Friday, November 13, 2015


I'm closing up shop on the Criminology Happens abstract blog. I hope you've found it useful, and I've appreciated your comments and feedback over the years.

For reference, here is a full list of up-to-date links of journals, some having been added or removed:

American Journal of Sociology (Am J Sociol)
American Psychologist (Am Psychol)
American Sociological Review (Am Socio Rev)
Annals of the AAPSS (Ann Am Acad Polit SS)
Annual Review of Sociology (Annu Rev Sociol)
British Journal of Criminology (Brit J Criminol)
Criminology (Criminology)
Criminology and Public Policy (Criminol Public Pol)
Crime and Delinquency (Crime Delinquency)
Critical Criminology (Crit Criminol)
Journal of Criminal Justice (J Crim Just)
Journal of Marriage and Family (J Marriage Fam)
Journal of Quantitative Criminology (J Quant Criminol)
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency (J Res Crime Delinq)
Justice Quarterly (Justice Q)
Law & Society Review (Law Soc Rev)
Psychological Bulletin (Psychol Bull)
Social Forces (Soc Forces)
Social Problems (Soc Probl)
Social Psychology Quarterly (Soc Psychol Quart)
Sociological Methodology (Sociol Methodol)
Sociological Theory (Sociol Theory)
Theoretical Criminology (Theor Criminol)
Theory and Society (Theor Soc)

Each of these offers some form of table-of-contents email subscription, if you've grown accustomed to regular updates.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

American Sociological Review 80(5)

American Sociological Review, October 2015: Volume 80, Issue 5

Tradition and Innovation in Scientists’ Research Strategies
Jacob G. Foster, Andrey Rzhetsky, and James A. Evans
What factors affect a scientist’s choice of research problem? Qualitative research in the history and sociology of science suggests that this choice is patterned by an “essential tension” between productive tradition and risky innovation. We examine this tension through Bourdieu’s field theory of science, and we explore it empirically by analyzing millions of biomedical abstracts from MEDLINE. We represent the evolving state of chemical knowledge with networks extracted from these abstracts. We then develop a typology of research strategies on these networks. Scientists can introduce novel chemicals and chemical relationships (innovation) or delve deeper into known ones (tradition). They can consolidate knowledge clusters or bridge them. The aggregate distribution of published strategies remains remarkably stable. High-risk innovation strategies are rare and reflect a growing focus on established knowledge. An innovative publication is more likely to achieve high impact than a conservative one, but the additional reward does not compensate for the risk of failing to publish. By studying prizewinners in biomedicine and chemistry, we show that occasional gambles for extraordinary impact are a compelling explanation for observed levels of risky innovation. Our analysis of the essential tension identifies institutional forces that sustain tradition and suggests policy interventions to foster innovation.

Elements of Professional Expertise: Understanding Relational and Substantive Expertise through Lawyers’ Impact
Rebecca L. Sandefur
Lawyers keep the gates of public justice institutions, particularly through their roles in formal procedures like hearings and trials. Yet, it is not clear what lawyers do in such quintessentially legal settings: conclusions from past research are bedeviled by a lack of clear theory and inconsistencies in research design. Conceptualizing litigation work in terms of professional expertise, I conduct a theoretically grounded synthesis of the findings of extant studies of lawyers’ impact on civil case outcomes. Using an innovative combination of statistical techniques—meta-analysis and nonparametric bounding—the present study transcends previous work to reveal a domain of consensus for lawyers’ effect on case outcomes and to explore why this effect varies so greatly across past studies. For the types of cases researched to date, knowledge of substantive law explains surprisingly little of lawyers’ advantage compared to lay people appearing unrepresented. Instead, lawyers’ impact is greatest when they assist in navigating relatively simple (to lawyers) procedures and where their relational expertise helps courts follow their own rules. Findings for law generalize to other professions, where substantive and relational expertise may shape the conduct and consequences of professional work.

“No Fracking Way!” Documentary Film, Discursive Opportunity, and Local Opposition against Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States, 2010 to 2013
Ion Bogdan Vasi, Edward T. Walker, John S. Johnson, and Hui Fen Tan
Recent scholarship highlights the importance of public discourse for the mobilization and impact of social movements, but it neglects how cultural products may shift discourse and thereby influence mobilization and political outcomes. This study investigates how activism against hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) utilized cultural artifacts to influence public perceptions and effect change. A systematic analysis of Internet search data, social media postings, and newspaper articles allows us to identify how the documentary Gasland reshaped public discourse. We find that Gasland contributed not only to greater online searching about fracking, but also to increased social media chatter and heightened mass media coverage. Local screenings of Gasland contributed to anti-fracking mobilizations, which, in turn, affected the passage of local fracking moratoria in the Marcellus Shale states. These results have implications not only for understanding movement outcomes, but also for theory and research on media, the environment, and energy.

A Paper Ceiling: Explaining the Persistent Underrepresentation of Women in Printed News
Eran Shor, Arnout van de Rijt, Alex Miltsov, Vivek Kulkarni, and Steven Skiena
In the early twenty-first century, women continue to receive substantially less media coverage than men, despite women’s much increased participation in public life. Media scholars argue that actors in news organizations skew news coverage in favor of men and male-related topics. However, no previous study has systematically examined whether such media bias exists beyond gender ratio imbalances in coverage that merely mirror societal-level structural and occupational gender inequalities. Using novel longitudinal data, we empirically isolate media-level factors and examine their effects on women’s coverage rates in hundreds of newspapers. We find that societal-level inequalities are the dominant determinants of continued gender differences in coverage. The media focuses nearly exclusively on the highest strata of occupational and social hierarchies, in which women’s representation has remained poor. We also find that women receive greater exposure in newspaper sections led by female editors, as well as in newspapers whose editorial boards have higher female representation. However, these differences appear to be mostly correlational, as women’s coverage rates do not noticeably improve when male editors are replaced by female editors in a given newspaper.

How National Institutions Mediate the Global: Screen Translation, Institutional Interdependencies, and the Production of National Difference in Four European Countries
Giselinde Kuipers
How do national institutional contexts mediate the global? This article aims to answer this question by analyzing screen translation—the translation of audiovisual materials like movies and television programs—in four European countries: France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland. A cross-national, multi-method research project combining interviews, ethnography, and a small survey found considerable cross-national differences in translation norms and practices, sometimes leading to very different translated versions of the same product. The analysis shows how differences between national translation fields are produced and perpetuated by the interplay of institutional factors on four interdependent levels: technology, and the organizational, national, and transnational fields. On each level, various institutions are influential in shaping nationally specific translation norms and practices by producing institutional constraints or imposing specific meanings. I propose a model that explains the persistence of national translation systems—not only from the logics of specific institutions, fields, or levels—but by the feedback loops and interdependencies between institutions on various levels. This analysis has implications for the sociological understanding of globalization, the production of culture and media, cross-national comparative research, as well as institutional theory and the role of translation in sociological practice.

Rage against the Iron Cage: The Varied Effects of Bureaucratic Personnel Reforms on Diversity
Frank Dobbin, Daniel Schrage, and Alexandra Kalev
Organization scholars since Max Weber have argued that formal personnel systems can prevent discrimination. We draw on sociological and psychological literatures to develop a theory of the varied effects of bureaucratic reforms on managerial motivation. Drawing on self-perception and cognitive-dissonance theories, we contend that initiatives that engage managers in promoting diversity—special recruitment and training programs—will increase diversity. Drawing on job-autonomy and self-determination theories, we contend that initiatives that limit managerial discretion in hiring and promotion—job tests, performance evaluations, and grievance procedures—will elicit resistance and produce adverse effects. Drawing on transparency and accountability theories, we contend that bureaucratic reforms that increase transparency for job-seekers and hiring managers—job postings and job ladders—will have positive effects. Finally, drawing on accountability theory, we contend that monitoring by diversity managers and federal regulators will improve the effects of bureaucratic reforms. We examine the effects of personnel innovations on managerial diversity in 816 U.S. workplaces over 30 years. Our findings help explain the nation’s slow progress in reducing job segregation and inequality. Some popular bureaucratic reforms thought to quell discrimination instead activate it. Some of the most effective reforms remain rare.

The Power of Transparency: Evidence from a British Workplace Survey
Jake Rosenfeld and Patrick Denice
Does the dissemination of organizational financial information shift power dynamics within workplaces, as evidenced by increasing workers’ wages? That is the core question of this investigation. We utilize the 2004 and 2011 series of the British Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS) to test whether employees who report that their managers disclose workplace financial data earn more than otherwise similar workers not privy to such information. Our findings suggest that disclosure results in higher wages for workers after adjusting for profit and productivity levels and a range of other workplace and worker characteristics. We estimate that workers who report their managers are “very good” at sharing organizational financial information outearn those who report their managers are “very poor” at financial disclosure by between 8 and 12 percent. We argue that disclosure is a key resource that reduces information asymmetries, thereby providing legitimacy to workers’ claims in wage bargaining. More broadly, our focus on managerial transparency and its effects on worker earnings reveals a largely ignored characteristic of modern workplaces that has implications for contemporary trends in inequality and wage stagnation in Great Britain and other liberal market economies.

Choice, Information, and Constrained Options: School Transfers in a Stratified Educational System
Peter M. Rich and Jennifer L. Jennings
It is well known that family socioeconomic background influences childhood access to opportunities. Educational reforms that introduce new information about school quality may lead to increased inequality if families with more resources are better able to respond. However, these policies can also level the playing field for choice by equalizing disadvantaged families’ access to information. This study assesses how a novel accountability system affected family enrollment decisions in the Chicago Public Schools by introducing new test performance information and consequences. We show that a substantial proportion of families responded by transferring out when their child’s school was assigned “probation.” Poor families transferred children to other schools in the district, but at a lower rate than non-poor families, who were also more likely to leave for another district or enroll in private school. Most striking, we show that despite family response to the probation label, access to higher-performing schools changed very little under the new policy; students who left probation schools were the most likely of all transfer students to enroll in other low-performing schools in the district. Although new information changed families’ behavior, it did not address contextual and resource-dependent factors that constrain the educational decisions of poor families.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Criminology & Public Policy 14(3)

Criminology & Public Policy, August 2015: Volume 14, Issue 3


Toward a Criminology of Prison Downsizing
Todd R. Clear

Pathways to Prison in New York State
Sarah Tahamont, Shi Yan, Shawn D. Bushway and Jing Liu
Research Summary: In this study, we use a novel application of group-based trajectory modeling to estimate pathways to prison for a sample of 13,769 first-time prison inmates in New York State. We found that 12% of the sample was heavily involved in the criminal justice system for 10 years prior to their first imprisonment. We also found that less than one quarter of the sample had little contact with the criminal justice system prior to the arrest that resulted in imprisonment.
Policy Implications: Slightly less than one quarter of first-time inmates are not known to the criminal justice system prior to the commitment arrest. For these inmates, crime-prevention interventions that identify participants through criminal justice processes will not be effective. However, the arrest rates for a substantial portion of the sample over the 10-year period before imprisonment suggest a staggering number of opportunities for intervention as these individuals churn through the system.

Altering Trajectories Through Community-Based Justice Reinvestment
Carlos E. Monteiro and Natasha A. Frost


Focused Deterrence and the Promise of Fair and Effective Policing
Anthony A. Braga

Most Challenging of Contexts
Nicholas Corsaro and Robin S. Engel
Research Summary: The use of focused deterrence to reduce lethal violence driven by gangs and groups of chronic offenders has continued to expand since the initial Boston Ceasefire intervention in the 1990s, where prior evaluations have shown relatively consistent promise in terms of violence reduction. This study focuses on the capacity of focused deterrence to impact lethal violence in a chronic and high-trajectory homicide setting: New Orleans, Louisiana. Using a two-phase analytical design, our evaluation of the Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) observed the following findings: (a) GVRS team members in the City of New Orleans closely followed model implementation; (b) homicides in New Orleans experienced a statistically significant reduction above and beyond changes observed in comparable lethally violent cities; (c) the greatest changes in targeted outcomes were observed in gang homicides, young Black male homicides, and firearms violence; and (d) the decline in targeted violence corresponded with the implementation of the pulling levers notification meetings. Moreover, the observed reduction in crime outcomes was not empirically associated with a complementary violence-reduction strategy that was simultaneously implemented in a small geographic area within the city.
Policy Implications: The findings presented in this article demonstrate that focused deterrence holds considerable promise as a violence prevention approach in urban contexts with persistent histories of lethal violence, heightened disadvantage, and undermined police (and institutional) legitimacy. The development of a multiagency task force, combined with unwavering political support from the highest levels of government within the city, were likely linked to high programmatic fidelity. Organizationally, the development of a program manager and intelligence analyst, along with the use of detailed problem analyses and the integration of research, assisted the New Orleans working group in identifying the highest risk groups of violent offenders to target for the GVRS notification sessions. The impacts on targeted violence were robust and consistent with the timing of the intervention.


Focused Deterrence and Improved Police–Community Relations
Rod K. Brunson

Something That Works in Violent Crime Control
Kenneth C. Land

To Shoot or Not to Shoot; Gang Decisions, Decisions
James C. Howell

Changing the Street Dynamic
Andrew V. Papachristos and David S. Kirk
Research Summary: This study uses a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the efficacy of Chicago's Group Violence Reduction Strategy (VRS), a gun violence reduction program that delivers a focused-deterrence and legitimacy-based message to gang factions through a series of hour-long “call-ins.” The results suggest that those gang factions who attend a VRS call-in experience a 23% reduction in overall shooting behavior and a 32% reduction in gunshot victimization in the year after treatment compared with similar factions.
Policy Implications: Gun violence in U.S. cities often is concentrated in small geographic areas and in small networks of group or gang-involved individuals. The results of this study suggest that focused intervention efforts such as VRS can produce significant reductions in gun violence, but especially gunshot victimization, among gangs. Focused programs such as these offer an important alternative to broad-sweeping practices or policies that might otherwise expand the use of the criminal justice system.


With Great Methods Come Great Responsibilities
Jason Gravel and George E. Tita

Considering Focused Deterrence in the Age of Ferguson, Baltimore, North Charleston, and Beyond
Elizabeth Griffiths and Johnna Christian

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Crime & Delinquency 61(8)

Crime & Delinquency, October 2015: Volume 61, Issue 8

Do Parole Technical Violators Pose a Safety Threat? An Analysis of Prison Misconduct
Erin A. Orrick and Robert G. Morris
We examined records of males incarcerated in a large southern state to assess the risk technical violators would pose to public safety by exploring their likelihood of engaging in prison misconduct. Data from official prison records provided by a large southern state’s primary corrections agency were examined using multiple counterfactual analytic techniques. Based on the official disciplinary records from male inmates readmitted to prison for technical violations and new offenses, technical violators were found to be significantly less likely to engage in any form of prison misconduct. Implications for research and policy are discussed, including the potential for recidivism research and prison reduction policies.

Investigating the Impact of Custody on Reoffending Using Propensity Score Matching
Darrick Jolliffe and Carol Hedderman
Although a range of opinions about the impact of incarceration on later offending have been articulated, there have been very few studies of sufficient methodological quality to allow the effect to be examined empirically. Drawing on a sample of 5,500 male offenders from 1 of 10 regions in the United Kingdom, propensity score matching was used to balance the preexisting differences between two groups of offenders: those who had been incarcerated for their index offense and those who had received community orders involving supervision. Both methods of balancing the group differences (matching/stratification) suggested that 1 year after release, offenders who had been incarcerated were significantly more likely to have committed another (proven) offense. These offenders also tended to commit more offenses and started reoffending earlier than those supervised in the community. Moreover, offenders who had originally been incarcerated were much more likely to be reincarcerated. In line with other emerging evidence, it was concluded that incarceration tends to slightly increase rather than decrease the chances of future offending. Limitations of the research are considered and directions for future research are explored.

Measuring the Intermittency of Criminal Careers
Thomas Baker, Christi Falco Metcalfe, and Alex R. Piquero
The intermittency, or time gaps between criminal events, has received very little theoretical and empirical attention in developmental/life-course criminology. Several reasons account for lack of research on intermittency, including limited data sources containing information on the time between events and the prioritization of persistence—and especially desistance—in developmental/life-course criminology. This article sets out to provide a descriptive portrait of intermittency and in so doing aims to understand and explain intermittency within and between individuals, how it varies with age over the life course, and how it covaries with the seriousness of offending. Longer intermittency is characteristic of offenders with earlier onset as well as those who offend less frequently, whereas high-frequency/early-onset offenders have less intermittency. Findings suggest that intermittent gaps between offenses relate to offense seriousness. As offenders age, the gaps between offenses increase. Each of these effects is disaggregated among chronic and nonchronic (recidivist) offenders to demonstrate the intermittent patterns of different criminal careers. Implications for theoretical and empirical research on intermittency are highlighted.

Adolescent Virtual Time Spent Socializing With Peers, Substance Use, and Delinquency
Ryan C. Meldrum and Jim Clark
This study tests Osgood, Wilson, O’Malley, Bachman, and Johnston’s extension of the routine activity theory of individual deviant behavior by considering adolescent time spent socializing with peers in virtual settings in relation to estimates of delinquency and substance use. The growth in digital communication has significantly changed the ways that youth commonly communicate with one another, and such changes may therefore provide a specification of newly emerging situational inducements that precipitate antisocial behavior during adolescence. Using data from a school-based survey of adolescents, the analyses reveal that the amount of virtual time adolescents spend socializing with peers is positively related to the frequency of alcohol use, marijuana use, and a variety index of delinquent behavior. Less support was found for an association between virtual time spent with peers and individually separated property/violent offending behaviors. The implications of these findings are discussed.

The Deterrent Effect of the Castle Doctrine Law on Burglary in Texas: A Tale of Outcomes in Houston and Dallas
Ling Ren, Yan Zhang, and Jihong Solomon Zhao
From 2005 through 2008, 23 states across the nation have enacted laws generally referred to as “castle doctrine” laws or “stand your ground” laws. A castle doctrine law gives a homeowner the legal right to use force (even deadly force) to defend himself or herself and the family against an intruder. No study, however, has been conducted to evaluate its deterrent effects. The State of Texas enacted its castle doctrine law on September 1, 2007, and the subsequent Joe Horn shooting incident in Houston in November, 2007, served to publicize the Texas law to a great extent. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the deterrent effect of the Texas castle doctrine law and the subsequent Horn shooting on burglary in the two largest cities in Texas, Houston and Dallas. Daily data of residential and business burglary, over the period from January 1, 2007, to August 31, 2008, were obtained from the Houston Police Department and the Dallas Police Department. Interrupted time-series designs were employed in the study to analyze the intervention effects. The findings reported suggest a place-conditioned deterrent effect of the law and the Horn shooting; both residential and business burglaries were reduced significantly after the shooting incident in Houston, but not in Dallas.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Journal of Quantitative Criminology 31(3)

Journal of Quantitative Criminology, September 2015: Volume 31, Issue 3

An Experimental Evaluation of a Comprehensive Employment-Oriented Prisoner Re-entry Program
Philip J. Cook, Songman Kang, Anthony A. Braga, Jens Ludwig & Mallory E. O’Brien
Objectives: While the economic model of crime suggests that improving post-prison labor market prospects should reduce recidivism, evaluations of previous employment-oriented re-entry programs have mixed results, possibly due to the multi-faceted challenges facing prisoners at the time of their release. We present an evaluation of an experiment that combines enhanced employment opportunities with wrap around services before and after release. Methods: This paper presents what we believe is the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a re-entry program that combines post-release subsidized work with “reach-in” social services provided prior to release. The sample was 236 high-risk offenders in Milwaukee with a history of violence or gang involvement. Results: We observe increased employment rates and earnings during the period when ex-offenders are eligible for subsidized jobs, and these gains persist throughout the year. The intervention has significant effects (p < 0.01) in reducing the likelihood of rearrest. The likelihood that the treatment group is re-imprisoned during the first year after release is lower than for controls (22 vs. 26 %) but the difference is not statistically significantly different from zero. Conclusions: The results of our RCT suggest that “reach-in” services to help improve human capital of inmates prior to release, together with wrap around services following release, boosts employment and earnings, although whether there is sufficient impact on recidivism for the intervention to pass a benefit-cost test is more uncertain. Average earnings for both treatment and control groups were very low; legal work simply does not seem that important in the economic lives of released prisoners.

Investigating the Applicability of Macro-Level Criminology Theory to Terrorism: A County-Level Analysis
Joshua D. Freilich, Amy Adamczyk, Steven M. Chermak, Katharine A. Boyd & William S. Parkin
Objectives: This exploratory study examines if causal mechanisms highlighted by criminology theories work in the same way to explain both ideologically motivated violence (i.e., terrorism) and regular (non-political) homicides. We study if macro-level hypotheses drawn from deprivation, backlash, and social disorganization frameworks are associated with the likelihood that a far-right extremist who committed an ideologically motivated homicide inside the contiguous US resides in a particular county. To aid in the assessment of whether criminology theories speak to both terrorism and regular violence we also apply these hypotheses to far-right homicide and regular homicide incident location and compare the results. Material and methods: We use data from the US Extremist Crime Database (ECDB) and the FBI’s SHR to create our dependent variables for the 1990–2012 period and estimated a series of logistic regression models. Conclusions: The findings are complex. On the one hand, the models we estimated to account for the odds of a far-right perpetrator residing in a county found that some hypotheses were significant in all, or almost all, models. These findings challenge the view that terrorism is completely different from regular crime and argues for separate causal models to explain each. On the other hand, we estimated models that applied these same hypotheses to account for the odds that a far-right homicide incident occurred in a county, and that a county had very high regular homicide rate. Our comparison of the results found a few similarities, but also demonstrated that different variables were generally significant for each outcome variable. In other words, although criminology theory accounts for some of the odds for both outcomes, different causal mechanisms also appear to be at play in each instance. We elaborate on both of these points and highlight a number of important issues for future research to address.

A Synthetic Control Approach to Evaluating Place-Based Crime Interventions
Jessica Saunders, Russell Lundberg, Anthony A. Braga, Greg Ridgeway & Jeremy Miles
Objective: This paper presents a new quasi-experimental approach to assessing place based policing to encourage the careful evaluation of policing programs, strategies, and operations for researchers to conduct retrospective evaluations of policing programs. Methods: We use a synthetic control model to reduce the bias introduced by models using non-equivalent comparison groups to evaluate High Point’s Drug Market Intervention and demonstrate the method and its versatility for evaluating programs retrospectively. Results: The synthetic control method was able to identify a very good match across all socio-demographic and crime data for the intervention and comparison area. Using a variety of statistical models, the impact of High Point Drug Market Intervention on crime was estimated to be larger than previous evaluations with little evidence of displacement. Conclusions: The synthetic control method represents a significant improvement over the earlier retrospective evaluations of crime prevention programs, but there is still room for improvement. This is particularly important in an age where rigorous scientific research is being used more and more to guide program development and implementation.

Gun Carrying Among Drug Market Participants: Evidence from Incarcerated Drug Offenders
Eric L. Sevigny & Andrea Allen
Objectives: The decision to carry a gun by drug market participants involves consideration of the potential for conflict with other market actors, the need for self-protection, and the desire for reputation and status, among other factors. The objective of this study is to investigate the motives, contingencies, and situational factors that influence criminal gun possession among drug market participants. Methods: Using data on drug offenders from the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, we estimate design-based logistic regression models within a multiple imputation framework to investigate the influence of drug market features and participant characteristics on gun carrying behavior. Results: Overall, 7 % of the drug offenders in our sample carried a firearm during the offense for which they were incarcerated. Our multivariate findings indicate that a number of factors condition drug market participants’ propensity for gun carrying, including individual psychopharmacological, economic-compulsive, and systemic factors as well as broader features of the marketplace, including the type of drug market, the value of the drugs, and certain structural characteristics. Conclusions: Our findings have a number of implications for designing drug market interventions. Directing enforcement resources against emerging, expanding, or multi-commodity drug markets could deter lethal violence more than interventions targeting stable, single-commodity markets. In addition to open-air street markets, targeting higher-level and closed market segments could realize meaningful gun violence reductions. Finally, the expansion of promising focused deterrence strategies that combine deterrence and support initiatives could further deescalate gun violence.

Support for Balanced Juvenile Justice: Assessing Views About Youth, Rehabilitation, and Punishment
Daniel P. Mears, Justin T. Pickett & Christina Mancini
Objectives: The juvenile court was envisioned as a system of justice that would rehabilitate and punish young offenders. However, studies have not directly measured or examined support for “balanced” juvenile justice—that is, support for simultaneously employing juvenile rehabilitation and punishment to sanction youth—or how beliefs central to the creation of the court influence support for balanced justice. Drawing on scholarship on juvenile justice and theoretical accounts of views about sanctioning, the study tests hypotheses about such support. Methods: The study employs multinomial logistic regression, using data from 866 college students enrolled in criminology and criminal justice classes, to examine support for different approaches to sanctioning violent juvenile offenders. Results: Analyses indicate that a majority of respondents supported balanced justice for violent delinquents, approximately one-third supported a primarily rehabilitation-focused approach to sanctioning, and the remainder supported a primarily punishment-oriented approach. Individuals who believed that youth could be reformed and deserved treatment were more likely to support balanced justice or a primarily rehabilitation-oriented approach to sanctioning youth. Conclusions: The findings underscore the nuanced nature of public views about sanctioning youth, the salience of philosophical beliefs to support different sanctioning approaches, and the importance of research that accounts for beliefs central to the juvenile court’s mission.

Examining the Relationship Between Road Structure and Burglary Risk Via Quantitative Network Analysis
Toby Davies & Shane D. Johnson
Objectives: To test the hypothesis that the spatial distribution of residential burglary is shaped by the configuration of the street network, as predicted by, for example, crime pattern theory. In particular, the study examines whether burglary risk is higher on street segments with higher usage potential. Methods: Residential burglary data for Birmingham (UK) are examined at the street segment level using a hierarchical linear model. Estimates of the usage of street segments are derived from the graph theoretical metric of betweenness, which measures how frequently segments feature in the shortest paths (those most likely to be used) through the network. Several variants of betweenness are considered. The geometry of street segments is also incorporated—via a measure of their linearity—as are several socio-demographic factors. Results: As anticipated by theory, the measure of betweenness was found to be a highly-significant predictor of the burglary victimization count at the street segment level for all but one of the variants considered. The non-significant result was found for the most localized measure of betweenness considered. More linear streets were generally found to be at lower risk of victimization. Conclusion: Betweenness offers a more granular and objective means of measuring the street network than categorical classifications previously used, and its meaning links more directly to theory. The results provide support for crime pattern theory, suggesting a higher risk of burglary for streets with more potential usage. The apparent negative effect of linearity suggests the need for further research into the visual component of target choice, and the role of guardianship.

The Effect of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Citizens’ Complaints Against the Police: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Barak Ariel, William A. Farrar & Alex Sutherland
Objective: Police use-of-force continues to be a major source of international concern, inviting interest from academics and practitioners alike. Whether justified or unnecessary/excessive, the exercise of power by the police can potentially tarnish their relationship with the community. Police misconduct can translate into complaints against the police, which carry large economic and social costs. The question we try to answer is: do body-worn-cameras reduce the prevalence of use-of-force and/or citizens’ complaints against the police? Methods: We empirically tested the use of body-worn-cameras by measuring the effect of videotaping police–public encounters on incidents of police use-of-force and complaints, in randomized-controlled settings. Over 12 months, we randomly-assigned officers to “experimental-shifts” during which they were equipped with body-worn HD cameras that recorded all contacts with the public and to “control-shifts” without the cameras (n = 988). We nominally defined use-of-force, both unnecessary/excessive and reasonable, as a non-desirable response in police–public encounters. We estimate the causal effect of the use of body-worn-videos on the two outcome variables using both between-group differences using a Poisson regression model as well as before-after estimates using interrupted time-series analyses. Results: We found that the likelihood of force being used in control conditions were roughly twice those in experimental conditions. Similarly, a pre/post analysis of use-of-force and complaints data also support this result: the number of complaints filed against officers dropped from 0.7 complaints per 1,000 contacts to 0.07 per 1,000 contacts. We discuss the findings in terms of theory, research methods, policy and future avenues of research on body-worn-videos.

Journal of Marriage and Family 77(5)

Journal of Marriage and Family, October 2015: Volume 77, Issue 5

Special Section on Asian Families in Context edited by Yingchun Ji

Asian Families at the Crossroads: A Meeting of East, West, Tradition, Modernity, and Gender
Yingchun Ji

Contingent Work Rising: Implications for the Timing of Marriage in Japan
Martin Piotrowski, Arne Kalleberg and Ronald R. Rindfuss

Between Tradition and Modernity: “Leftover” Women in Shanghai
Yingchun Ji

Women's Attitudes Toward Family Formation and Life Stage Transitions: A Longitudinal Study in Korea
Erin Hye-Won Kim and Adam Ka Lok Cheung

Reprivatized Womanhood: Changes in Mainstream Media's Framing of Urban Women's Issues in China, 1995–2012
Shengwei Sun and Feinian Chen

Single and the City: State Influences on Intimate Relationships of Young, Single, Well-Educated Women in Singapore
Karlien Strijbosch

Gender and Children's Housework Time in China: Examining Behavior Modeling in Context
Yang Hu

Brief Reports

The Great Recession, Fertility, and Uncertainty: Evidence From the United States
Daniel Schneider

Gender Composition of Children and the Third Birth in the United States
Felicia F. Tian and S. Philip Morgan

The Changing Association Among Marriage, Work, and Child Poverty in the United States, 1974–2010
Regina S. Baker

Stepfather–Adolescent Relationship Quality During the First Year of Transitioning to a Stepfamily
Valarie King, Paul R. Amato and Rachel Lindstrom

Dimensional Latent Structure of Relationship Quality: Results of Three Representative Population Samples
Sören Kliem, Heather M. Foran, Johannes Beller, Kurt Hahlweg, Yve Stöbel-Richter and Elmar Brähler

Of General Interest

Nonmarital Relationships and Changing Perceptions of Marriage Among African American Young Adults
Ashley B. Barr, Ronald L. Simons and Leslie Gordon Simons

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Social Forces 94(1)

Social Forces, September 2015: Volume 94, Number 1

Economic Sociology

The Financial Premium in the US Labor Market: A Distributional Analysis
Ken-Hou Lin
Using both cross-sectional and panel data, this article revisits the evolution of the financial premium between 1970 and 2011 with a distributional approach. I report that above-market compensation was present in the finance sector in the 1970s, but concentrated mostly at the bottom of the earnings distribution. The financial premium observed since the 1980s, however, is largely driven by excessive compensation at the top, a development that increasingly contributes to the national concentration of earnings. Furthermore, the analysis suggests that the financial premium for top earners remained robust in the early 2000s, when deregulation slowed down, and in the aftermath of the recent financial meltdown. These findings are inconsistent with the account that the earnings differential is driven by unobserved skill difference and demand shocks but supportive of the institutional account of rising inequality.

Learning from Performance: Banks, Collateralized Debt Obligations, and the Credit Crisis
Kim Pernell-Gallagher
This article investigates how firms in competitive markets use external examples to assess the value of novel practices, focusing on the substantively important case of collateralized debt obligation (CDO) underwriting among US investment and commercial banks, 1996–2007. Diffusion researchers have struggled to adjudicate between competing mechanisms of social contagion, including imitation and learning. I use event-history methods to examine how banks responded to the activities and results of other CDO underwriters. I show that banks learned superstitiously from the share price performance of other CDO underwriters; as the popularity of CDO underwriting increased, banks became even more attentive to confirmatory evidence on this dimension. These findings suggest important refinements to theories of social contagion, especially neoinstitutional theory. By focusing on ordinary organizational processes in an extraordinary context, I uncover an alternative explanation for the rise of complex securitization, with implications for current understandings of the credit crisis.


Status Beliefs and the Spirit of Capitalism: Accounting for Gender Biases in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Sarah Thébaud
In this article, I develop and empirically test the theoretical argument that widely shared cultural beliefs about men’s and women’s abilities in entrepreneurship (i.e., “gender status beliefs”) systematically influence the social interactions during which an entrepreneur, particularly an innovative entrepreneur, seeks support from potential stakeholders for his or her new organization. To evaluate this argument, I conducted three experimental studies in the United Kingdom and the United States in which student participants were asked to evaluate the profiles of two entrepreneurs and to make investment decisions for each. The studies manipulated the gender of the entrepreneur and the innovativeness of the business plan. The main finding is consistent across studies: gender status beliefs disadvantage typical women entrepreneurs vis-à-vis their male counterparts, but innovation in a business model has a stronger and more positive impact on ratings of women’s entrepreneurial ability and overall support for their business ideas than it does for men’s. However, the strength of these patterns varies significantly depending on the societal and industry context of the new venture in question. Findings indicate that gender status beliefs can be understood as an important “demand-side” mechanism contributing to gender inequality in aggregate entrepreneurship rates and a micro-level factor affecting the likelihood that a new and novel organization will emerge and survive.

Social Belonging and Economic Action: Affection-Based Social Circles in the Creation of Private Entrepreneurship
Dali Ma
Most social network studies following Granovetter’s (1985) vision of embeddedness have either focused on instrumental relations or lumped instrumentality and sentimentality together. This study seeks to clarify whether social relations that primarily build on sentimentality can impact economic action. Based on the context of Chinese market transition, this paper found that general managers that had affection-based social circles, that is, small groups in which people enjoy being together, were more likely to start a private firm after being laid off. In contrast, business-based social circles, defined as small groups mainly formed on business interests, did not have a significant interactive effect with layoff. These findings are consistent with the argument that affection-based social circles help managers experiencing job loss maintain a stable and positive self-identity, and that these circles also exert less constraint over radical career change.


Expectations on Track?: High School Tracking and Adolescent Educational Expectations
Kristian Bernt Karlson
This paper examines the role of adaptation in expectation formation processes by analyzing how educational tracking in high schools affects adolescents’ educational expectations. I argue that adolescents view track placement as a signal about their academic abilities and respond to it in terms of modifying their educational expectations. Applying a difference-in-differences approach to the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988, I find that being placed in an advanced or honors class in high school positively affects adolescents’ expectations, particularly if placement is consistent across subjects and if placement contradicts tracking experiences in middle school. My findings support the hypothesis that adolescents adapt their educational expectations to ability signals sent by schools.

How Has Educational Expansion Shaped Social Mobility Trends in the United States?
Fabian T. Pfeffer, Florian R. Hertel
This contribution provides a long-term assessment of intergenerational social mobility trends in the United States across the 20th and early 21st centuries and assesses the determinants of those trends. In particular, we study how educational expansion has contributed to the observed changes in mobility opportunities for men across cohorts. Drawing on recently developed decomposition methods, we empirically identify the contribution of each of the multiple channels through which changing rates of educational participation shape mobility trends. We find that a modest but gradual increase in social class mobility can nearly exclusively be ascribed to an interaction known as the compositional effect, according to which the direct influence of social class backgrounds on social class destinations is lower among the growing number of individuals attaining higher levels of education. This dominant role of the compositional effect is also due to the fact that, despite pronounced changes in the distribution of education, class inequality in education has remained stable while class returns to education have shown no consistent trend. Our analyses also provide a cautionary tale about mistaking increasing levels of social class mobility for a general trend toward more fluidity in the United States. The impact of parental education on son’s educational and class attainment has grown or remained stable, respectively. Here, the compositional effect pertaining to the direct association between parental education and son’s class attainment counteracts a long-term trend of increasing inequality in educational attainment tied to parents’ education.

Migration and Immigration

Beyond “White by Law”: Explaining the Gulf in Citizenship Acquisition between Mexican and European Immigrants, 1930
Cybelle Fox, Irene Bloemraad
Between 1790 and 1952, naturalization was reserved primarily for “free white persons.” Asian immigrants were deemed non-white and racially ineligible for citizenship by legislation and the courts. European immigrants and, importantly, Mexican immigrants were considered white by law and eligible for naturalization. Yet, few Mexicans acquired US citizenship. By 1930, only 9 percent of Mexican men had naturalized, compared to 60 percent of southern and eastern Europeans and 80 percent of northern and western Europeans. If Mexicans were legally white, why did they rarely acquire citizenship in the early decades of the 20th century? We go beyond analyses focused on formal law or individual-level determinants to underscore the importance of region and non-white social status in influencing naturalization. Using 1930 US Census microfile data, we find that while individual characteristics (e.g., length of residence and literacy) explain some of the gulf in citizenship, the context of reception mattered nearly as much. Even if Mexicans were “white by law,” they were often judged non-white in practice, which significantly decreased their likelihood of naturalizing. Moreover, the more welcoming political and social climate of the Northeast and Midwest, where most European migrants lived, facilitated their acquisition of American citizenship.

Hispanics at the Starting Line: Poverty among Newborn Infants in Established Gateways and New Destinations
Daniel T. Lichter, Scott R. Sanders, Kenneth M. Johnson
High rates of Hispanic fertility raise an important question: Do Hispanic newborn babies start life’s race behind the starting line, poor and disadvantaged? To address this question, we link the newborn infants identified with the new fertility question in the 2006–2010 American Community Survey (ACS) to the poverty status of mothers. Our results document the disproportionately large share (40 percent) of Hispanic babies who are born into poverty. The prospect of poverty is especially high in new Hispanic destinations, especially those in rural areas. For Hispanic newborn babies, poverty cannot be reduced to supply-side explanations that emphasize maladaptive behavioral decision-making of parents, that is, nonmarital or teen childbearing, low educational attainment, acquisition of English language skills, or other dimensions of human capital. Hispanics in new destinations often start well behind the starting line—in poverty and with limited opportunities for upward mobility and an inadequate welfare safety net. The recent concentration of Hispanic poverty in new immigrant destinations portends continuing intergenerational inequality as today’s newborn infants make their way to productive adult roles.

The Resurgence of Race in Spain: Perceptions of Discrimination Among Immigrants
René D. Flores
The contemporary relevance of the concept of “race” has been increasingly questioned around the world. In Europe, researchers often look with skepticism at the US emphasis on race, instead highlighting the capacity of culture, especially religion, to explain native opposition to immigrants. Using two distinct data sets, I examine self-reports of discrimination among immigrants in Spain, where elites have long denied racial differences, to understand how the reported salience of boundaries based on race, nationality, and religion change with acculturation. I find that reports of both nationality- and race-based discrimination are relatively common for newcomers, while reports of religion-based discrimination are quite rare. Yet, unlike reports of racial discrimination, reports of nationality discrimination decrease over time as immigrants’ cultural differences decline due to their cultural assimilation. For second-generation immigrants, especially non-Europeans, race replaces nationality as the primary explanation for discrimination experiences and reports of religious discrimination grow even more infrequent. I conclude that, from the perspective of immigrants, the recent transformation of Spain into a new immigrant destination has gone hand in hand with the emergence of race as the main symbolic boundary marginalizing non-European immigrants in Spain.

Negotiating Migration, Performing Gender
Anju Mary Paul
Increasing numbers of independent women labor migrants leave countries in the Global South every year to work overseas. However, our understanding of how exactly gender and migration intersect at the decision-making moment is still inadequate. The new economics of labor migration (NELM) argument that individual migration is a household-level decision has been criticized by feminist scholars for ignoring the gendered social norms and inequitable intra-household power distribution that can make it difficult for prospective independent female labor migrants to leave their homes to work overseas. To reconcile NELM with gender reality, I propose an explicitly gendered, “negotiated migration model” that separates the pre-migratory process into three parts: an individual-level aspiration, the household-/family-level negotiation, and only then, the migration decision. The intermediate negotiation phase is a dynamic, two-sided, discursive site where both the aspiring migrant and her relatives engage in gendering practices and gender performances to bolster their respective positions. Interviews with 139 Filipino migrant domestic workers reveal that successful female migrants win their families’ support by coopting gendered scripts prevalent in Philippine society. Rather than attempting to “undo” gender, these women reframe their migration aspirations as a duty, rather than a right, to migrate, and a logical extension of their traditional, supporting roles as daughters, wives, sisters, and/or mothers. Thus, even though these women migrants break gender barriers when it comes to their independent labor migration, they do so by “doing,” rather than “undoing,” gender.

Housing and Poverty

Eviction’s Fallout: Housing, Hardship, and Health
Matthew Desmond, Rachel Tolbert Kimbro
Millions of families across the United States are evicted each year. Yet, we know next to nothing about the impact eviction has on their lives. Focusing on low-income urban mothers, a population at high risk of eviction, this study is among the first to examine rigorously the consequences of involuntary displacement from housing. Applying two methods of propensity score analyses to data from a national survey, we find that eviction has negative effects on mothers in multiple domains. Compared to matched mothers who were not evicted, mothers who were evicted in the previous year experienced more material hardship, were more likely to suffer from depression, reported worse health for themselves and their children, and reported more parenting stress. Some evidence suggests that at least two years after their eviction, mothers still experienced significantly higher rates of material hardship and depression than peers.

Housing Policy and Urban Inequality: Did the Transformation of Assisted Housing Reduce Poverty Concentration?
Ann Owens
Poverty concentration reflects long-standing inequalities between neighborhoods in the United States. As the poverty concentration paradigm gained traction among policymakers and social scientists, assisted housing policy was overhauled. New assisted housing programs introduced since 1970 have dramatically reduced the geographic concentration of assisted housing units, changing the residential location of many low-income residents. Was this intervention in the housing market enough to reduce poverty concentration? Using national longitudinal data, I find that the deconcentration of assisted housing from 1977 to 2008 only modestly reduced poverty concentration in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. The results are driven by the deconcentration of assisted housing after 2000, when policies had a greater focus on dispersal of assisted housing to low-poverty neighborhoods. My results suggest that even a substantial shift in housing policy cannot make great strides in deconcentrating poverty given the existing landscape of durable urban inequality. Assisted housing policy exists alongside many other structural forces that cluster poor residents in neighborhoods, and these factors may limit its ability to reduce poverty concentration. Moreover, new housing programs rely on the private market to determine the location of assisted units, and the enduring place hierarchy among neighborhoods may influence both where assisted housing is located and its effect on the residential choices of non-assisted residents in ways that undermine poverty deconcentration.


What Do Unions Do?: A Cross-National Reexamination of the Relationship between Unionization and Job Satisfaction
Lena Hipp, Rebecca Kolins Givan
What is the relationship between unionization and job satisfaction? Despite a great deal of research over several decades, the answer to this question is still uncertain. In contrast to earlier work, which analyzed mostly data from individual companies or countries, we examine the association between union membership and job satisfaction in a cross-national perspective. We therefore combine large-scale survey data with country-level information about union and labor-market characteristics. Our multilevel approach allows us to examine whether and why the unionization–job satisfaction relationship varies across countries. The main finding of our analyses is that the relationship between union membership and job satisfaction varies across countries and that unions matter only for certain aspects of job satisfaction—those that can more readily be changed by unions. This effect, moreover, is contingent on countries’ industrial relations systems, in particular union density, bargaining coverage, and the centralization of bargaining agreements. Taken together, our results show that in order to understand how unionization influences job satisfaction, it is important to distinguish between the various aspects of job satisfaction and to consider the larger context in which unions operate.


Time Period, Generational, and Age Differences in Tolerance for Controversial Beliefs and Lifestyles in the United States, 1972–2012
Jean M. Twenge, Nathan T. Carter, W. Keith Campbell
Americans have become increasingly tolerant of controversial outgroups in results from the nationally representative General Social Survey (1972–2012, N = 35,048). Specifically, adults in the 2010s (versus the 1970s and 1980s) were more likely to agree that Communists, homosexuals, the anti-religious, militarists, and those believing Blacks are genetically inferior should be allowed to give a public speech, teach at a college, or have a book in a local library. Cross-classification hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analyses separating the effects of time period, cohort/generation, and age show that these trends were driven by both a linear time period effect and a curvilinear cohort effect, with those born in the late 1940s (Boomers) the most tolerant when age and time period were controlled. Tolerance of homosexuals increased the most, and tolerance of racists the least. The increase in tolerance is positively correlated with higher levels of education and individualistic attitudes, including rejecting traditional social rules, but is negatively correlated with changes in empathy.

The Power of Love: The Role of Emotional Attributions and Standards in Heterosexuals' Attitudes toward Lesbian and Gay Couples
Long Doan, Lisa R. Miller, Annalise Loehr
Do people attribute emotions differently to members of various social groups? If so, do these differences have any bearing on formal and informal forms of social recognition? Using data from a nationally representative survey experiment, we examine whether American heterosexuals differentially attribute love to lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples. We also examine the relationship between how in love lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples are perceived to be and attitudes toward (1) granting them partnership benefits (formal rights); (2) the acceptability of their public displays of affection (informal privileges); and (3) marriage. Three main findings suggest that heterosexuals differentially attribute love to different types of romantic couples and that these differences are related to willingness to grant social recognition. First, gay couples are viewed as less loving than both heterosexual and lesbian couples; lesbian couples are seen as equally loving as heterosexual couples. Second, perceptions of love are related to willingness to grant social recognition. Third, perceptions of love matter more for gay and, to a lesser extent, lesbian couples than for heterosexual couples regarding informal privileges and marriage. In contrast, love matters equally for same-sex and heterosexual couples regarding formal rights. The results show that gay couples are penalized most in terms of perceptions of love and social recognition, whereas lesbians occupy a liminal space between heterosexual and gay couples. Collectively, these findings suggest that sexual identity and gender shape emotional attributions, which in turn play a key role in explaining inequalities that same-sex couples face.

Social Networks

“Network Intervention:.”: Assessing the Effects of Formal Mentoring on Workplace Networks
Sameer B. Srivastava
This article assesses the effects of formal mentoring on workplace networks. It also provides conceptual clarity and empirical evidence on expected gender differences in the effects of such programs. Qualitative interviews with 40 past participants in a formal mentoring program at a software laboratory in Beijing, China, provide insight into the core mechanisms by which such programs produce network change: access to organizational elites, participation in semiformal foci, enhanced social skills, and legitimacy-enhancing signals. These mechanisms are theorized to lead to an expansion in proteges' networks, relative to those of non-participants in formal mentoring. Legitimacy-enhancing signals are theorized to enable female proteges to derive greater network benefit from formal mentoring than their male counterparts. Empirical support for these propositions comes from a longitudinal quasi-experiment involving 75 employees who experienced the treatment of formal mentoring and 64 employees in a matched control group. A second empirical strategy, which exploits exogenous variation in the timing of treatment and enables a comparison of the post-program networks of one treated group to the pre-program networks of another treated group, provides corroborating support. These findings contribute to research on the efficacy of formal mentoring, gender and workplace networks, and the cumulative advantage or disadvantage that can arise from network change.

Partnership Ties Shape Friendship Networks: A Dynamic Social Network Study
Christoph Stadtfeld, Alex (Sandy) Pentland
Partnership ties shape friendship networks through different social forces. First, partnership ties drive clustering in friendship networks: individuals who are in a partnership tend to have common friends and befriend other couples. Second, partnership ties influence the level of homophily in these emerging friendship clusters. Partners tend to be similar in a number of attributes (homogamy). If one partner selects friends based on preferences for homophily, then the other partner may befriend the same person regardless of whether they also have homophilic preferences. Thus, two homophilic ties emerge based on a single partner's preferences. This amplification of homophily can be observed in many attributes (e.g., ethnicity, religion, age). Gender homophily, however, may be de-amplified, as the gender of partners differs in hetero-sexual partnerships. In our study, we follow dynamic friendship formation among 126 individuals and their cohabiting partners in a university-related graduate housing community over a period of nine months (N = 2,250 self-reported friendship relations). We find that partnership ties strongly shape the dynamic process of friendship formation. They are a main driver of local network clustering and explain a striking amount of homophily.

Social Psychology Quarterly 78(3)

Social Psychology Quarterly, September 2015: Volume 78, Issue 3

The Transition to Adulthood: Life Course Structures and Subjective Perceptions
Scott R. Eliason, Jeylan T. Mortimer, and Mike Vuolo

Working the Boardwalk: Trust in a Public Marketplace
Laura A. Orrico

Threat, Opportunity, and Network Interaction in Organizations
Sameer B. Srivastava

Poverty Attributions and the Perceived Justice of Income Inequality: A Comparison of East and West Germany
Simone M. Schneider and Juan C. Castillo

Criminology & Public Policy 14(2)

Criminology & Public Policy, May 2015: Volume 14, Issue 2


Examining the “Life Course” of Criminal Cases
Brian D. Johnson

Is the Impact of Cumulative Disadvantage on Sentencing Greater for Black Defendants?
John Wooldredge, James Frank, Natalie Goulette and Lawrence Travis III
Research Summary: We examined race-group differences in the effects of how felony defendants are treated at earlier decision points in case processing on case outcomes. Multilevel analyses of 3,459 defendants nested within 123 prosecutors and 34 judges in a large, northern U.S. jurisdiction revealed significant main and interaction effects of a defendant's race on bond amounts, pretrial detention, and nonsuspended prison sentences, but no significant effects on charge reductions and prison sentence length. Evidence of greater “cumulative disadvantages” for Black defendants in general and young Black men in particular was revealed by significant indirect race effects on the odds of pretrial detention via type of attorney, prior imprisonment, and bond amounts, as well as by indirect race effects on prison sentences via pretrial detention and prior imprisonment.
Policy Implications: The consideration of cumulative disadvantage is important for a more complete understanding of the overincarceration of Blacks in the United States. Toward the end of reducing racial disparities in the distribution of prison sentences, courts might (a) reduce reliance on money bail, (b) consider bail amounts for indigent defendants more carefully, and (c) increase the structure of pretrial decision making to reduce the stronger effects of imprisonment history and type of attorney on the odds of pretrial detention for Black suspects.


Evolution of Sentencing Research
Cassia Spohn

Attenuating Disparities Through Four Areas of Change
Traci Schlesinger


Police Encounters with People with Mental Illness
Robin S. Engel

Is Dangerousness a Myth? Injuries and Police Encounters with People with Mental Illnesses
Melissa Schaefer Morabito and Kelly M. Socia
Research Summary: This study examined all “use-of-force” reports collected by the Portland Police Bureau in Portland, Oregon, between 2008 and 2011, to determine whether their encounters with people with mental illnesses are more likely to result in injury to officers or subjects when force is used. Although several factors significantly predicted the likelihood of injury to either subjects or officers, mental illness was not one of them.
Policy Implications: Police consider interactions with people with mental illnesses to be extremely dangerous (Margarita, 1980). Our results question the accuracy of this belief. As such, this “dangerousness” assertion may result in unnecessary stigmatization that may prevent people with mental illnesses from accessing needed services (cf. Corrigan et al., 2005) as witnesses or victims of crime. Policies that reduce stigma may help increase police effectiveness. Furthermore, efforts should be made to increase the availability and accuracy of data on this issue.


Police Use of Force and the Suspect with Mental Illness
Geoffrey P. Alpert

Building on the Evidence
Allison G. Robertson


Implementation and Outcomes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Among Female Prisoners
Gary Zajac

Importance of Program Integrity
Grant Duwe and Valerie Clark
Research Summary: We used a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the effectiveness of Moving On, a gender-responsive, cognitive-behavioral program designed for female offenders. Between 2001 and 2013, there were two distinct periods in which Moving On was administered with, and without, fidelity among female Minnesota prisoners. To determine whether program integrity matters, we examined the performance of Moving On across these two periods. By using multiple comparison groups, we found that Moving On significantly reduced two of the four measures of recidivism when it was implemented with fidelity. The program did not have a significant impact on any of the four recidivism measures, however, when it operated without fidelity.
Policy Implication: The growth of the “what works” literature and the emphasis on evidence-based practices have helped foster the notion that correctional systems can improve public safety by reducing recidivism. Given that Moving On's success hinged on whether it was delivered with integrity, our results show that correctional practitioners can take an effective intervention and make it ineffective. Providing offenders with evidence-based interventions that lack therapeutic integrity not only promotes a false sense of effectiveness, but also it squanders the limited supply of programming resources available to correctional agencies. The findings suggest that ensuring program integrity is critical to the efficient use of successful interventions that deliver on the promise of reduced recidivism.


Program Integrity and the Principles of Gender-Responsive Interventions
Emily J. Salisbury

Rethinking Program Fidelity for Criminal Justice
J. Mitchell Miller and Holly Ventura Miller


Changing the Knowledge Base and Public Perception of Long-Term Prisoners
Marc Mauer

Imperative for Inclusion of Long Termers and Lifers in Research and Policy
Lila Kazemian and Jeremy Travis
Research Summary: Although numerous studies have highlighted the negative consequences of mass incarceration, life-course and criminal career research has largely failed to document psychological, social, and behavioral changes that occur during periods of incarceration. This oversight is particularly noteworthy in the case of individuals serving long sentences, as they spend a significant portion of the life course behind bars. The policies and programs targeting prisoners are seldom tailored to long termers and lifers, and we know little about effective interventions, or even how to measure effectiveness, for this population. By drawing on the relevant empirical research, this article underlines the importance of reorienting some research efforts and policy priorities toward individuals serving life or otherwise long prison sentences.
Policy Implications: During the last 20 years, the prevalence of life sentences has increased substantially in the United States. We argue that there are various benefits to developing policies that consider the challenges and issues affecting long termers and lifers. In addition to the ethical and human rights concerns associated with the treatment of this population, there are several pragmatic justifications for this argument. Long termers and lifers spend a substantial number of years in prison, but most are eventually released. These individuals can play a key role in shaping the prison community and potentially could contribute to the development of a healthier prison climate. Investment in the well-being of individuals serving long sentences may also have diffused benefits that can extend to their families and communities. It would be advantageous for correctional authorities and policy makers to consider the potentially pivotal role of long termers and lifers in efforts to mitigate the negative consequences of incarceration.


Reducing Severe Sentences
Jessica S. Henry

Effects of Life Imprisonment and the Crisis of Prisoner Health
Benjamin Fleury-Steiner


Target Suitability and Terrorism Events at Places
Nancy A. Morris

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Criminology 53(3)

Criminology, August 2015, Volume 53, Issue 3

Biting Once, Twice: The Influence Of Prior On Subsequent Crime Location Choice
Marre Lammers, Barbara Menting, Stijn Ruiter And Wim Bernasco
Properties, victims, and locations previously targeted by offenders have an increased risk of being targeted again within a short time period. It has been suggested that often the same offenders are involved in these repeated events and, thus, that offenders’ prior crime location choices influence their subsequent crime location choices. This article examines repeated crime location choices, testing the hypothesis that offenders are more likely to commit a crime in an area they previously targeted than in areas they did not target before. Unique data from four different data sources are used to study the crime location choices of 3,666 offenders who committed 12,639 offenses. The results indicate that prior crime locations strongly influence subsequent crime location choices. The effects of prior crime locations are larger if the crimes are frequent, if they are recent, if they are nearby, and if they are the same type of crime.

Intimate Partner Violence In Young Adulthood: Narratives Of Persistence And Desistance
Peggy C. Giordano, Wendi L. Johnson, Wendy D. Manning, Monica A. Longmore And Mallory D. Minter
Prior research on patterns of intimate partner violence (IPV) has documented changes over time, but few studies have focused directly on IPV desistance processes. This analysis identifies unique features of IPV, providing a rationale for the focus on this form of behavior cessation. We develop a life-course perspective on social learning as a conceptual framework and draw on qualitative interviews (n = 89) elicited from a sample of young adults who participated in a larger longitudinal study (Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study). The respondents’ backgrounds reflected a range of persistence and desistance from IPV perpetration. Our analyses revealed that relationship-based motivations and changes were central features of the narratives of successful desisters, whether articulated as a stand-alone theme or in tandem with other potential “hooks” for change. The analysis provides a counterpoint to individualistic views of desistance processes, highlighting ways in which social experiences foster attitude shifts and associated behavioral changes that respondents tied to this type of behavior change. The analyses of persisters and those for whom change seemed to be a work in progress provide points of contrast and highlight barriers that limit a respondent's desistance potential. We describe implications for theories of desistance as well as for IPV prevention and intervention efforts.

Delinquency And Gender Moderation In The Moving To Opportunity Intervention: The Role Of Extended Neighborhoods
Corina Graif
A long history of research has indicated that neighborhood poverty increases youth's risk taking and delinquency. This literature predominantly has treated neighborhoods as independent of their surroundings despite rapidly growing ecological evidence on the geographic clustering of crime that suggests otherwise. This study proposes that to understand neighborhood effects, investigating youth's wider surroundings holds theoretical and empirical value. By revisiting longitudinal data on more than 1500 low-income youth who participated in the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized intervention, this article explores the importance of extended neighborhoods (neighborhoods and surroundings) and different concentrated disadvantage configurations in shaping gender differences in risk taking and delinquency. The results from two-stage, least-squares analyses suggest that the extended neighborhoods matter and they matter differently by gender. Among girls, extended neighborhoods without concentrated disadvantage were associated with lower risk-taking prevalence than extended neighborhoods with concentrated disadvantage. In contrast, among boys, localized concentration of disadvantage was associated with the highest prevalence of risk taking and delinquency. Interactions between the immediate and surrounding neighborhoods were similarly associated with differential opportunity and social disorganization mediators. Among the more critical potential mediators of the link between localized disadvantage and boys’ risk taking were delinquent network ties, strain, and perceived absence of legitimate opportunities for success.

Close-Ups And The Scale Of Ecology: Land Uses And The Geography Of Social Context And Crime
Adam Boessen And John R. Hipp
Whereas one line of recent neighborhood research has placed an emphasis on zooming into smaller units of analysis such as street blocks, another line of research has suggested that even the meso-area of neighborhoods is too narrow and that the area surrounding the neighborhood is also important. Thus, there is a need to examine the scale at which the social ecology impacts crime. We use data from seven cities from around the year 2000 to test our research questions using multilevel negative binomial regression models (N = 73,010 blocks and 8,231 block groups). Our results suggest that although many neighborhood factors seem to operate on the microscale of blocks, others seem to have a much broader impact. In addition, we find that racially and ethnically homogenous blocks within heterogeneous block groups have the most crime. Our findings also show the strongest results for a multitude of land-use measures and that these measures sharpen some of the associations from social characteristics. Thus, we find that accounting for multiple scales simultaneously is important in ecological studies of crime.

Intimate Partner Violence Risk Among Victims Of Youth Violence: Are Early Unions Bad, Beneficial, Or Benign?
Danielle C. Kuhl, David F. Warner And Tara D. Warner
Youth violent victimization (YVV) is a risk factor for precocious exits from adolescence via early coresidential union formation. It remains unclear, however, whether these early unions 1) are associated with intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization, 2) interrupt victim continuity or victim–offender overlap through protective and prosocial bonds, or 3) are inconsequential. By using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 11,928; 18–34 years of age), we examine competing hypotheses for the effect of early union timing among victims of youth violence (n = 2,479)—differentiating across victimization only, perpetration only, and mutually combative relationships and considering variation by gender. The results from multinomial logistic regression models indicate that YVV increases the risk of IPV victimization in first unions, regardless of union timing; the null effect of timing indicates that delaying union formation would not reduce youth victims’ increased risk of continued victimization. Gender-stratified analyses reveal that earlier unions can protect women against IPV perpetration, but this is partly the result of an increased risk of IPV victimization. The findings suggest that YVV has significant transformative consequences, leading to subsequent victimization by coresidential partners, and this association might be exacerbated among female victims who form early unions. We conclude by discussing directions for future research.

Testing For Temporally Differentiated Relationships Among Potentially Criminogenic Places And Census Block Street Robbery Counts
Cory P. Haberman And Jerry H. Ratcliffe
This study examined street robbery patterns in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from the years 2009 to 2011 to determine whether the effects of potentially criminogenic places are different across different periods of the day. Census block (N = 13,164) street robbery counts across four periods (6:45 a.m. to 9:59 a.m., 10:00 a.m. to 4:29 p.m., 4:30 p.m. to 9:14 p.m., and 9:15 p.m. to 6:44 a.m.) were modeled with 12 different potentially criminogenic places, 3 measures of illicit markets, 4 compositional control variables, and spatially lagged versions of the 12 potentially criminogenic places and population using simultaneously estimated negative binomial regression models. Differences in the magnitudes of the parameter estimates across the time periods were assessed with Wald tests. Overall, the patterns across the four models were mostly consistent with the effects hypothesized based on the study's crime pattern theory and time-geography theoretical frame; yet differences in the magnitudes of the coefficients were less pronounced than hypothesized. Overall, the results provide moderate support for the crime pattern theory and time-geography explanation of spatial-temporal robbery patterns; however, numerous points are raised for future crime and place research.

A Threshold Model Of Collective Crime
Jean Marie Mcgloin And Zachary R. Rowan
The group nature of offending has been recognized as an inherent characteristic of criminal behavior, yet our insight on the decision to engage in group crime is limited. This article argues that a threshold model offers broad appeal to understand this decision. After discussing the basis of this model and its applicability to collective crime, we offer one example of the kind of research that could stem from this model. Specifically, by using survey data from 583 university students, this study asked respondents to self-report thresholds for group theft and destruction of property. By experimentally manipulating characteristics of the hypothetical scenario used to measure thresholds, we investigated both the individual- and situational-level correlates of these self-reported thresholds. The discussion considers the results that emerge from a Tobit regression model and offers suggestions for future research that would provide further refinement of the threshold model.

American Journal of Sociology 121(1)

Tools from the study of neighborhood effects, place distinction, and regional identity are employed in an ethnography of four small cities with growing populations of lesbian, bisexual, and queer-identified (LBQ) women to explain why orientations to sexual identity are relatively constant within each site, despite informants’ within-city demographic heterogeneity, but vary substantially across the sites, despite common place-based attributes. The author introduces the concept of “sexual identity cultures”—and reveals the defining role of cities in shaping their contours. She finds that LBQ numbers and acceptance, place narratives, and newcomers’ encounters with local social attributes serve as touchstones. The article looks beyond major categorical differences (e.g., urban/rural) to understand how and why identities evolve and vary and to reveal the fundamental interplay of demographic, cultural, and other city features previously thought isolatable. The findings challenge notions of identity as fixed and emphasize the degree to which self-understanding and group understanding remain collective accomplishments.

Can we identify and theorize contingency as a property of processes and situations? Applied to social and historical events, contingency denotes a mode of causality characterized by its indeterminate character. Conjunctural causation and period effects lack the specificity required to identify a distinctive class of processes. References to chance happenings offer no clue to analyze endogenous disruptions. Focusing on breaks in patterns of social relations and the role played by individual agency, the author distinguishes four types of impact—pyramidal, pivotal, sequential, and epistemic—and investigates how these relate to the possibility of indeterminacy through an Event Structure Analysis of the night of August 4, 1789, in Versailles. This empirical foray underscores the significance of junctures that are indeterminate with respect to their collective outcomes. The article grounds analytically this class of conjunctures with the concept of mutual uncertainty, gauges the phenomenal scope of this contingency in terms of action domains and group types, contrasts it with the notion of chance events, and draws its implications for the study of social and historical change.

The shift away from school desegregation policies toward market-based reforms necessitates a deeper understanding of the social and institutional forces driving contemporary school segregation. The author conceptualizes school segregation as a mode of monopolistic closure amid status competition, where racial/ethnic groups compete for school-based status and resources. He tests the theory by analyzing primary and secondary school segregation throughout the United States from 1993 to 2010. Findings support the hypotheses that segregation increases with the salience of race/ethnicity and the decentralization of school systems, which fuels differentiation and provides incentives and opportunities to monopolize schools. Parallel findings for black-white, Hispanic-white, and black-Hispanic segregation suggest that a core set of processes drives school segregation as a general phenomenon.

How do gender relations regulate the American state? To answer this question the author examines archival material on the formation and operation of the Selective Service System during World War I, the understudied federal American draft system. She shows how the federal government vested local draft board members with the authority to determine on a subjective, case-by-case basis whether potential draftees were genuine breadwinners in determining whom to draft and who would receive dependency-based deferments. Informal rules of thumb about the gender-ordered family structured the First World War draft. By analyzing the Selective Service System and by placing feminist political sociology, scholarship in the American political development tradition, and Weberian scholarship on the modern state in critical dialogue with one another, the author identifies how the American state’s locally applied substantive rationality relied on the family’s gender hierarchy in ordering its rational informality. Gender relations thereby rationalized the state’s local informality.

Based on focus groups and interviews with student renters in an Israeli slum, the article explores the contributions of differences in sonic styles and sensibilities to boundary work, social categorization, and evaluation. Alongside visual cues such as broken windows, bad neighborhoods are characterized by sonic cues, such as shouts from windows. Students understand “being ghetto” as being loud in a particular way and use loudness as a central resource in their boundary work. Loudness is read as a performative index of class and ethnicity, and the performance of middle-class studentship entails being appalled by stigmatized sonic practices and participating in their exoticization. However, the sonic is not merely yet another resource of boundary work. Paying sociological attention to senses other than vision reveals complex interactions between structures anchored in the body, structures anchored in language, and actors’ identification strategies, which may refine theorizations of the body and the senses in social theory.

Caste and Choice: The Influence of Developmental Idealism on Marriage Behavior
Keera Allendorf and Arland Thornton
Is the marriage behavior of young people determined by their socioeconomic characteristics or their endorsement of developmental idealism? This article addresses this question using a unique longitudinal data set from Nepal and provides the first individual-level test of developmental idealism theory. The authors find that unmarried individuals with greater endorsement of developmental idealism in 2008 were more likely by 2012 to choose their own spouse, including a spouse of a different caste, rather than have an arranged marriage. Those with salaried work experience were also less likely to have arranged marriages, but urban proximity and education were not significant. The authors conclude that both developmental idealism and socioeconomic characteristics influence marriage and that their influences are largely independent.