SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Lindsey, A. M., Mears, D. P., Cochran, J. C., Bales, W. D., & Stults, B. (2017). In prison and far from home: Spatial distance effects on inmate misconduct. Crime & Delinquency, 63, 1043–1065.

Drawing on theory and research on prisoner behavior, this study examines whether spatial distance from home influences inmates’ likelihood of engaging in misconduct. Three hypotheses are developed: distally placed inmates will engage in more misconduct, distance will have a greater effect on misconduct among younger inmates, and visitation will mediate these relationships. We test the hypotheses using negative binomial regression analyses of data from the Florida Department of Corrections (N = 33,853). Support for the hypotheses is mixed. A curvilinear relationship between distance and misconduct was identified, with a positive effect on misconduct for distances up to 350 miles and a negative effect thereafter. Distance effects were greater for younger inmates and were partially mediated by visitation. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Kleck, G., & Kovandzic, T. (2009). City-level characteristics and individual handgun ownership: Effects of collective security and homicide. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 25(1)45–66.

General Social Survey (GSS) data are used in a multilevel analysis to examine the relationship between an individual’s decision to own a handgun and his or her city’s (a) homicide rate and (b) police strength level. The cities in which respondents lived were identified using special supplementary codes provided by the National Opinion Research Center so that information about surrounding cities could be attached to each GSS respondent. Logistic regression analyses indicate that the likelihood of handgun ownership is increased by higher local homicide rates. The effects are not mediated by the individual’s own victimization experiences or fear of crime. Positive macro-level associations previously found between homicide rates and gun ownership levels may be indicative of homicide effects on handgun acquisition rather than the reverse. Larger city police forces discourage handgun ownership, supporting the idea that the provision of greater collective security reduces the felt need of the citizenry to provide their own protection.

Terrill, W., & Paoline, E. A. (2013). Examining less than lethal force policy and the force continuum: Results from a national use-of-force study. Police Quarterly16, 38–65.

The less lethal coercive power granted to police officers is not without its restrictions. Such limitations are delineated per the United States Supreme Court, via Graham v. Connor, applying the broad standard of objective reasonableness. A far more salient operational guide to assessing what is objectively reasonable rests within departmental use-of-force policy, which like other police policies can vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. To date, comprehensive empirical inquiries regarding this jurisdictional variation is unknown. At best, extant research has noted that many agencies tend to instruct officers via a force continuum, although the nature (i.e., various designs, levels, and ordering of force tactics, and appropriate force relative to citizen resistance) of such policies are relatively unknown. Based on a multiwave national survey of policing agencies, the following study examines not only the extent to which departments utilize a use-of-force continuum within their less lethal force policy, but also the types of continuum designs used and the ways in which various force tactics and citizen resistance types are situated along a continuum. The results reveal that more than 80% of responding agencies utilize a use-of-force continuum, of which the linear design is the most popular. However, the placement of various force tactics and consideration of suspect resistance vary greatly across departments. In essence, there is no commonly accepted force continuum used by practitioners. The implications of these findings are considered.

Smith, C. M. (2014). The influence of gentrification on gang homicides in Chicago neighborhoods, 1994 to 2005. Crime & Delinquency, 60(4)569–591.

In this study, the author examines the effects of three forms of gentrification--demographic shifts, private investment, and state intervention--on gang-motivated homicides in Chicago from 1994 to 2005 using data from the U.S. Census, the Chicago Police Department, business directories, and the Chicago Housing Authority. The findings suggest that demographic shifts have a strong negative effect on gang homicide. Private investment gentrification, measured here as the proliferation of coffee shops, has a marginally significant and negative effect on gang homicide. In contrast, state-based gentrification, operationalized as the demolition of public housing, has a positive effect on gang homicide.

Hart, T. C., & Miethe, T. D. (2009). Self-defensive gun use by crime victims: A conjunctive analysis of its situational contexts. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 25(1), 6–19.

As a means for analyzing categorical data, conjunctive analysis is an emerging analytic approach used in both exploratory and confirmatory research. This technique is applied in the current study to examine two important issues related to the use of firearms as a means of self-defense by crime victims. Using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey, the current study uses conjunctive analysis (a) to examine the contextual factors associated with the use of a firearm by crime victims as a means of self-defense and (b) to identify the situational factors most closely associated with instances where the self-defensive use of a firearm is most and least effective. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for future research.

Stults, B. J. (2010). Determinants of Chicago neighborhood homicide trajectories: 1965-1995. Homicide Studies, 14(3)244–267.

The homicide rate in Chicago nearly tripled between 1965 and 1992 and subsequently declined by more than 50% through 2005. However, is this trend representative of all areas in the city? Drawing on the social disorganization and concentrated disadvantage perspectives, this article uses semiparametric group-based trajectory modeling to examine homicide trajectories in Chicago neighborhoods from 1965 to 1995. Significant variability is found in homicide trajectories across neighborhoods. Multivariate results show that disadvantage increases the likelihood of having an increasing or persistently high homicide trajectory. Social disorganization and family disruption are also predictive of variation in homicide trajectories but only in communities with already low levels of homicide. Other theoretically relevant predictors are evaluated, and suggestions for theoretical refinement and future research are discussed.