable minority of those with a criminal history and (b) do not increase the risk incurred by employers over and above the level they already accept among employees without records. Policy Implications Our findings suggest that the almost singular importance placed on “time since last” policies when conducting criminal background checks is ill‐placed as the risk of arrest across populations of employees with and without criminal histories overlaps more than the results of extant research would imply. Although future research needs to be conducted to ascertain whether our findings generalize to other employment contexts, current background check practices would be better served if they were to adopt an approach that chooses a specific threshold for comparison, which should align with an easily communicated and face‐valid cost function. Furthermore, the selected standard should (a) hold all individuals to the same standard and (b) be one that a demonstrable majority of individuals without criminal records can meet.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12309   open full text
  • Evaluation of New York State's Sex Offender Civil Management Assessment Process Recidivism Outcomes.
    Jeffrey C. Sandler, Naomi J. Freeman.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 09, 2017
    Research Summary We sought to evaluate New York State's sex offender civil management law by (a) investigating the sexual rearrest of offenders who were screened for possible civil management but who did not receive it and (b) evaluating the accuracy of the multi‐tiered civil management screening and assessment process. Our results indicated that each step in the multi‐tiered assessment process is effectively and accurately identifying higher risk offenders. Additionally, after a 5‐year follow‐up period, 4.6% of the offenders screened by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) who did not receive civil management were rearrested for a sexual offense, which was a significant 36.1% decrease from the 7.2% five‐year sexual rearrest rate found before the enactment of civil management. Policy Implications The results suggest that the screening process used by OMH to implement New York's civil management initiative is accurately identifying lower and higher risk offenders. The size of the public safety gains from civil management, however, need to be kept in perspective. A 2.6% reduction in the sexual rearrest rate is certainly a significant reduction in rearrests, but it is still a small reduction within the scope of overall sexual offending. The constitutional limits placed on civil management, however, make it difficult for these programs to have further public safety gains than those already achieved. As such, additional efforts to produce further meaningful reductions of not just recidivism but of all sexual assault should continue to be explored.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12310   open full text
  • Public Support for Emergency Shelter Housing Interventions Concerning Stigmatized Populations.
    Christopher P. Dum, Kelly M. Socia, Jason Rydberg.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 09, 2017
    Research Summary We examine citizen decision‐making in the context of providing access to safe housing to different noncriminal and criminal populations. More than 4,000 national online survey respondents considered different “emergency housing policy” scenarios that would affect the housing conditions of one of five randomly assigned populations of varying stigma (three noncriminal, two criminal). We find that the criminal populations had the least support for helpful housing policies and the most support for harmful housing policies. Furthermore, compared with a “no cost” policy, average support levels decreased when it increased taxes for the respondent. Policy Implications Citizens seem more willing to subject criminal populations to poor and unsafe housing conditions compared with noncriminal populations. Thus, citizen support may be higher when policies are pitched in ways that do not imply specifically helping ex‐offenders, when they do not involve a personal sacrifice through increased taxes, and when they do not involve “in‐my‐backyard” proposals. For example, a housing policy pitched as aiding the area's homeless (ex‐offenders included) would likely see more support than one that identifies ex‐offenders (and particularly sex offenders) as the population being targeted for help, or that identifies a specific neighborhood as a potential housing facility location.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12311   open full text
  • Moving From Efficacy to Effectiveness.
    Jessica Saunders, Michael Robbins, Allison J. Ober.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 09, 2017
    In 2012, the editors of CPP published an exchange about the Drug Market Intervention (DMI) in High Point, NC, concluding that it may be a promising approach to crime control but questioning whether it could be implemented across different settings. In this effectiveness study, we followed a cohort of seven sites that participated in a Bureau of Justice Assistance–sponsored DMI training to assess implementation and outcomes. Three sites were not able to implement, and implementation fidelity varied across the four sites that did implement. Of the four sites that held at least one call‐in, only one was successful at reducing overall and drug crime (by 28% and 56%, respectively). This works out to an implementation rate of 57% with an average overall crime reduction of 16% (treatment‐on‐the‐treated) or 4% (intent‐to‐treat). The results of this study demonstrate the importance of replication and the careful study of implementation fidelity prior to wide dissemination. Policy Implications When the findings of an evaluation reveal an effective crime reduction program, particularly when it garners significant public attention, it is not uncommon to rush to judgment that it should be widely implemented. DMI is a perfect illustration of this shortsighted approach to evidence‐based crime prevention—multiple trials across a variety of contexts are necessary to understand whether a program is ready for broad dissemination and scale‐up. The DMI program was challenging for sites to implement and resulted in significant reductions in crime in the site with the implementation fidelity that was highest and most similar to the original site. Our findings echo earlier concerns that the approach may be less effective across diverse settings and illustrate why effectiveness studies are vital in the development of evidence‐based policy.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12316   open full text
  • Building the Ties that Bind, Breaking the Ties that Don't.
    John H. Boman, Thomas J. Mowen.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 09, 2017
    Research Summary Although family support is an important protective factor against recidivism, less is known about how the domain of family works with other elements of the risk–need–responsivity model. By using the Serious and Violent Offenders Reentry Initiative (SVORI) data, we explore whether family and criminal peers have (a) independent and (b) interdependent effects on substance abuse and crime after release from prison. The outcomes of multilevel models demonstrate that the risk factor of criminal peers is as strong, or stronger, of a predictor of substance abuse and crime as is the protective factor of family support for offenders during reentry. Policy Implications Institution‐based policies aimed primarily at improving family ties for reentering offenders must begin focusing as much on peers as they do on family. These programs should instead focus on improving family ties (thereby increasing a protective factor) while focusing on severing the offender's relationships with criminally inclined friends (thereby decreasing a risk factor).
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12307   open full text
  • Illegal Roaming and File Manipulation on Target Computers.
    Alexander Testa, David Maimon, Bertrand Sobesto, Michel Cukier.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 09, 2017
    Research Summary The results of previous research indicate that the presentation of deterring situational stimuli in an attacked computing environment shapes system trespassers’ avoiding online behaviors during the progression of a system trespassing event. Nevertheless, none of these studies comprised an investigation of whether the effect of deterring cues influence system trespassers’ activities on the system. Moreover, no prior research has been aimed at exploring whether the effect of deterring cues is consistent across different types of system trespassers. We examine whether the effect of situational deterring cues in an attacked computer system influenced the likelihood of system trespassers engaging in active online behaviors on an attacked system, and whether this effect varies based on different levels of administrative privileges taken by system trespassers. By using data from a randomized experiment, we find that a situational deterring cue reduced the probability of system trespassers with fewer privileges on the attacked computer system (nonadministrative users) to enter activity commands. In contrast, the presence of these cues in the attacked system did not affect the probability of system trespassers with the highest level of privileges (administrative users) to enter these commands. Policy Implications In developing policies to curtail malicious online behavior committed by system trespassers, a “one‐policy‐fits‐all” approach is often employed by information technology (IT) teams to protect their organizations. Our results suggest that although the use of a warning banner is effective in reducing the amount of harmful commands entered into a computer system by nonadministrative users, such a policy is ineffective in deterring trespassers who take over a network with administrative privileges. Accordingly, it is important to recognize that the effectiveness of deterring stimuli in cyberspace is largely dependent on the level of administrative privileges taken by the system trespasser when breaking into the system. These findings present the need for the development and implementation of flexible policies in deterring system trespassers.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12312   open full text
  • Overlapping Hot Spots?
    Cory P. Haberman.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 22, 2017
    Research Summary In this study, the extent to which hot spots of different crime types overlapped spatially in Philadelphia, PA, were examined. Multiple techniques were used to identify crime hot spots for 11 different crime types. Univariate and bivariate statistics also were used to quantify the extent to which hot spots across the 11 crime types overlapped spatially. Hot spots of different crime types were not found to overlap much. Policy Implications The results raise concerns regarding the resource efficiency of hot‐spots policing for addressing all crime types. Police commanders will need to consider how the extent to which hot spots overlap in their jurisdiction should be incorporated into their strategic plans to meet their organizational goals. Furthermore, if police departments plan to use hot‐spots policing to address all crime types, then many local criminal justice systems would need an infusion of resources.
    May 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12303   open full text
  • Police Consent Decrees and Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation.
    Zachary A. Powell, Michele Bisaccia Meitl, John L. Worrall.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 22, 2017
    Research Summary Section 14141 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 granted the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) the authority to investigate, intervene into, and force reforms within any police department deemed to exhibit a pattern or practice of police misconduct. The DOJ's primary enforcement mechanism is to sue the offending jurisdiction. Such lawsuits are typically settled with “consent decrees” or court‐ordered legal agreements to implement specified reforms. We assembled a panel data set to explore the relationship between consent decrees and civil rights litigation in 23 targeted jurisdictions. The results suggest that DOJ intervention may be associated with modest reductions in the risk of civil rights filings. Policy Implications Federal consent decrees are pursued under the assumption that they reduce civil rights violations, yet this assumption has remained largely untested. Such oversight is unfortunate, as it is important to gauge the effectiveness of time‐consuming and expensive federal intervention into local law enforcement affairs. Our study offers preliminary evidence that consent decrees may reduce civil rights violations, as operationalized by Section 1983 litigation, an indicator of police misconduct. Reductions in such filings may signal increased satisfaction with police agencies and a move toward reduced systemic police misconduct. As such, consent decrees should continue to be considered as a possible tool for correcting problematic police departments, but additional research in this area is critical.
    May 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12295   open full text
  • Reducing Inmate Misconduct and Prison Returns with Facility Education Programs.
    Amanda Pompoco, John  Wooldredge, Melissa Lugo, Carrie Sullivan, Edward J. Latessa.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 22, 2017
    Research Summary Participants and nonparticipants in Ohio prison education programs were compared in rates of misconduct during incarceration and prison returns after release. Propensity score matching was used to compare male nonparticipants with males who completed or started but did not complete GEDs, vocational training/apprenticeship programs, and college classes (each education group examined separately). More than 92,000 males were eligible for study, reflecting all men admitted to Ohio prisons between January 2008 and June 2012. Inmates who earned GEDs or completed college classes were less likely than nonprogram inmates to engage in violence during incarceration, whereas completing vocational training and apprenticeship programs had no such effect on any type of inmate misconduct examined. On the other hand, completing vocational training and apprenticeship programs, GEDs, or college classes at any point during incarceration coincided with lower rates of prison returns within 3 years after release. None of these benefits accrued to inmates who started but did not complete these programs/classes. Policy Implications The provision of GED programs and college classes to prison inmates may help to reduce levels of violence during incarceration, thus, providing safer facility environments for both inmates and staff. GED programs, college classes, and vocational training/apprenticeship programs may also help offenders to refrain from returning to prison, perhaps by providing knowledge and skills that enhance their employability in desirable jobs after release. The absence of comparable findings for inmates who started but did not complete these activities, however, underscores the importance of completion, providing incentive for state policy makers and correctional administrators to encourage inmates to complete these pursuits.
    May 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12290   open full text
  • Modeling the Scaling Up of Early Crime Prevention.
    Christopher J. Sullivan, Brandon C. Welsh, Omeed S. Ilchi.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 22, 2017
    Research Summary Although the amount of research evidence on the effectiveness of developmental crime prevention has grown considerably in recent decades, the translation of this scientific knowledge into policy and practice has lagged behind. In this article, we consider the challenges as well as the opportunities associated with scaling up evidence‐based programs and we offer an approach for considering the potential effects of deviations in implementation protocols during replications. We use results from the series of studies on the Nurse‐Family Partnership (NFP) to develop a computer simulation model. Based on a large number of simulations, we systematically adjusted key inputs (e.g., target population and fidelity) to mimic a range of possible implementation conditions and to observe the impacts on the estimated intervention effects. As the process progresses from the baseline condition, which reflects the initial implementation conditions specified in the NFP model, to alternative experimental scenarios reflecting problematic deviations in implementation, the number of arrests accumulated by treatment participants begins to increase. This indicates that these implementation challenges have a negative impact on program effects and that we can go some way toward predicting what might occur in implementation as they emerge and interact. Policy Implications The challenges facing program dissemination and their impact on program results have not been enumerated all that precisely in the literature, which has resulted in the assignment of arbitrary penalties when evaluating the prospects for taking programs to scale. Establishing efficacious interventions is only one part of the process of moving research to practice, and further consideration of the scaling‐up process is integral to translational criminology. Informed computer simulation may be one tool to help guide this program implementation process.
    May 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12286   open full text
  • What Works in Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation.
    David Weisburd, David P. Farrington, Charlotte Gill,.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 22, 2017
    Research Summary Just four decades ago, the predominant narrative in crime prevention and rehabilitation was that nothing works. Since that time, criminologists have accumulated a wide body of evidence about programs and practices in systematic reviews. In this article, we summarize what is known in seven broad criminal justice areas by drawing on 118 systematic reviews. Although not everything works, through our “review of reviews,” we provide persuasive evidence of the effectiveness of programs, policies, and practices across a variety of intervention areas. Policy Implications It is time to abandon the idea that “nothing works,” not only in corrections but also in developmental, community, and situational prevention; sentencing; policing; and drug treatment. Nevertheless, key gaps remain in our knowledge base. The results of systematic reviews should provide more specific guidance to practitioners. In many areas few randomized evaluations have been conducted. Finally, researchers, through their studies and systematic reviews, must pay more attention to cost–benefit analysis, qualitative research, and descriptive validity.
    May 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12298   open full text
  • The Impact of Police on Criminal Justice Reform.
    Robin S. Engel, Nicholas Corsaro, M. Murat Ozer.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 22, 2017
    Research Summary Despite significant national reductions in crime during the past three decades, a comparable reduction in adult arrest rates has not occurred. In addition, scant attention has been paid to the role of the police in pretrial justice and other criminal justice reform efforts, despite their role as gatekeepers to the criminal justice system. A key inquiry that must be addressed by both academics and practitioners is whether it is possible to reduce crime and the number of arrests simultaneously. Cincinnati (Hamilton County), Ohio, provided a unique opportunity to examine this unanswered question when it closed the Queensgate Correctional Facility in 2008, thereby reducing the available jail space in the county by 36%. By relying on an interrupted time‐series analysis, our findings show that contrary to public concern, both crime and arrests were reduced in Cincinnati even after the jail closure. Specifically, the Cincinnati Police Department reported a statistically significant decrease in felony arrests, and a nonsignificant decline in misdemeanor arrests, while maintaining a continued (nonsignificant) decline in violence and property crimes. Importantly, our findings demonstrate that the previous existent downward trend in Cincinnati reported crimes was not interrupted with the loss of more than one third of the available jail space in Hamilton County. Policy Implications Policy makers and practitioners are concerned with balancing the individual rights of the accused with public safety; reducing incarceration; and promoting a more efficient, effective, and fair criminal justice system. The Cincinnati Police Department addressed these fundamental concerns by changing how officers viewed the use of arrest: as a limited commodity rather than as a standard response. By using strategies such as problem‐oriented policing, place‐based policing, and focused deterrence, Cincinnati Police were able to narrow their focus on the repeat places, problems, and groups of individuals that were driving crime within the city. The evidence suggests that the police can have a significant impact on pretrial justice and other criminal justice reform efforts through the implementation of evidence‐based policing strategies that seek to reduce crime and reduce the use of arrest simultaneously.
    May 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12299   open full text
  • A Bird's Eye View of Civilians Killed by Police in 2015.
    Justin Nix, Bradley A. Campbell, Edward H. Byers, Geoffrey P. Alpert.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 08, 2017
    Research Summary We analyzed 990 police fatal shootings using data compiled by The Washington Post in 2015. After first providing a basic descriptive analysis of these shootings, we then examined the data for evidence of implicit bias by using multivariate regression models that predict two indicators of threat perception failure: (1) whether the civilian was not attacking the officer(s) or other civilians just before being fatally shot and (2) whether the civilian was unarmed when fatally shot. The results indicated civilians from “other” minority groups were significantly more likely than Whites to have not been attacking the officer(s) or other civilians and that Black civilians were more than twice as likely as White civilians to have been unarmed. Policy Implications We implore the U.S. government to move forward with its publication of a national police use‐of‐force database, including as much information about the officers involved as possible. We further suggest police departments use training programs and community activities to minimize implicit bias among their officers.
    February 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12269   open full text
  • Effects of Automating Recidivism Risk Assessment on Reliability, Predictive Validity, and Return on Investment (ROI).
    Grant Duwe, Michael Rocque.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 08, 2017
    Research Summary The relationship between reliability and validity is an important but often overlooked topic of research on risk assessment tools in the criminal justice system. By using data from the Minnesota Screening Tool Assessing Recidivism Risk (MnSTARR), a risk assessment instrument the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MnDOC) developed and began using in 2013, we evaluated the impact of inter‐rater reliability (IRR) on predictive performance (validity) among offenders released in 2014. After comparing the reliability of a manual scoring process with an automated one, we found the MnSTARR was scored with a high degree of consistency by MnDOC staff as intraclass correlation (ICC) values ranged from 0.81 to 0.94. But despite this level of IRR, we still observed a degradation in predictive validity given that automated assessments significantly outperformed those that had been scored manually. Additional analyses revealed that the more inter‐rater disagreement increased, the more predictive performance decreased. The results from our cost–benefit analyses, which examined the anticipated impact of the MnDOC's efforts to automate the MnSTARR, showed that for every dollar to be spent on automation, the estimated return will be at least $4.35 within the first year and as much as $21.74 after the fifth year. Policy Implications Although it is unclear the degree to which our findings, which are somewhat preliminary, are generalizable to other offender populations and correctional systems, we believe the results are sufficiently promising to warrant greater interest in automating the assessment of risk and need. We anticipate many, if not most, correctional systems may need to invest in upgrading their IT infrastructure to support the use of automated instruments. But we also anticipate this investment would deliver a favorable return for our results suggest that automation reduces inter‐rater disagreement, which in turn improves predictive performance. Even if automation did not improve performance, the increased efficiency it produces would create reinvestment opportunities within correctional systems.
    February 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12270   open full text
  • Criminal Record Questions in the Era of “Ban the Box”.
    Mike Vuolo, Sarah Lageson, Christopher Uggen.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 08, 2017
    Research Summary This study examines three central questions about criminal record inquiries on job applications, which is a rapidly developing area in criminology and public policy. We find the following: (1) Among the 78% of employers who ask about records, specific application questions vary greatly regarding the severity and timing of offenses. (2) Applications for restaurant positions are least likely to inquire about criminal histories, whereas racially diverse workplaces and establishments in the most and least advantaged neighborhoods are more likely to ask. (3) The race gap in employer callbacks is reduced when applicants have the chance to signal not having a record by answering “no,” which is consistent with theories of statistical discrimination. Policy Implications We conclude with a call to develop standards and best practices regarding inquiries about juvenile offenses, low‐level misdemeanor and traffic offenses, and the applicable time span. The need for such standards is made more apparent by the unevenness of criminal record questions across employees, establishments, and neighborhoods. We also suggest best practices for Ban the Box implementation to help combat potential statistical discrimination against African American men without records. Have you been convicted of a felony using your current name or any other name? If you do not answer this question, your application will not be considered. —Job application for laborer position at waste management company
    February 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12250   open full text
  • Assessing the Effectiveness of High‐Profile Targeted Killings in the “War on Terror”.
    Jennifer Varriale Carson.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 08, 2017
    Research Summary Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the ensuing “war on terrorism,” the U.S. government has engaged in a series of controversial counterterrorism policies. Perhaps none is more so than the use of targeted killings aimed at eliminating the senior leadership of the global jihadist movement. Nevertheless, prior research has yet to establish that this type of tactic is effective, even among high‐profile targets. Employing a robust methodology, I find that these types of killings primarily yielded negligible effects. Policy Implications Given the immense controversy surrounding the policy of targeted killings, it has become that much more vital to assess whether such measures are effective. This study's findings, that most of these high‐profile killings either had no influence or were associated with a backlash effect, have important implications for future counterterrorism efforts. All in all, the U.S. government's investment in the policy of targeted killings seems to be counterproductive if its main intention is a decrease in terrorism perpetrated by the global jihadist movement.
    February 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12274   open full text
  • Terrorist Use of the Internet by the Numbers.
    Paul Gill, Emily Corner, Maura Conway, Amy Thornton, Mia Bloom, John Horgan.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 08, 2017
    Research Summary Public interest and policy debates surrounding the role of the Internet in terrorist activities is increasing. Criminology has said very little on the matter. By using a unique data set of 223 convicted United Kingdom–based terrorists, this article focuses on how they used the Internet in the commission of their crimes. As most samples of terrorist offenders vary in terms of capabilities (lone‐actor vs. group offenders) and criminal sophistication (improvised explosive devices vs. stabbings), we tested whether the affordances they sought from the Internet significantly differed. The results suggest that extreme‐right‐wing individuals, those who planned an attack (as opposed to merely providing material support), conducted a lethal attack, committed an improvised explosive device (IED) attack, committed an armed assault, acted within a cell, attempted to recruit others, and engaged in nonvirtual network activities and nonvirtual place interactions were significantly more likely to learn online compared with those who did not engage in these behaviors. Those undertaking unarmed assaults were significantly less likely to display online learning. The results also suggested that extreme‐right‐wing individuals who perpetrated an IED attack, associated with a wider network, attempted to recruit others, and engaged in nonvirtual network activities and nonvirtual place interactions were significantly more likely to communicate online with co‐ideologues. Policy Implications Collectively the results provide insight into violent radicalization as a whole and not just into violent online radicalization. The results also largely confirm the results found in von Behr, Reding, Edwards, and Gribbon (2013) and in Gill and Corner (2015). The current study and the two previous studies have tackled these questions by using numerous methodological approaches and data sources and have arrived at similar conclusions. The Internet is largely a facilitative tool that affords greater opportunities for violent radicalization and attack planning. Nevertheless, radicalization and attack planning are not dependent on the Internet, and policy needs to look at behavior, intentions, and capabilities and not just at beliefs. From a risk assessment perspective, the study also highlights the fact that there is no easy offline versus online violent radicalization dichotomy to be drawn. It may be a false dichotomy. Plotters regularly engage in activities in both domains. Often their behaviors are compartmentalized across these two domains. Threat management policies would do well to understand the individuals’ breadth of interactions rather than relying on a dichotomous understanding of offline versus online, which represent two extremes of a spectrum that regularly provide prototypical examples in reality. A preoccupation with only checking online behaviors may lead an intelligence analyst to miss crucial face‐to‐face components of a plot's technical development or a perpetrator's motivation. Policy and practice may benefit from adopting insights from emerging research arguing in favor of disaggregating our conception of the “terrorist” into discrete groups (e.g., foreign fighters vs. homegrown fighters, bomb‐makers vs. bomb‐planters, and group‐actors vs. lone‐actors; Gill and Corner, 2013; LaFree, 2013) rather than disaggregating the radicalization process into discrete groups (e.g., online radicalization and prison radicalization). We need to understand the drives, needs, and forms of behavior that led to the radicalization and attack planning and why the offender chose that environment rather than purely looking at the affordances the environment produced. By looking at the Internet as an affordance opportunity that some forms of terrorist or terrorist violence require more than others do, the focus is shifted from the radicalization process toward an understanding of how crimes are committed. In other words, we are looking at crime events rather than at the underlying dispositions behind the criminality.
    February 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12249   open full text
  • Estimating the Crime Effects of Raising the Age of Majority.
    Charles E. Loeffler, Aaron Chalfin.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 08, 2017
    Research Summary The results of recent empirical research have shown that juveniles do not achieve complete psychosocial maturity until postadolescence and that processing juveniles as adults in the criminal justice system can be associated with elevated rates of criminal recidivism. In response to these as well as other concerns, several states have recently raised their legal ages of majority in the hopes of reducing juvenile offending rates. Connecticut enacted one such law change when it raised its age of majority from 16 to 17 in 2010 and then from 17 to 18 in 2012 for all but the most serious offenses. The effect of Connecticut's policy change on juvenile crime is examined in this study. To discern between changes in juvenile offending and changes in the propensity of police to arrest youthful offenders in the aftermath of a law change, we use two methodological approaches. Synthetic control methods are used to generate triple‐differences estimates of the effect of Connecticut's policy change on juvenile arrests and overall crime rates by using a weighted average of other U.S. states as a natural comparison group. Next, by analyzing National Incident‐Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data for a subset of Connecticut's local jurisdictions, we examine changes in age‐specific juvenile arrests and changes in age‐specific juvenile offending. The resulting evidence suggests that no discernable change in juvenile offending occurred. In addition, evidence exists that in some Connecticut jurisdictions, officer, rather than juvenile, behavior was impacted by this law change. Policy Implications Although raise‐the‐age policies may remain desirable for other policy reasons, no robust evidence of their effects on crime is yet available. Given the absence of such evidence of crime effects, policy makers interested in raise‐the‐age policies for their crime‐reduction benefits might consider focusing on other juvenile justice policy initiatives with demonstrated crime‐reduction benefits. Nevertheless, policy makers interested in these policies for other policy reasons can rest assured that there is no evidence that these policies exacerbate juvenile crime. The results of this study also suggest that the effects of “raise‐the‐age” policies on crime will be difficult to separate from recent declining trends in juvenile crime and arrests as well as from changes in police arrest decision making.
    February 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12268   open full text
  • Impossibility of a “Reverse Racism” Effect.
    Aaron Roussell, Kathryn Henne, Karen S. Glover, Dale Willits.
    Criminology & Public Policy. January 18, 2017
    --- - - Criminology & Public Policy, EarlyView.
    January 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12289   open full text
  • Decide Your Time.
    Daniel J. O'Connell, John J. Brent, Christy A. Visher.
    Criminology & Public Policy. November 11, 2016
    Research Summary This study used a randomized controlled trial approach with a sample of 400 high‐risk probationers to test the hypothesis that a program incorporating principles of deterrence, graduated sanctions, and coerced abstinence would reduce recidivism rates among drug‐using offenders. Bivariate and multilevel modeling strategies were implemented. Findings revealed no discernable difference across multiple drug use, probationary, and recidivism measures between those randomized into the treatment condition and those receiving standard probation. In multivariate models, probationer age, employment status, and treatment participation improved some recidivism outcomes. Programmatic and sample characteristics are discussed regarding the lack of experimental effect. Policy Implications These findings suggest that in designing and implementing deterrence‐informed community supervision approaches, policy makers and practitioners should consider offender attributes, the addition of employment and treatment‐based programs and supports, and local justice system structures. The findings of this study fit well with other emerging models of offender supervision, in particular, those that match services and programs based on offender risks and needs and those that recognize and address the heterogeneity of the offender population in developing supervision and service plans. Swift, certain, and fair supervision approaches for individuals under community supervision do not seem to be a “one‐size‐fits‐all” strategy. Understanding for whom they work and under what conditions has not yet been determined. In the meantime, policy makers and practitioners should endeavor to understand the risks and needs of their local offender population and the community supports that are available to improve offender outcomes and increase public safety.
    November 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12246   open full text
  • Outcome Findings from the HOPE Demonstration Field Experiment.
    Pamela K. Lattimore, Doris Layton MacKenzie, Gary Zajac, Debbie Dawes, Elaine Arsenault, Stephen Tueller.
    Criminology & Public Policy. November 11, 2016
    Research Summary More than 1,500 probationers in four sites were randomly assigned to probation as usual (PAU) or to Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE), which is modeled on Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (Hawaii HOPE) program that emphasizes close monitoring; frequent drug testing; and swift, certain, and fair (SCF) sanctioning. It also reserves scarce treatment resources for those most in need. The four sites offered heterogeneity in organizational relationships and populations as well as implementation that was rated very good to excellent—thus, providing a robust test of the HOPE supervision model. Recidivism results suggest that HOPE/SCF supervision was not associated with significant reductions in arrests over PAU with the exception of a reduction in drug‐related arrests in one site. There were significant—albeit conflicting—differences in time to revocation, with survival models suggesting shorter times to revocation in two sites and longer times to revocation in one site. Policy Implications HOPE—or the more general SCF approach to community supervision—has been widely praised as an evidence‐based practice that reduces substance use, violations, new arrests, and revocations to prison. Substantial reductions in return to prison have been associated with claims of significant cost savings for HOPE/SCF over PAU despite the need for additional resources for warning and violation hearings, drug testing, and warrant service. Results from this recently completed, four‐site randomized control trial (RCT) showed that recidivism arrest outcomes were largely similar between those on HOPE/SCF probation and those on PAU and are consistent with findings from the Delaware Decide Your Time (DYT) RCT reported in this issue. No differences in arrests between HOPE and PAU probationers suggest that HOPE can be implemented to provide greater adherence to an idealized probation in which violations are met with a swift (but non‐draconian) response without compromising public safety. Nevertheless, the larger numbers of revocations for HOPE probationers in two sites, coupled with the additional expenses for drug testing, warrant service, and so on associated with HOPE, also suggest that overall cost savings may not be realized. Although additional research is needed to determine whether there are groups for whom HOPE may be more effective than PAU, HOPE/SCF seems unlikely to offer better outcomes and lower costs for broad classes of moderate‐to‐high–risk probationers.
    November 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12248   open full text
  • Impact of Swift and Certain Sanctions.
    Zachary Hamilton, Christopher M. Campbell, Jacqueline Wormer, Alex Kigerl, Brianne Posey.
    Criminology & Public Policy. November 11, 2016
    Research Summary In the wake of the mass incarceration movement, many states must now manage the rebound of decarceration. Thermodynamic forces of the justice system, however, have pushed former fiscal pressures of institutions onto that of community corrections. Encouraged by the positive findings of recently piloted innovations, several jurisdictions have taken great interest in the implementation of deterrence‐based sanctioning models when dealing with supervision violations. Among the first to implement a statewide turn to this style of sanctioning, Washington State's swift‐and‐certain (SAC) policy was implemented in June 2012. The intent of SAC was to expand the model found in Hawaii's Opportunity Probation and Enforcement (HOPE) to a wider criminal justice population, while emphasizing the reduction of confinement costs. This study focused on the impact of SAC with regard to supervision outcomes for participants. By using a quasi‐experimental design, we examined confinement, recidivism, treatment, violation, and costs outcomes of SAC participants. Findings reveal that SAC participants were found to incur fewer sanctioned incarceration days after a violation, reduced odds of recidivism, possessed greater treatment program utilization, reduced their propensity of committing violations over time, and as a result, imposed lower correctional and associated costs. The SAC model provides noteworthy positive effects and no appreciable negative impacts on public safety. Policy Implications We further discuss the impact of SAC in the context of deterrence‐based sanctioning. Specifically, we explain how practices such as SAC may impact the future of sanctioning community supervision conditions. Although many policies that emphasize deterrence demonstrate inconsistent findings, immediate advantages of SAC take the form of fiscal savings, indicating that these novel methods provide a form of justice reinvestment. Additionally, connecting deterrence‐based supervision methods to reductions in most recidivism measures suggests that proportionality and quality assurance may increase the effectiveness of these policies. We recommend ways that such nuanced implementation may be fruitful, as well as suggest ways of conceptualizing the theory of deterrence. Policy makers can appropriately work its components into supervision practice without depreciating the importance of treatment and addressing criminogenic needs.
    November 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12245   open full text
  • Juvenile Transfer and the Specific Deterrence Hypothesis.
    Steven N. Zane, Brandon C. Welsh, Daniel P. Mears.
    Criminology & Public Policy. July 26, 2016
    Research Summary We conducted a systematic review of recidivism outcomes for juveniles transferred to adult court, incorporating meta‐analytic techniques. Nine studies—based on nine statistically independent samples—met the inclusion criteria. Pooled analysis suggests that juvenile transfer had no statistically significant effect on recidivism. However, the distribution of effect sizes was highly heterogeneous and, given the strength of the research designs, suggests that in some instances transfer may decrease recidivism and in others may increase it. Policy Implications The practice of transferring juvenile offenders to the criminal justice system has decreased from its peak in the mid‐1990s, but it is still estimated to affect tens of thousands of juveniles in the United States each year. As such, a coherent rationale for transfer policy is needed. The present review casts doubt on one prominent justification for transfer, that it creates a specific deterrent effect for transferred juveniles. Indeed, the results suggest that transfer may in fact increase offending. More generally, the results underscore the need for more high‐quality research to identify the conditions under which transfer may decrease or increase recidivism.
    July 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12222   open full text
  • What Works in Crime Prevention?
    Abigail A. Fagan, Molly Buchanan.
    Criminology & Public Policy. July 25, 2016
    Research Summary This article compares the criteria and methods applied by three registries designed to identify what works in crime and delinquency prevention. We discuss and demonstrate how variation in the methodological rigor of these processes affects the number of interventions identified as “evidence based” and provide recommendations for future list‐making to help increase the dissemination of effective crime prevention programs and practices. Policy Implications As support for evidence‐based crime prevention grows, so too will reliance on what works registries. We contend that these lists must employ scientifically rigorous review criteria and systematic review processes to protect public resources and ensure interventions recommended for dissemination do not risk harming participants. Lists must also be constructed and findings communicated in ways that are responsive to community needs. Ensuring this balance will help increase public confidence in scientific methods and ensure greater diffusion of evidence‐based interventions.
    July 25, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12228   open full text
  • Juvenile Court and Contemporary Diversion.
    Daniel P. Mears, Joshua J. Kuch, Andrea M. Lindsey, Sonja E. Siennick, George B. Pesta, Mark A. Greenwald, Thomas G. Blomberg.
    Criminology & Public Policy. June 15, 2016
    Research Summary The juvenile court was established to help children through the use of punishment and rehabilitation and, in so doing, “save” them from a life of crime and disadvantage. Diversion programs and policies emerged in the 1970s as one way to achieve this goal. Despite concerns about its potential harm, diversion became increasingly popular in subsequent decades. We examine the logic of a prominent contemporary diversion effort, civil citation, to illuminate tensions inherent to traditional and contemporary diversion. We then review extant evidence on traditional diversion efforts, examine civil citation laws, and identify the salience of both traditional and contemporary, police‐centered diversion efforts for youth and the juvenile court. The analysis highlights that diversion may help children but that it also may harm them. It highlights that the risk of net‐widening for the police and the court is considerable. And it highlights the importance of, and need for, research on the use and effects of diversion and the conditions under which it may produce benefits and avoid harms. Policy Implications This article recommends a more tempered embrace of diversion and a fuller embrace of research‐guided efforts to achieve the juvenile court's ideals. Diversion may be effective under certain conditions, but these conditions need to be identified and then met.
    June 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12223   open full text
  • Effects of Prohibition and Decriminalization on Drug Market Conflict.
    Scott Jacques, Richard Rosenfeld, Richard Wright, Frank Gemert.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 19, 2016
    Research Summary To reduce individual and social harms, most nations prohibit certain psychoactive drugs. Yet, prior scholarship has suggested that prohibition reduces illicit drug sellers’ access to law and thereby increases predation against and retaliation by them. No prior study, however, has directly tested that theory by comparing drug sellers of different legal statuses operating in a single place and time. This study analyzes rates of victimization, legal mobilization, and violent retaliation in three retail drug markets in Amsterdam, the Netherlands: the legally regulated alcohol trade of cafés, the decriminalized cannabis market of “coffeeshops,” and the illegal street drug market. Results from interviews conducted with 50 sellers in each market indicate, as expected, that illicit drug dealers have the highest rates of victimization and violent retaliation and the lowest rates of legal mobilization. Contrary to expectations, we find coffeeshops experience less victimization than cafés and have similar rates of violent retaliation and legal mobilization. Policy Implications Our findings suggest that state regulation of drug markets affects victimization and conflict management of sellers, but the relationship does not seem to be linear. Prohibition undercuts the state's regulatory capacity by producing zones of virtual statelessness in which formal means of dispute resolution are unavailable, and thus, victimization and retaliation are more common. At the other extreme is laissez faire regulation, which may make sellers more likely to address problems only after they occur (instead of preventing their occurrence). The Dutch government originally instituted coffeeshops as a harm‐reduction method meant to separate the market for cannabis from that of hard drugs. The policy also seems to work well when it comes to reducing victimization, perhaps by encouraging the use of preventive measures by coffeeshop owners and employees. The Dutch experience offers lessons for drug policy reforms elsewhere.
    May 19, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12218   open full text
  • Arrested Development.
    Justin T. Pickett, Sean Patrick Roche.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 12, 2016
    Research Summary Deterrence theory assumes that objective and subjective sanction risk are positively related. If this assumption holds true, then the theory is useful for guiding criminal justice policy and practice. However, prior research has failed to support the assumption. Prominent review articles have dismissed this literature on the basis of methodological critiques, and they have presented certain requirements for future deterrence research to be considered credible. Informed by these reviews, Nagin, Solow, and Lum's (NSL, 2015) new deterrence theory of policing rests on the assumption of a strong positive relationship between objective and subjective sanction risk. NSL have asserted that their theory has significant policy implications; indeed, they have contended it reveals a need to alter American policing fundamentally. We elaborate why the critiques of the discredited literature are premature, and we suggest that the plausibility of NSL's theory is called into question by this literature, as well as by other logical inconsistencies. We conclude by emphasizing how much remains unknown about sanction perception updating, hot spots policing, and heuristics and biases in offender decision making. Policy Implications Our central argument is that NSL's (2015) policy recommendations are premature given that their theoretical model is inconsistent with existing evidence. Pending a better understanding of sanction perceptions, we suggest putting aside dictates for how police should best deter offenders and about what constitutes credible deterrence research. Rather, both policy makers and researchers should prioritize efforts to identify the sources of sanction perceptions, while taking seriously the possibility that such perceptions may, in part, be intuitive judgments influenced by well‐known cognitive heuristics.
    May 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12217   open full text
  • Changing the Ties that Bind.
    Thomas J. Mowen, Christy A. Visher.
    Criminology & Public Policy. April 22, 2016
    Research Summary By using a subsample of the Returning Home data set, we explored how family relationships change during reentry as a result of incarceration. Overall, we found that individuals who completed parenting classes, those with more frequent visits from family members, and Black and female respondents experienced positive changes in family relationships. On the other hand, single and divorced individuals, those with prior convictions and mental health issues, and individuals who reported barriers to family contact reported significant negative changes within the family relationship. Policy Implications The findings from this study suggest that reducing barriers to family contact—especially the cost of visitation and visitation procedures—may lead to positive changes within family relationships for formerly incarcerated individuals. Furthermore, developing programs to assist individuals with mental health issues to maintain family relationships may create avenues to help those individuals keep, or reestablish, family ties after release.
    April 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12207   open full text
  • Use of Genetically Informed Evidence‐Based Prevention Science to Understand and Prevent Crime and Related Behavioral Disorders.
    Jamie M. Gajos, Abigail A. Fagan, Kevin M. Beaver.
    Criminology & Public Policy. April 15, 2016
    Research Summary In this article, we outline the potential ways that genetic research can be used to inform the development, testing, and dissemination of preventative interventions. We conclude by drawing attention to how the incorporation of genetic variables into prevention designs could help identify individual variability in program effectiveness and thereby increase program success rates. Policy Implications Evidence‐based prevention science seeking to reduce crime and other related behavioral disorders has made significant progress in the identification of risk factors involved in the development of antisocial behavior, as well as in the creation and testing of such programs intended to target these risk factors. Nonetheless, issues of program effectiveness remain as individual responsivity to prevention interventions is often overlooked. Paralleling the movement toward evidence‐based prevention science, but largely isolated from such efforts, has been an area of research devoted toward identifying how genetic factors interact with social environments to influence behavioral outcomes. By joining these two fields, genetically informed prevention interventions have the potential to increase our understanding of the causes of crime and other problem behaviors, as well as to help identify individual variability in program effectiveness.
    April 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12214   open full text
  • Should Rape Kit Testing Be Prioritized by Victim–Offender Relationship?
    Rebecca Campbell, Steven J. Pierce, Dhruv B. Sharma, Hannah Feeney, Giannina Fehler‐Cabral.
    Criminology & Public Policy. April 12, 2016
    Research Summary This study examined the DNA forensic testing outcomes from 894 previously untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) from Detroit, Michigan. At issue was how many of these SAKs would produce DNA profiles eligible for upload into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the national forensic DNA database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and then how many would produce CODIS hits (DNA matches) to other crimes. Fifty‐four percent of the SAKs associated with stranger‐perpetrated sexual assaults yielded CODIS‐eligible DNA profiles, producing 156 CODIS hits (DNA matches) and 51 hits matched prior sexual assault offenses in CODIS (i.e., serial sexual assault hit). Forty percent of the SAKs from nonstranger rapes had CODIS‐eligible profiles, producing 103 CODIS hits and 18 serial sexual assault hits. CODIS entry rates and CODIS hit rates were equivalent between stranger and nonstranger SAKs; serial sexual assault hit rates were significantly higher for stranger SAKs. Policy Implications These results highlight the importance of testing both stranger and nonstranger SAKs as they have an equivalent likelihood of producing CODIS hits. The findings do not support policy recommendations that stranger‐perpetrated SAKs should have testing priority over nonstranger SAKs. Prioritizing stranger SAKs may have unintended negative consequences on the utility of CODIS by limiting the number and type of eligible DNA profiles that are referenced in the federal DNA database.
    April 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12205   open full text
  • Is Downsizing Prisons Dangerous?
    Jody Sundt, Emily J. Salisbury, Mark G. Harmon.
    Criminology & Public Policy. March 09, 2016
    Research Summary Recent declines in imprisonment raise a critical question: Can prison populations be reduced without endangering the public? This question is examined by testing the effect of California's dramatic efforts to comply with court‐mandated targets to reduce prison overcrowding using a pretest‐posttest design. The results showed that California's Realignment Act had no effect on violent or property crime rates in 2012, 2013, or 2014. When crime types were disaggregated, a moderately large, statistically significant association between Realignment and auto theft rates was observed in 2012. By 2014, however, this effect had decayed and auto theft rates returned to pre‐Realignment levels. Policy Implications Significant reductions in the size of prison populations are possible without endangering public safety. Within just 15 months of its passage, Realignment reduced the size of the total prison population by 27,527 inmates, prison crowding declined from 181% to 150% of design capacity, approximately $453 million was saved, and there was no adverse effect on the overall safety of Californians. With a mixture of jail use, community corrections, law enforcement and other preventive efforts, California counties have provided a comparable level of public safety to that previously achieved by state prisons. Nevertheless, sustaining these policy objectives will require greater attention to local implementation, targeted crime prevention, and sentencing reform.
    March 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12199   open full text
  • What Works?
    Natalie Schell‐Busey, Sally S. Simpson, Melissa Rorie, Mariel Alper.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 15, 2016
    Research Summary We conducted a meta‐analysis of corporate crime deterrence strategies by using 80 effect sizes calculated from 58 studies in four treatment areas—Law, Punitive Sanctions, Regulatory Policy, and Multiple Treatments. Of the single‐treatment strategies, only Regulatory Policy produced a significant deterrent impact at the company level, but the results were not consistent across all study and effect size types. Studies examining multiple treatments, though, produced a consistent, significant deterrent effect on offending at both the individual and company levels. Policy Implications Our results suggest that regulatory policies that involve consistent inspections and include a cooperative or educational component aimed at the industry may have a substantial impact on corporate offending. However, a mixture of agency interventions will likely have the biggest impact on broadly defined corporate crime. The variety of offenders and behaviors included in corporate crime and its relative complexity likely necessitate multiple intervention strategies, which is similar to the “pulling levers” approach developed to deter gang violence and the responsive regulation strategy advocated by Braithwaite (2011). However, given some of the shortcomings in the literature, we also recommend that scholars and practitioners more clearly and consistently define the phenomenon of “corporate crime” and target evaluation research toward specific programs and interventions.
    February 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12195   open full text
  • Does Change in Risk Matter?
    Thomas H. Cohen, Christopher T. Lowenkamp, Scott W. VanBenschoten.
    Criminology & Public Policy. January 22, 2016
    Research Summary The Post Conviction Risk Assessment (PCRA) is a correctional assessment tool used by federal probation officers that identifies offenders most likely to commit new crimes and the criminogenic characteristics that, if changed, could reduce the likelihood of recidivism. We explored how changes in offender risk influence the likelihood of recidivism by tracking a population of 64,716 offenders placed on federal supervision with multiple PCRA assessments. In general, offenders scoring in the high‐, moderate‐, and low/moderate‐risk categories at their initial assessment and experiencing decreases in their risk classifications were less likely to recidivate compared with their counterparts whose risk levels remained unchanged or increased. Conversely, increases in offender risk were associated with higher rates of reoffending behavior. Notably, we saw no recidivism reduction for offenders in the lowest risk category if they received decreases in their overall PCRA scores. Policy Implications This analysis provides officers with crucial information about how changes in offender risk can influence the likelihood of arrest. Probation officers should consider adjusting downward the amount of time and resources devoted to offenders with decreasing risk levels once those decreases have stabilized. Alternatively, probation officers should pay particular attention and allocate more resources to those offenders reclassified into higher risk categories. Finally, probation officers should be cautious about providing resources to low‐risk offenders who do not seem to benefit from efforts aimed at reducing their criminal risk factors.
    January 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12190   open full text
  • The Reverse Racism Effect.
    Lois James, Stephen M. James, Bryan J. Vila.
    Criminology & Public Policy. January 14, 2016
    Research Summary Race‐related debates often assume that implicit racial bias will result in racially biased decisions to shoot. Previous research has examined racial bias in police decisions by pressing “shoot” or “don't‐shoot” buttons in response to pictures of armed and unarmed suspects. As a result of its lack of external validity, however, this methodology provides limited insight into officer behavior in the field. In response, we conducted the first series of experimental research studies that tested police officers and civilians in strikingly realistic deadly force simulators. Policy Implications This article reports the results of our most recent experiment, which tested 80 police patrol officers by applying this leading edge method. We found that, despite clear evidence of implicit bias against Black suspects, officers were slower to shoot armed Black suspects than armed White suspects, and they were less likely to shoot unarmed Black suspects than unarmed White suspects. These findings challenge the assumption that implicit racial bias affects police behavior in deadly encounters with Black suspects.
    January 14, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12187   open full text
  • Rehabilitation in a Red State.
    Angela J. Thielo, Francis T. Cullen, Derek M. Cohen, Cecilia Chouhy.
    Criminology & Public Policy. December 28, 2015
    Research Summary Based on a 2013 survey of 1,001 likely voters in Texas, public support for correctional reform in a “red state” was examined. Four major conclusions were revealed. First, the respondents displayed strong support for rehabilitation. Second, at least for nonviolent and/or drug offenders, the sample members showed a clear preference for the use of alternatives to incarceration as opposed to imprisonment. Third, when asked about a specific policy reform that used treatment rather than prison for nonviolent drug offenders, more than eight in ten Texans approved of the measure, and strong majorities endorsed various rationales for it. Fourth, with some minor variation, the respondents revealed substantial consensus across demographic groups in their embrace of rehabilitation and correctional reform. Policy Implications With the growth of mass imprisonment arguably at its end, the existence of strong public support for correctional reform even in the major red state of Texas, suggests that a new “sensibility” about crime control has taken hold. There is now an emergent national consensus that the overuse of incarceration is unsustainable and that low‐risk offenders no longer should be sanctioned with a prison sentence. The American public, in Texas and beyond, is willing to support a policy agenda that includes offender treatment, prison downsizing, and alternatives to incarceration. The challenge for elected officials is to take advantage of this ideological space and to pursue this agenda. Notably, politicians in Texas and in other red states are using this opportunity to implement correctional policy reforms. The data in this study indicate that they will face no public backlash and, if anything, will gain political capital for their efforts.
    December 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12182   open full text
  • TASER® Exposure and Cognitive Impairment.
    Robert J. Kane, Michael D. White.
    Criminology & Public Policy. December 02, 2015
    Research Summary This study reports findings from a randomized controlled trial that examined the effects of the TASER® (a conducted energy weapon sold by TASER International, Scottsdale, Arizona) on several dimensions of cognitive functioning. The research demonstrated that in a sample of healthy human volunteer participants, TASER exposure led to significant and substantial reductions in (a) short‐term auditory recall and (b) abilities to assimilate new information through auditory processes. The effects lasted up to 1 hour for most subjects, almost all of whom returned to baseline 60 minutes postexposure. Policy Implications The study applies the findings of reduced cognitive functioning among healthy participants in a laboratory setting to criminal suspects in field settings and questions the abilities of “average” suspects to waive their Miranda rights knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily within 60 minutes of a TASER exposure. The study poses the question: What would it cost police to wait 60 minutes after a TASER deployment before engaging suspects in custodial interrogations?
    December 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12173   open full text
  • Race, Crime, and the Micro‐Ecology of Deadly Force.
    David Klinger, Richard Rosenfeld, Daniel Isom, Michael Deckard.
    Criminology & Public Policy. November 17, 2015
    Research Summary Limitations in data and research on the use of firearms by police officers in the United States preclude sound understanding of the determinants of deadly force in police work. The current study addresses these limitations with detailed case attributes and a microspatial analysis of police shootings in St. Louis, MO, between 2003 and 2012. The results indicate that neither the racial composition of neighborhoods nor their level of economic disadvantage directly increase the frequency of police shootings, whereas levels of violent crime do—but only to a point. Police shootings are less frequent in areas with the highest levels of criminal violence than in those with midlevels of violence. We offer a provisional interpretation of these results and call for replications in other settings. Policy Implications Nationwide replications of the current research will require the establishment of a national database of police shootings. Informative assessments of a single agency's policies and practices require comparative information from other agencies. We recommend specific data elements to be included in such an information system that would shed further empirical light on the interconnections among race, crime, and police use of deadly force. The database also would contribute to the development of evidence‐based policies and procedures on deadly force—an urgent public priority in light of recent controversial police shootings across the United States.
    November 17, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12174   open full text
  • Do Stop, Question, and Frisk Practices Deter Crime?
    David Weisburd, Alese Wooditch, Sarit Weisburd, Sue‐Ming Yang.
    Criminology & Public Policy. November 11, 2015
    Research Summary Existing studies examining the crime impacts of stop, question, and frisks (SQFs) have focused on large geographic areas. Weisburd, Telep, and Lawton (2014) suggested that SQFs in New York City (NYC) were highly concentrated at crime hot spots, implying that a microlevel unit of analysis may be more appropriate. The current study aims to address the limitations of prior studies by exploring the impact of SQFs on daily and weekly crime incidents in NYC at a microgeographic level. The findings suggest that SQFs produce a significant yet modest deterrent effect on crime. Policy Implications These findings support those who argue that SQFs deter crime. Nonetheless, it is not clear whether other policing strategies may have similar or even stronger crime‐control outcomes. In turn, the level of SQFs needed to produce meaningful crime reductions are costly in terms of police time and are potentially harmful to police legitimacy.
    November 11, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12172   open full text
  • The Role of the Cost‐of‐Crime Literature in Bridging the Gap Between Social Science Research and Policy Making.
    Patricio Domínguez, Steven Raphael.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 31, 2015
    Research Summary In this article, we review the theoretical paradigm underlying cost–benefit analysis and address some of the critiques of this framework that have arisen within criminal justice circles and other policy areas. We also review existing studies devoted to estimating the costs of specific crimes. We offer a brief discussion categorizing the alternative costs of crime and the various methodological approaches taken (hedonic analysis, contingent valuation, and accounting methods), with an explicit discussion of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each approach and debates within the economics profession pertaining to these methodologies. We argue that cost considerations broadly defined should be of central importance in criminal justice policy debates. However, we also highlight the potential for cost‐consideration and important equity criteria to come into conflict. Policy Implications Policy makers should consider careful cost–benefit analysis as an important criterion in criminal justice policy. Given some features of criminal justice policy choices such as the unequal distribution of the costs of criminal victimization, anti‐crime enforcement, and the potential for perceived illegitimacy of the criminal justice system to undermine various public institutions, we argue that equity considerations also deserve careful attention. In practice, we place greater confidence in the use of cost‐of‐crime estimates to judge the relative effectiveness of alternative interventions, and we are cautious regarding policy prescriptions emanating from benefit–cost ratios that are marginally greater than one.
    August 31, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12148   open full text
  • Changing the Street Dynamic.
    Andrew V. Papachristos, David S. Kirk.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 28, 2015
    Research Summary This study uses a quasi‐experimental design to evaluate the efficacy of Chicago's Group Violence Reduction Strategy (VRS), a gun violence reduction program that delivers a focused‐deterrence and legitimacy‐based message to gang factions through a series of hour‐long “call‐ins.” The results suggest that those gang factions who attend a VRS call‐in experience a 23% reduction in overall shooting behavior and a 32% reduction in gunshot victimization in the year after treatment compared with similar factions. Policy Implications Gun violence in U.S. cities often is concentrated in small geographic areas and in small networks of group or gang‐involved individuals. The results of this study suggest that focused intervention efforts such as VRS can produce significant reductions in gun violence, but especially gunshot victimization, among gangs. Focused programs such as these offer an important alternative to broad‐sweeping practices or policies that might otherwise expand the use of the criminal justice system.
    August 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12139   open full text
  • Most Challenging of Contexts.
    Nicholas Corsaro, Robin S. Engel.
    Criminology & Public Policy. August 10, 2015
    Research Summary The use of focused deterrence to reduce lethal violence driven by gangs and groups of chronic offenders has continued to expand since the initial Boston Ceasefire intervention in the 1990s, where prior evaluations have shown relatively consistent promise in terms of violence reduction. This study focuses on the capacity of focused deterrence to impact lethal violence in a chronic and high‐trajectory homicide setting: New Orleans, Louisiana. Using a two‐phase analytical design, our evaluation of the Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) observed the following findings: (a) GVRS team members in the City of New Orleans closely followed model implementation; (b) homicides in New Orleans experienced a statistically significant reduction above and beyond changes observed in comparable lethally violent cities; (c) the greatest changes in targeted outcomes were observed in gang homicides, young Black male homicides, and firearms violence; and (d) the decline in targeted violence corresponded with the implementation of the pulling levers notification meetings. Moreover, the observed reduction in crime outcomes was not empirically associated with a complementary violence‐reduction strategy that was simultaneously implemented in a small geographic area within the city. Policy Implications The findings presented in this article demonstrate that focused deterrence holds considerable promise as a violence prevention approach in urban contexts with persistent histories of lethal violence, heightened disadvantage, and undermined police (and institutional) legitimacy. The development of a multiagency task force, combined with unwavering political support from the highest levels of government within the city, were likely linked to high programmatic fidelity. Organizationally, the development of a program manager and intelligence analyst, along with the use of detailed problem analyses and the integration of research, assisted the New Orleans working group in identifying the highest risk groups of violent offenders to target for the GVRS notification sessions. The impacts on targeted violence were robust and consistent with the timing of the intervention.
    August 10, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12142   open full text
  • Pathways to Prison in New York State.
    Sarah Tahamont, Shi Yan, Shawn D. Bushway, Jing Liu.
    Criminology & Public Policy. July 27, 2015
    Research Summary In this study, we use a novel application of group‐based trajectory modeling to estimate pathways to prison for a sample of 13,769 first‐time prison inmates in New York State. We found that 12% of the sample was heavily involved in the criminal justice system for 10 years prior to their first imprisonment. We also found that less than one quarter of the sample had little contact with the criminal justice system prior to the arrest that resulted in imprisonment. Policy Implications Slightly less than one quarter of first‐time inmates are not known to the criminal justice system prior to the commitment arrest. For these inmates, crime‐prevention interventions that identify participants through criminal justice processes will not be effective. However, the arrest rates for a substantial portion of the sample over the 10‐year period before imprisonment suggest a staggering number of opportunities for intervention as these individuals churn through the system.
    July 27, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12136   open full text
  • Is Dangerousness a Myth? Injuries and Police Encounters with People with Mental Illnesses.
    Melissa Schaefer Morabito, Kelly M. Socia.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 20, 2015
    Research Summary This study examined all “use‐of‐force” reports collected by the Portland Police Bureau in Portland, Oregon, between 2008 and 2011, to determine whether their encounters with people with mental illnesses are more likely to result in injury to officers or subjects when force is used. Although several factors significantly predicted the likelihood of injury to either subjects or officers, mental illness was not one of them. Policy Implications Police consider interactions with people with mental illnesses to be extremely dangerous (Margarita, 1980). Our results question the accuracy of this belief. As such, this “dangerousness” assertion may result in unnecessary stigmatization that may prevent people with mental illnesses from accessing needed services (cf. Corrigan et al., 2005) as witnesses or victims of crime. Policies that reduce stigma may help increase police effectiveness. Furthermore, efforts should be made to increase the availability and accuracy of data on this issue.
    May 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12127   open full text
  • Is the Impact of Cumulative Disadvantage on Sentencing Greater for Black Defendants?
    John Wooldredge, James Frank, Natalie Goulette, Lawrence Travis.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 04, 2015
    Research Summary We examined race‐group differences in the effects of how felony defendants are treated at earlier decision points in case processing on case outcomes. Multilevel analyses of 3,459 defendants nested within 123 prosecutors and 34 judges in a large, northern U.S. jurisdiction revealed significant main and interaction effects of a defendant's race on bond amounts, pretrial detention, and nonsuspended prison sentences, but no significant effects on charge reductions and prison sentence length. Evidence of greater “cumulative disadvantages” for Black defendants in general and young Black men in particular was revealed by significant indirect race effects on the odds of pretrial detention via type of attorney, prior imprisonment, and bond amounts, as well as by indirect race effects on prison sentences via pretrial detention and prior imprisonment. Policy Implications The consideration of cumulative disadvantage is important for a more complete understanding of the overincarceration of Blacks in the United States. Toward the end of reducing racial disparities in the distribution of prison sentences, courts might (a) reduce reliance on money bail, (b) consider bail amounts for indigent defendants more carefully, and (c) increase the structure of pretrial decision making to reduce the stronger effects of imprisonment history and type of attorney on the odds of pretrial detention for Black suspects.
    May 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12124   open full text
  • Imperative for Inclusion of Long Termers and Lifers in Research and Policy.
    Lila Kazemian, Jeremy Travis.
    Criminology & Public Policy. May 04, 2015
    Research Summary Although numerous studies have highlighted the negative consequences of mass incarceration, life‐course and criminal career research has largely failed to document psychological, social, and behavioral changes that occur during periods of incarceration. This oversight is particularly noteworthy in the case of individuals serving long sentences, as they spend a significant portion of the life course behind bars. The policies and programs targeting prisoners are seldom tailored to long termers and lifers, and we know little about effective interventions, or even how to measure effectiveness, for this population. By drawing on the relevant empirical research, this article underlines the importance of reorienting some research efforts and policy priorities toward individuals serving life or otherwise long prison sentences. Policy Implications During the last 20 years, the prevalence of life sentences has increased substantially in the United States. We argue that there are various benefits to developing policies that consider the challenges and issues affecting long termers and lifers. In addition to the ethical and human rights concerns associated with the treatment of this population, there are several pragmatic justifications for this argument. Long termers and lifers spend a substantial number of years in prison, but most are eventually released. These individuals can play a key role in shaping the prison community and potentially could contribute to the development of a healthier prison climate. Investment in the well‐being of individuals serving long sentences may also have diffused benefits that can extend to their families and communities. It would be advantageous for correctional authorities and policy makers to consider the potentially pivotal role of long termers and lifers in efforts to mitigate the negative consequences of incarceration.
    May 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12126   open full text
  • Importance of Program Integrity.
    Grant Duwe, Valerie Clark.
    Criminology & Public Policy. April 04, 2015
    Research Summary We used a quasi‐experimental design to evaluate the effectiveness of Moving On, a gender‐responsive, cognitive‐behavioral program designed for female offenders. Between 2001 and 2013, there were two distinct periods in which Moving On was administered with, and without, fidelity among female Minnesota prisoners. To determine whether program integrity matters, we examined the performance of Moving On across these two periods. By using multiple comparison groups, we found that Moving On significantly reduced two of the four measures of recidivism when it was implemented with fidelity. The program did not have a significant impact on any of the four recidivism measures, however, when it operated without fidelity. Policy Implication The growth of the “what works” literature and the emphasis on evidence‐based practices have helped foster the notion that correctional systems can improve public safety by reducing recidivism. Given that Moving On's success hinged on whether it was delivered with integrity, our results show that correctional practitioners can take an effective intervention and make it ineffective. Providing offenders with evidence‐based interventions that lack therapeutic integrity not only promotes a false sense of effectiveness, but also it squanders the limited supply of programming resources available to correctional agencies. The findings suggest that ensuring program integrity is critical to the efficient use of successful interventions that deliver on the promise of reduced recidivism.
    April 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12123   open full text
  • Risk Tells Us Who, But Not What or How.
    Faye S. Taxman, Michael S. Caudy.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 02, 2015
    Research Summary The current study used latent class analysis (LCA) to identify profiles of criminogenic needs in a sample of 17,252 community‐supervised individuals from one state's probation system. The purpose of this research was to illustrate the complexity of offender need profiles to inform the development and implementation of correctional interventions. The LCA analyses revealed four classes of dynamic needs. Conditional item probabilities were examined to label the four classes based on their likelihood of presenting with static risk, criminogenic needs, and destabilizing factors (i.e., factors that indirectly relate to recidivism). The four classes were characterized by the following: a low probability of both risks and destabilizers (LN‐LD), a moderate probability of risk and criminogenic needs with a high probability of multiple destabilizers (MN‐HD), a high probability of risk and needs with moderate probabilities of destabilizers (HN‐MD), and a high probability of static and criminogenic needs and destabilizers (HN‐HD). Finally, the relationship between latent class membership and three separate recidivism outcomes was assessed. Consistent with study hypotheses, individuals in latent classes characterized by a greater probability of criminogenic needs and lifestyle destabilizers were more likely to experience subsequent criminal justice involvement, regardless of risk level. Policy Implications Simplifying the complexity of offender risk and need profiles through empirical classification has direct implications for policy and practice. First, it clarifies whether dynamic needs and/or risk should drive decision making. Second, the integration of dynamic risk factors into the case management process can inform strategies to mitigate static risk and inform the development of new and improved interventions. The current study findings provide insight into the clustering of dynamic risk factors within individuals. This classification structure has the potential to increase the precision of case management decisions by identifying targets for programming that are likely to co‐occur for many offenders. Specifically, programs can be developed to tailor components to specific static risk and need profiles.
    February 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12116   open full text
  • Detrimental for Some? Heterogeneous Effects of Maternal Incarceration on Child Wellbeing.
    Kristin Turney, Christopher Wildeman.
    Criminology & Public Policy. January 24, 2015
    Research Summary We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 3,197) to consider the heterogeneous effects of maternal incarceration on 9‐year‐old children. We find that maternal incarceration has no average effects on child wellbeing (measured by caregiver‐reported internalizing problem behaviors, caregiver‐reported externalizing problem behaviors, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test‐Third Edition scores, and child‐reported early juvenile delinquency) but that the effects vary by mothers’ propensities for experiencing incarceration. Maternal incarceration is deleterious for children of mothers least likely to experience incarceration but mostly inconsequential for children of mothers more likely to experience incarceration. Policy Implications It is important that public policies take into account the fact that not all children experience similar effects of maternal incarceration. For children of mothers who are unlikely to experience incarceration, the negative consequences of maternal incarceration could be driven by at least three factors, all of which may operate simultaneously and all of which potentially call for different policy interventions: (a) jail incarceration as opposed to prison incarceration, (b) incarceration for a crime that did minimal—or no—harm to their children, and (c) inadequate family supports for coping with maternal incarceration. We discuss these policy implications.
    January 24, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12109   open full text
  • Assessing the Implications of a Structured Decision‐Making Tool for Recidivism in a Statewide Analysis.
    Michael T. Baglivio, Mark A. Greenwald, Mark Russell.
    Criminology & Public Policy. December 05, 2014
    Research Summary The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has implemented a disposition matrix to guide recommendations made by juvenile probation officers to the court. This study examines whether recidivism rates for dispositions/placements made within the suggested range of this matrix differ from those outside of the suggested range. Using a sample of 38,117 juvenile offenders, we found that the dispositions/placements within the suggested range had an average recidivism rate of 19.4%, whereas those whose dispositions were outside the range had an average recidivism rate twice as high (38.7%). Furthermore, dispositions/placements that were the least restrictive option within the suggested range performed best. Dispositions above the suggested range (more restrictive) performed poorly, although those below the suggested range (less restrictive than suggested) performed the worst. These results held for males and females, across race/ethnicity, and across risk to reoffend levels. Policy Implications Implementation of structured decision‐making tools leads to questions from stakeholders and front‐line staff charged with using those tools regarding their effectiveness. Research and theory‐based justifications do not hold the weight actual data from the implementation population provide. These tools help control costs, facilitate planning, and can improve outcomes. Monthly monitoring of adherence rates, development of override and management oversight protocols, and regular feedback to front‐line staff are critical components of success.
    December 05, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12108   open full text
  • Paying Restitution.
    R. Barry Ruback, Andrew S. Gladfelter, Brendan Lantz.
    Criminology & Public Policy. December 01, 2014
    Research Summary Most crime victims do not receive the restitution they are owed. This study is an experiment that addresses two reasons offenders give for why they do not pay their court‐ordered restitution: (a) lack of understanding of how much they owe and where their payments are directed and (b) a belief that the sanctions are unfair. A total of 771 offenders were randomly assigned to one of four conditions in a 2 × 2 between‐subjects design in which, over a 6‐month period, three quarters of the offenders received monthly letters that contained (a) information or no information about the economic sanctions they had paid and what they still owed (Information manipulation) and (b) a statement or no statement about reasons for paying restitution (Rationale manipulation). The remaining offenders did not receive a letter. The results 1 year after the experiment began (6 months after the last letter had been sent) indicated that offenders who had received letters containing information (Information condition) paid significantly more money and made significantly more monthly payments than did offenders in the other three experimental conditions. A cost‐effectiveness analysis indicated that for every dollar spent on the experimental manipulation, approximately $6.44 in restitution was received. Policy Implications Research on deterrence has suggested that threatened punishment can lead to compliance only if the threat is real. The problem with such enforcement measures, however, is that this type of deterrence is too expensive to be broadly imposed. By contrast, inducing offenders to act based on internal motivation rather than in response to external contingencies of reward and punishment can lead to long‐term behavior change. This study suggests that informing offenders on a regular basis about how much restitution they have paid and how much they still owe can lead them to pay more restitution and to make more monthly payments. We believe these effects primarily are the result of a change in internal motivation because if it were fear of being monitored that led to the increased payments, then the absence of monitoring (i.e., no letters for 6 months) should have reduced that fear, meaning that payments should have been reduced. They were not. Although the question of the generalizability of the procedure remains open, the results of this experiment suggest that, at relatively little cost (because information about payments was gathered from individuals’ court dockets publicly available on the Web), governments can increase restitution payments, benefiting victims, society, and perhaps the offenders themselves.
    December 01, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12094   open full text
  • County‐Level Correlates of Terrorist Attacks in the United States.
    Gary LaFree, Bianca E. Bersani.
    Criminology & Public Policy. November 25, 2014
    Research Summary We develop a set of hypotheses informed by a social disorganization framework and test them using newly available data on nearly 600 terrorist attacks in U.S. counties from 1990 to 2011. Our results show that terrorist attacks were more common in counties characterized by greater language diversity, a larger proportion of foreign‐born residents, greater residential instability, and a higher percentage of urban residents. Contrary to the social disorganization perspective but in keeping with most prior research, terrorist attacks were less common in counties marked by high levels of concentrated disadvantage. More generally, we found steady declines in the number of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1990 to 2011. We discuss the implications of the results for theory, future research, and policy. Policy Implications Terrorism, like ordinary crime, is highly concentrated. Of the 3,144 counties in the United States, only 250 (7.95%) experienced a terrorist attack from 1990 to 2011; 5 counties (0.002% of total U.S. counties) accounted for 16% of all attacks. Moreover, counties at greatest risk of terrorist attack have identifying characteristics. Just as random preventive patrol policing has generally been replaced by more targeted strategies, efforts to counter terrorism might benefit from strategies that target certain counties: those with high population heterogeneity and great residential instability that are highly urban. And just as targeting particular neighborhoods raises equity concerns in policing, policies aimed at counties with particular characteristics pose a challenge for countering terrorist attacks. However, unlike the situation in policing ordinary crime, high‐terrorism‐risk counties are generally not characterized by economic disadvantage or a large proportion of racial and ethnic minorities.
    November 25, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12092   open full text
  • Remodeling American Sentencing: A Ten‐Step Blueprint for Moving Past Mass Incarceration.
    Michael Tonry.
    Criminology & Public Policy. November 22, 2014
    When and if the will to roll back mass incarceration and to create just, fair, and effective sentencing systems becomes manifest, the way forward is clear. First, three‐strikes, mandatory minimum sentence, and comparable laws should be repealed. Second, any three‐strikes, mandatory minimum sentence, and comparable laws that are not repealed should be substantially narrowed in scope and severity. Third, any three‐strikes, mandatory minimum sentence, and comparable laws that are not repealed should be amended to include provisions authorizing judges to impose some other sentence “in the interest of justice.” Fourth, life‐without‐possibility‐of‐parole laws should be repealed or substantially narrowed. Fifth, truth‐in‐sentencing laws should be repealed. Sixth, criminal codes should be amended to set substantially lower maximum sentences scaled to the seriousness of crimes. Seventh, every state that does not already have one should establish a sentencing commission and promulgate presumptive sentencing guidelines. Eighth, every state that does not already have one should establish a parole board and every state should establish a parole guidelines system. Ninth, every state and the federal government should reduce its combined rate of jail and prison confinement to half its 2014 level by 2020. Tenth, every state should enact legislation making all prisoners serving fixed terms longer than 5 years, or indeterminate terms, eligible for consideration for release at the expiration of 5 years, and making all prisoners 35 years of age or older eligible for consideration for release after serving 3 years. These proposals are evidence‐based and mostly technocratic. Those calling for prison population targets and reducing the lengths of sentences being served may seem bold to some. Relative to the problems they address, they are modest and partial. Decreasing rates of imprisonment by half in the United States, a country with comparatively low crime rates, to a level that will remain 3 to 3.5 times those of other developed Western countries, can hardly be considered overly ambitious.
    November 22, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12097   open full text
  • Effect of Electronic Monitoring on Social Welfare Dependence.
    Lars H. Andersen, Signe H. Andersen.
    Criminology & Public Policy. October 06, 2014
    Research Summary We studied the effect on social welfare dependence of serving a sentence under electronic monitoring rather than in prison using Danish registry data and two policy shifts that extended the use of electronic monitoring in Denmark. We found that electronic monitoring is less harmful than imprisonment, at least for younger offenders, whereas it does not leave older offenders worse off than imprisonment. Policy Implications As the United States moves toward noncustodial alternatives to imprisonment, policy makers might benefit from knowledge on experiences from other contexts. The experiences from Denmark are clear: Electronic monitoring is less harmful than imprisonment to the life‐course outcomes of offenders. Because electronic monitoring could be less costly for the corrections administrations than imprisonment, efforts to extend the use of electronic monitoring in the United States could be accelerated.
    October 06, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12087   open full text
  • Immigration Enforcement, Policing, and Crime.
    Elina Treyger, Aaron Chalfin, Charles Loeffler.
    Criminology & Public Policy. September 19, 2014
    Research Summary In 2008, the federal government introduced “Secure Communities,” a program that requires local law enforcement agencies to share arrestee information with federal immigration officials. We employed the staggered activation of Secure Communities to examine whether this program has an effect on crime or the behavior of local police. Supporters of the program argue that it enhances public safety by facilitating the removal of criminal aliens. Critics worry that it will encourage discriminatory policing. We found little evidence for the most ambitious promises of the program or for its critics’ greatest fears. Policy Implications Although a large body of evidence reports that municipal police can have an appreciable effect on crime, involving local police in federal immigration enforcement does not seem to offer measurable public safety benefits. Noncitizens removed through Secure Communities either would have been incapacitated even in the absence of the program or do not pose an identifiable risk to community safety.
    September 19, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12085   open full text
  • “Fundamentally Flawed?”.
    Kimberly A. Kaiser, Cassia Spohn.
    Criminology & Public Policy. July 17, 2014
    Research Summary Using U.S. Sentencing Commission data, this study assesses whether judicial downward departures are more prevalent among child pornography offenders compared with a matched sample of defendants convicted of other offenses. Additionally, we examine reasons given by judges when departing from the guidelines for these offenders. We found that child pornography defendants received significant reductions in sentences by way of judicial downward departures. Policy Implications In 2007, the Supreme Court considerably altered the federal sentencing process. In Kimbrough v. United States (2007), the Court held that judicial departures were permissible on grounds of a policy disagreement. Many circuit courts have authorized sentencing judges to depart from the guidelines in child pornography cases based on such a policy disagreement. The findings of this study suggest that judicial downward departures for these offenders cannot be explained by individual characteristics, such as race, gender, or age, and may be indicative of a specific disagreement with this particular sentencing policy. An examination of the reasons provided by judges supports the hypothesis that judges may be attempting to remedy what they perceive as unjustly harsh sentencing guidelines.
    July 17, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12082   open full text
  • New Parochialism, Sources of Community Investment, and the Control of Street Crime.
    David M. Ramey, Emily A. Shrider.
    Criminology & Public Policy. March 24, 2014
    Research Summary We examined Seattle, Washington's Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF), a unique neighborhood improvement program that provides city funding for projects organized within neighborhoods. We found an inverse relationship between NMF funding and violent crime rates, a relationship that is stronger in poorer neighborhoods. The relationship also is stronger as funds accumulate within the neighborhoods over time. These findings suggest that investment and neighborhood participation can have both short‐term and long‐term crime reduction effects. Policy Implications The Neighborhood Matching Fund program is associated with significant reductions in crime, even though the program and its projects are not aimed specifically at crime reduction. This observation suggests that policies that encourage neighbors to interact with each other and that facilitate interactions and physical improvements can help reduce crime by improving neighborhood conditions and social relationships. Investments in neighborhoods by the city also can help counteract the negative effects of private disinvestment.
    March 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12074   open full text
  • The Effect and Implications of Sex Offender Residence Restrictions.
    Beth M. Huebner, Kimberly R. Kras, Jason Rydberg, Timothy S. Bynum, Eric Grommon, Breanne Pleggenkuhle.
    Criminology & Public Policy. March 11, 2014
    Research Summary We evaluated the efficacy of sex offender residence restrictions in Michigan and Missouri using a quasi‐experimental design with propensity score matching. First, we examined the implementation of the laws and found that sex offenders in both states were less likely to live in restricted areas after the implementation of the laws than the prerestriction sample, but the differences were not statistically significant. In our outcome analysis, we find little evidence that residence restrictions changed the prevalence of recidivism substantially for sex offenders in the postrelease period. In Michigan, trends indicate that the implementation of the laws led to a slight increase in recidivism among the sex offender groups, whereas in Missouri, this effect resulted in a slight decrease in recidivism. Technical violations also declined for both groups in Missouri. The small effect sizes, inconsistent results across states, and the null results between sex offender and non–sex offender models cast doubt on the potential usefulness of the laws to influence individual patterns of recidivism broadly. Policy Implications The results caution against the widespread, homogenous implementation of residence restrictions. Instead, we advocate individualization in sex offender programming and call for the development of risk‐centered models of residence restrictions that draw on the established literature. In addition, the research highlights the practical challenges in defining restricted areas, enforcing restrictions, and promoting successful returns to the community. Furthermore, a call for reframing the focus of sex offender reentry to include collaborative treatment groups and enhanced communication and services between key stakeholders is made. Finally, we close with a discussion of several best practice models that provide alternative housing sources for individuals sentenced under residence restrictions without a suitable home plan.
    March 11, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12066   open full text
  • Juvenile Economic Sanctions.
    Stacy Hoskins Haynes, Alison C. Cares, R. Barry Ruback.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 17, 2014
    Research Summary Economic sanctions, particularly restitution, can help juvenile offenders both learn the extent of the harm they caused and assume responsibility for repairing that harm. If that assumption is true, then restitution should be imposed in every case for which it is appropriate, other factors should not affect imposition, and paying restitution should be negatively related to recidivism. This analysis of 921 juvenile cases in five Pennsylvania counties found that restitution was imposed in only 33% of cases for which it was appropriate, whereas fees were imposed in 66% of cases. Consistent with expectations, restitution was more likely to be imposed for property offenses, but contrary to expectations, restitution was more likely to be imposed for felonies and for males. Judges were less likely to revoke the sentences of juveniles who paid a greater percentage of their total economic sanctions and of juveniles whose violation of sentencing conditions was for nonpayment of economic sanctions. Policy Implications Given that support for both punitive and progressive policies exists, policy makers have a unique opportunity to pursue alternatives, like economic sanctions, that appeal to both perspectives. Economic sanctions are particularly important for juveniles because they are less likely to interfere with other financial obligations (in large part because juveniles have fewer financial obligations than do adults) and because they avoid the stigma associated with more punitive sentences, such as incarceration. The negative relationship between payment of economic sanctions and recidivism, found in this study and in other studies, also suggests that, in both the short and the long term, economic sanctions are more cost‐effective. Furthermore, the restorative aspect of economic sanctions, particularly restitution, suggests that policy makers should consider how best to impose and collect economic sanctions, as they also are consistent with efforts to improve the treatment of crime victims.
    February 17, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12063   open full text
  • Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders.
    Michael T. Baglivio, Katherine Jackowski, Mark A. Greenwald, James C. Howell.
    Criminology & Public Policy. February 17, 2014
    Research Summary The prevalence of serious, violent, and chronic offenders is assessed across 5 years of delinquency referrals to a centralized juvenile justice agency. Differences in prevalence by gender and race/ethnicity and by age at first referral are compared for these youth with the other juveniles referred. Analyses examine whether subsequent official reoffending of these juveniles is predicted by similar risk and protective factors as with other youth. Stability in the proportion of youth meeting the serious, violent, and chronic classification was found. Males were more than twice as likely to be serious, violent, and chronic offenders. Serious, violent, and chronic offenders were almost three times more likely to have been first referred when 12 years old or younger. Predictive risk and protective factors are substantively different for these serious, violent, and chronic youth. Policy implications regarding appropriate delinquency interventions to address significant risk and protective factors for different subgroups of youth are discussed. Policy Implications Our study examines the prevalence rates of juvenile offenders classified as serious, violent, and chronic, thereby necessitating an analysis of resource allocation strategies for a juvenile justice agency. In light of this and other empirical findings, agency policies have been adjusted and new policies implemented, including a reduction in the number of residential beds by more than 50% in the last 3 years and reallocation of “deep‐end” resources to prevention and community‐based programming.
    February 17, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12064   open full text
  • Translating Causal Claims.
    Robert J. Sampson, Christopher Winship, Carly Knight.
    Criminology & Public Policy. December 02, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    December 02, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12027   open full text
  • Moving beyond BAC in DUI.
    Karen L. Dugosh, David S. Festinger, Douglas B. Marlowe.
    Criminology & Public Policy. October 22, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    October 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12020   open full text
  • An Evaluation of Day Reporting Centers for Parolees.
    Douglas J. Boyle, Laura M. Ragusa‐Salerno, Jennifer L. Lanterman, Andrea Fleisch Marcus.
    Criminology & Public Policy. July 23, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    July 23, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12010   open full text
  • Distinguishing “Loner” Attacks from Other Domestic Extremist Violence.
    Jeff Gruenewald, Steven Chermak, Joshua D. Freilich.
    Criminology & Public Policy. July 23, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    July 23, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12008   open full text
  • Improving Civil Gang Injunctions.
    Karen M. Hennigan, David Sloane.
    Criminology & Public Policy. July 23, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    July 23, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1745-9133.12000   open full text