UC a strong presence at American Society of Criminology Meeting

November 15, 2011

Does the use of housing vouchers lead to crime?

What are the odds of victimization within prison populations?

These and other research topics will be presented by University of Cincinnati criminal justice faculty at the Nov. 16-19 American Society of Criminology Meeting in Washington, D.C. In all, UC - which houses one of the nation's top-ranked criminal justice programs - will present 41 papers or posters.

Below are summaries of just a few of the UC research to be presented. Visit the conference site to view the complete list of UC research presentations at the meeting and search the preliminary program.

Race Group Differences in the Odds of Violent Victimization among Prison Inmates in Ohio and Kentucky

Research that examined over 5,000 inmates housed in 46 prisons throughout Ohio and Kentucky found that the odds of victimization by physical assault and by theft were significantly higher among whites compared to African Americans. Among whites in prison, the odds of being physically victimized are higher for males, inmates in maximum-security prisons, and persons incarcerated for non-violent crimes. Among African Americans, the odds of violent victimization are higher for younger inmates, females, inmates without families, inmates in maximum-security prisons, and persons incarcerated for non-violent crimes. How inmates spend their time in prison (jobs, recreation, education classes, etc.) is more important for determining the odds of victimization for whites relative to African Americans. And background factors (age, criminal histories, etc.) had the same impact on victimization for both race groups.
Author: John Wooldredge, University of Cincinnati
Co-author: Benjamin Steiner, University of South Carolina

Public Land Use and Fear of Crime

Research has shown a link between land use (residential vs. public) and rates of crime. Several mechanisms by which land use could affect crime have been suggested. The given theoretical explanations between these variables may also be beneficial for explaining residents' perceptions of crime in their communities. Using data from the Seattle Neighborhood and Crime Survey, the current study examines the relationship between neighborhoods' non-residential land use and residents' fear of crime. More specifically, the hypothesis that the presence of non-residential land use (bars, schools, parks, hotels, malls, and bus stops) influences individuals' worry about potential victimization is tested. This analyses offer limited support for the hypothesis that fear of violent crime is affected by non-residential land use through its effect on collective efficacy and disorder; however, the proposed theory is not effective in explaining fear of property crime.
Author: Susan McNeeley, University of Cincinnati
Co-author: Amy Stutzenberger, University of Cincinnati

Can Living with a Custodial Grandparent Impact Juvenile Delinquency? A Study of Youth in Chicago Neighborhoods

This study explores the influence of traditional and non-conventional caregivers on juvenile delinquency with a sample of families in Chicago. While previous literature has examined the physical health and emotional well being of mothers and grandparents, little is known about juveniles who reside with a custodial grandparent. Less is known about the effects of caregiver family structure and juvenile delinquency. The present study uses data from the Project of Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) to compare delinquency rates of juveniles raised by natural parents, grandparents, and other types of caregivers.
Author: Natalie Goulette, University of Cincinnati

Attendance and Participation Patterns of Offenders Sanctioned to Attend AA

This observational study aims to understand the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous as a judicial sanction. In particular, the quality-assurance component of the treatment model has been evaluated to see if offenders required to attend AA are receiving the proper dosage of treatment and are participating in the way the model suggests they do. De-identified data has been gathered from 50 meetings. The data gathered from these 50 meeting sites indicates that participants who are required to attend AA meetings come in much later and participate far less than those who are there by their own choice. Interestingly, those required to attend uniformly attend 4 p.m. AA meetings, never the 10 a.m. meetings.
Author: Beau James Shine, University of Cincinnati

The Crime Prevention Effects of Open-Street CCTV in South Korea

This research studied the crime prevention effects of open-street Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) implemented in the city of Chuncheon, South Korea, on serious crimes and crimes related to disorderly conduct. After controlling the length of the month, seasonal effects and temporal trends, a mixed linear model for repeated measurements was applied to analyze the general crime-reduction effects of open-street CCTV. A Weighted Displacement Quotient (WDQ) was also used to analyze the crime reduction effects of each open-street CCTV location. The results showed that, overall, open-street CCTV did not show a statistically significant effect on the reduction of serious crimes or disorder crimes. However, the analysis of a WDQ showed that the crime-reduction effect of each open-street CCTV location depended on the characteristics of the locations. The results also showed higher crime-reduction effects in relations to serious crimes vs. crimes involving disorderly conduct.
Author: Hyung Jim Lim, University of Cincinnati
Co-authors: Jeonglim Kim, Sam Houston State University Hee Sub Shim, University of Cincinnati Yongsok Kim, Texas State University, San Marcos

Neighborhood Disadvantage, Intimate Partner Violence, and Depression

Studies have found that living in neighborhoods plagued by street-level violence and disorder is associated with depression. Depression is also strongly associated with being victimized by intimate partner violence. Finally, a growing body of research indicates that women's risk of being victimized by intimate-partner violence is substantially higher in disadvantaged and disordered neighborhoods net of the individual and couple level factors that influence this form of violence. The previously established crosscutting associations between neighborhood disadvantage, intimate partner violence, and depression suggest that the effects of IPV on this form of psychological distress may be exacerbated for women who reside in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, we investigate this possibility.
Author: Michael Benson, University of Cincinnati
Co-author: Emily Wright, University of South Carolina

Group Social Ties: The Dynamics of Violent Street Group Interactions and Connections

Social connections form the foundation of interactions among members of a community, including both pro-social and anti-social groups and members of those groups. Social ties among violent group members and the groups themselves play a large role in the network of interaction within urban areas. Most importantly, these group interactions shape the nature of violence in these areas. This study seeks to assess the changing nature of street group interactions in Cincinnati overtime via social-network analysis.
Author: Jessica Dunham, University of Cincinnati

Rethinking Packer: What New Approaches to Policing Suggest for the Due Process vs Crime Control Tradeoff

In 1968, Herbert Packer asserted that there is a conflict between two models of criminal justice operations. The due process model emphasizes a procedural approach to guarantee the fair and appropriate treatment of alleged offenders. The crime control model emphasizes reducing crime. Packer claimed that the more one of these models was emphasized, the less the other model would be applied. This critique has informed policy discussions and academic research to this day. We review Packer's theory in light of changes in policing strategy that have since occurred. We propose that new policing strategies may alter this tradeoff, in some cases making it less severe or relevant.
Author: John Eck, University of Cincinnati
Co-author: Robin Engel, University of Cincinnati

Scottish Student Crime & Victimization: Early Findings

Victimization surveys have becoming increasingly important as a means of investigating not just prevalence and incidence rates for specific types of crime amongst different demographic groups, but also measuring awareness of risks and concerns about crime and victimization. While general victimization surveys are regularly conducted in the United Kingdom, less focused attention has been given to university student populations, despite that fact that they are likely to have specific concerns and fears about crime and victimization - as well as perceptions of risk and security both on and off campuses - that merit investigation. Until very recently no research had been conducted on student victimization in Scotland. This paper will present findings from research that has sought to address this knowledge gap. Data and findings will be presented from a student victimization survey conducted with undergraduate students in a Scottish university. This will be focused on assessing the prevalence and incidence of a number of types of victimization (including violent and sexual in all its forms) among university students and explore whether demographic variables such as gender, age, ethnicity, student 'type' (home/overseas), and lifestyle are linked to victimization experiences and prevention behavior.
Author: Bonnie Fisher, University of Cincinnati
Co-authors: Lesley McMillan, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland Annette Robertson, Glasgow Caledonian University Jon Godwin, Glasgow Caledonian University

The Drugs/Love Nexus: Broadening Beyond Crime to Better Understand Drime

Drugs are associated with a number of crimes. Goldstein's (1985) typology suggests three drugs-crime relationships, or "drimes". This framework has oriented criminological work on drime for more than two decades and will continue to do so in the future. Recently, a line of inquiry has emerged that expands understanding of drime by focusing on antithetical behavior. Based on data obtained in interviews with drug dealers, bars, and coffee shops in Amsterdam, this paper extends Goldstein's typology by suggesting three drugs-love relationships, or "droves": (1) the psychopharmacological model is when the ingestion of drugs increases toleration, apology, negotiation, gift giving, and cheaper prices; (2) the economic compulsive model involves gift giving and providing cheaper prices in order to help people obtain drugs; and, (3) the systemic model holds that involvement in an illegal market increases toleration, apology, and negotiation by reducing victims' access to law. The rationale behind this framework is that by giving scholarly attention to why, when and how drove occurs, then more can be learned about drime and, in turn, how to control it.
Author: Scott Jacques, University of Cincinnati

Virtual Reality and the Criminal Justice System: New Possibilities for Research

Virtual reality (VR) systems are being used to achieve a broad range of goals in a variety of fields. The criminal justice system can benefit from this rapidly expanding technology in a variety of ways. Using VR, researchers can create a multitude of situations in a controlled environment, allowing them, with a few clicks of the mouse, to manipulate anything in the virtual world. In addition to a great deal of experimental control, VR offers both researchers and subjects the benefits of conducting research in safe and cost-effective environments. Subjects can be exposed to real world threats without facing the pitfalls of real world harm. VR also allows researchers to utilize objective measures. Multiple studies involving VR have successfully used devices to measure heart rate, perspiration and muscular tension. Additionally, studies have incorporated the use of electroencephalography, positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure other physiological responses while in the virtual environment. Other methodological issues such as sample size, validity and causal inference can also be addressed using VR. Data collection is automatic, thereby minimizing the potential for coding errors. Virtual reality offers a cost-efficient and effective means of addressing the diverse needs of criminal justice research.
Author: Bobbie Ticknor, University of Cincinnati

The Effect of Victimization on Women's Health: Does the Victim-Offender Relationship Matter?

Existing empirical research from various disciplines has demonstrated that violence against women is a pervasive social problem affecting women of all ages, races, and socioeconomic statuses. Despite criticism of the field for a lack of national-level data and problems with differing terminology and definitions, the violence against women research has made great progress towards demonstrating the scope and extent of violence women experience. Using the National Violence Against Women Study (NVAWS), the present research seeks to expand what is known about violence against women by exploring the impact of the victim-offender relationship on a variety of negative health outcomes. Two research questions are tested: 1) what is the prevalence of violence against women by victim-offender relationship? and 2) what is the effect of the victim-offender relationship on a woman's psychological and physical health, and wellbeing? Findings indicate that a variety of perpetrators are responsible for violence against women, and that no single group can be ignored. Additionally, it appears that while victimization is related to negative health outcomes, the victim-offender relationship does not significantly contribute to increasing the odds of experiencing negative health outcomes. These findings are discussed in relation to previous empirical research and the direction of future research.
Author: Megan Stewart, University of Cincinnati

"Code of the Hallway": Examining the Effects of School Subculture on Delinquency

This study draws upon the subculture of violence literature that is usually applied to communities or neighborhoods to explain variation in criminal behavior. However, using data from almost 4,000 students nested within 111 unique school contexts, here we apply subculture to schools and explore how schools may serve as a context that somewhat parallels a community. That is, we examine how the subculture of a school (i.e., its "code of the hallway") may affect delinquency that occurs in school versus delinquency that occurs outside of school. In addition, we examine these effects in relation to different forms of violence (e.g., physical assault and robbery vs. sexual assault), and we explore whether these effects are possibly gendered (i.e., more powerful for males).
Author: Kristan Swartz, University of Cincinnati
Co-author: Pamela Wilcox, University of Cincinnati

A Survey of Correctional Staff Support of Rehabilitation

While there is a substantial body of literature on public support for rehabilitation, the knowledge base regarding correctional staff support of rehabilitation is significantly smaller. Of those studies that have measured correctional staff support, there is considerable variation in the definition of support and the scales used to measure it. Even further, there is an untested assumption that the construct of rehabilitation has unwavering face validity across surveys and between different staff positions. For this study, the authors designed a survey to measure correctional staff support for rehabilitation while also testing the various definitions of support. In addition to a comprehensive understanding of correctional staff support of rehabilitation, the implications of the findings for the creation of a standardized assessment of correctional employee attitudes toward rehabilitation are discussed.
Author: Jessica Warner, University of Cincinnati
Co-author: Paula Smith, University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati

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