ILSSC at the American Society of Criminology Meeting 2018

Complete Thematic Panels Sponsored by ILSSC

New Ways to Think about the Temporality of Crime in Communities and Place

Wed, Nov 14, 9:30 to 10:50am, Marriott, M302, Marquis Level

Chair: Dr. John Hipp

The papers in this panel all explicitly consider the time dimension when considering crime in neighborhoods. The first considers time on a very micro scale, considering how crime in locations varies over the hours of the day. Two other papers consider longer-term change in neighborhoods by taking different approaches: one explicitly measures various types of mobility to assess their relationship with changes in crime, whereas the other takes a bottom-up approach in assessing expected levels of mobility based on the households in a neighborhood, and treating additional mobility as a latent measure of neighborhood change. The final paper takes a very long view of how the relationship between the education level of residents and neighborhood crime has changed over a 40 year period.

Land Use Features, Informal Social Control and Crime: A Longitudinal Study of Neighborhood Dynamics

Jonathan Corcoran, The University of Queensland
Renee Zahnow, The Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland
Anthony Kimpton, The University of Queensland
Rebecca Wickes, Monash University
Chris Brunsdon, Maynooth University

Well established in criminological scholarship is the way that crime is neither spatially nor temporally uniformly distributed. Rather crime is distributed in a manner that means it is both particular places and particular times that are subject to the majority of crime events. Furthermore we know that crime varies over the course of a day and week, with periods of time the same place can function as a crime generator, a crime attractor or as a crime detractor. What is less evident is the way in which some places ‘flip’ from a largely crime free space to one that provides the necessary preconditions for crime to occur. In this paper we focus on commercial precincts as the context, given their functional importance in our daily lives providing places of employment, recreation and a locus for social encounters. By spatially integrating crime incident data and census information and employing circular, clustering and spline regression techniques we examine the intensity, tempo and timing of crime in these locales and generate a temporal typology for 2,286 commercial precincts across Queensland, Australia.

A Bottom-up Theory of Neighborhood Change: How Much Change Matters for Crime in Neighborhoods?

John R Hipp, University of California, Irvine

I propose a theory of neighborhood change with three key features. First, the theory uses households and housing units as the fundamental units of analysis for understanding demographic change in neighborhoods. I propose aggregating these households and housing units to egohoods. Second, the theory is based on the key concepts of aging and obsolescence: these concepts are expressed through people, buildings, neighborhoods, cities, and cultural ideas. This concept of aging/obsolescence drives slow change in neighborhoods. Third, these households and housing units (and egohoods) are nested within a larger region, and the growth, stagnation, or decline of that larger region (based on population or economic resources) has direct consequences for mobility patterns and changes in neighborhoods. I demonstrate one implication of this theory in which insights from the demographic literature on residential mobility are used to create an estimate of expected mobility for neighborhoods (defined as egohoods) and then compare this to actual residential mobility to create a measure of unexpected residential mobility. This unexpected mobility is a latent measure of neighborhood effects, and I then assess how it is related to changes in crime for a sample of neighborhoods in Southern California from 2000 to 2010.

Decomposing Neighborhood (In)Stability: The Structural Determinants of Turnover and Implications for Neighborhood Crime

Seth A. Williams, University of California Irvine

Residential (in)stability remains a key predictor of neighborhood crime as one of the structural antecedents in social disorganization theory. Rooted in the Concentric Zone Model (Burgess 1925), the theory assumes instability or neighborhood turnover is attributable to individual preferences and upward economic mobility. Likewise, a large body of research seeks to understand the role of individual preferences and human capital in shaping patterns of individual mobility, with consequences for neighborhood composition. The present study takes a different approach, and attempts to decompose the oft-relied on metric of residential stability in the Census into its component parts as driven by structural and political-economic factors. These include processes of new development, demolition, forced displacement (via eviction and foreclosure), and property sales. Using data for San Francisco over the 2000-2010 period, the goal of the study is two-fold: First, I attempt to explain the variance in neighborhood turnover across socioeconomic strata and second, I ask whether the effect of neighborhood turnover on crime is general or particular to specific processes. I argue that decomposing instability provides the opportunity for more pointed policy recommendations by locating the exact processes and urban actors implicated in the form and extent of turnover across various neighborhoods.

Educational Attainment and Crime in Neighborhoods over 40 Years

Adam Boessen, University of Missouri – St. Louis
Marisa Omori, University of Miami

Since the 1970’s, the number of people with college degrees has increased, and as of 2010, a third of United States now has a college degree. Less clear from this demographic trend are the consequences for neighborhood crime rates over time and space. Research on educational attainment and crime has had mixed results. More educational attainment can be associated with greater inequality and thus leading to more crime, while another approach indicates that more educational attainment can be associated with more social capital, satisfaction with the neighborhood, revitalization, civic engagement, and access to economic resources. All of which indicate that more educational attainment should decrease crime. We employ census tract and violent crime data from 1970-2010 to test how education matters for neighborhoods, and our findings indicate key differences over time and space.

New Directions in Social Disorganization Theory

Wed, Nov 14, 2:00 to 3:20pm, Marriott, International 5, International Level

Chair: Charis E. Kubrin, University of California, Irvine

This panel highlights innovative research on neighborhoods and crime. The novel findings from these studies push social disorganization theory in new and interesting directions.

Voluntary Organizations and Neighborhood Crime: A Longitudinal Examination of Organizational Presence, Organizational Resources, and Crime Rates

James Wo, University of Iowa

Crime events are not evenly distributed across a city, rather such events spatially concentrate in a small proportion of neighborhoods. Although the literature on communities and crime has posited that such neighborhoods are characterized by a multitude of social and ecological factors, previous studies typically choose a single factor (e.g., poverty), and then test whether it adversely impacts neighborhood crime, and if so, to what extent. The principal objective of the present study is to therefore identify the social and ecological factors of high-crime and low-crime areas. In particular, we produce models that examine a diversity of neighborhood effects on crime, including some motivated by (classical) social disorganization theory whereas others are inspired by the promise of social media data.

Collective Efficacy, Disorder, and Informal Social Control Perceptions Among Urban Youth

Christopher R Browning, Ohio State University
Paul E. Bellair, The Ohio State University
Catherine A Calder, Ohio State University
Bethany Boettner, Ohio State University

A substantial empirical literature examines the social determinants of crime, revealing that neighborhood collective efficacy exerts a significant constraint on violence. Violent crime, however, is highly uneven, concentrating in a relatively small proportion of street blocks within a larger neighborhood. It is unknown whether levels of collective efficacy correspond with the contours of violence across those locations within neighborhood in theoretically expected ways. We hypothesize that 1) collective efficacy varies at both the neighborhood and location-levels and 2) variability in collective efficacy at the location-level accounts for the differential prevalence of crimes across space within neighborhood. We employ data on over 7,000 routine activity locations reported by Columbus, OH area caregivers from the Adolescent Health and Development in Context study. Using hierarchical Bayesian models, we partition variance in collective efficacy across reporters, locations, and block groups. We then consider the link between location-specific collective efficacy and spatial variability in violent crime within neighborhood using data from the Columbus Division of Police (or the Ohio Division of Public Safety, if available). The findings bear directly on collective efficacy theory, assessing its ability to explain violence at the location-level in terms of variation in trust, cohesion, and informal control of public space.

Reconceptualizing Neighborhood Structure in Social Disorganization Theory

Nicholas Branic, University of California, Irvine
Charis E. Kubrin, University of California, Irvine
John R Hipp, University of California, Irvine

Social disorganization theory has emerged as a critical framework for understanding the relationship between community characteristics and crime in urban areas. While social disorganization theory has enjoyed much empirical support over the decades, studies have been limited in how they conceptualize and operationalize the structural antecedents of social disorganization. In particular, studies almost exclusively emphasize the individual impacts of poverty, instability, heterogeneity and other structural characteristics by examining their independent effects on neighborhood crime rates. Here we take a different approach, one that considers how these structural forces combine into unique constellations or patterns that vary across communities, with consequences for crime. Combining crime and Census data for neighborhoods in the Southern California region, we first conducted latent class analysis, which identified nine neighborhood typologies based on community levels of poverty, instability, and heterogeneity. We next used negative binomial regression models to examine the relationships between these neighborhood classes and crime rates. Beyond finding that neighborhoods high in poverty, instability, and heterogeneity – i.e., ‘classic’ socially disorganized neighborhoods – are associated with higher crime rates, as predicted by the theory, we find that other neighborhood classes are (differentially) associated with crime rates. We consider the implications of these findings for social disorganization theory.

Policing, Offenders, Victims, and the Spatial Distribution of Crime

Thu, Nov 15, 9:30 to 10:50am, Marriott, M104, Marquis Level

Chair: Dr. John Hipp

The papers in this panel link the spatial patterns of offenders, targets, and the police. One paper considers arrest rates by race across neighborhoods for less serious crimes as a measure of police discretion. A second paper shows how targeting hot spots of crime can disproportionately impact minority communities. A third paper considers the spatial patterns of victims of crime events, and the extent to which they are victimized in locations similar to where they live. The final paper simultaneously considers the spatial patterns of offenders, targets, and the crime location to explore these victim/offender crime triangles.

Drunk, Drugged, and Disorderly: Examining Neighborhood Non-violent Arrest Rates Across Race/Ethnicity

Alyssa Chamberlain, Arizona State University
Lyndsay N. Boggess, University of South Florida

Research examining neighborhood structure, race, and crime focuses predominantly on UCR Part 1 violent and serious property crimes. Less research assesses neighborhoods and Part 2 crimes, such as public drunkenness, drugs, or disorderly conduct. Law enforcement exercises more discretion policing these “lower level” crimes, which may result in differential arrests across racial/ethnic groups net of neighborhood conditions. In this study, we control for economic inequality and neighborhood demographic and structural characteristics, to examine arrest rates for non-Hispanic White, Black, and Hispanic men over a six year period in a small representative city in the south.

How Far to Victimization? Individual and Neighborhood Characteristics of “Residence-to-Crime” Distances

Kevin Pedraza University of California, Irvine
Christopher Jay Bates, University of California, Irvine

Routine activities theory asserts crime is the convergence of both a victim and offender. Risk of victimization shift as victims conduct their routines activities. The “journey to crime” literature reveals variation in distance offender’s travel to their crime location based on the offense type, individual factors, and neighborhood characteristics. However, despite “fear of crime” victimization contributing to how individual’s structure their daily mobility, less is understood about the “journey to crime” from the victim’s perspective. The current study utilizes a novel open-source dataset to examine how crime type, individual factors, and neighborhood characteristics contribute to the “residence-to-crime” distance for victims in a single municipality. The current exploratory study explores how crime type, individual factors, neighborhood characteristics explain the variation on the “residence-to-crime” distance. The implications for how an individual’s “fear of crime” informs their routine activity patterns based on these variations in “residence-to-crime” victimizations are discussed.

“Residence-to-Crime” Convergence: An Analysis of Victim-Offender Mobility Triangles

Christopher Jay Bates, University of California, Irvine

Routine activities theory asserts crime is the convergence of both a victim and offender. Risk of victimization and awareness of crime opportunities shift as both victims and offenders conduct their routines activities. The “journey to crime” literature reveals variation in distance offender’s travel to their crime location based on the offense type, individual factors, and neighborhood characteristics. Andresen, Felson, & Frank (2012) expand the “journey to crime” literature by developing the mobility triangle, incorporating the offender’s home location, the victim’s home location, and the crime incident location. The current study utilizes a novel open-source dataset to examine how crime type, individual factors, and neighborhood characteristics contribute to the shape of victim-offender mobility triangles in a single municipality. We further extend Ackerman and Rossmo’s (2014) work by examining the individual and neighborhood factors that explain variation in “residence-to-crime” distances for both victims and offenders simultaneously. The implications for crime control are discussed based on the variations in victim-offender mobility triangles.

Exploring the Intersection of Race and Class and the Consequences for Crime in Neighborhoods

Fri, Nov 16, 9:30 to 10:50am, Marriott, M101, Marquis Level

Chair: Dr. John Hipp

The papers in this panel explore race and class within neighborhoods. One paper explores the crime patterns in middle class Black neighborhoods over a large sample of neighborhoods. Two others focus closely on specific neighborhoods: one views the evolution of crime within master planned communities whereas the other focuses on racial crime and the development of “community” in Sikh neighborhoods. The final paper explores the determinants of inter-group violence within neighborhoods in Los Angeles over an 8 year period.

Claire Greene, University of Missouri – St. Louis

In The Truly Disadvantaged, William Julius Wilson (1987) argues that, due to black middle class out-migration, today’s black urban neighborhoods comprise almost exclusively of the most disadvantaged segments of the African American population, and therefore lack the basic opportunities, resources, and social controls necessary to reduce crime. In this paper, I revisit these arguments by examining the relationship between the black middle class, neighborhood race-ethnic composition, and crime across a diverse set of cities using data from the National Neighborhood Crime Study (NNCS). The results presented here demonstrate that many black middle class families do reside in the urban core, and that most of these households are located in predominately black neighborhoods. Moreover, I find that the black middle class is “protective” against crime in black, Latino and mixed neighborhoods, but not in white neighborhoods. Overall, this study highlights the need to further contextualize the neighborhood conditions of the black middle class in contemporary urban America.

Crime and Disorder in Master Planned Communities

Rebecca Wickes, Monash University
Jonathan Corcoran, The University of Queensland

Since 2005, the Australian Community Capacity Study has followed three master planned communities (MPC) located in new growth corridors in Brisbane, Australia. In this study we consider the “birth” of crime in one of these communities in particular. Using crime incident data and ABS census data we assess changes in crime rates from the initial development of the community to its current established form. Specifically we focus on changes in the socio-demographic conditions and the regulatory mechanisms associated with the prevention of crime over time. Additionally, we draw on our case study data to examine how crime control might differ in master planned communities when compared to demographically similar suburbs. We also discuss strategies used by residents in MPCs to understand crime in their community when the “safe” identity of the master planned community is threatened.

Spatial Analysis of the Sikh Community

Navjyot K. Gill, University of California, Irvine

As a part of the Sikh diaspora, today approximately 500,000 Sikhs live in the United States and have created spaces and traditions that resemble the Punjab, including the establishment of gurudwaras (place of worship) and a cultural tradition of playing cards in the neighborhood park. In areas with a concentration of Sikhs, such as the Central Valley in California, Sikhs’ local neighborhoods resemble a “pind” (a village) and gaavand, which is a vibrant, social neighborhood in Punjab. This research examines how the Sikh community forms public and private spaces that mirror spheres from the Punjab. Additionally, this research dissects the effects of discrimination and hate crimes against Sikhs after the September 11 terrorist attacks, especially on these public and private spaces. By conducting a case study on Bakersfield, California, which is two hours north of Los Angeles, this research dissects how these spaces have changed over time, as the Sikh population in the United States increased.

Fear and the Formation of Collective Efficacy

Benjamin J. Forthun, University of California, Irvine

John R Hipp, University of California, Irvine

Charis E. Kubrin, University of California, Irvine

While research typically finds that immigrants are less likely to offend than the native born, few studies have examined the relationship between immigration and intra- and inter-group violence. Given the challenge of specifying the proper geographic unit for assessing inter-group violence, we use egohoods given that their spatially explicit measurement minimizes the boundary problems encountered with typical administrative units. Furthermore, we move beyond cross-sectional analyses to focus on how the change in immigration inflow is related to intra- and inter-group violence over an 8-year period from 2000-07. This project combines offender and victim data with census measures to examine changes in intra- and inter-group violence for egohoods in the city of Los Angeles. We focus particularly on specific immigrant groups to create race-specific measures of immigration. We assess the extent to which immigrants from particular racial/ethnic groups moderate the observed relationships between neighborhood structural characteristics (including within- and across-group inequality) and intra- and inter-group violence over the study period.

Measuring “Neighborhood” when Assessing the Spatial Patterns of Crime

Fri, Nov 16, 12:30 to 1:50pm, Marriott, M106, Marquis Level

Chair: Dr. John Hipp

The papers in this panel all take seriously the question of how to measure the “neighborhood” and its interlinkage with the broader community. One paper considers the role of private versus public space in fostering social cohesion. Two of the papers consider how to measure “neighborhood” and assess the relationship of their units with levels of crime: one proposes using the street network to construct “street egohoods”, whereas the other utilizes Grannis’ notion of t-communities with a more accurate implementation of the construct. The final paper explicitly considers how the spatial patterns of residents results in spatial linkages between neighborhoods and consequences for crime.

Land Use Features, Informal Social Control and Crime: A Longitudinal Study of Neighborhood Dynamics

Anthony Kimpton, The University of Queensland
Rebecca Wickes, Monash University
Jonathan Corcoran, The University of Queensland

Public space is contested space – owned by everybody, yet the responsibility of none. This can impact place guardianship, generate crime, and cause residents to retreat into the private realm that consequently decreases neighborhood social cohesion. By abandoning public space, neighbors have fewer opportunities to challenge stereotypes of strangers and form parochial social ties that may be important for crime prevention. As public space continues to decrease, in this paper we explore whether the expansion of private realms alter the urban social fabric by substituting chance social encounters to those that occur by invitation only. Drawing on social survey, census, cadastral data, and unique 0.34m (1’) resolution remote sensing data, originally collected for capturing Australia’s more furry suburban residents: the koala, we explore how public and private space influence social cohesion, perceived and actual crime. Our findings suggest that a preference for suburban housing and private yards has a significantly reduces social cohesion, and ultimately the social sustainability of urban neighborhoods.

Land Use Features, Informal Social Control and Crime: A Longitudinal Study of Neighborhood Dynamics

Young-an KimUniversity of California, Irvine

John R Hipp, University of California, Irvine

We propose a concept of street egohood as a new perspective of measuring neighborhood based on urban streets. We used the street segment as a base unit and employed two strategies in clustering the street segments: (1) based on the First Order Queen Contiguity; and (2) based on the street network distance considering physical barriers. We utilized our approaches for measuring ecological factors and estimated crime rates in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. We found that whereas certain socio-demographics, land use, and business employee measures show stronger relationships with crime when measured at the smaller street based unit, a number of them actually exhibited stronger relationships when measured using our larger street egohoods. A primary contribution of the current study is to develop and propose a new perspective of measuring neighborhood based on urban streets. We hope future research can use egohoods to expand understanding of neighborhoods and crime.

Crime Patterns in T-communities

Hwawon Seo, University of California, Irvine

Current neighborhood-based crime research typically relies on the geographic area defined by the Census Bureau or other administrative agencies to define neighborhood boundaries. However, critics have long contended census-defined boundaries imperfectly operationalize neighborhoods. At the same time, sociologists emphasize the primacy of community life occurring on small, pedestrian streets. In light of these points, the current study builds on Grannis’ (1998) definition of neighborhood: t-communities, which are defined by their internal access via pedestrian streets. This study utilizes Grannis’ concept, but utilizes a more appropriate measure of these street boundaries to obtain more accurate measures of t-communities. While Grannis (2005) examined levels of racial homogeneity within t-communities, this study analyzes crime patterns within and outside of t-communities in Orange County, California.

Extra-local Ties, Bridging Social Capital, and Neighborhood Safety

Corina Graif,Pennsylvania State University
Rebecca Bucci,Pennsylvania State University

A great deal of work exists on the effects of neighborhood conditions on local safety but less is known about the role of extra-local conditions. Yet, to the extent that residents spend time outside their home neighborhoods, extra-local exposures to risks and resources may affect local safety independently of local conditions. The current study assesses the connection between different types of extra-local ties (bridging capital) and local safety based on a representative sample of households in Los Angeles County. It measures ties between neighborhoods based on respondents’ reports of routine mobility across space for a range of activities, such as grocery shopping, commuting to work, attending church services, or using health services. Preliminary findings suggest that neighborhood safety is related to conditions in the extra-local neighborhoods where residents engage in routine activities. This connection is robust to multiple socio-demographic controls and seems to be better explained through effects on collective socialization mechanisms (bonding social capital) than through residents’ experience of crime. The findings suggest that our collective understanding of communities and crime will greatly benefit from extending the predominant focus on local processes to incorporate a complementary focus on extra-local processes; from a focus on bonding capital to bridging capital.