Monday, April 30, 2012

Crime & Delinquency 58(3)

Crime & Delinquency, May 2012: Volume 58, Issue 3

Men, Women, and Postrelease Offending: An Examination of the Nature of the Link Between Relational Ties and Recidivism
Jennifer E. Cobbina, Beth M. Huebner, and Mark T. Berg
Numerous studies have examined the postrelease behaviors of men and women, highlighting the importance of social bonds in understanding positive reentry. However, there is evidence that the effect of social bonds on recidivism may vary by gender. Furthermore, research suggests that an individual’s propensity for criminality, including prior criminal history, may hinder the development and maintenance of positive social bonds and subsequently affect reentry transitions. The current study extends previous research in two ways. First, the authors examine gender differences in the sources of recidivism and focus on the role of social ties and criminal history in shaping recidivism risk. Next, the authors consider if the influence of parolees’ ties to their parents and intimate partners is conditioned by their criminal history. The results reinforce the importance of social ties, particularly to parents, for parolees; however, the results also suggest that male relationships with parents and intimate partners may be influenced by prior criminal involvement.

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself: Investigating the Relationship Between Fear of Falling and White-Collar Crime
Nicole Leeper Piquero
Criminologists have long been interested in understanding why people commit crime. Perhaps an even more interesting question is what accounts for the offending of individuals who occupy white-collar positions. Most explanations of white-collar offending have relied on extant criminological theories that have been developed to account for street or juvenile offending. One theoretical explanation that was specifically developed to explain white-collar crime is the fear of falling hypothesis or the notion that the motivation for crime is the fear of losing what one has worked so hard to obtain. This study presents the results of an original data-collection effort designed to test this hypothesis. Data collected among business-experienced adults indicate that the fear of falling is inversely related to intentions to price-fix but positively related to internal and legal constraints against price-fixing. Taken together, these results suggest that the fear of falling may serve as a reminder of the attainments that could be lost, should the illegality be committed.

The Effect of Correctional Education on Postrelease Employment and Recidivism: A 5-Year Follow-Up Study in the State of Indiana
Susan Lockwood, John M. Nally, Taiping Ho, and Katie Knutson
Research has consistently revealed that released offenders, if unemployed and uneducated, would likely become recidivist offenders. This study was a 5-year follow-up study (2005-2009) of 6,561 offenders who were released from the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) to five metropolitan counties during the calendar year 2005. It examined the effect of education and postrelease employment on recidivism among those released offenders. Results of this study revealed that an offender’s education and employment were the most important predictors of postrelease recidivism. In other words, offenders would likely return to the IDOC custody if they were unemployed. This study’s results provided evidence that offenders who had not completed high school were likely to become recidivist offenders. This study also revealed that younger offenders were likely to become recidivist offenders after their release from the IDOC custody. In addition, African American offenders, rather than Caucasian offenders, were likely to become recidivist offenders. The recidivism rate among the offenders who had a college education was 31.0%, but the recidivism rate increased to 55.9% among the offenders who had an education below high school.

Determinants of Police Strength in Large U.S. Cities During the 1990s: A Fixed-Effects Panel Analysis
William P. McCarty, Ling Ren, and Jihong “Solomon” Zhao
The 1990s represented a unique decade in which to analyze the determinants of police strength in the United States. This decade was a time in which crime initially increased, then substantially decreased. Furthermore, this decade also was characterized by increases in the minority population throughout large American cities. Finally, the 1990s were characterized by increasing police budgets. These realities have direct implications for the competing theories of police growth. This research examines the determinants of police strength in large U.S. cities from 1990 to 2000. A fixed-effects panel analysis was used to assess the number of sworn police officers per 100,000 population. The findings support the resource dependency and social conflict perspectives. Additionally, no support was found for the rational public choice perspective.

Lethal and Other Serious Assaults: Disentangling Gender and Context
Carol E. Jordan, James Clark, Adam Pritchard, and Richard Charnigo
Women represent a relatively small percentage of known violent offenders, a disproportionality in offending that increases as the severity of the crime increases. The exception is intimate partner homicide where some studies find U.S. rates of offending by women approach those of men. Although the literature makes clear that significant gender differences exist in the commission of homicide, a more contextualized picture of the female offenders and the pathways leading to criminal offending does not exist. This study uses data from one state’s correctional system to examine the circumstances under which females kill or seriously assault intimate partners and, in particular, assesses the tenability of a prevailing stereotype that has been invoked to describe female intimate partner violence.

Labeling and Cumulative Disadvantage: The Impact of Formal Police Intervention on Life Chances and Crime During Emerging Adulthood
Giza Lopes, Marvin D. Krohn, Alan J. Lizotte, Nicole M. Schmidt, Bob Edward Vásquez, and Jón Gunnar Bernburg
Research in labeling theory has been revived recently, particularly in relation to the effect of labeling on critical noncriminal outcomes that potentially exacerbate involvement in crime. This study partakes in that revitalization by examining direct and indirect effects of police intervention in the lives of adolescents who were followed into their 30s. The authors find that early police intervention is indirectly related to drug use at the ages of 29 to 31, as well as unemployment and welfare receipt. Given that such effects were found some 15 years after the labeling event, on criminal and noncriminal outcomes, and after controlling for intraindividual factors, the authors conclude that the labeling perspective is still relevant within a developmental framework.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Critical Criminology 20(2)

Critical Criminology, May 2012: Volume 20, Issue 2

Youth Violence and Hegemonic Masculinity among Pacific Islander and Asian American Adolescents
David Tokiharu Mayeda & Lisa Pasko
As scholars and community stakeholders continue to understand hegemonic masculinity and its influences on youth violence, it is important that marginalized ethnic groups are not excluded from the discourse. This qualitative exploratory study investigates the ways that hegemonic masculinity impacts adolescent boys and girls from Pacific Islander and Asian American backgrounds. Research findings reveal how peers, family members, and romantic partners impact youths’ propensity to engage in youth violence. Findings further divulge the similar and different ways that boys and girls from these ethnic backgrounds conceptualize youth violence, with males frequently using violence to enhance their social status and females relying on violence for protection and/or to bolster their relationship with boyfriends. The study calls for improved structural relationships between schools and marginalized ethnic communities, specifically calling for enhanced programs that address healthy dating practices, homophobia, and violence associated with the body.

Out of Time: The Moral Temporality of Sex, Crime and Taboo
Sharon Hayes & Belinda Carpenter
This paper discusses the relationship between law and morality. Morality does not necessarily coincide with the law, but it contributes to it. An act may be legal but nevertheless considered to be immoral in a particular society. For example, the use of pornography may be considered by many to be immoral. Nevertheless, the sale and distribution of non-violent, non-child related, sexually explicit material is legal (or regulated) in many jurisdictions. Many laws are informed by, and even created by, morality. This paper examines the historical influence of morality on the law and on society in general. It aims to develop a theoretical framework for examining legal moralism and the social construction of morality and crime as well as the relationship between sex, desire and taboo. Here, we refer to the moral temporality of sex and taboo, which examines the way in which moral judgments about sex and what is considered taboo change over time, and the kinds of justifications that are employed in support of changing moralities. It unpacks the way in which abstract and highly tenuous concepts such as “desire”, “art” and “entertainment” may be “out of time” with morality, and how morality shapes laws over time, fabricating justifications from within socially constructed communities of practice. This theoretical framework maps the way in which these concepts have become temporally dominated by heteronormative structures such as the family, marriage, reproduction, and longevity. It is argued that the logic of these structures is inexorably tied to the heterosexual life-path, charting individual lives and relationships through explicit phases of childhood, adolescence and adulthood that, in the twenty-first century, delimit the boundaries of taboo surrounding sex more than any other time in history.

Ironies of Crime, Control, and Criminology
Scott Jacques & Richard Wright
Irony is a kind of communication in which shared knowledge about a particular context is formed as a counter-intuitive statement with hidden meaning. Irony is important because it branches the tree of knowledge and balances morality. This paper reviews the definition and value of irony; examines ironic works on crime and control; proposes an irony of criminology: it can be studied with science and thereby improved; draws on this idea to provide a method-based theory of theory and findings; and concludes by discussing implications for future work in reflexive criminology.

White-Collar Crime and Police Crime: Rotten Apples or Rotten Barrels?
Petter Gottschalk
In the research literature on white-collar crime, there seems to be a tendency to claim individual failure rather than systems failure. Occupational crime is often emphasized at the expense of corporate crime. In the research literature on misconduct and crime by police officers, however, there seems to be a tendency to claim systems failure. It is argued that police crime is a result of bad practice, lack of resources or mismanagement, rather than acts of criminals. Based on two empirical studies in Norway of business and police crime, this paper is concerned with the extent to which the rotten apple theory versus the rotten barrel theory can explain crime in business organizations and police organizations.

Talking Heads and Bleeding Hearts: Newsmaking, Emotion and Public Criminology in the Wake of a Sexual Assault
Michael Mopas & Dawn Moore
Using our own experiences in attempting to ‘do’ public criminology in the wake of a violent sexual assault on our campus, we offer a critique of the emerging public criminology framework. Focusing specifically on tensions between fact and emotion and representations of expertise in the news media, we argue for a greater respect for emotional responses to crime in moving the public criminology agenda forward. We suggest that if public criminology sets as its goal educating the public about crime with an eye towards injecting a counter/critical discourse into ‘get tough’ crime control policies, then public criminologists need to recognize and take seriously the public’s emotions rather than negate them. Drawing on the work of Ahmed (The cultural politics of emotion. Routledge, London, 2004), we suggest that the role of the expert is not to simply inform citizens of the ‘facts’ about crime, but to establish—through emotions—the relationship between themselves and the imagined criminal Other (Young in Imagining crime: Textual outlaws and criminal conversations. Sage Publications, London, 1996). Thus, alongside trying to convince the public to be more ‘rational’ when it comes to crime, critical criminologists must start to accept people’s fear and anger as legitimate reactions and try to redirect these emotions toward more productive ends.

Justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Practicing Corruption, Practicing Resistance?
Maritza Felices-Luna
Based on empirical material collected in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this article analyses certain practices labelled as corruption as being part of broader relations of subjugation and resistance. In the first part it describes how a system of governance was instituted and maintained during colonialism and dictatorship through knowledge-power that allowed for relations of domination and exploitation to take place. Then, it analyses how in a context of democratic transformation, certain practices of corruption help unveil the complexity of multi-layered power relations mobilising discourses of knowledge as well as practices of subjugation, resistance, oppression and exploitation. The article concludes by underlining that institutional actors have a vested interest in maintaining the current system in place as they represent the nodal point of power-relations.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

American Journal of Sociology 117(5)

American Journal of Sociology, March 2012: Volume 117, Issue 5

Disposable Ties and the Urban Poor
Matthew Desmond
Sociologists long have observed that the urban poor rely on kinship networks to survive economic destitution. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among evicted tenants in high-poverty neighborhoods, this article presents a new explanation for urban survival, one that emphasizes the importance of disposable ties formed between strangers. To meet their most pressing needs, evicted families often relied more on new acquaintances than on kin. Disposable ties facilitated the flow of various resources, but often bonds were brittle and fleeting. The strategy of forming, using, and burning disposable ties allowed families caught in desperate situations to make it from one day to the next, but it also bred instability and fostered misgivings among peers.

Who Am I and Who Are We? Conflicting Narratives of Collective Selfhood in Stigmatized Groups
Dawne Moon
Identity politics arises out of conditions of systematic stigmatization and structural disadvantage, but sharing a social structural position does not guarantee that people will define themselves and their collectivity in the same way. In fact, because identity politics occupies two major points of tension, it gives rise to several alternative ways of conceptualizing the “we,” the collective self. Using ethnographic material gathered on American Jews’ understandings of anti-Semitism and its relationship to contemporary politics, this article inductively discerns four alternative models of collective selfhood (embattled, relating, political, and redeemed) that correspond to four alternative narratives of identity politics (reified identity, humanistic dialogue, critical solidarity, and evangelism). These narratives help explain the deep emotions sparked by challenges to people’s self-definitions. A comparison to studies of LGBT movements further reveals the utility of this conceptualization and elaborates a model not apparent in the first case.

Legal Violence: Immigration Law and the Lives of Central American Immigrants
Cecilia Menjívar, Leisy J. Abrego
This article analyzes how Central American immigrants in tenuous legal statuses experience current immigration laws. Based on ethnographic observations and over 200 interviews conducted between 1998 and 2009 with immigrants in Los Angeles and Phoenix and individuals in sending communities, this study reveals how the convergence and implementation of immigration and criminal law constitute forms of violence. Drawing on theories of structural and symbolic violence, the authors use the analytic category “legal violence” to capture the normalized but cumulatively injurious effects of the law. The analysis focuses on three central and interrelated areas of immigrants’ lives—work, family, and schooling—to expose how the criminalization of immigrants at the federal, state, and local levels is not only exclusionary but also generates violent effects for individual immigrants and their families, affecting everyday lives and long-term incorporation processes.

When Do Fathers Care? Mothers’ Economic Contribution and Fathers’ Involvement in Child Care
Sara Raley, Suzanne M. Bianchi, Wendy Wang
Previous literature suggests a tenuous link between fathers’ care of children and maternal employment and earnings. This study shows that the link is stronger when measures of caregiving capture fathers’ increased responsibility for children. The analysis of time diary data from 6,572 married fathers and 7,376 married mothers with children under age 13 indicates that fathers (1) engage in more “solo” care of children when their wives are employed, (2) are more likely to do the kind of child care associated with responsibility for their children when their wives spend more time in the labor market, and (3) participate more in routine care when their wives contribute a greater share of the couple’s earnings. In addition, the “father care” to “mother care” ratio rises when mothers contribute a greater share of household earnings.

Organized Labor and Racial Wage Inequality in the United States
Jake Rosenfeld, Meredith Kleykamp
Why have African-American private-sector unionization rates surpassed those of white workers for decades, and how has private-sector union decline exacerbated black-white wage inequality? Using data from the Current Population Survey (1973–2007), the authors show that African-Americans join unions for protection against discriminatory treatment in nonunion sectors. A model-predicted wage series also shows that, among women, black-white weekly wage gaps would be between 13% and 30% lower if union representation remained at high levels. The effect of deunionization on racial wage inequality for men is less substantial, but without deunionization, weekly wages for black men would be an estimated $49 higher. The results recast organized labor as an institution vital for its economic inclusion of African-American men and women. This study points to the need to move beyond class-based analyses of union decline to an understanding of the gendered role unions once played in mitigating racial inequality.

Commentary and Debate

The Israeli Kibbutzim and the Westermarck Hypothesis: Does Early Association Dampen Sexual Passion? A Comment on Shor and Simchai
Alexandra Maryanski, Stephen K. Sanderson, Raymond Russell

Exposing the Myth of Sexual Aversion in the Israeli Kibbutzim: A Challenge to the Westermarck Hypothesis
Eran Shor, Dalit Simchai

Monday, April 16, 2012

Law & Society Review 46(1)

Law & Society Review, December 2011: Volume 45, Issue 4

Situated Justice: A Contextual Analysis of Fairness and Inequality in Employment Discrimination Litigation
Ellen Berrey, Steve G. Hoffman and Laura Beth Nielsen
A substantial body of sociolegal scholarship suggests that the legitimacy of the law crucially depends on the public's perception that legal processes are fair. The bulk of this research relies on an underdeveloped account of the material and institutional contexts of litigants' perceptions of fairness. We introduce an analysis of situated justice to capture a contextualized conception of how litigants narrate fairness in their actual legal encounters. Our analysis draws on 100 in-depth interviews with defendant's representatives, plaintiffs, and lawyers involved in employment discrimination lawsuits, selected as part of a multimethod study of 1,788 discrimination cases filed in U.S. district courts between 1988 and 2003. This article offers two key empirical findings, the first at the level of individual perceptions and the second at the level of legal institutions. First, we find that neither defendants' representatives nor plaintiffs believe discrimination law is fair. Rather than sharing a complaint, however, each side sees unfairness only in those aspects of the process that work to their disadvantage. Second, we demonstrate that the very notion of fairness can belie structural asymmetries that, overall, profoundly benefit employers in employment discrimination lawsuits. We conclude by discussing how a situated justice analysis calls for a rethinking of empirical research on fairness. Audio recordings of respondents quoted in this article are available online.

Children of the American Prison Generation: Student and School Spillover Effects of Incarcerating Mothers
John Hagan and Holly Foster
Formal equality and judicial neutrality can lead to substantive inequality for women and children, with social costs that extend beyond individuals and families and spill over into the larger social settings in which they are located. We consider the uniquely damaging effects of an “equality with a vengeance” (Chesney-Lind & Pollack 1995) that resulted from “tough on crime” policies and the 1980s federal and state sentencing guidelines that led to the incarceration of more women and mothers. We argue that legal equality norms of the kind embedded in the enforcement of sentencing guidelines can mask and punish differences in gendered role expectations. Paradoxically, although fathers are incarcerated in much greater numbers than are mothers, the effect threshold is lower and the scale of effect on educational outcomes tends to be greater for maternal incarceration. We demonstrate both student- and school-level effects of maternal incarceration: the damaging effects not only affect the children of imprisoned mothers but also spill over to children of nonincarcerated mothers in schools with elevated levels of maternal incarceration. We find a 15 percent reduction in college graduation rates in schools where as few as 10 percent of other students' mothers are incarcerated. The effects for imprisoned fathers are also notable, especially at the school level. Schools with higher father incarceration rates (25 percent) have college graduation rates as much as 50 percent lower than those of other schools. The effects of imprisoned mothers are particularly notable at the student level (i.e., with few children of imprisoned mothers graduating from college), while maternal imprisonment effects are found at both student and school levels across the three measured outcomes. We demonstrate these effects in a large, nationally representative longitudinal study of American children from the 1990s prison generation who were tracked into early adulthood.

Indicators as a Technology of Global Governance
Kevin E. Davis, Benedict Kingsbury and Sally Engle Merry
The use of indicators is a prominent feature of contemporary global governance. Indicators are used to compare and rank states for purposes as varied as deciding how to allocate foreign aid or investment and determining whether states have complied with their treaty obligations. This article defines the concept of an indicator, analyzes distinctive features of indicators as technologies of governance, and identifies various ways in which the use of indicators has the potential to alter the topology and dynamics of global governance. Particular attention is paid to how indicators can affect processes of standard setting, decisionmaking, and contestation in global governance. The World Bank Doing Business indicators and the United Nations Human Development Index are analyzed as case studies.

“Tort Tales” and TV Judges: Amplifying, Modifying, or Countering the Antitort Narrative?
Joshua C. Wilson and Erin Ackerman
This article joins the debate about the popular pervasiveness of antitort and antilitigation attitudes by examining whether, and to what extent, antitort or antilitigation sentiment is present in the narratives about law offered by reality-based television judge shows. Given the persistent debate about tort reform and scholars' recognition of the role played in this debate by simplified narratives about the legal system, we analyze whether reality-based TV judge shows as a genre contribute to the creation and dissemination antitort and antilitigation sentiment. Earlier studies led us to hypothesize that TV judge shows would largely support the antitort and antilitigation narratives. After coding over 55 hours of such shows, however, we conclude that they do not adopt this narrative. Rather, these shows present a view of the civil law system that largely treats plaintiffs' claims as legitimate and showcases the majority of defendants as wrongdoers. In spite of this, we argue that the particular dramatic qualities of TV judge shows limit their potential to serve as a strong counternarrative to antitort and antilitigation stories.

The Fluid Jurisprudence of Israel's Emergency Powers: Legal Patchwork as a Governing Norm
Yoav Mehozay
Israel's long-standing state of emergency has had considerable bearing on the state's governance. Less known, but equally important, is the fact that Israel's legal system features several overlapping and incoherent emergency legal mechanisms that exist side by side. This article demonstrates that Israel's ever-shifting body of emergency law has been used to suit its governing authorities’ political ends. A chief goal has been to create flexibility in the application of law in order to systematically discriminate against Palestinians while maintaining a degree of legitimacy as a government by law. With these various emergency legal mechanisms available, Israel's governing officials can extend the authorities of discrete emergency regulations by mixing and matching laws or by moving freely from one legal mechanism to the next to serve desired ends. This article argues further that what may have started as a pragmatic solution quickly became programmatic and concerted. Thus, contrary to the conception that Israel's convoluted emergency jurisprudence is the accidental outcome of trying times, Israel's complex emergency jurisprudence is in fact a governing tool. This reality compels us to consider new analytical frameworks in which a state of emergency is an enduring condition. To this end, this article draws on the work of colonial law scholars. By analyzing jurisdictional complexity in contexts where emergency is dominant, these studies explain the political motivation for maintaining structured ambiguity.

Making Way: Legal Mobilization, Organizational Response, and Wheelchair Access
Jeb Barnes and Thomas F. Burke
Questions of how and why organizations respond to legal rights are analyzed in several sociolegal research traditions, including studies of legal mobilization, regulation, and neo-institutionalist accounts of the diffusion of organizational structures. Using original qualitative and quantitative data, this article examines the responses of ten organizations to wheelchair access rights that are found in various provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related state laws. We find that concepts from each of the research traditions are useful in understanding the sources of variance in response among the organizations in our sample. We focus on four key variables: legal mobilization, commitment, professionalization, and routinization. We contend that these variables offer a relatively parsimonious language for studying organizational responses to the law and for aggregating insights from competing approaches in the literature, both of which are essential to advancing our understanding of the conditions under which law changes society.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

British Journal of Criminology 52(3)

British Journal of Criminology, May 2012: Volume 52, Issue 3

Five Spaces of Cultural Criminology
Keith J. Hayward
This article offers some reflections on the nature and role of space and spatial analysis in criminology. It proceeds in two parts. It starts by comparing and contrasting the spatial legacy of the Chicago School of sociology—seen by most as the progenitors of environmental criminology—with the general approach to space adopted by cultural geographers. The second part breaks new ground for criminology by positing five new areas—or ‘spaces’—of engagement that offer alternative ways of interpreting the relationship between space and crime, the ultimate aim being to challenge contemporary criminologists to think differently about how space is conceptualized and utilized within our discipline.

Just Images: Aesthetics, Ethics and Visual Criminology
Eamonn Carrabine
The last few years have seen a remarkable visual turn in criminology and this article explores some of the implications of this renewed interest in the power of images. It begins by setting out influential sociological understandings of aesthetics, before turning to the distinctive ethical questions posed by visual representations of harm, suffering and violence that feature so prominently in these multi-mediated times. These arguments are then developed in relation to the documentary photography tradition, as it explicitly confronts the relationships between aesthetics, ethics and justice, in ways that a visually attuned criminology has much to learn from, not least since contemporary practitioners have become increasingly aware that they have certain social responsibilities towards the subjects they photograph, while remaining committed to anthropological exploration, moral commitment and political reform.

The Political Economy of Neighbourhood Homicide in Chicago: The Role of Bank Investment
María B. Vélez and Kelly Richardson
The urban political-economy perspective contends that the actions of elites have made certain neighbourhoods susceptible to deleterious conditions. We draw on this logic to argue neighbourhoods that are winners of the political economy of place are rewarded with relatively higher levels of home mortgage lending and thus enjoy lower levels of homicide. Neighbourhoods that are the losers of the political economy receive relatively little bank lending and have relatively higher levels of homicide. We find that Chicago neighbourhoods during the mid-1990s experience lower homicide per capita rates if banks have awarded them relatively higher home mortgage loan dollars and they are surrounded by relatively higher infusions of home mortgage loan dollars. Results underscore the importance of economic elites in providing resources like home mortgage lending capital to neighbourhoods.

The Crime and Punishment of Somali Women’s Extra-Legal Arrival in Malta
Alison Gerard and Sharon Pickering
This article looks at Somali women’s experiences of extra-legal border crossing of the European Union’s southern border. Based on qualitative interviews with women who have travelled irregularly to Malta, and key state and non-government organization stakeholders, this article considers the layers of exile and vulnerability engendered by Malta’s attempts to secure the EU border. The article traces the gendered and racialized processes of immobilizing irregular migrants through legal and administrative policies of mandatory detention and the Dublin II Regulation, and through social and economic policy in Malta. The article concludes that border control operating at the point of arrival both contains and punishes women, even when they are legally accepted and released, keeping women suspended in a constant ‘state of arrival’.

The Delta Creeks, Women’s Engagement and Nigeria’s Oil Insurgency
Temitope Oriola
The on-going insurgency in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria continues to have serious consequences for oil workers, corporations and the global oil market. In spite of the growing interest in arguably the greatest existential threat to the Nigerian state since the Civil War of 1967–70, scant scholarly attention has been paid to the Delta creeks and the fundamental roles performed by women in the insurgency. This paper interrogates the space represented by the creeks as the home territory of insurgents in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta. Using interview and focus group data garnered from 42 insurgents and five other sets of actors, I analyse the operational significance and symbolism of the creeks and its processual social sorting. In addition, I demonstrate the dichotomous relationship of women to the creeks. Women constitute a major source of reconnaissance, spiritual fortification, among other roles, but are concurrently considered eewo or abomination by male insurgents. Although academic analysis has been overwhelmingly concerned with the supportive roles and non-violent protests of women, the Delta women are actively engaged in the on-going violent repertoires of protest.

Triadization of Youth Gangs in Hong Kong
T. Wing Lo
In Hong Kong, youth gangs are heavily influenced by triad societies, and the present article examines how young people are ‘triadized’ through three main channels during their participation in gang activities. First, the spider’s web structure absorbs young people into the gang and then ties them into a triad big brother and follower relationship. Second, triad elements and knowledge are transmitted via routine activities of the youth gang. Third, the tacit but very much enforced norms and controls of a youth gang lead its members to conform to triad commands and assimilate triad values. It is concluded that triadization of youth gangs provides new blood to triad societies that continue to survive across different generations over time.

Making sense of Going Straight: Personal Accounts of Male Ex-Prisoners in Hong Kong
Michael Adorjan and Wing Hong Chui
While most research on desistance targets Western contexts, we offer a point of comparison through an examination of the experiences of a selected group of male ex-offenders upon their discharge from prison in Hong Kong. To achieve this aim, this qualitative study gives a detailed account of Hong Kong ex-prisoners’ accounts of desistance. Semi-structured interviews focusing on prisoner re-entry were conducted with 23 Hong Kong Chinese ex-prisoners. Particularly salient themes to explain the process of going straight in Hong Kong were the importance of social support and family, as well as religion. Ex-prisoners were particularly critical of the rehabilitative efficacy of Hong Kong’s prisons as well as post-supervision programmes. These criticisms were related to concerns regarding Hong Kong’s competitive and materialistic culture delimiting efforts to desist from crime.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Community Engagement and the Judicial Role in England and Wales
Jane C. Donoghue
A problem-solving approach to anti-social behaviour (ASB) cases has recently been embedded into magistrates’ courts in England and Wales. This approach incorporates core components of the Anti-Social Behaviour Response Court (ASBRC) model and is underpinned by principles of community justice. This article summarizes some of the main findings of an 18-month ESRC-funded study that investigated how far the ASBRC model has been absorbed into mainstream courts in England and Wales. This research suggests that courts have not embedded community justice principles, nor have they altered their focus to incorporate a significant degree of liaison with the community. The article concludes with some observations on the implications of the findings for the development and enhancement of community engagement and community justice principles.

The Life Sentence and Parole
Diarmuid Griffin and Ian O'Donnell
Taking the life sentence as the new ‘ultimate penalty’ for many countries, this paper explores the factors associated with the release of life-sentence prisoners on parole. The Republic of Ireland is selected as a case study because it is in the unusual position of being influenced by European human rights norms as well as by the Anglo-American drive towards increased punitiveness. As an apparent outlier to both the human rights and punitive approaches, or perhaps as a hybrid of sorts, the relative impact of the two models can be elucidated. The article also provides an example of how small penal systems can be resistant to broader trends and the value of directing the criminological gaze upon countries where it seldom falls.

The Impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on Policing in England and Wales
Karen Bullock and Paul Johnson
This article explores the impact of the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998 on the police service of England and Wales. It draws upon qualitative data produced during interviews with police personnel to provide the first empirical study of the influence of the HRA on the police service at an organizational level and on the day-to-day working practices of police officers. Whilst the fundamental aim of the HRA is to protect and enhance citizens’ rights and freedoms, we argue that there is little evidence to suggest that it has promoted a greater awareness of, and respect for, human rights amongst police officers. Rather, the HRA has become institutionalized by the police service into a series of bureaucratic processes that, although requiring conformity by officers, do not encourage active consideration of human rights issues. Instead of shaping police work to make it more responsive to human rights, bureaucratic processes are used by officers to legitimize and justify their existing practices. Focusing on ‘risks’ rather than ‘rights’, officers satisfy the ‘tests’ introduced by the HRA through an assessment of the dangers posed by particular individuals and crime types and the resource implications of effectively managing them. An important result of this is that the HRA is not used to achieve a balance between individual rights and community interests, but becomes a framework for mandating police decision making and protecting officers from criticism and blame.

Reconfiguring Security and Liberty: Political Discourses and Public Opinion in the New Century
Christina Pantazis and Simon Pemberton
The debate about the relationship between security and liberty has intensified in liberal democracies since September 2001. In this article, we argue that corrosive legislative developments in UK counter-terrorism have been made possible by the emergence of a centre-right political consensus that discursively ‘trades’ the freedoms of the ‘minority’ or ‘Muslim Other’ for the protection of the ‘law-abiding majority’. This consensus has drawn on, as well as been shaped by public opinion. Our review of the polling data suggests, public opinion is supportive of the shift towards authoritarianism. We conclude by considering possible future strategies to unravel the ‘populist politics’ that have dominated in recent years.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Journal of Criminal Justice 40(2)

Journal of Criminal Justice, March 2012: Volume 40, Issue 2

Nature and consequences of dismissals: Implications for public safety and crime prevention in criminal courts in America
E. Rely Vîlcică
The study examines dismissal as case ending decision and its consequences for public safety. Impact of dismissal: Dismissed defendants more likely to reoffend net of controls. Questions about deterrence and implications for processing and dispositions of criminal cases.

A comparative analysis of general strain theory
Inga Dora Sigfusdottir, Alfgeir Logi Kristjansson, Robert Agnew
This study is the most comprehensive comparative study on general strain theory to date. Findings support the generalizability of GST across five European cities. Findings apply both to property- and violent crime among youth.

Science, politics, and crime prevention: Toward a new crime policy
Brandon C. Welsh, David P. Farrington
There is a growing body of research on the effectiveness of crime prevention. Crime prevention is an important component of an overall strategy to reduce crime. Prevention science and evidence-based policy are two contemporary developments that have strengthened crime prevention. Innovative approaches exist to overcome political challenges that confront crime prevention.

Fear of crime and vulnerability: Using a national sample of Americans to examine two competing paradigms
Nicole E. Rader, Jeralynn S. Cossman, Jeremy R. Porter
Predicts fear of crime using two competing theoretical hypotheses (social and physical vulnerability). Uses a national survey linked to census tract and county level data. Variations that can be accounted for by physical vulnerabilities are much less tied to social vulnerabilities. Effects of social vulnerabilities are indirectly related to fear through physical vulnerability characteristics.

Testing the relative importance of contemporaneous offenses: The impacts of fear of sexual assault versus fear of physical harm among men and women
Carrie L. Cook, Kathleen A. Fox
We test the impact of fear of physical harm on fear of violent crime. We test the impact of fear of sexual assault on fear of violent crime. Both types of fear are predictive of fear of home invasion, robbery, and murder. Fear of physical harm had a greater impact on fear of violent crime. Men and women are very similar in terms of what drives their fear of crime.

Social disorganization, Latinos and juvenile crime in the Texas borderlands
Jonathan Allen, Jeffrey M. Cancino
We examine social disorganization and juvenile property crime along the Texas border. We use a time-series cross-sectional analysis for 29 counties over 18 years. We find moderate support for the theory within the region as a whole. Effects of social disorganization vary between rural and urban counties in the area. Percent foreign born is negatively related to juvenile property crime in the region.

Journal of Criminal Justice 40(1)

Journal of Criminal Justice, January 2012: Volume 40, Issue 1

Youth violence at school and the intersection of gender, race, and ethnicity
Anthony A. Peguero, Ann Marie Popp
The intersection of gender, race, and ethnicity is significant when examining youth violence at school. Sports are an insulating factor against victimization for girls regardless of race/ethnicity. Sports are a protective for White American boys while a risk for racial/ethnic minority boys against victimization. Academic activity for Asian American girls is a risk factor for victimization.

Taxometrics and Criminal Justice: Assessing the Latent Structure of Crime-Related Constructs
Glenn D. Walters
Taxometric method capable of shedding light on key criminal justice concepts. Sample and indicator preconditions discussed. Principal procedures include MAMBAC, MAXCOV/MAXEIG, and L-Mode. Taxometrics illustrated with delinquency cohort data.

Pornographic exposure over the life course and the severity of sexual offenses: Imitation and cathartic effects
Christina Mancini, Amy Reckdenwald, Eric Beauregard
We examine whether pornography exposure elevates the violence of a sexual crime. Only adolescence exposure was associated with increased victim harm. Immediately prior exposure decreased the extent of victim physical injury. Research and policy implications are discussed.

Low Resting Heart Rate and Rational Choice: Integrating Biological Correlates of Crime in Criminological Theories
Todd A. Armstrong, Brian B. Boutwell
We test the relationship between low resting heart rate and perceptions of the costs and benefits of offending. Those with low resting heart rate anticipate a lower risk of sanction and less guilt/shame as a result of offending. LRHR is related to an increased intent to commit assault. The relationship between low resting heart rate and intent to commit assault is mediated by guilt/shame.

Shades of blue: Confidence in the police in the world
Liqun Cao, Yung-Lien Lai, Ruohui Zhao
The impact of political regime on the confidence in the police is examined. Results show that there is a convex curvilinear relationship between political regime and confidence in the police. Stability, regardless of regime nature, promotes confidence in the police while political unrest demotes it.

Public opinion on crime causation: An exploratory study of Philadelphia area residents
Shaun L. Gabbidon, Danielle Boisvert
Philadelphia area residents were asked their opinions on crime causation. There were significant gender differences in opinions on crime causation. There were significant across-race differences in opinions on crime causation. There were few within-race differences in opinions on crime causation. Public opinion on crime causation significantly differed based on one's political ideology.

Assessing the effectiveness of drug courts on recidivism: A meta-analytic review of traditional and non-traditional drug courts
Ojmarrh Mitchell, David B. Wilson, Amy Eggers, Doris L. MacKenzie
We meta-analytically synthesized the results of 154 drug court evaluations. This meta-analysis is the largest of its kind. Evaluations of adult and DWI drug courts reveal substantial reductions in recidivism. The mean effect of these courts is a 12-percentage point drop in recidivism. Evaluations of juvenile drug courts reveal much smaller reductions in recidivism.

Problematic alcohol consumption by police officers and other protective service employees: A comparative analysis
Henriikka Weir, Daniel M. Stewart, Robert G. Morris
Members of protective service occupations (PSOs) do not consume alcohol more often than members of other occupational groups. PSO members do not exhibit higher likelihood of alcohol abuse/dependency when compared to other occupational groups. PSO members report a higher occurrence of binge drinking than members of other occupations. The relationship between PSO members and binge drinking is not mediated by mental health but gender. The correlates of alcohol abuse/dependency do not substantially differ for PSOs when compared to non-PSOs.

Take the car keys away: Metropolitan structure and the long road to delinquency
Gisela Bichler, Carlena A. Orosco, Joseph A. Schwartz
This study compares delinquent and at-risk youth travel within the context of urban structure with a multilevel model. It is the first scholarship to examine offender travel within the urban structure. The findings show that distinctive population subgroups do exist within youths involved in juvenile probation. Regional metropolitan structure and vehicle accessibility increase the potential for delinquent youth to escape supervision The travel range of at-risk youth is significantly restricted and associated with the popularity of youth hangouts.

On the relationship of past to future involvement in crime and delinquency: A behavior genetic analysis
J.C. Barnes, Brian B. Boutwell
This study analyzed stability and change in criminal behavior across a 13-year span. Genetic factors explained the majority of stability in antisocial behavior. Genetic and nonshared environmental factors explained changes. Population heterogeneity explanations of stability are consistent with the findings. State dependence theories may be salient for explaining behavioral change.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Criminology 50(2)

Criminology, May 2012: Volume 50, Issue 2

The Central Place Of Race In Crime And Justice—The American Society Of Criminology'S 2011 Sutherland Address
Ruth D. Peterson
In the United States and elsewhere, racial and ethnic disparities in crime and criminal justice are relatively ubiquitous. Yet the meaning of such disparities is not well understood. To address this concern, periodically there have been calls for research that takes into account the broader structural context of the racially and ethnically inequitable crime and justice patterns. However, a comprehensive approach to understanding such inequality is seldom applied in research. In this article, I review findings from a program of research on crime across race–ethnic neighborhoods that I have undertaken with Lauren J. Krivo and other colleagues to provide, and assess, such a framework. The starting point of our approach is that ethnoracial inequality in neighborhood crime is an outgrowth of a racialized social structure maintained largely through racial residential segregation. As anticipated, the findings illustrate the value added from research that embeds its assessment of crime and justice within an understanding of structured societal inequality. From these results, I call for placing race and ethnicity at the center of the study of crime and justice.

Residential Change As A Turning Point In The Life Course Of Crime: Desistance Or Temporary Cessation?
David S. Kirk
Many former prisoners return home to the same residential environment, with the same criminal opportunities and criminal peers, where they resided before incarceration. If the path to desistance from crime largely requires knifing off from past situations and establishing a new set of routine activities, then returning to one's old environment and routines may drastically limit an ex-prisoner's already dismal chances of desisting from crime. This study tests these ideas by examining how forced residential migration caused by Hurricane Katrina affected the likelihood of reincarceration among a sample of ex-prisoners originally from New Orleans, LA. Property damage from the hurricane induced some ex-prisoners who otherwise would have moved back to their former neighborhoods to move to new neighborhoods. Findings from an instrumental variables survival analysis reveal that those parolees who moved to a new parish following release were substantially less likely to be reincarcerated during the first 3 years after release than those ex-offenders who moved back to the parish where they were originally convicted. Moreover, at no point in the 3-year time period was the hazard of reincarceration greater for those parolees who moved than for those who returned to the same parish.

The Victim–Offender Overlap In Context: Examining The Role Of Neighborhood Street Culture
Mark T. Berg, Eric A. Stewart, Christopher J. Schreck and Ronald L. Simons
Although numerous studies have found a strong relationship between offending and victimization risk, the etiology of this relationship is not well understood. Largely absent from this research is an explicit focus on neighborhood processes. However, theoretical work found in the subculture of violence literature implies that neighborhood street culture may help to account for the etiology of this phenomenon. Specifically, we should expect the magnitude of the victim–offender overlap to vary closely with neighborhood-based violent conduct norms. This research uses waves 1 and 2 of the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS) to test the empirical validity of these notions. Our results show that the victim–offender overlap is not generalizeable across neighborhood contexts; in fact, it is especially strong in neighborhoods where the street culture predominates, whereas it is significantly weaker in areas where this culture is less prominent. These results indicate that neighborhood-level cultural processes help to explain the victim–offender overlap, and they may cause this phenomenon to be context specific.

Developmental Patterns Of Alcohol Use In Relation To The Persistence And Desistance Of Serious Violent Offending Among African American And Caucasian Young Men
Helene R. White, Chioun Lee, Eun-Young Mun and Rolf Loeber
This study examined the association of alcohol use with the persistence and desistance of serious violent offending among African American and Caucasian young men from adolescence into emerging adulthood. Five violence groups were defined: nonviolent, late-onsetters, desisters, persisters, and one-time offenders. We examined alcohol use trajectories for these groups spanning 12 through 24/25 years of age using a four-piecewise linear growth model s 12–14, 14–18, 18–21, and 21–24/25 years of age. The persisters and desisters reported the highest levels of drinking at 13 years of age. From 14 to 18 years old, however, the late-onsetters showed a higher rate of increase in drinking, compared with the persisters and desisters. Starting at 18 years of age, the desisters’ drinking trajectory started to resemble that of the nonviolent group, who showed the highest rate of increase in drinking during emerging adulthood. By 24/25 years of age, the persisters could not be distinguished from the late-onsetters, but they were lower than the nonviolent and one-timer groups in terms of their drinking. At 24/25 years old, the desisters were not significantly different from the other violence groups, although they seemed most similar to the nonviolent and one-timer groups. We found no evidence that the association between drinking and violence differed for African Americans and Caucasians. The findings suggest that yearly changes in alcohol use could provide important clues for preventing violent offending.

Can Self-Control Change Substantially Over Time? Rethinking The Relationship Between Self- And Social Control
Chongmin Na and Raymond Paternoster
The primary goals of this study were to test the long-term stability thesis of Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) general theory of crime and to examine the relationship between self-control and social control over time. The data come from a field experiment where the “treatment” consisted of an intentional effort to improve the childrearing behaviors of a sample of caregivers whose children were at high risk of criminal behavior. Caregivers in the control condition were given no such training. The intervention occurred when all subjects were in the first grade (mean age: 6.2 years old), and we have measurements on self-control and the social control/bond for each subject from grades 6 to 11 (mean ages: 12 to 17 years old). Both a hierarchical linear model and a second-order latent growth model identified meaningful differences in the growth pattern of self-control among individuals in the pooled sample and a difference in the growth parameters for self-control and the social control/bond over time between the treatment and control groups. Both findings are inconsistent with Gottfredson and Hirschi's stability of self-control hypothesis. The same patterns persisted when different analytic techniques and model specifications were applied, which suggests that the results are not an artifact of measurement error, model specification, or statistical methods. Structural equation modeling using the panel design of the data was better able to disentangle the long-term relationship between self- and social control—a relationship that was found to be more dynamic than previously hypothesized.

It Was My Idea: Considering The Instigation Of Co-Offending
Jean Marie Mcgloin and Holly Nguyen
More than twenty years ago, Albert Reiss (1988) recognized that some individuals are responsible for instigating group offending, whereas others follow accomplices into crime (or offend alone). Since this initial discussion by Reiss, however, little clarity has emerged regarding the factors that predict or explain the instigation of co-offending. Specifically, some literature has suggested that the tendency to instigate varies systematically across individuals, such that chronic or serious offenders are more likely to instigate group crime. Instigation also may vary across crime types (i.e., within-individuals), according to whether individuals have crime-specific skill or experience. Using data from inmates in the Colorado Department of Corrections to investigate these hypotheses, the results reveal that individuals with earlier ages of criminal onset are more likely to report they instigate group crime, net of controls. At the same time, indicators of crime-specific expertise predict the tendency to instigate group crime. The Discussion section considers the implications of these results and offers directions for future research.

Severe Sanctions, Easy Choice? Investigating The Role Of School Sanctions In Preventing Adolescent Violent Offending
David Maimon, Olena Antonaccio and Michael T. French
Although schools in the United States adopted harsher disciplinary policies in the early 1990s, to date, there is little evidence showing whether severe school sanctions against student misconduct prevent crime. Drawing on both deterrence and rational choice theories, we test the proposition that harsh school-based policies against violence reduce students’ involvement in violent behavior. However, in contrast to prior research that explores the direct link between sanctions and student behavior, we emphasize the role of school sanctions in adolescent cognitive decision-making processes, hypothesizing that school sanctions against violence condition the effect of thoughtfully reflective decision making (TRDM) on adolescent involvement in violent behavior. We use data from the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to test our research hypotheses. The results from a series of multilevel models show that more severe school sanctions against violence (i.e., home suspension and expulsion) disarm the process of cognitive reflection and attenuate the effect of low TRDM on violent offending.

Transferred Juveniles In The Era Of Sentencing Guidelines: Examining Judicial Departures For Juvenile Offenders In Adult Criminal Court
Brian D. Johnson and Megan C. Kurlychek
This study contributes to contemporary research on the punishment of juvenile offenders in adult court by analyzing the use of guidelines departures for transferred juveniles in two states, one with presumptive sentencing guidelines (Pennsylvania) and one with voluntary guidelines (Maryland). Propensity score matching is first used to create more comparable samples of juvenile and young adult offenders, and then Tobit regressions are employed to estimate the effect of juvenile status on the likelihood and length of departures. Our findings indicate that juvenile status significantly affects the use of upward departures in Pennsylvania, and the use of both downward and upward departures in Maryland. Judicial reasons for departure are examined to provide additional insight into the complex dynamics surrounding exceptional sentences for juvenile offenders sentenced in adult court.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The ANNALS of the AAPSS 641

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, May 2012: Volume 641

Immigration and the Changing Social Fabric of American Cities
Edited by: John MacDonald and Robert J. Sampson

The World in a City: Immigration and America’s Changing Social Fabric

John MacDonald and Robert J. Sampson

Immigration Enforcement Policies, the Economic Recession, and the Size of Local Mexican Immigrant Populations
Emilio A. Parrado

Can Immigration Save Small-Town America? Hispanic Boomtowns and the Uneasy Path to Renewal
Patrick J. Carr, Daniel T. Lichter, and Maria J. Kefalas

Seeing Immigrants: Institutional Visibility and Immigrant Incorporation in New Immigrant Destinations
Jamie Winders

The Paradox of Law Enforcement in Immigrant Communities: Does Tough Immigration Enforcement Undermine Public Safety?
David S. Kirk, Andrew V. Papachristos, Jeffrey Fagan, and Tom R. Tyler

Crime and Enforcement in Immigrant Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City
Garth Davies and Jeffrey Fagan

Are Immigrant Youth Less Violent? Specifying the Reasons and Mechanisms
John MacDonald and Jessica Saunders

Why Some Immigrant Neighborhoods Are Safer than Others: Divergent Findings from Los Angeles and Chicago
Charis E. Kubrin and Hiromi Ishizawa

Extending Immigration and Crime Studies: National Implications and Local Settings
Ramiro Martinez, Jr. and Jacob I. Stowell

Immigrants and Social Distance: Examining the Social Consequences of Immigration for Southern California Neighborhoods over Fifty Years
John R. Hipp and Adam Boessen

The Limits of Spatial Assimilation for Immigrants’ Full Integration: Emerging Evidence from African Immigrants in Boston and Dublin
Zoua M. Vang

Studies of the New Immigration: The Dangers of Pan-Ethnic Classifications
Stephanie M. DiPietro and Robert J. Bursik, Jr.