SAGE Journal Articles

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Corsaro, N., Brunson, R. K., & McGarrell, E. F. (2013). Problem-oriented policing and open-air drug markets: Examining the Rockford pulling levers deterrence strategy. Crime & Delinquency, 59(7)1085–1107.

Problem-oriented policing strategies have been regarded as promising approaches for disrupting open-air drug markets in vulnerable communities. Pulling levers deterrence interventions, which are consistent with the problem-oriented framework, have shown potential as an effective mechanism for reducing and preventing youth, gun, and gang violence. This study examines the effect of a strategic, pulling levers intervention that was implemented by law enforcement officials in Rockford, Illinois, to address drug markets in a high crime neighborhood. The initiative builds on a similar effort developed in High Point, North Carolina, and represents an extension of pulling levers that was originally developed in Boston. The impact evaluation uses a mixed method of quantitative hierarchical growth curve models and qualitative interviews with residents. Study findings suggest that the Rockford strategy was associated with a statistically significant and substantive reduction in crime, drug, and nuisance offenses in the target neighborhood. Results from this examination have implications for both research and public policy.

Kerley, K. R., Hochstetler, A., & Copes, H. (2009). Self-control, prison victimization, and prison infractions. Criminal Justice Review, 34(4), 553–568.

Gottfredson and Hirschi’s self-control theory has been the subject of much debate and empirical testing. Although the theory was developed originally as an explanation for criminal offending, researchers recently have examined whether low self-control may increase the risk of criminal victimization. This study assesses the effects of low self-control on victimization and offending among the incarcerated. We utilize structural equation models to test the impact of low self-control on prison victimization and prison infractions based on a study involving 208 recently paroled inmates from a Midwestern state. The results indicate that risk taking is a significant predictor of prison victimization and temper is a significant predictor of infractions. We conclude that self-control theory is a potential predictor of prison infractions and victimization and that personality traits seen as generally criminogenic in the free world may have particular situational ramifications in prison.

Hughes, C., Warren, P. Y., & Stewart, E. (2017). Racial threat, intergroup contact, and school punishment. Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency54(5), 583–616.

Drawing on the racial threat and intergroup contact literatures, we explore whether (1) a school’s racial or ethnic context increases school suspensions for Black, Hispanic, and White students; (2) intergroup contact among school board members reduces school suspensions for Black, Hispanic, and White students; and (3) a school’s racial or ethnic context effects on school suspensions are conditioned by intergroup contact among school board members. Count-dependent multilevel modeling techniques on school- and district-level measures from a representative sample of Florida middle and high schools. Larger racial and ethnic student populations within schools increase the likelihood of suspensions for Black and Hispanic students while decreasing suspensions for White students. Further, higher levels of intergroup contact between Black, White, and Hispanic school board members are associated with a lower likelihood of suspensions for all students. Finally, intergroup contact between Black, White, and Hispanic school board members moderates the effects of school racial and ethnic context on school suspensions. Important factors are associated with school punishment for Black, Hispanic, and White students. Integrated spaces play an important role in decreasing both punishment disparities and punishment severity.

Farrell, A. (2014). Environmental and institutional influences on police agency responses to human trafficking. Police Quarterly17, 3–29.

In response to domestic and international concern about individuals being exploited for labor or commercial sex, the U.S. Government passed legislation in 2000, creating a new crime of human trafficking and devoting resources to the identification of victims and prosecution of perpetrators. Since that time, all 50 states have passed legislation criminalizing trafficking of persons, yet law enforcement responses to these new legal mandates have been uneven. Recent research suggests police agencies are generally unprepared to identify and respond to human trafficking incidents in local communities and, as a result, relatively few cases have been identified. Using data from medium-to-large municipal police agencies in the United States, this research examines competing explanations for the adoption of responses in the wake of new human trafficking laws. The findings suggest the importance of institutional explanations including organizational experience with change.

Paoline, E. A. III, Terrill, W., & Ingram, J. R. (2012). Police use of force and officer injuries: Comparing conducted energy devices (CEDs) to hands- and weapons-based tactics. Police Quarterly, 15(2), 115–136.

The widespread adoption of conducted energy devices (CEDs) across American police departments over the last decade has been mired in public controversy. It is generally accepted, from a police perspective, that CEDs are safer for officers who can use the weapon at a greater distance, avoiding much of the harm associated with close physical struggles with citizens. Research has generally supported the notion that aggregate levels of officer injuries are reduced following the implementation of CEDs. Unfortunately, multivariate examinations that, in varying degrees, have attempted to compare CED applications to other forms of force (while controlling for rival causal factors) have yet to produce the same consistent results as the pre- and post-CED adoption studies. The current research adds to recent multivariate inquiries by using data collected as part of a national multiagency use of force project to assess the independent effect of CEDs on officer injuries. Based on a series of multivariate models, our results generally find evidence of increased benefits (i.e., lower probability of officer injury) of CEDs when used by themselves. By contrast, in some instances when CEDs were used in combination with other forms of force, there was an increased probability of officer injury. The implications of these findings for police researchers and practitioners are considered.

Muftić, L. R., Bouffard, L. A., & Bouffard, J. A. (2007). An exploratory analysis of victim precipitation among men and women arrested for intimate partner violence. Feminist Criminology, 2(4), 327–346.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a complex social problem that has produced a wide variety of explanations. However, few studies have explored what, if any, role victim precipitation plays in IPV. Victim precipitation is generally defined as behavior by the victim that initiates the subsequent behavior of the victimizer; however, studies using this concept have often been accused of subtle and overt victim blaming. Distinguishing victim precipitation from victim blaming, this study explores the utility of victim precipitation in understanding contextual differences in men’s and women’s use of violence in intimate relationships and police use of dual arrest in IPV incidents. Results suggest that victim precipitation plays an important role in understanding incidents of IPV, especially in cases involving dual arrest.

White, M. D., Ready, J., Riggs, C., Dawes, D. M., Hinz, A., & Ho, J. D. (2013). An incident-level profile analysis of TASER device deployments in arrest-related deaths. Police Quarterly16, 85–112.

While a considerable body of research has investigated the physiological risks associated with the TASER device, much less research attention has been devoted to examining the nearly 400 police–citizen encounters in which a suspect has died after the device was used. As a result, there are numerous unanswered questions regarding officer, suspect, and incident-level characteristics of these arrest-related deaths (ARDs), as well as the extent to which patterns in these characteristics may have changed over time. The current study seeks to inform the discourse surrounding these death cases through a descriptive analysis of the near-universe of ARDs involving a TASER device deployment from 2001-2008 (n = 392). Using a unique data triangulation methodology that captures both media (n = 392) and medical examiner reports (n = 213), the authors characterize the geographic distribution of ARDs and find parallels between that distribution, state population, the number of officers per state, crime levels per state, and TASER device sales patterns. Also, an incident-level analysis shows that these ARDs were dynamic encounters between suspects who were frequently intoxicated and who actively and aggressively resisted police, and officers who were drawing deeply into their arsenal of force options in an attempt to control and arrest them. Cause of death was most commonly identified as drugs, heart problems, or Excited Delirium Syndrome. Last, longitudinal analysis showed consistency in most incident, suspect and officer characteristics, though key aspects of suspect resistance, including level of aggression and persistence after TASER device exposure, changed notably over time. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for policy and practice with regard to these rare but fatal police–citizen encounters.

Mears, D. P., Mancini, C., & Stewart, E. A. (2009). Whites’ concern about crime: The effects of interracial contact. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 46(4)524–552.

In recent decades, crime has emerged as a prominent policy focus nationally. Accordingly, a large literature on public views about crime has developed, one strand of which highlights the racialization of crime as a factor central to public opinion and policy discourse. Drawing on this work and studies on the effects of interracial contact, the authors seek to advance theory and research on public opinion about crime. To this end, they draw on data from an ABC News and Washington Post poll to test competing hypotheses about the effects of interracial friendship among Whites on concern about local and national crime. The results suggest that interracial contact increases concern about crime among urban Whites. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for theory, research, and policy.