Monday, December 21, 2009

Justice Quarterly Forthcoming

Justice Quarterly plans to expand from four to six issues per year in 2010, and it currently appears to hold a backlog of at least 25 articles: these have been accepted but only electronically published. Because some have been available online as long as seven months (but are still not yet in print), it seems worth listing them here. To save space, I have not included these abstracts; I will do so when the articles are included in new issues.

Where the Margins Meet: A Demographic Assessment of Transgender Inmates in Men’s Prisons
Lori Sexton;  Valerie Jenness; Jennifer Macy Sumner

The Geospatial Structure of Terrorist Cells
D. Kim Rossmo; Keith Harries

Examining the Sources of Variation in Risk for Recidivism
Beth M. Huebner; Mark T. Berg

The Empirical Status of Social Learning Theory: A Meta-Analysis
Travis C. Pratt;  Francis T. Cullen;  Christine S. Sellers;  L. Thomas Winfree Jr.;  Tamara D. Madensen;  Leah E. Daigle;  Noelle E. Fearn; Jacinta M. Gau

On the Malleability of Self-Control: Theoretical and Policy Implications Regarding a General Theory of Crime
Alex R. Piquero;  Wesley G. Jennings; David P. Farrington

An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Community Notification and Registration: Do the Best Intentions Predict the Best Practices?
Kristen Zgoba;  Bonita M. Veysey; Melissa Dalessandro

The Power to be Lenient: Examining New York Governors’ Capital Case Clemency Decisions
Talia Roitberg Harmon;  James R. Acker; Craig Rivera

The Darkest Figure of Crime: Perceptions of Reasons for Male Inmates to Not Report Sexual Assault
Kristine Levan Miller

The Right to Counsel in Juvenile Court: The Conundrum of Attorneys as an Aggravating Factor at Disposition
Barry C. Feld; Shelly Schaefer

Intimidation and Street Gangs: Understanding the Response of Victims and Bystanders to Perceived Gang Violence
Chris Melde; Callie Marie Rennison

Confessing their Crime: Factors Influencing the Offender’s Decision to Confess to the Police
Nadine Deslauriers-Varin;  Patrick Lussier; Michel St-Yves

If Your Friends Jumped Off of a Bridge, Would You Do It Too? Delinquent Peers and Susceptibility to Peer Influence
Holly Ventura Miller

“That's Not Who I Am:” How Offenders Commit Violent Acts and Reject Authentically Violent Selves
Andy Hochstetler;  Heith Copes; J. Patrick Williams

Talking Heads: Crime Reporting on Cable News
Natasha A. Frost; Nickie D. Phillips

Cognitive Skills, Adolescent Violence, and the Moderating Role of Neighborhood Disadvantage
Paul E. Bellair; Thomas L. McNulty

Trafficking in Bodily Perfection: Examining the Late-Modern Steroid Marketplace and Its Criminalization
Peter B. Kraska;  Charles R. Bussard; John J. Brent

Alcohol and Drug Mitigation in Capital Murder Trials: Implications for Sentencing Decisions
Beth Bjerregaard;  M. Dwayne Smith;  Sondra J. Fogel; Wilson R. Palacios

Lethal Outcome in Sexual Assault Events: A Conjunctive Analysis
Tom Mieczkowski; Eric Beauregard

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender: Is it Associated with Recidivism?
Jill Levenson;  Elizabeth Letourneau;  Kevin Armstrong; Kristen Marie Zgoba

Trial Penalties in Federal Sentencing: Extra-Guidelines Factors and District Variation
Jeffery T. Ulmer;  James Eisenstein; Brian D. Johnson

Contemporary Regional Differences in Support by Whites for the Death Penalty: A Research Note
Steven E. Barkan; Steven F. Cohn

Private Military Contractors, Crime, and the Terrain of Unaccountability
Dawn L. Rothe; Jeffrey Ian Ross

The Independent and Joint Effects of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age on Sentencing Outcomes in U.S. Federal Courts
Jill K. Doerner; Stephen Demuth

Lawlessness in the Federal Sentencing Process: A Test for Uniformity and Consistency in Sentence Outcomes
Amy L. Anderson; Cassia Spohn

What Distinguishes Single from Recurrent Sexual Victims? The Role of Lifestyle-Routine Activities and First-Incident Characteristics
Bonnie S. Fisher;  Leah E. Daigle; Francis T. Cullen

Justice Quarterly forthcoming articles as of December 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Law & Society Review 43(4)

Incarceration and the Legitimate Labor Market: Examining Age-Graded Effects on Employment and Wages
Becky Pettit, Christopher J. Lyons
Over the past 30 years, the U.S. inmate population has increased dramatically, and the penal system has acquired growing attention in accounts of recent trends in economic stratification. As the prison system has expanded, its population has aged; incarceration rates have risen sharpest among older age groups. A large body of research documents differences in criminal offending and incarceration over the life course, but little attention has been paid to how the effects of spending time in prison depend on the timing of incarceration in the life course. Using state administrative data that provide significant variance in the age of offenders, this article investigates how the timing of incarceration in the life course influences its effects on post-release employment and wages. We do not find consistent evidence that incarceration effects vary by age at admission. Instead, incarceration appears to have important consequences for employment and wage outcomes regardless of when individuals are admitted to prison. Even the most motivated offenders suffer sizeable and significant wage penalties and, over time, decreased likelihood of employment. These findings underscore the relevance of legal and institutional shifts associated with carceral expansion and the aging of the inmate population for life course theories of criminal desistance, accounts of labor market inequality, and prisoner reentry programs.

Does Racial Balance in Workforce Representation Yield Equal Justice? Race Relations of Sentencing in Federal Court Organizations*
Geoff Ward, Amy Farrell, Danielle Rousseau
Increasing racial and ethnic group representation in justice-related occupations is considered a potential remedy to racial inequality in justice administration, including sentencing disparity. Studies to date yield little evidence of such an effect; however, research limitations may account for the mixed and limited evidence of the significance of justice workforce racial diversity. Specifically, few studies consider group-level dynamics of race and representation, thus failing to contextualize racial group power relations in justice administration. To consider these contextual dynamics we combine court organizational and case-level data from 89 federal districts and use hierarchical models to assess whether variably "representative" work groups relate to district-level differences in sentencing. Using district-specific indexes of population and work group dissimilarity to define representation, we find no relationships between black judge representation and sentencing in general across districts, but that districts with more black representation among prosecutors are significantly less likely to sentence defendants to terms of imprisonment. We also find in districts with increased black representation among prosecutors, and to a lesser degree among judges, that black defendants are less likely to be imprisoned and white defendants are more likely to be imprisoned, with the effect of narrowing black-white disparities in sentencing. Consistent with the "power-threat" perspective, and perhaps "implicit racial bias" research, findings encourage modeling diversity to account for relative racial group power in processes of social control and suggest that racial justice may be moderately advanced by equal representation among authorities.

Status Disparities in the Capital of Capital Punishment
Scott Phillips
Numerous studies have examined the influence of victim race on capital punishment, with a smaller number focused on victim gender. But death penalty scholars have largely ignored victim social status. Drawing on Black's (1976) multidimensional theoretical concept, the current research examines the impact of victim social status on the district attorney's decision to seek the death penalty and the jury's decision to impose a death sentence. The data include the population of cases indicted for capital murder in Harris County (Houston), Texas, from 1992 to 1999 (n=504). The findings suggest that victim social status has a robust influence on the ultimate state sanction: Death was more likely to be sought and imposed on behalf of high-status victims who were integrated, sophisticated, conventional, and respectable. The research also has implications beyond capital punishment. Because victim social status has rarely been investigated in the broader sentencing literature, Black's concept provides a theoretical tool that could be used to address such an important omission.

Expertise, Experience, and Ideology on Specialized Courts: The Case of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Banks Miller, Brett Curry
What roles do prior expertise and accumulated experience play in shaping ideologically consistent voting on a specialized court? Using a dataset of obviousness patent cases from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit spanning 1997–2007, we show that prior expertise enhances the influence of ideology on judicial decisionmaking, but that accumulated experience does not. In addition, we build on previous work and show that ideology is a factor in decisionmaking in technical areas of law, contrary to the received wisdom on patent cases.

Organizational Trust and the Limits of Management-Based Regulation
Neil Gunningham, Darren Sinclair
This article examines the relationship between management-based regulation and occupational health and safety through two case studies. The first describes how corporate occupational health and safety systems and standards were interpreted and implemented differently at different mine sites within the same company and examines the particular role of trust between workers and management in explaining variations in occupational health and safety performance. The second explores the difficulties of moving from a highly devolved system of responsibility to a more centralized approach, and the incapacity of externally mandated management-based regulation to change behavior at site level in the absence of a supportive workplace culture. The article argues that notwithstanding the heavy emphasis currently being placed on both internal (company-driven) and external (government-driven) management-based regulation, a commitment at corporate level does not necessarily percolate down to individual facilities where ritualistic responses or resistant subcultures may thwart effective change. The findings have important implications for the effectiveness of management-based regulation and meta-regulation more broadly.

Intraprofessional Competition and Earnings Inequalities Across a Professional Chasm: The Case of the Legal Profession in Québec, Canada
Fiona M. Kay
Intraprofessional rivalry has a long history. This article examines earnings disparities as a dimension of intraprofessional competition among avocats and notaires in the civil law system of Québec, Canada. Drawing on two large-scale surveys and in-depth interviews with legal professionals, I examine three competing perspectives of earnings inequalities: human capital, social-symbolic capital, and organizational-structural explanations. Through this analysis I seek to examine whether similar causal processes shape earnings across the two spheres of legal practice in Québec. The findings of this study clearly demonstrate that these two professional groups are equipped with differential stocks of capital, and conversion rates differ drastically. Avocats receive greater exchange on their investments in human and social-symbolic capitals. These disparities are most pronounced in sectors of the profession where jurisdictional frictions abound: among notaires and avocats working as solo practitioners and in small firms within competitive urban contexts. The article concludes with a discussion of theoretical extensions and future directions for the study of legal professionals in civil law systems and blended jurisdictions.

Law & Society Review, December 2009: Volume 43, Issue 4

Social Forces 88(1)

Transformations in the Life Course

Maternal Education, Early Child Care and the Reproduction of Advantage
Jennifer March Augustine, Shannon E. Cavanagh, Robert Crosnoe
The social and human capital that educational attainment provides women enables them to better navigate their children’s passages through school. In this study, we examine a key mechanism in this intergenerational process: mothers’ selection of early child care. Analyses of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development revealed that maternal education was positively associated with configurations of child-care characteristics (i.e., type, quality, quantity) most closely linked to children’s school readiness. This association was not solely a function of mother’s income or employment status, persisted despite controls for many observable confounds (e.g., maternal cognitive and psychological skills, paternal characteristics), and, according to post-hoc indices, was fairly robust in terms of unobservable confounds.

Structure and Stress: Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms across Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Daniel E. Adkins, Victor Wang, Matthew E. Dupre, Edwin J.C.G. van den Oord, Glen H. Elder Jr.
Previous research into the social distribution of early life depression has yielded inconsistent results regarding the causes and course of subgroup depression disparities. This study examines the topic by analyzing National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data, modeling gender and racial/ethnic differences in early life depression trajectories and investigating the influences of stress and socioeconomic status. Results indicate females and minorities experience elevated depressive symptoms across early life compared to males and whites. SES and stressful life events explain much of the racial/ethnic disparities. Blacks, Hispanics and females show greater sensitivity to the effects of low SES, and in the case of females, SLEs. Overall, this study develops a nuanced, dynamic model of the multiplicative effects of social disadvantage on early life depression disparities.

Multiracial Self-Identification and Adolescent Outcomes: A Social Psychological Approach to the Marginal Man Theory
Simon Cheng, Kathryn J. Lively
Recent public health research has consistently reported that self-identified multiracial adolescents tend to display more problem behaviors and psychological difficulties than monoracial adolescents. Relying on insights from qualitative analyses using small or clinical samples to interpret these empirical patterns, these studies implicitly assume a pejorative stance toward adolescents’ multiracial self-identification. Building on the social psychological arguments underlying Park’s and Stonequist’s seminal discussions of the “marginal man,” we derive hypotheses indicating that self-identified multiracial adolescents may show more psychological difficulties, but are also likely to have more active social interaction and participation than monoracial groups. We also incorporate later elaborations of the marginal man theory to develop alternative hypotheses regarding multiracial youth’s school and behavioral outcomes. Based on a nationally representative sample of racially self-identified youth, the results suggest that patterns of multiracial-monoracial differences are generally consistent with the hypotheses derived closely from the marginal man theory or its subsequent elaborations. We examine the heterogeneities within these general patterns across different multiracial categories and discuss the implications of these findings.

Disability and the Transition to Adulthood
Alexander L. Janus
Data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 are used to estimate the effect of type of disability (in order of frequency, learning, other, emotional, hearing, visual, physical and speech impairment) on young people’s progress toward four adult transitions: finding full-time employment, establishing an independent residence, marrying and having children. I find that young people who have a visual, hearing, speech or “other” impairment are more likely than their nondisabled peers to find themselves among the respondents who did not complete any of the adult transitions examined in the analysis. Young people who have a learning disability are also more likely to be in a “just workers” group (i.e., respondents who are still living at home, for the most part, but working fulltime).

The Transformative Role of Religious Experience: The Case of Short-Term Missions
Jenny Trinitapoli, Stephen Vaisey
Sociologists have long sought to understand the relationship between collective experiences and individual commitments. This article examines the short-term mission as an institutionalized religious experience, assessing its prevalence, predictors and impact on the religious trajectories of the youth who participate in them. Religiously devout adolescents are more likely than others to go on a short-term mission as are younger adolescents and those with very religious parents. Applying propensity score matching to a nationally representative longitudinal sample of American adolescents, we find that adolescents who go on a short-term mission between interview waves report increased religious participation and solidified religious beliefs. We use the example of this experience to emphasize the importance of considering religious experiences to develop more nuanced understandings of the way religion shapes the beliefs and behaviors of individuals.

Collective Action

Cross-Talk: The Role of Homophily and Elite Bias in Civic Associations
Christopher Weare, Juliet Musso, Kyu-Nahm Jun
We examine the manner in which voluntary associations expose individuals to differing perspectives, or “cross-talk.” Specifically we develop hypotheses based on the interactive roles of elite bias and homophily in structuring networks of democratic participation and test them on social network data of Los Angeles neighborhood councils. We find that homophily leads to boards less diverse than their communities, but does not lead to homogeneous cliques within boards. Moreover, we find that elite bias and homophily counteract each other in lower-status communities, leading to more diverse boards than would be predicted by homophily alone. We then examine the effects of assortative mixing on political attitudes and collective action, and find weak support for the proposition that associational diversity promotes tolerance and access to information.

Civic Opportunities in Associations: Interpersonal Interaction, Governance Experience and Institutional Relationships
Matthew Baggetta
Following Tocqueville, many scholars consider associations “schools of democracy” because members can develop civic capacities within them. This article identifies the distribution of civic development opportunities across civic sectors (e.g., politics, service, recreation), focusing on understudied apolitical groups. New data is introduced on a set of often referenced, but rarely studied, associations: choral societies. Choruses are shown to offer numerous opportunities for interpersonal interaction, governance experience and institutional relationships. Data are compared to opportunities offered by associations in other civic sectors. Apolitical arts associations are found to provide as many or more opportunities for individual civic development than their politically-and service-oriented counterparts suggesting their potential for shrinking the political communication gap between naturally politically interested and disinterested citizens.

Cross-Cutting Influences of Environmental Protest and Legislation
Susan Olzak, Sarah A. Soule
This research examines the influence of types of protest activities, Congressional hearings and political characteristics on environmental legislation enacted from 1961–1990. We find that rates of environmental protest rise with increases in the amount of previous institutional activities, but extra-institutional activities do not raise the overall rate of protest. Protest has no direct effect on the passage of legislation, but institutional protest activities significantly raise the rate of Congressional hearings on the environment. When comparing all environmental laws to those designated as having a major impact, we find both similarities and differences. For example, prior legislative activity decreases both rates, but increases in criteria air pollutants and partisan characteristics of Congress significantly affect only the rates of major environmental legislation.

Assortative Mating in Asia

Five Decades of Educational Assortative Mating in 10 East Asian Societies
Jeroen Smits, Hyunjoon Park
We study trends in educational homogamy at six boundaries in the educational structure of 10 East-Asian societies and explain its variation using explanatory variables at the country, cohort and boundary level. Educational homogamy was higher at the higher boundaries in the educational structure. Since the 1950s it decreased at all but the lowest boundaries, indicating convergence to a relatively low level of homogamy. Educational homogamy is lower in societies that are more modern, have higher female employment and experienced less Confucian influence. Results support the general openness and the exclusivity hypothesis, which predict educational homogamy to decrease in modernizing societies and to be higher when the group of more highly educated is smaller. Findings suggest that the trend towards less educational homogamy is related to educational expansion.

The Effect of the Cultural Revolution on Educational Homogamy in Urban China
Lijun Song
This article demonstrates that the Cultural Revolution led to a temporary decline in educational homogamy in urban China, which was reversed when the Cultural Revolution ended. Previous studies on educational homogamy in China have paid incomplete attention to China’s shifting institutional structures. This research applies institutional theory to the trend of educational homogamy in urban China. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) state policies lowered educational legitimacy, educational homogeneity and mating opportunities in school in the urban marriage market while enhancing them before and after. From the institutional perspective I hypothesize that the strength of educational homogamy in urban China during the Cultural Revolution was weaker than before and after. I use log-multiplicative layer effect models to analyze data representative of urban residents in 20 cities. I find moderate but significant evidence for the institutional hypotheses. Educational assortative mating is subject to political intervention in urban China.

Global & Cross-National Analyses

Putting Poverty in Political Context: A Multi-Level Analysis of Adult Poverty across 18 Affluent Democracies
David Brady, Andrew S. Fullerton, Jennifer Moren Cross
Our study analyzes how political context, embodied by the welfare state and Leftist political actors, shapes individual poverty. Using the Luxembourg Income Study, we conduct a multi-level analysis of working-aged adult poverty across 18 affluent Western democracies. Our index of welfare generosity has a negative effect on poverty net of individual characteristics and structural context. For each standard deviation increase in welfare generosity, the odds of poverty decline by a factor of 2.3. The odds of poverty in the United States (the least generous welfare state) are greater by a factor of 16.6 than a person with identical characteristics in Denmark (the most generous welfare state). Significant interaction effects suggest that welfare generosity reduces the extent to which low education and the number of children increase poverty. Also, welfare generosity reduces poverty among those with low education, single-mother households and young households. We show that Leftist parties and union density reduce the odds of poverty, however their effects channel through the welfare state. Ultimately, poverty is shaped both by individual characteristics and the political context in which the individual resides.

Globalization, Development and International Migration: A Cross-National Analysis of Less-Developed Countries, 1970–2000
Matthew R. Sanderson, Jeffrey D. Kentor
It is widely argued that globalization and economic development are associated with international migration. However, these relationships have not been tested empirically. We use a cross-national empirical analysis to assess the impact of global and national factors on international migration from less-developed countries. An interdisciplinary analytical framework is developed. We then use several modeling techniques to analyze panel data on a set of less-developed countries from 1970 to 2000. Three central findings emerge from these analyses. First, foreign direct investment has a significant, differential effect across sectors of the economy: FDI in the primary sector increases the level of net emigration, while FDI in the secondary sector has a deterrent effect. Second, economic development has a significant, nonlinear effect on net emigration levels, the so-called “migration hump.” Finally, we find a strong cumulative causation effect of migration, meaning that migration has a strong internal momentum after it has been initiated. The implications of the findings are discussed in the context of contemporary migration theory.

Immigration & Neighborhood Processes

Immigration and Youthful Illegalities in a Global Edge City
Ronit Dinovitzer, John Hagan, Ron Levi
This research focuses on immigration and youthful illegalities in the Toronto area, one of the world’s most ethnically diverse global cities. While current research documents a negative relationship between crime and immigration, there is little attention to individual-level mechanisms that explain the paths through which immigrant youth refrain from illegalities. Through a study of two cohorts of adolescents across two generations (1976, 1999), we elaborate a process model that is generic over both generations, and in which measures of bonds to parents and schools, commitments to education, and dispositions of risk aversity mediate youth involvement in illegalities. By focusing on a period when non-European immigration to Toronto increased dramatically, we then identify a compositional effect through which the more recent cohort is engaged in fewer illegalities.

Diversity, Racial Threat and Metropolitan Housing Segregation
Robert DeFina, Lance Hannon
Previous studies have shown that as the percent black or percent Hispanic grows, that group’s residential segregation from whites tends to increase as well. Typically, these findings are explained in terms of white discriminatory reaction to the perceived threat associated with minority population growth. The present analysis examines whether these racial threat effects depend on the extent of racial and ethnic diversity in an area. This possibility is tested by estimating otherwise standard models of black-white and Hispanic-white segregation using metropolitan area data from the 1990 and 2000 U.S. censuses. Results from robust regression analyses strongly support the prediction for each of the white-minority pairs: the racial threat effect is significantly diminished in areas with greater multi-ethnic diversity.

Specifying the Determinants of Neighborhood Satisfaction: A Robust Assessment in 24 Metropolitan Areas
John R. Hipp
Using a sample of households nested in census tracts in 24 metropolitan areas over four time points, this study provides a robust test of the determinants of neighborhood satisfaction, taking into account the census tract context. Consistent with social disorganization theory, the presence of racial/ethnic heterogeneity and single-parent households consistently reduced neighborhood satisfaction. Those perceiving more social or physical disorder were considerably less satisfied with the neighborhood, and perceiving more crime showed an accelerating negative effect on satisfaction. Furthermore, the effect of perceiving crime was exacerbated in tracts with a distressed labor market or the presence of disengaged youth. There was consistent evidence that those with more economic investment (homeowners) or social investment (married residents and parents) in the neighborhood are more satisfied. On the other hand, longer-term residents did not report more satisfaction, nor did general residential stability in the tract increase satisfaction.

Ethnic Neighborhoods in Multi-Ethnic America, 1990–2000: Resurgent Ethnicity in the Ethnoburbs?
Ming Wen, Diane S. Lauderdale, Namratha R. Kandula
Using tract-level data from the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census, this study addresses four questions: (1. Has the proportion of neighborhoods with high ethnic concentration changed in from 1990 to 2000? (2. What are the socio-demographic profiles of ethnic neighborhoods? (3. Are new ethnic neighborhoods forming in America’s suburbs? (4. How common are ethnoburbs – that is, affluent, suburban, ethnic neighborhoods? For most racial/ethnic groups, the number and share of ethnic neighborhoods grew from 1990 to 2000 and the suburbanization trend was remarkable. Asian neighborhoods as a whole experienced the fastest growth. Ethnoburbs have formed across the country. Although ethnoburbs are more an Asian phenomenon, Hispanic and black ethnoburbs have also developed. These patterns support the segmented assimilation model and the resurgence of ethnicity perspectives.

Social Forces, September 2009: Volume 88, Issue 1

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Annals of the AAPSS 626

The Shape of the New American City

The Shape of the New American City
Eugénie L. Birch and Susan M. Wachter

A Nation of Cities: The Federal Government and the Shape of the American Metropolis
Kenneth T. Jackson

Crime and U.S. Cities: Recent Patterns and Implications
Ingrid Gould Ellen and Katherine O'Regan

How Should Suburbs Help Their Central Cities? Growth- and Welfare-Enhancing Intrametropolitan Fiscal Distributions
Andrew F. Haughwout and Robert P. Inman

Cities Today: A New Frontier for Major Developments
Saskia Sassen

The Changing Bases of Segregation in the United States
Douglas S. Massey, Jonathan Rothwell, and Thurston Domina

Demographic Forces and Turning Points in the American City, 1950-2040
Dowell Myers and John Pitkin

Urban Growth and Housing Affordability: The Conflict
Richard P. Voith and Susan M. Wachter

Downtown in the "New American City"
Eugénie L. Birch

The Changing Shape of Metropolitan America
John Landis

The New Urbanity: The Rise of a New America
Arthur C. Nelson

Transport Infrastructure and Global Competitiveness: Balancing Mobility and Livability
Robert Cervero

Making Infrastructure Competitive in an Urban World
Rae Zimmerman

The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, January 2010: Volume 626

Criminology 47(4)

The Short-Term Effects Of Executions On Homicides: Deterrence, Displacement, Or Both?
Kenneth C. Land, Raymond H. C. Teske Jr., Hui Zheng
Does the death penalty save lives? In recent years, a new round of research has been using annual time-series panel data from the 50 U.S. states for 25 or so years from the 1970s to the late 1990s that claims to find many lives saved through reductions in subsequent homicide rates after executions. This research, in turn, has produced a round of critiques, which concludes that these findings are not robust enough to model even small changes in specifications that yield dramatically different results. A principal reason for this sensitivity of the findings is that few state-years exist (about 1 percent of all state-years) in which six or more executions have occurred. To provide a different perspective, we focus on Texas, a state that has used the death penalty with sufficient frequency to make possible relatively stable estimates of the homicide response to executions. In addition, we narrow the observation intervals for recording executions and homicides from the annual calendar year to monthly intervals. Based on time-series analyses and independent-validation tests, our best-fitting model shows that, from January 1994 through December 2005, evidence exists of modest, short-term reductions in homicides in Texas in the first and fourth months that follow an execution—about 2.5 fewer homicides total. Another model suggests, however, that in addition to homicide reductions, some displacement of homicides may be possible from one month to another in the months after an execution, which reduces the total reduction in homicides after an execution to about .5 during a 12-month period. Implications for additional research and the need for future analysis and replication are discussed.

Punishing The "Model Minority": Asian-American Criminal Sentencing Outcomes In Federal District Courts
Brian D. Johnson, Sara Betsinger
Research on racial and ethnic disparities in criminal punishment is expansive but remains focused almost exclusively on the treatment of black and Hispanic offenders. The current study extends contemporary research on the racial patterning of punishments by incorporating Asian-American offenders. Using data from the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) for FY1997–FY2000, we examine sentencing disparities in federal district courts for several outcomes. The results of this study indicate that Asian Americans are punished more similarly to white offenders compared with black and Hispanic offenders. These findings raise questions for traditional racial conflict perspectives and lend support to more recent theoretical perspectives grounded in attribution processes of the courtroom workgroup. The article concludes with a discussion of future directions for research on understudied racial and ethnic minority groups.

"Might Not Be A Tomorrow": A Multimethods Approach To Anticipated Early Death And Youth Crime
Timothy Brezina, Erdal Tekin, Volkan Topalli
Several researchers point to the anticipation of early death, or a sense of "futurelessness," as a contributing factor to youth crime. It is argued that young people who perceive a high probability of early death may have little reason to delay gratification for the promise of future benefits, as the future itself is discounted. Consequently, these young people tend to pursue high-risk behaviors associated with immediate rewards, which include crime and violence. Although existing studies lend support to these arguments and show a statistical relationship between anticipated early death and youth crime, this support remains tentative. Moreover, several questions remain regarding the interpretation of this relationship, the meanings that offenders attach to the prospect of early death, and the cognitive processes that link anticipated early death to youth crime. In this article, we address the limitations of previous studies using a multimethods approach, which involves the analyses of national survey data and in-depth interviews with active street offenders.

Supermax Incarceration And Recidivism
Daniel P. Mears, William D. Bales
Since the early 1980s, supermax incarceration has emerged as a common feature of the American corrections landscape. This special type of high-cost housing, which involves extended isolation with little programming or contact with others, remains largely unevaluated and is of interest for three reasons. First, the study of supermax housing offers a unique opportunity to understand the factors related to the successful reentry of offenders back into society. Second, it affords an opportunity to test the claims, many of which are grounded in mainstream criminological theory, that have been made about the putative effects of supermax confinement. Third, it provides an empirical touchstone that can help inform policy debates about the merits of such confinement. Examining data from the Florida Department of Corrections, we test competing hypotheses about the effects of supermax housing on 3-year recidivism outcomes. We find evidence that supermax incarceration may increase violent recidivism but find no evidence of an effect of the duration of supermax incarceration or the recency of such incarceration to the time of release into society. We discuss the findings and their implications for theory, research, and policy.

Girls, Boys, And Schools: Gender Differences In The Relationships Between School-Related Factors And Student Deviance
Allison Ann Payne
Research has identified several student and school characteristics that might be altered to reduce student deviance. Most of this research, however, fails to address whether gender moderates these relationships; that is, most studies do not distinguish between the effect of school-related factors on boys' and girls' delinquency and drug use. In the current study, data from a nationally representative sample of 13,450 students in 253 public, nonalternative, secondary schools are used to examine hierarchical linear models of the relationships between student bonding, communal school organization, and male and female delinquency and drug use. Gender differences in the overall model of relationships are found as are differences in the relationships between student bonding elements and delinquency. Gender differences are not found in the relationships between student bonding elements and drug use, nor in the relationships between communal school organization elements and delinquency and drug use. Implications for theory and prevention are discussed.

Criminal Beware: A Social Norms Perspective On Posting Public Warning Signs
P. Wesley Schultz, Jennifer J. Tabanico
Recent studies have suggested that crime-prevention strategies tend to interact with characteristics of the community in such a way that what works in one community might not work in another. In this article, we extend this finding to fear of crime and residents' perceptions of crime using a Focus Theory of Normative Conduct framework. Data are reported from three experiments that examine the impact of publicly posted Neighborhood Watch signs on perceived crime rates and worry about victimization. The studies used a virtual community tour to assess the causal impact of Neighborhood Watch sign presence and content. Across the experiments, we consistently find the potential for publicly posted Neighborhood Watch signs to produce unintended consequences such as increased fear of crime and worry about victimization. Moreover, the outcomes associated with posting the signs are influenced not only by the information printed on the sign but also by an interaction between the signs themselves and the environmental context in which they are posted.

Land Use And Violent Crime
Thomas D. Stucky, John R. Ottensmann
Although research has shown specific land uses to be related to crime, systematic investigation of land uses and violent crime has been less common. This study systematically examines links between land uses and violent crime and assesses whether such links are conditioned by socioeconomic disadvantage. We employ geocoded Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data from the Indianapolis police department and information on 30 categories of land use and demographic information from the 2000 U.S. Census. We use land use variables to predict violent crime counts in 1,000 × 1,000-feet grid cells using negative binomial regression models. Results indicate that, net of other variables, specific land uses predict variation in counts for individual violent crimes and aggregate rates. Some nonresidential land uses are associated with higher violent crime counts, whereas others are associated with lower counts. Specific land uses also condition the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage on violent crime. The implications for routine activity/opportunity and social disorganization/collective efficacy theories of crime are discussed.

Public Cooperation With The Police In Ghana: Does Procedural Fairness Matter?
Justice Tankebe
Recent criminological emphasis on the salience of normative concerns, such as procedural fairness and legitimacy, in understanding public law-abiding behavior has been based on evidence from Anglo-American studies. This article examines these issues in the African context based on general survey data from Accra, Ghana. The results show a lack of empirical validity, in the Ghanaian context, of the Sunshine–Tyler legitimacy scale. The results also show that public cooperation with the police in Ghana is shaped by utilitarian factors such as perceptions of current police effectiveness infighting crime. It is argued that the importance of perceived police effectiveness to public cooperation is a result of police legitimation deficits and the public's alienation from the Ghana police, which in turn are traced to the colonial history of the police and current poor police performance.

Co-Offending And The Development Of The Delinquent Career
Peter J. Carrington
This article examines the role of co-offending in the development of the delinquent career. Hypotheses derived from Reiss's (1986, 1988) taxonomic theory of co-offending are tested, using police-reported data on the delinquent careers and co-offending of 55,336 Canadian offenders. Support is found for a taxonomic theory and for age-related and functional theories of co-offending. The taxonomy consists of two types of offenders—high activity (3 percent) and low activity (97 percent)—whose co-offending patterns differ during the teenage years but not during childhood. For low-activity offenders as teenagers, the proportion of co-offenses decreases with criminal experience. The rate of co-offending by high-activity offenders as teenagers is lower at onset than for low-activity offenders, and it varies little with criminal experience. For both offender types, the proportion of co-offenses decreases with age, is slightly less in males, and varies with the type of offense. For both offender types, the proportion of co-offenses in childhood offending is greater than in the teenage years and is unrelated to the offender's age or criminal experience.

Assessing The Extent Of Crime Displacement And Diffusion Of Benefits: A Review Of Situational Crime Prevention Evaluations
Rob T. Guerette, Kate J. Bowers
Few criticisms of situational crime-prevention (SCP) efforts are as frequent or prevalent as claims of displacement. Despite emerging evidence to the contrary, the prevailing sentiment seems to be that crime displacement is inevitable. This study examined 102 evaluations of situationally focused crime-prevention projects in an effort to determine the extent to which crime displacement was observed. The results indicate that of the 102 studies that examined (or allowed for examination of) displacement and diffusion effects, there were 574 observations. Displacement was observed in 26 percent of those observations. The opposite of displacement, diffusion of benefit, was observed in 27 percent of the observations. Moreover, the analysis of 13 studies, which allowed for assessment of overall outcomes of the prevention project while taking into account spatial displacement and diffusion effects, revealed that when spatial displacement did occur, it tended to be less than the treatment effect, suggesting that the intervention was still beneficial. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.

Criminology, November 2009: Volume 47, Issue 4

British Journal of Criminology 50(1)

Functional Fear and Public Insecurities About Crime
Jonathan Jackson and Emily Gray
Fear of crime is widely seen as an unqualified social ill, yet might some level of emotional response comprise a natural defence against crime? Our methodology differentiates between a dysfunctional worry that erodes quality of life and a functional worry that motivates vigilance and routine precaution. A London-based survey shows that one-quarter of those individuals who said they were worried about crime also viewed their worry as something akin to a problem-solving activity: they took precautions; these precautions that made them feel safer; and neither the precautions nor the worries reduced the quality of their lives. Fear of crime can therefore be helpful as well as harmful: some people are both able and willing to convert their concerns into constructive action.

The Governance of Securities: Ponzi Finance, Regulatory Convergence, Credit Crunch
Nicholas Dorn
The unfolding market crisis reveals evasions of regulatory controls and frauds that were less visible in buoyant markets. International networking of regulators and those they regulated resulted in convergence of regulatory standards—and creation of common ‘blind spots’—corresponding to private sector assumptions, ‘models’, data and mood. Moving forward, this paper suggests that the literature on security governance can be used to re-frame market regulation. Going against calls for a tightening of convergence between regulatory regimes, the paper argues for regulatory diversity as a means for reducing market ‘herding’ and the consequent systemic risks. Regulatory diversity would correspond to a political strategy of democratic steering of regulatory agencies, diluting, if not displacing, the currently dominant notion of financial market regulation as a purely ‘technical’ discourse. In concrete terms, this implies shifting systemic regulatory oversight responsibilities away from ‘independent’ agencies, to government bodies and/or departments that are held accountable to their parliaments and electorates.

A Deadly Consensus: Worker Safety and Regulatory Degradation under New Labour
Steve Tombs and David Whyte
This paper documents the vulnerability of the UK workplace safety regime to ‘regulatory degradation’. Following a brief overview of this regime, the paper examines the dominant arguments within academic literature on appropriate and feasible regulatory enforcement, arguing that the approaches to regulation thereby advocated have been easily degraded as a result of their compatibility with neo-liberal economic strategy. A subsequent analysis of empirical trends within safety enforcement reveals a virtual collapse of formal enforcement, as political and resource pressures have taken their toll on the regulatory authority. Finally, the paper indicates that the increasing impunity with which employers can kill and injure is particularly problematic as we enter sustained economic recession, and underlines the urgent need for regulatory alternatives.

The Impact of Co-Offending
Martin A. Andresen and Marcus Felson
Co-offending has a major impact on the arithmetic of crime rates and the burdens on the justice system. This paper studies co-offending by single year of age using data that comprise 750,000 negative police contacts (those charged, chargeable and suspected in criminal offenses) in a largely metropolitan dataset from British Columbia, Canada, 2002–06. We find that shifts in co-offending rates within teenage years are extremely rapid and highly sensitive to sample age ranges, such that a single co-offending rate for all teenagers is misleading. Co-offending opens a range of policy options and issues concerning the presence of youth hangouts and offender convergence settings that can assist the search for suitable co-offenders.

Understanding Illicit Drug Markets in Australia: Notes towards a Critical Reconceptualization
Robyn Dwyer and David Moore
The dominant Australian approaches to the study of illicit drug markets are surveillance and criminological research. In this paper, we outline the main features of these approaches before presenting a critical discussion of some of their methods, assumptions and modes of analysis. We argue that these approaches are limited in terms of their methods; reliance on neo-classical economic models; abstraction from local contexts; oversight of social, cultural and political processes; exclusive focus on commercial transactions; under-theorizing of the market; and narrow conceptions of drug market subjects. We conclude by beginning to outline an alternative framework that draws on the anthropology and sociology of markets and that may lead to more nuanced understandings of illicit drug markets.

Criminal Trajectories in Organized Crime
M. Vere van Koppen, Christianne J. de Poot, Edward R. Kleemans, and Paul Nieuwbeerta
This paper investigates criminal trajectories of individuals who are involved in organized crime. A semiparametric group-model is used to cluster 854 individuals into groups with similar developmental trajectories. The most important findings of the study relate to the substantial group of adult-onset offenders (40 per cent) and a group without any previous criminal records (19 per cent), next to a group of early starters (11 per cent) and a group of persisters (30 per cent). Up to date, no trajectory study has discovered such a vast share of adult-onset offenders. Furthermore, the findings turn out to be quite robust, if trajectory analyses are applied to different kinds of criminal activities and to different roles in criminal groups.

Introducing Conservation Criminology: Towards Interdisciplinary Scholarship on Environmental Crimes and Risks Carole Gibbs, Meredith L. Gore, Edmund F. McGarrell, and Louie Rivers, III
Environmental crimes, noncompliance and risks create significant harm to the health of humans and the natural world. Yet, the field of criminology has historically shown relatively little interest in the topic. The emergence of environmental or green criminology over the past decade marks a shift in this trend, but attempts to define a unique area of study have been extensively criticized. In the following paper, we offer a conceptual framework, called conservation criminology, designed to advance current discussions of green crime via the integration of criminology with natural resource disciplines and risk and decision sciences. Implications of the framework for criminological and general research on environmental crime and risks are discussed.

British Journal of Criminology, January 2010: Volume 50, Issue 1

Friday, December 4, 2009

Journal of Marriage and Family 71(5)

Intimate Unions and Well-Being

The Role of Trust in Low-Income Mothers' Intimate Unions
Linda M. Burton, Andrew Cherlin, Donna-Marie Winn, Angela Estacion, Clara Holder-Taylor

Women's "Justification" of Domestic Violence in Egypt
Kathryn M. Yount, Li Li

Is Marriage More Than Cohabitation? Well-Being Differences in 30 European Countries
Judith P. M. Soons, Matthijs Kalmijn

Till Death Do Us Part: Marital Status and U.S. Mortality Trends, 1986 – 2000
Hui Liu

Parents and Children Over the Life Course

Preconception Motivation and Pregnancy Wantedness: Pathways to Toddler Attachment Security
Warren B. Miller, Marjorie R. Sable, Jonathon J. Beckmeyer

Parental Work Demands and the Frequency of Child-Related Routine and Interactive Activities
Anne Roeters, Tanja van der Lippe, Esther S. Kluwer

Cohesion, Satisfaction With Family Bonds, and Emotional Well-Being in Families With Adolescents
C. L. Vandeleur, N. Jeanpretre, M. Perrez, D. Schoebi

Giving to the Good and the Needy: Parental Support of Grown Children
Karen Fingerman, Laura Miller, Kira Birditt, Steven Zarit

Relationship Formation and Dissolution

The Rise of Age Homogamy in 19th Century Western Europe
Bart Van de Putte, Frans Van Poppel, Sofie Vanassche, Maria Sanchez, Svetlana Jidkova, Mieke Eeckhaut, Michel Oris, Koen Matthijs

The Long-Term Consequences of Relationship Formation for Subjective Well-Being
Judith P. M. Soons, Aart C. Liefbroer, Matthijs Kalmijn

Repartnering and (Re)employment: Strategies to Cope With the Economic Consequences of Partnership Dissolution
Mieke Jansen, Dimitri Mortelmans, Laurent Snoeckx

Of General Interest

Associations of Childhood Religious Attendance, Family Structure, and Nonmarital Fertility Across Cohorts
Christopher Wildeman, Christine Percheski

Family Change and Continuity in Iran: Birth Control Use Before First Pregnancy
Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, S. Philip Morgan, Meimanat Hossein-Chavoshi, Peter McDonald

The Role of Migration and Single Motherhood in Upper Secondary Education in Mexico
Mathew J. Creighton, Hyunjoon Park, Graciela M. Teruel

Employer-Supported Child Care: Who Participates?
Taryn W. Morrissey, Mildred E. Warner

Journal of Marriage and Family, December 2009: Volume 71, Issue 5

Crime and Delinquency 56(1)

Gang Membership and Drug Involvement: Untangling the Complex Relationship
Beth Bjerregaard
Previous research has consistently demonstrated a relationship between gang membership and involvement in illegal substances. In addition, researchers have noted that gang members are frequently more heavily involved in drug sales, which often lead to increases in violent behaviors. Most of this research, however, is either cross-sectional or ethnographic in nature, and therefore does not reveal the causal nature of these relationships. This research attempts to establish the temporal ordering of these relationships while controlling for a variety of relevant variables and to determine whether the relationships between drug involvement and violence differ for gang members versus nongang members. The findings indicate that gang membership is weakly associated with drug involvement, including both usage and sales. This involvement, however, does not appear to be related to assaults. Results suggest that gang membership is not determinative of drug involvement among a national random sample of youth.

What Drives Juvenile Probation Officers?: Relating Organizational Contexts, Status Characteristics, and Personal Convictions to Treatment and Punishment Orientations
Geoff Ward and Aaron Kupchik
Data from surveys of juvenile court probation officers in four states are analyzed to understand professional orientations toward two seemingly contrasting goals of contemporary juvenile justice systems: punishment and treatment. These self-reported juvenile probation officer orientations are considered in relation to three clusters of variables representing somewhat distinct hypothetical bases of professional orientation: court context, decision-maker status characteristics, and resonance with legal, victim’s rights, and character issues. Although court context and status characteristics distinguish attitudes toward treatment and punishment, attitudinal resonance is an especially strong predictor of these orientations. Rather than mutually exclusive or static ideologies, treatment and punishment appear to be flexible, overlapping goals that appeal to officers according to their congruence with other personal convictions. Younger probation officers are also found to be more punitive, net of other influences, suggesting cohort replacement may accelerate the displacement of juvenile rehabilitative ideals. Implications for juvenile justice research and policy are considered.

The Impact of the Taser on Suspect Resistance: Identifying Predictors of Effectiveness
Michael D. White and Justin Ready
Despite the Taser’s increasing popularity among police agencies, questions have been raised concerning the weapon’s use and effectiveness as well as its potential to cause serious injury or death. This article examines all Taser deployments by the New York City Police Department from 2002 to 2005 (N = 375) and uses two multivariate approaches—logistic regression and chi-square automatic interaction detection—to identify predictors of Taser effectiveness, measured as continued suspect resistance and officer satisfaction. Findings indicate that several factors are associated with reduced effectiveness, including suspect body weight (more than 200 pounds), drug and alcohol use, physical violence, and close distance (3 feet or less) between the officer and the suspect. Although this study represents a preliminary effort at identifying predictors of Taser effectiveness, there are clear training and policy implications for police departments.

Conviction Offense and Prison Violence: A Comparative Study of Murderers and Other Offenders
Jon Sorensen and Mark D. Cunningham
The characteristics of, and 2003 disciplinary data on, 51,527 inmates in the Florida Department of Corrections, including 9,586 inmates who had been convicted of some degree of homicide, were examined for rates and correlates of prison misconduct and violence. Disciplinary misconduct and institutional acts of violence committed by an admissions cohort (N = 14,088) and a subset of Close custody inmates (N = 4,113) also were considered. Regardless of conviction offense, the prevalence and rate of violent prison misconduct fell markedly as the severity of assault increased. Comparative data showed that convicted murderers did not account for a disproportionate share of prison violence, however defined. Furthermore, negative binomial regression models revealed that convicted murderers were not significantly more likely to engage in disciplinary misconduct or commit acts of institutional violence than were inmates serving time for other offenses.

Courtroom Workgroups and Sentencing: The Effects of Similarity, Proximity, and Stability
Stacy Hoskins Haynes, Barry Ruback, and Gretchen Ruth Cusick
Sentencing decisions are the product of a group of courtroom actors, primarily judges and district attorneys. Although the structure of the courtroom workgroup and the interdependencies among members are assumed to be important determinants of sentencing decisions, the degree of this importance and the specific mechanisms through which workgroups affect these decisions have not been investigated. This study used data from the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing (PCS) for the years 1990 to 2000 to examine how three social psychological aspects of courtroom workgroups (similarity, proximity, and stability) affect sentencing decisions. Results indicated (a) that workgroups generally had very high levels of similarity in terms of race, gender, and political party but lower levels of similarity in terms of age, college education, and law school education and (b) that proximity and stability were generally high. Controlling for individual, case, and distal contextual factors, workgroup factors affected the decision to incarcerate, the decision to impose fines, and the decision to impose restitution. In particular, proximity increased the use of economic sanctions relative to incarceration and stability was associated with a decrease in the imposition of economic sanctions. Similarity had inconsistent effects.

Crime and Delinquency, January 2010: Volume 56, Issue 1

Monday, November 30, 2009

Theoretical Criminology 13(4)

Civilization, economic change, and trends in interpersonal violence in western societies
Dennis M. Mares
This article moves forward on recent studies on historical trends in violence. Whereas many studies agree that levels of interpersonal violence have subsided since the late Middle Ages, some have found periods of strong increases within this general decline. Building on Norbert Elias’s civilizing thesis, this article proposes to incorporate a greater degree of attention to economic processes. Using illustrative evidence from Western Europe and the USA, this article demonstrates how within the overall decline of violence, cycles of increasing and decreasing violence can be tied to the development of both state formation and the growth of a world economic system.
American 'pain-ology' in the war on terror: a critique of 'scientific' torture
Michael Welch
Questionable tactics in America’s war on terror continue to undergo scrutiny due to their threats to human rights, chief among them ‘enhanced’ interrogation and torture. Indeed, a growing chorus of criticism has been leveled at the political, legal, and ethical considerations of those policies and practices. Scholars, nonetheless, have neglected other important aspects of the controversy, for instance, the extent to which modern torture has been influenced by ‘scientific’ claims involving the effectiveness and appropriateness of certain procedures. Filling the void, this analysis explores the invention of modern torture as it draws on behavioral and psychological research in developing a new paradigm for pain. Delving into the assertions of ‘enhanced’ techniques, the critique focuses on a science studies perspective aimed at deciphering the allure of science in policing as well as in the war on terror. Such ‘scientification’, as discussed herein, reinforces the illusion that the state’s capacity to unveil the truth is infallible.
Darfur and the Crime of Genocide by John Hagan and Wenona Rymond-Richmond: a symposium: Introduction
Nicole Rafter
[Full text:] Slowly and belatedly, criminology is incorporating genocide as one of the crimes it can and must try to account for. Many criminologists are, in fact, anxious to include genocide in their theorizing and teaching, but they have lacked an example, a road map to guide them through this difficult terrain. Darfur and the Crime of Genocide offers that guide. To bring it to the attention of other criminologists, I invited four scholars to review the book and  assess  its  potential  for  the  evolving  criminology  of  genocide.  The reviews are followed by a response in which John Hagan and Wenona Rymond-Richmond react not only to the reviewers, but also to a challenge to the propriety of their attempt to intervene in African politics. In a number of ways, the following contributions mark a milestone in the development of criminological thought.
Genocide, criminology, and Darfur
Joachim J. Savelsberg

Mobilizing criminology: The boundaries of criminological science and the politics of genocide
Bruce Hoffman

Mass atrocity and criminology
Hadar Aviram

Toward a new criminology of genocide: theory, method, and politics
Ross L. Matsueda

Criminology confronts genocide: whose side are you on?
John Hagan and Wenona Rymond-Richmond

Theoretical Criminology, November 2009: Volume 13, Issue 4

Journal of Quantitative Criminology 25(4)

Modeling the Distribution of Sentence Length Decisions Under a Guidelines System: An Application of Quantile Regression Models
Chester L. Britt
How should sentencing disparity be assessed when decisions are constrained under a sentencing guidelines system? Much of the debate over the measurement of sentence disparity under a guidelines system has focused primarily on using specific values from within the sentencing grid (e.g., minimum recommended sentence) or on using interaction terms in regression models to capture the non-additive effects of offense severity and prior record on length of sentence. In this paper, I propose an alternative method for assessing sentencing disparity that uses quantile regression models. These models offer several advantages over traditional OLS analyses (and related linear models) of sentence length, by allowing for an examination of the effects of case and offender characteristics across the full distribution of sentence lengths for a given sample of offenders. The analysis of the distribution of sentence lengths with quantile regression models allows for an examination of questions such as: Do offender characteristics, such as race or offense severity, have the same effect on sentence length for the 10% of offenders who receive the shortest sentences as they do for the 10% of offenders who receive the longest sentences? I illustrate the application and interpretation of these models using 1998 sentencing data from Pennsylvania. Key findings show that the effects of case and offender characteristics are variable across the distribution of sentence lengths, meaning that traditional linear models assuming a constant effect fail to capture important differences in how case and offender characteristics affect punishment decisions. I discuss the implications of these findings for understanding sentencing disparitites, as well as other possible applications of quantile regression models in the study of crime and the criminal justice system.
Disentangling the Crime-arrest Relationship: The Influence of Social Context
Mitchell B. Chamlin, Andrew J. Myer
Drawing on the economic and conflict perspectives of crime control, as well as insights from the tipping effect literature, the present investigation examines the extent to which the social context within which potential offenders operate tempers the macro-level, reciprocal relationship between crime and arrests. We use autoregressive integrated moving average techniques to assess the extent to which the April 2001 race-related riot in Cincinnati, Ohio conditions the reciprocal relationship between property crime and arrests for the entire city and disaggregated by police district. Consistent with a majority of prior longitudinal studies, our analyses for the entire length of the times series reveal no evidence of an association between our measures of crime and arrest, regardless of the level of spatial aggregation. In contrast to the results from our baseline models, the post-riot transfer function models indicate that there is a reciprocal association between crime and arrests that is contingent upon the social context. The implications of our findings for the further study of the reciprocal relationship between crime and arrests are discussed.

How Much Can We Trust Causal Interpretations of Fixed-Effects Estimators in the Context of Criminality?
David Bjerk
Researchers are often interested in estimating the causal effect of some treatment on individual criminality. For example, two recent relatively prominent papers have attempted to estimate the respective direct effects of marriage and gang participation on individual criminal activity. One difficulty to overcome is that the treatment is often largely the product of individual choice. This issue can cloud causal interpretations of correlations between the treatment and criminality since those choosing the treatment (e.g. marriage or gang membership) may have differed in their criminality from those who did not even in the absence of the treatment. To overcome this potential for selection bias researchers have often used various forms of individual fixed-effects estimators. While such fixed-effects estimators may be an improvement on basic cross-sectional methods, they are still quite limited when it comes to uncovering a true causal effect of the treatment on individual criminality because they may fail to account for the possibility of dynamic selection. Using data from the NSLY97, I show that such dynamic selection can potentially be quite large when it comes to criminality, and may even be exacerbated when using more advanced fixed-effects methods such as Inverse Probability of Treatment Weighting (IPTW). Therefore substantial care must be taken when it comes to interpreting the results arising from fixed-effects methods.
Detecting Specialization in Offending: Comparing Analytic Approaches
Christopher J. Sullivan, Jean Marie McGloin, James V. Ray, Michael S. Caudy
Offending specialization continues to be a subject of empirical inquiry for scholars interested in criminal careers. Early research consistently spoke to the generality of offending profiles, but more recent work has revealed somewhat mixed findings. These results have emerged alongside newly developed and applied methods that detect and describe offending specialization. To what extent these methods shape divergent conclusions and/or provide overlapping insight remains unclear, however. Therefore, the degree to which more recent inquiries are actually studying the same operational definition of specialization is unknown. In order to consider this issue further, this study utilizes four frequently applied approaches with a single data set. The study indicates when and where findings converge and also describes any unique insights provided by each method. The work concludes with a discussion surrounding the utility of applying multiple strategies in assessing specialization in criminal offending.
Hot Spots of Juvenile Crime: A Longitudinal Study of Arrest Incidents at Street Segments in Seattle, Washington
David Weisburd, Nancy A. Morris, Elizabeth R. Groff
Recent studies have shown that crime is concentrated at micro level units of geography defined as hot spots. Despite this growing evidence of the concentration of crime at place, studies to date have dealt primarily with adult crime or have failed to distinguish between adult and juvenile offenses. In this paper, we identify crime incidents in which a juvenile was arrested at street segments in Seattle, Washington, over a 14-year period, to assess the extent to which officially recorded juvenile crime is concentrated at hot spots. Using group-based trajectory analysis, we also assess the stability and variability of crime at street segments over the period of the study. Our findings suggest that officially recorded juvenile crime is strongly concentrated. Indeed, just 86 street segments in Seattle include one-third of crime incidents in which a juvenile was arrested during the study period. While we do observe variability over time in trajectories identified in the study, we also find that high rate juvenile crime street segments remain relatively stable across the 14 years examined. Finally, confirming the importance of routine activity theory in understanding the concentration of juvenile crime in hot spots, we find a strong connection between high rate trajectory groups and places likely to be a part of juvenile activity spaces. Though place-based crime prevention has not been a major focus of delinquency prevention, our work suggests that it may be an area with great promise.
Journal of Quantitative Criminology, December 2009: Volume 25, Issue 4

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Journal of Criminal Justice 37(6)

The gender gap in death penalty support: An exploratory study
John K. Cochran, Beth A. Sanders
One of the more enduring observations in the study of death penalty support within the United States is the strong divide between males and females. Men have consistently shown significantly higher levels of support for capital punishment than women. This divide between males and females has appeared in nearly every survey, over time, and across a variety of methodological designs. Using data from the cumulative (1972-2002) data file for the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) General Social Surveys, this study attempted to understand the basis for this gender gap. It examined gender differences in socioeconomic status, gender inequality, gender socialization, religion/religiosity, political ideology, positions on right-to-life and other social issues, fear of crime and victimization experience, experience with the criminal justice system, philosophies of punishment, and attribution styles. The findings revealed that the effect of gender on capital punishment support continued to be robust despite controlling for the effects of all of these explanations.

The impact of race on criminal justice ideology: An examination of high school students
Yolander G. Hurst, Denise D. Nation
Research suggests that differences exist in the criminal justice ideology of Black and White Americans. For example, adult African Americans are more likely than their White counterparts to support criminal justice measures that address the root causes of crime. There has, however, been limited interest in exploring the criminal justice ideology of juveniles. Using survey data collected from 1,398 rural and suburban public high school students, the present study examined the influence of race on the criminal justice ideology of juveniles. The findings suggested that while Black teenagers are significantly more likely to hold a liberal crime control ideology and White teenagers are significantly more likely to hold a conservative ideology, confidence in the justice system to be fair strongly influences the beliefs of both groups.

The impact of agency context, policies, and practices on violence against police
Lorie Fridell, Don Faggiani, Bruce Taylor, Corina Sole Brito, Bruce Kubu
This study examined agency-level factors that impact the level of violence against police. The independent variables represented both agency context (e.g., violent crime rate, population characteristics) and agency policies and practices (e.g., backup and body armor policies) and were linked to constructs within routine activities theory. Information on agency policies and practices came from an agency survey. Data for the dependent variable?agency counts of officer killings and assaults over a three-year period?came from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Negative binomial regression was used to assess the impact of the independent variables on the dependent measure. Three of the independent variables—measuring body armor policies, agency accountability, and violent crime—had statistically significant relationships with violence against police.

Constructing crime: Neighborhood characteristics and police recording behavior
Sean P. Varano, Joseph A. Schafer, Jeffrey Michael Cancino, Marc L. Swatt
It has long been acknowledged that police officers have substantial levels of discretion in their day-to-day activities. There is a well developed body of literature that considers how this discretion is exercised across a broad array of situations including the decision to arrest, use force, and grant citizen requests for official action. Using both social disorganization and conflict theories as conceptual models, the purpose of this study was to determine if neighborhood characteristics affect police reporting behavior across a wide cross-section of reported call types. The findings indicated that reporting behavior widely varies across crime types with a greater percentage of more serious crimes translated into official crime. Neighborhood characteristics did affect reporting practices, but surprisingly only for more serious forms of disorder where discretion was perceived to be less. The findings lent support for both social disorganization and conflict theories. Theoretical implications are discussed.

Race, driving, and police organization: Modeling moving and nonmoving traffic stops with citizen self-reports of driving practices
Kirk Miller
A rapidly growing body of police scholarship has found evidence of racial disparities in traffic stop patterns using police-generated data. Despite the empirical consensus, the question of whether race inappropriately influences traffic stop patterns remains open, largely as a result of methodological weaknesses. The current article helps to address this issue by employing self-report data about citizens' driving practices and traffic stops. It presents a series of models that predict the likelihood of a self-reported traffic stop disaggregated by police organizational type and the reason for the stop. Results suggest that moving and nonmoving driving practices are associated with the likelihood of police stops for moving and nonmoving reasons, respectively. As expected, differences between local police and state police models emerge. Finally, Black drivers and younger drivers are especially vulnerable to traffic stop risk for nonmoving stops by local police, even after controlling for driving behaviors.

Structural correlates of female homicide: A cross-national analysis
Suzanne Agha
The present study went beyond previous cross-national homicide research, which has largely focused on combined (male and female) rates of homicide offending, by using gender-disaggregated homicide arrest figures. The study included controls for the clearance rate and the percentage of homicides that were attempts, and included data for forty-eight countries across multiple levels of development. The author compared the effects of development/modernization and opportunity on female homicide rates to their effects on male homicide rates. Results indicated that, overall, structural predictors had very similar effects on male and female homicide rates. Both rates were lower in countries with a higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, and neither male nor female homicide rates were related to urbanization. Countries with a higher number of people per household had a lower rate of both male and female homicide offending; however, this relationship only held when percent young was excluded from the model.

The place of public fear in sentencing and correctional policy
Carrie L. Cook, Jodi Lane
Public opinion about sentencing and correctional issues has emerged in recent decades as a salient topic in criminology. Empirical studies have suggested that the public has dynamic perceptions about these criminal justice issues. Sentencing and correctional policy have become key issues confronting legislators and policymakers, as correctional budgets and public interest in these areas have increased. Despite the focus on public opinion about sentencing and corrections, previous research has largely ignored how the public feels about the role of policymakers regarding these issues, and what influences opinions about whether public fear should be an important consideration in policy decisions. The current study partly replicated the work of Cullen and colleagues by examining perceptions of crime salience, crime causation, goals of the criminal justice system, and attitudes towards imprisonment and rehabilitation. It uniquely examined perceptions about the importance of legislator consideration of a specific determinant, namely, public fear, in decision making about sentencing and correctional policy.

The assessment of risk to recidivate among a juvenile offending population
Michael T. Baglivio
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has implemented a new fourth-generation risk/need assessment to assess the risk to re-offend for juveniles referred to the department. The new assessment, the Positive Achievement Change Tool, or PACT, is adapted from the validated Washington State Juvenile Court Assessment, on which the Youth Assessment Screening Inventory (YASI) was also modeled. This study validated the PACT assessment, and examined whether the instrument is as predictive of female delinquency as it is of male delinquency, utilizing subsequent official delinquency referral as the dependent measure. Gender differences were explored and illustrated the instrument to be effective in predicting female and male delinquency, yet the factors predicting female delinquency did not mimic those predictive of male delinquency. Furthermore, for both male and female juveniles, a score of environmental and personal characteristics and situations had a stronger relationship with recidivism than did a score of official criminal history.

Differential effects of an offender-focused crime prevention media campaign
Jamie L. Flexon, Rob T. Guerette
Despite the widespread use of media crime prevention campaigns targeting both potential victims and offenders, there exists only superficial understanding about their effectiveness. Less is known about possible differential effects of such campaigns across those who consume them. Early research evaluating the effect of victim-focused campaigns found that they were effective, however, the influence varied across different citizen groups. Comparatively little is known about the impact of offender-focused campaigns, generally, and it remains uncertain whether the influence of these campaigns also varies across potential offending subpopulations. Using national survey data (N = 820) from the offender-focused “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” campaign, this study used a series of binary logistic regression models to examine whether there were differential impact effects and to explore the relationship between beliefs and the behavior of drunk driving. The findings indicated that exposure to the media campaign did not alter beliefs or actions of drunk driving, although the relationship between cognitions and the overt behavior of driving drunk did vary across groups. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

The problem of human trafficking in the U.S.: Public frames and policy responses
Amy Farrell, Stephanie Fahy
Nine years after the passage of federal anti-trafficking legislation in the United States, fewer incidents of trafficking have been identified than original estimates of the problem predicted. Some scholars and commentators suggest that changes in the public framing of the trafficking problem aimed at advancing particular agendas are to blame. Yet no studies to date had measured such a reframing process and its attendant consequences. Using a natural history of social problems model (Spector & Kitsuse, 1973) as the theoretical framework to examine the framing of trafficking, this study analyzed text from U.S. newspaper articles about human trafficking from 1990 to 2006. Findings suggest the public framing of human trafficking has changed over time corresponding with the adoption of policies focused on national security and the identification, apprehension, and criminal prosecution of trafficking perpetrators. Challenges following such definitional shifts are discussed.

Immigrants, assimilation, and perceived school disorder: An examination of the “other” ethnicities
Adam M. Watkins, Chris Melde
Extant research on school disorder has largely ignored modern immigrant groups, or has lumped these groups in an “other” category. This was often done for pragmatic reasons, but it likely masked any unique experiences these groups had with regard to school disorder. The current study examined Latino and Asian immigrant students’ experiences with school disorder using data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study. Findings indicated that Latino and Asian immigrant students report marked differences in school disorder. Current results revealed, in particular, that Asian immigrants report significantly higher levels of school disorder even though they outperform Latino studentsacademically. Assimilation variables, however, have little to do with such perceptions. Implications from these findings are discussed.

Journal of Criminal Justice, November–December 2009: Volume 37, Issue 6

Sociological Theory 27(4)

Global Labor: Algocratic Modes of Organization
A. Aneesh

Humans, Animals, and Play: Theorizing Interaction When Intersubjectivity is Problematic
Colin Jerolmack

The Evolved Actor in Sociology
Rosemary L. Hopcroft

Distinguishing the Power of Agency from Agentic Power: A Note on Weber and the "Black Box" of Personal Agency
Colin Campbell

Does Habitus Matter? A Comparative Review of Bourdieu's Habitus and Simon's Bounded Rationality with Some Implications for Economic Sociology
Francois Collet

Culture, Personality, and Emotion in George Herbert Mead: A Critique of Empiricism in Cultural Sociology
Mark Gould

Toward a General Theory of Institutional Autonomy
Seth Abrutyn

Fact-Totems and the Statistical Imagination: The Public Life of a Statistic in Argentina 2001
Martin de Santos

Sociological Theory, December 2009: Volume 27, Issue 4

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Criminology and Public Policy 8(4)


Gang databases : To be or not to be
Irving Spergel

Gangs and public policy : Constructing and deconstructing gang databases
Julie Barrows, C. Ronald Huff
Attention to gang issues has dramatically increased in the last several decades, both in the scholarly literature and in law enforcement. Despite widespread attention to the gang problem, researchers, police officers, and lawmakers have yet to agree on definitions used to characterize and understand the problem. This article summarizes the existing literature concerning the importance of accurately defining and classifying gang members, documents and analyzes state and federal gang legislation in the United States, and provides a detailed analysis of one state's system that might serve as a useful model for other states.
Serious risks to public safety and civil liberties are associated with Type 1 and Type 2 classification errors regarding gang membership. The wide variation in state statutory definitions of "gang member" and in the construction and administration of gang databases presents major challenges for policymakers and academic researchers. This article addresses these challenges and argues that a more rigorous and unified system, based on one state's existing model, might be possible and could offer significant advantages in our efforts to address the delinquent and criminal behavior of gangs throughout the United States.

Gang databases : Context and questions
James B. Jacobs

Gangs and public policy : Constructing and deconstructing gang databases
David M. Kennedy

Street gang databases : A view from the gang capitol of the United States
Malcolm W. Klein

Gangs, law enforcement, and the academy
James F. Short Jr.


Conceptual, methodological, and policy considerations in the study of police misconduct
James Frank

Bad cops : A study of career-ending misconduct among New York City police officers
Robert J. Kane, Michael D. White
Police scholars and public policymakers throughout generations have sought to identify reliable correlates of police misconduct. Despite these efforts, general statements as to the etiology and epidemiology of police misconduct remain inconclusive, in part because of the inconsistent definitions of misconduct and the difficulty of obtaining the data required to make such statements. This research attempts to fill these gaps through a comparison of the personal and career histories of all 1,543 officers who were involuntarily separated from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for cause during 1975–1996 with a randomly selected sample of their police academy classmates who served honorably. The study uses confidential NYPD files as its major data sources, which include extensive biographical and career information. The study finds that career-ending misconduct rarely occurs in the NYPD and that the types of misconduct do not match well with existing definitions. Several factors emerge as significant predictors of misconduct, including officer race, minimal education, records of prior criminality and prior poor employment, failure to advance in the NYPD, and histories of citizen complaints.
This study shows that existing definitions of police misconduct are difficult to apply to actual cases of police malpractice, which leads the authors to create a new eight-category classification scheme. The rarity of misconduct, especially on-duty abuse, confirms prior research indicating that most police officers do their jobs without engaging in serious malpractice. These findings suggest that the NYPD has become better behaved as it has become more diverse along race and gender dimensions and that the link between black officers and misconduct might be explained by persistent "tokenism." The findings related to race have important implications for continued efforts to build racially representative police departments. Personal history findings highlight the importance of conducting background investigations that disqualify candidates with arrest records and employment disciplinary histories, whereas the inverse relationship between college education and misconduct provides strong support for continued emphasis on pre- and post-employment educational requirements.

Police officer misconduct as normal accidents : An organizational perspective
William R. King

Rotten apples, rotten branches, and rotten orchards : A cautionary tale of police misconduct
Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovic

Bad cops
Peter K. Manning


The impact of the death penalty on murder
John J. Donohue III

Does the death penalty save lives? : New evidence from state panel data, 1977 to 2006
Tomislav V. Kovandzic, Lynne M. Vieraitis, Denise Paquette Boots
Economists have recently reexamined the "capital punishment deters homicide" thesis using modern econometric methods, with most studies reporting robust deterrent effects. The current study revisits this controversial question using annual state panel data from 1977 to 2006. Employing well-known econometric procedures for panel data analysis, our results provide no empirical support for the argument that the existence or application of the death penalty deters prospective offenders from committing homicide.
Although policymakers and the public can continue to base support for use of the death penalty on retribution, religion, or other justifications, defending its use based solely on its deterrent effect is contrary to the evidence presented here. At a minimum, policymakers should refrain from justifying its use by claiming that it is a deterrent to homicide and should consider less costly, more effective ways of addressing crime.

Can't tell : Comments on "Does the death penalty save lives?"
Richard Berk

Don't scrap the death penalty
Paul H. Rubin


Conducted energy devices and criminal justice policy
Steven Chermak

Examining fatal and nonfatal incidents involving the TASER : Identifying predictors of suspect death reported in the media
Michael D. White, Justin Ready
According to TASER International, nearly 10,000 police departments in the United States have deployed the TASER as a less lethal force alternative in some capacity. Despite the TASER's increasing popularity, serious questions have been raised about the device's physiological side effects; in particular, Amnesty International has reported that more than 300 people have died after being subjected to the TASER. Although a growing body of research has examined the physiological effects of the TASER on animals and healthy human volunteers in laboratory settings, there has been virtually no empirical analysis of "real-world" fatal and nonfatal TASER cases simultaneously. This article examines all media reports of TASER incidents from 2002 to 2006 through a comprehensive review of LexisNexis and New York Times archives. We compare TASER incidents in which a fatality occurred to TASER incidents in which a fatality did not occur and then employ multivariate analyses to identify the incident and suspect characteristics that are predictive of articles describing TASER-proximate deaths.
Several suspect factors were significantly associated with the reporting of a fatal TASER incident, including drug use (but not alcohol), mental illness, and continued resistance. Multiple deployments of the TASER against a suspect was also associated with the likelihood of the article describing a fatality—especially if the suspect was emotionally disturbed—which raises the possibility that the risk of multiple shocks might not be uniform for all suspects. More research is needed to explore the relationship between mental illness, drug use (illicit or therapeutic), continued resistance, and increased risk of death. In the meantime, police departments should develop specific policies and training governing the use of multiple TASER shocks against individuals who could be in these vulnerable physiological and psychological states.

Should police departments develop specific training and policies governing use of multiple TASER shocks against individuals who might be in vulnerable physiological states?
Robert J. Bunker

Research on conducted energy devices : Findings, methods, and a possible alternative
Robert J. Kaminski

Conducted energy weapons : Learning from operational discretion and encounter outcomes
Gregory B. Morrison

Criminology and Public Policy, November 2009: Volume 8, Issue 4

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Critical Criminology 17(4)

Discounting Women: Context Matters in Risk and Need Assessment
Janet T. Davidson and Meda Chesney-Lind
Widely used risk/need assessment instruments assume that female offender risks for recidivism are essentially equivalent to those of male offenders. A look at the lives of female and male offenders reveals that there are important differences in the context of both offending and re-offending. This research draws on both quantitative and qualitative data to explore the effectiveness of a well known risk instrument to both predict recidivism and potentially direct intervention efforts. The results, particularly the in-depth interviews with offenders (both male and female) serving time on parole or felony probation reveal differences not detected by most contemporary risk and need assessment instruments. Ultimately, the gendered links among physical and sexual abuse, drugs, and crime are missed in risk and need assessments, thereby placing female offenders at risk for neglect and criminalization in an otherwise seemingly objective method of assessment.

The Value of Quantitative Analysis for a Critical Understanding of Crime and Society
Steven E. Barkan
The value of quantitative analysis for a critical understanding of crime and society has often been questioned. This paper joins the debate by reviewing quantitative evidence on key criminological topics: the causes of crime, public opinion on crime, and the operation and impact of the criminal justice system. This evidence highlights the importance of economic deprivation and racial prejudice and discrimination for understanding U.S. crime and justice and points to the ineffectiveness of the nation’s “get tough” approach to crime control. In these ways, quantitative analysis has already bolstered central propositions in critical criminology and promises to continue to do so.

Women’s Role in Serial Killing Teams: Reconstructing a Radical Feminist Perspective
Jennie Thompson & Suzanne Ricard
This article examines women’s roles in serial killing teams and reconsiders the traditional applications of radical feminist research on serial killers. These applications limit the utility of radical feminist theory for understanding female serial killers who kill in teams. An analysis of patriarchal power relations, which emphasizes the constitutive element of radical feminist theory, provides a useful framework to achieve insight into female serial killers who kill in teams. The advantage of this approach is demonstrated through three case studies of this type of female serial killer: Martha Beck, Myra Hindley, and Karla Homolka.

Methodology as a Knife Fight: The Process, Politics and Paradox of Evaluating Surveillance
Kevin D. Haggerty
This paper uses the analogy of an unregulated fight to examine the rhetorical politics of evaluation research pertaining to surveillance measures. It outlines how, in addition to being standard fare in social scientific debates, methodological issues have a parallel existence as part of the rhetorical politics of surveillance and crime control. After briefly sketching some of the ways that advocates try and accentuate methodological concerns in attempts to undermine the position of their adversary the paper considers how certain groups are comparatively advantaged and disadvantaged in such exchanges. The concluding section takes a larger view of these dynamics to address some of the risks inherent in engaging in this style of discursive politics.

Critical Criminology, December 2009: Volume 17, Issue 4