American journal of criminal justice

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American journal of criminal justice

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The American Journal of Criminal Justice is a peer reviewed publication offering research on a wide array of criminal justice topics and issues. Coverage addresses the criminal justice process, the formal and informal interplay between system components, problems and solutions experienced by various segments, innovative practices, policy development and implementation, evaluative research, the players engaged in these enterprises, and a wide assortment of other related interests. The Journal publishes original articles that utilize a broad range of methodologies and perspectives when examining crime, law, and criminal justice processing.
This is the official journal of the Southern Criminal Justice Association (SCJA).
Meine Notizen
Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Youth Firearm Access, Possession or Carrying

Firearm homicide and suicide are the leading causes of violence-related injury deaths among U.S. youth. However, evaluations of the effectiveness of firearm violence prevention programs and strategies to reducing youth firearm violence are limited. To help inform and evaluate such efforts, this study aimed to identify risk and protective factors associated with youth firearm access, possession or carrying (for reasons other than hunting or target shooting) among a sample of U.S. urban youth in the Mountain West. Findings show the influence that youth violence risk (e.g., having friends engaged in delinquency; violence; drug sales; gang fights; exposure to violence; screening positive for violence risk) can have on youth firearm access, possession or carrying. Implications for prevention and intervention are discussed.

Perceptions of Body-Worn Cameras: Findings from a Panel Survey of Two LAPD Divisions

This paper examines results from two waves of officer surveys, administered before and after deployment of body-worn cameras (BWCs) in two divisions within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Officer surveys were administered in LAPD’s Mission and Newton divisions at two time points, pre-BWC deployment (August and September 2015; Wave I) and post-deployment (summer of 2016; Wave II). This fixed-sample survey contained 52 questions designed to measure officer perceptions of BWCs across a variety of domains. Questions were tailored to provide consistency across sites for comparison with other studies. Results varied by division, with Mission officers becoming more critical and Newton officers becoming slightly more supportive of BWCs over time. Similarities and differences in officer perceptions both between divisions and from pre- to post-deployment are discussed at length, as are the implications for policy and practice including obtaining organizational support and officer buy-in.

Stress among Correctional Officers: an Organizational Justice Approach

Employees’ positive perceptions of organizational justice are crucial to the successful operation of correctional institutions. Employees who perceive their employer treats them justly and fairly report less job-related stress and happier home lives. Organizational justice has two primary components – procedural and distributive justice – that have been examined relative to job satisfaction and job performance. The current study builds on the existing literature and examines the effects that perceptions of procedural and distributive justice have on the strain-based form of work-family conflict. Specifically, the goal of this study is to determine whether these two forms of justice were related to the strain that correctional employees bring home with them. Data collected from a large Southern correctional institution indicate that perceptions of procedural justice related significantly to reported levels of the strain-based form of work-family conflict and that staff with the highest perceptions of procedural justice reported the lowest levels of strain-based work-family conflict. This did not hold true for distributive justice, however, which was found to be statistically unrelated to work-family strain.

Letter from the Editor
Open to Interpretation: Confronting the Challenges of Understanding the Current State of Body-Worn Camera Research

In only five years, both the implementation of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) and the evidence base evaluating the technology has diffused at a breakneck pace. As the number of studies has increased, so too has the uncertainty surrounding BWCs and their impact on various outcomes. In this commentary, we bring together the differing viewpoints on the five existing summaries of the BWC literature, highlight the key sources of contention, and make recommendations for BWC scholars and consumers moving forward.

Social Learning and Distracted Driving among Young Adults

This paper examines the relevance of Akers’ social learning theory (Akers and Jensen 2006; Akers and Jennings 2009) for the problem of distracted driving. Distracted driving is widespread and dangerous, with many drivers, particularly youthful ones, continuing to engage in such driving despite knowledge of its risks (see, e.g., Atchley, Atwood, Boulton, 2011, Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43, 134–142; Prat, Gras, Planes, Font-Mayolas, Sullman, 2017, Transportation Research Part F, 37, 119–128). Much of the research to date is limited to texting; however, in recent years, cell phones have become major tools for entertainment and information, especially among younger people, resulting in the emergence of newer forms of distracted driving. Explanations of distracted driving from a criminological approach are limited (Quisenberry 2015 is an exception), yet criminological theory can contribute to our understanding of this relatively new and expanding form of deviance. Drawing on social learning theory, we explore the attitudes and behaviors of 935 college students regarding ‘traditional’ and newer types of phone-related distracted driving, as well as their perceptions of self and others’ cell phone use. Multivariate analysis indicates support for some of the social learning concepts, with definitions and one of the differentialreinforcement measures standing out in particular (perceived benefits of cell phone use while driving). We consider the implications of these findings for theory and policy.

A Consideration for Increasing Post-Release Financial Success

There is an ever-growign body of research indicating the importance and effectivenss of correctional programming. The main goal of release is autonomy, which inclues financial independence. This can be achieved not only through employment, but also having the financial capability to budget, pay bills, and properly handle one's finances. It is important to understand the perceptions of financial literacy and its relationship with release in order to create effective programming. This study fills a gap in the literature that explores predictive factors regarding the attitudes and perceptions of inmates regarding their financial matters and choices. Aspects of incarceration (e.g. length of time incarcerated, number of times incarcerated, and type of crime) were found to be associated with financial attitudes, anticipated post-release social support, and perceptions of control over financial behavior for transitional center residents within six months of release.

Low Self-Control and Environmental Harm: A Theoretical Perspective and Empirical Test

Research finds low self-control is associated with a myriad of delinquent, criminal, and antisocial behaviors. Less attention, however, has been directed at investigating whether low self-control is related to environmental harm. The current study contributes to this area of research in two ways. First, we explicate why low self-control would relate to environmental harms committed by individuals. Second, using data collected on a sample of approximately 500 adults from southeastern Florida, we test whether low self-control is associated with the specific environmental harm of littering. Results indicate low self-control increases the likelihood of both past littering behavior as well as projected littering behavior. Supplementary analyses demonstrate low self-control is associated with higher frequency littering but not lower frequency littering. Discussion centers on the implications of the findings, study limitations, and a call for additional research to investigate the association between low self-control and a broader array of environmental harms.

Analyzing the NIBRS Data: the Impact of the Number of Records Used per Segment

In an effort to upgrade and improve criminal justice statistics, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program is currently in the process of transitioning from the Summary Reporting System (SRS) to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). While this transition will increase the capacity for law enforcement agencies and analysts to make informed decisions regarding crime and policing policy, the detail of NIBRS increases analytic complexity. More specifically, NIBRS includes variables in six data segments, five of which can include multiple records per incident. As a result, analysts must decide how many records to use. However, there is currently no guidance for best practices in making this decision. This research addresses this gap by examining the impact of this decision on descriptive analyses and regression estimates. Results indicate some estimates are measured accurately using only one record, using three records reduces inaccuracy, and with some exceptions, using more than three records is methodologically unnecessary. As the NIBRS data become increasingly representative and useful in the coming years, it will be important that they are used both efficiently and effectively. Taken together, this research suggests that for most analyses there is substantial consistency when using at least three records per data segment but that there are some cases for which the number of records is consequential and researchers should consider the methodological and theoretical implications of each strategy when choosing between them.

What Are We Talking about When We Talk about Privatization? A Qualitative Assessment of Privatized Corrections

Research on privatized corrections focuses primarily on for-profit prisons and tends to conceptualize correctional services as being strictly “private” or “public.” The current study argues that this conceptualization impedes theoretical and empirical assessments of privatization. To advance this argument, an analysis of data from interviews with individuals who work in or alongside correctional agencies is undertaken. The interviews sought insights about the meaning and implementation of privatized corrections, as well as how privatization compares to public corrections. The findings highlight the diverse nature of privatization. For example, governments, through their monitoring and oversight practices, may have an ongoing influence on the private sector’s operations. Taken as a whole, the study’s findings suggest that a more nuanced understanding of what privatization means may advance scholarship and policy about both private and public corrections.

The Effect of Gender Composition on Perceptual Accuracy: a Three-Level Approach Using Dyadic Data

Emerging evidence that perceptual measures of peer deviance typically used in criminology may be inaccurate has resulted in recent investigations into the factors that condition misperception. Studies find that lower levels of self-control and lack of time spent with friends contribute to misperception, while friendship closeness increases accuracy. One unexplored factor that has been shown to impact peer-to-peer interactions is gender. Filling in this gap, the current study explores how gender structure in combination with friendship quality and individual levels of self-control, may cause differences in the perceptual accuracy of peer deviance among friendship pairs. Using item-response-based mixed-effects models, results demonstrate that women in female-only friendships produce the most accurate perceptions of peer deviance. Men in male-only friendships produce the least accurate perceptions. Since men are typically self-report greater engagement in deviant behavior than women, this finding highlights that peer deviance perceptions are most flawed among people who are engaging in the most deviance. Additionally, higher quality friendships have more accurate perceptions while those who have less self-control are markedly less accurate. Implications for feminist research and peer deviance measurement are reviewed.

What you See Is What you Get? Investigating how Survey Context Shapes the Association between Media Consumption and Attitudes about Crime

Research on the relationship between media consumption and perceptions of or feelings about crime often relies on survey data. This research, however, rarely if ever contextualizes the content of that media within the analyses. This study explored how media type, frequency of use, and content are related to measures of beliefs about crime. Using survey data from four different years, we tested the relationship between media consumption, perceptions of the crime rate, worry about crime, and anger about crime. We used regressions to investigate what types of media are associated with public opinions on crime, and to examine how these relationships differ across years. We then contextualized our findings by highlighting both local and national news stories about crime that occurred leading up to and during the time that each of these surveys was in the field. Results indicated that local news had the most consistent effect on the three outcomes across years, and other types of media were important when high-profile cases and political debates were in the news cycle. In order to tell a fuller story about the effects of media on beliefs about crime and justice, we argue that future research should consider mixed-methods approaches to place surveys into social context.

Exploring Alternatives to Cash Bail: An Evaluation of Orange County’s Pretrial Assessment and Release Supervision (PARS) Program

This evaluation examines the impact of a pretrial risk assessment and supervised release program on pretrial release rates, judicial bail determinations, and failure to appear (FTA) rates among non-violent felony defendants in Orange County, CA. The results indicate that program implementation was not associated with a significant increase in pretrial release rates. However, defendants who received supervised release under the program were significantly less likely to FTA than similarly situated defendants who were released on cash bail. The results therefore suggest that pending bail reform measures in California and elsewhere, which replace cash bail with risk assessment screening and non-monetary supervised release, can be implemented without sacrificing appearances in court.

Comparison of Financial Lucrativeness and Safety in the World of Online and Offline Prostitution: An Exploratory Study of Perceptions and Experiences of Law Enforcement

To date, there is a gap in the literature exploring the perceptions and experiences of law enforcement regarding enforcement of online and offline prostitution. As there are multiple fallacies regarding the benefits of online prostitution versus offline prostitution, the purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions of law enforcement in the United States regarding the financial lucrativeness and lifestyle of those who prostitute online compared to those who sell sexual services offline. Findings indicated that law enforcement believed online prostitutes grossed more money for their services and also demonstrated a cleaner, more polished lifestyle. However, the majority of respondents still believed both types of prostitution to be dangerous.

Gender Differences in the Effect of Past Year Victimization on Self-Reported Physical and Mental Health: Findings from the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey

The current study examined past year intimate partner violence (IPV; physical violence, coercive control, reproductive control, and psychological aggression) and sexual victimization on self-reported physical and mental health. Doing so provides a proxy longitudinal analysis of victimization on self-reported health outcomes. Data were from the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, a nationally representative sample of U.S. men and women. Given the differential risk of victimization, gender specific analyses were conducted. Findings from the logistic regression (N = 13,699) of the full sample (i.e., both women and men in analyses) indicated past year victimization was not significantly associated with self-reported poor/fair physical health. Among the full sample and the female-only sample (N = 7433), past year coercive control increased the odds of self-reported poor/fair mental health. The remaining types of victimization were not associated with self-reported mental health among the full sample or female respondents. Past year victimization was not associated with self-reported physical or mental health for male respondents (N = 6266). Directions for future research and policy implications related to interventions within healthcare settings are discussed.

The Pragmatic Public? The Impact of Practical Concerns on Support for Punitive and Rehabilitative Prison Policies

Although prior investigations have not been designed to assess the issue directly and thoroughly, criminal justice research suggests that the American public supports penal policies that they believe provide utility. The public simultaneously endorses rehabilitation and punishment when they are convinced that these approaches promote general utilitarian penal goals, such as enhancing public safety. It is unclear, however, how other practical aspects of penal policies influence people’s opinions about punitive and rehabilitative prison conditions. Using a randomized experimental design, we explicitly estimate the extent to which public support for punitive and rehabilitative prison policies depends on pragmatic considerations of financial cost, ease of institutional management, and recidivism risk. Our results reveal considerable endorsement for offering rehabilitation to a hypothetical offender as well as expanding the use of such programs to other inmates. We also find less enthusiastic support for austere prison conditions. Public endorsement of both proposals showed evidence of pragmatism, though practical considerations had larger and more consistent effects on opinions about rehabilitation.

The Influence of Scope, Frames, and Extreme Willingness to Pay Responses on Cost of Crime Estimates

As governments with limited fiscal resources seek to invest in the “best” programs to prevent crime, they often first try to identify the true costs of crime to guide these decisions. Contingent valuation (CV) is a common survey method used to elicit how much the public is willing to pay (WTP) to reduce a particular crime. We utilize one of the first datasets in criminal justice that includes open-ended WTP data gathered from a survey using factorial design and random assignment. WTP figures are then input into a formula which also takes into account 1) the number of households and 2) the number of crimes “avoided,” which is calculated based upon the percentage crime reduction presented to survey respondents. Drawing upon data from a representative sample of the United States, we assess how sensitive respondents are to crime type, crime reduction percentages, program types, and framing. Results demonstrate that in general, open-ended WTP surveys elicit highly skewed responses and that respondents are more willing to pay for crime reduction programs with a higher number of individual components. However, respondents are not sensitive to crime reductions or several other survey framing techniques. Importantly, due to these highly skewed WTP values and lack of responsivity to crime control percentages, final cost of crime numbers vary widely – potentially altering policy decisions driven by these methods. We conclude with a discussion of the appropriateness of these methods for accurately estimating the costs of crime.

Assessing Similarities and Differences in Self-Control between Police Officers and Offenders

Research provides consistent evidence that non-offenders have greater self-control than offenders. While such differences exist across a range of samples, the ability of measures of self-control to discriminate between different groups merits additional attention. We advance research on this topic by comparing the self-control of police officers to offenders. Results indicate police officers score higher than offenders do on global self-control. Results also indicate that, when analyzing differences across the six dimensions of self-control conceptualized by Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990), police officers consistently score lower in impulsivity, self-centeredness, and anger than offenders. At the same time, police officers have a greater preference for physical activities than offenders do, and the risk-seeking and simple tasks dimensions are inconsistently associated with being a police officer relative to an offender across the different models estimated. Discussion centers on the implications of these findings for theory and for the screening of potential police recruits.

The Longitudinal Association between Resting Heart Rate and Psychopathic Traits from a Normative Personality Perspective

A large body of research has accumulated investigating the possibility of an association between resting heart rate and psychopathic traits, with meta-analysis suggesting a modest, negative association. Some recent research suggests that prior findings of an association between heart rate and psychopathy may be influenced by inclusion of antisocial behavior in the assessment of psychopathic traits. The current study explores this possibility in a longitudinal sample of British males by comparing resting heart rate at age 18 to psychopathy assessed from a Five Factor Model perspective and from the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV) at age 48. Our psychopathic personality scale, created using the Big Five Inventory (BFI), was significantly correlated with the PCL:SV and was most related to the antisocial factor. In correlation analyses, resting heart rate at age 18 was not significantly related to BFI psychopathy, but was positively related to BFI Openness and Conscientiousness, and these associations held up after controlling for childhood SES, BMI at 18, and whether the participant smoked during the age 18 assessment. Additional analyses controlling for smoking status were conducted to address the biasing effect of smoking on heart rate during the age 18 assessment and a significant, albeit weak, negative association between resting heart rate and BFI psychopathy emerged. Future research should replicate these results using other normative personality approaches to assess psychopathic traits.

Using Reentry Simulations to Promote Changes in Attitude toward Offenders: Experiential Learning to Promote Successful Reentry

This research examines the viability of using reentry simulations as a tool for influencing changes in participants’ perspectives about the realities of coming back in the community after a period of incarceration. Using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, we investigated changes in attitudes toward offenders after participants completed a reentry simulation designed to replicate the experience of the first four weeks in the life of a person attempting to reenter society after incarceration. Participants were 27 students enrolled in a community corrections course that was cross listed and co-taught between criminal justice and social work. Participants completed a quantitative pre- and post-test that assessed attitudes toward prisoners as well as a reflection assignment about the simulation experience. Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test was used to analyze scores from pre- and post-tests. Qualitative analysis of the reflection papers identified and analyzed themes. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis indicate that simulations humanize perspectives toward former offenders and develop a better understanding of their situation. This understanding creates empathetic feelings that can reduce discrimination and stigma, thereby creating an environment more conducive to successful reintegration. Based on the results of this study, use of simulation-based training is recommended with audiences including criminal justice personnel, service providers, court practitioners, judges, and legislators as a way to more clearly articulate the realities faced by this vulnerable population.

Racial Differences in Conceptualizing Legitimacy and Trust in Police

Scholarly debate on how best to conceptualize legitimacy and trust in police has generally assumed these conceptualizations are stable across demographics. Recent evidence, however, suggests that this may not be the case. We examine how the public conceptualizes legitimacy and trust in police, how public conceptualizations relate to academic debate on these terms, and how public views differ between and within racial groups. This work is exploratory, though it is rooted in differences found in theoretically driven empirical work on the subject. Data are from online, national samples of White (N = 650), Black (N = 624), and Hispanic (N = 626) adults in the United States that are approximately representative of each racial group on key demographics. We asked participants to define legitimacy and trust and to indicate whether or not they view the terms as synonymous. We found numerous between-race and within-race differences in citizen-driven conceptualizations of legitimacy and trust. Results suggest that legitimacy and trust mean different things to different groups of people. Additionally, results show that public definitions of legitimacy and trust align with some academic conceptualizations but not others. We expect this research to inform the academic literature on defining legitimacy and trust.

Heart Rate Fails to Predict White Collar Crime

This paper joins two strands of research: a focus on the influence of heart rate on antisocial behavior and the correlates of white-collar offending. With respect to the former, resting heart rate has been found to be one of the most replicable of all biological correlates of many different types of antisocial behavior and psychopathology. However, researchers studying the correlates of white-collar offending have only just begun to examine individual characteristics – and as of yet, have not examined the extent to which heart rate is a relevant correlate. Using data from a community sample of over a hundred males, this paper examines whether heart rate is associated with white-collar offending. Unlike other forms of antisocial behavior, the findings do not reveal a relationship between two different heart rate measures and white-collar offending. Directions for future research are noted.

Drug Court Participation and Time to Failure: an Examination of Recidivism Across Program Outcome

Drug courts were developed to offer substance abuse treatment along with intensive supervision in an effort to better attend to the needs of these offenders, lessen commitments to prison, and reduce costs to the criminal justice system. Despite the reported success of drug courts, reductions in recidivism appear to be reserved for those who complete the program. Those who fail the program are remanded back to the court for traditional sentencing that may negate any participation benefit. Scholars have long considered the role the criminal justice system has played in the desistance of criminal activity. Much of the research has focused on the outcomes of postconviction sanctioning, finding little support for incarceration has as a deterrent agent. Moreover, the stigma of a criminal conviction, alone, has been shown to exacerbate criminal offending. We used a sample of 733 drug court participants to compare reoffending patterns between sentencing outcomes (dismissal, failed-probation, failed incarcerated). We used survival analysis to compare criminal abstinence in drug court participants across three potential program outcomes – case dismissal, probation, and imprisonment. The current findings demonstrate differences in recidivism between convicted and non-convicted past participants, but see mostly null effects when isolating the analysis between custodial and non-custodial sentences.

Assessing the Impact of Knowledge and Location on College Students’ Perceptions of Gun Control and Campus Carry Policies: a Multisite Comparison

Recent incidents of mass shootings in schools have raised questions about the availability of “military-style” firearms and need for campus carry policies. Previous research that has measured students’ attitudes toward gun control has neglected the Northeastern Region of the United States and failed to include measures of students’ knowledge of current firearm legislation in prediction models. Using a sample of 1,518 students enrolled in 3 universities across two regions of the United States (e.g., Northeast and Midwest), the present study expands on prior literature by comparing regional variants in student gun owners, and perceptions of gun legislation. Results indicate that, with the exception of “military-style” rifles, students in the Northeast are more likely to have access to every other type of firearm assessed (e.g., rifle, shotgun, handgun), but significantly less likely to have completed a formal gun safety course. Knowledge of current gun legislation is a direct negative predictor of support for general gun control, and a direct positive predictor of support for faculty campus carry, however, race moderates the relationship between knowledge and support for gun control. These findings indicate that there may be a need for formal general gun safety education courses in the Northeast Region of the United States. Previous models that failed to control for knowledge of current gun legislation may have been misspecified.

An Examination of the Effects of Personal and Workplace Variables on Correctional Staff Perceptions of Safety

Research on victimization has progressed dramatically over the last four decades. This research has identified important individual and contextual predictors of both fear and perceived risk. Nevertheless, few studies have examined perceptions of safety among corrections employees. The current study used data from 322 correctional staff working at a large Southern prison to explore personal and workplace predictors of perceived safety. Specifically, it examined the effects of personal and workplace variables on three measures of perceived safety: perceived dangerousness of the job, concerns about inmate-on-staff physical assault, and concerns about inmates verbally assaulting staff. Across all three measures of perceived safety, workplace characteristics mattered more than personal characteristics. The personal and workplace variables were grouped into fear facilitators (i.e., variables that increase perceptions of one’s safety being at risk) and fear inhibitors (i.e., variables that decrease perceptions of one’s safety being at risk). Gender, age, and organizational climate (i.e., disobedient inmates, unethical staff behaviors, role ambiguity, and overload) represented fear facilitators and social support (i.e., support from coworkers, supervisors, and home), quality training, and input into decision-making represented fear inhibitors. In the current study both fear facilitators and fear inhibitors were important, but the nature of their effects differed depending on the employee’s position and the type of perceived safety under consideration.

Assessing the Impact of Restrictive Housing on Inmate Post-Release Criminal Behavior

The placement of inmates in restrictive housing (RH) units has become a staple of corrections policy in recent years. Despite its increased use, research on its continued effects is relatively rare when compared to the breadth of general correctional research. This study contributes to the literature by examining the effect placement in restrictive housing has on offender recidivism post prison release. Subjects include approximately 4000 inmates matched through Propensity Score Matching (PSM) techniques and followed 36 months post-release. The findings reveal that inmates placed in restrictive housing had elevated levels of recidivism and proportionally more new commitments for all crime types than those not placed in restrictive housing. Restrictive housing subjects also displayed shorter time to rearrest than non-RH individuals. The theoretical and policy implications of these findings are discussed.

Popular Culture and Social Control: The Moral Panic on Music Labeling

Informed by a moral panic perspective, I analyze the music labeling debate in the United States from the mid 1980s until the early 1990s. Instigated by the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), a voluntary group set up in 1985 by several politically well-connected women, this peculiar chapter in the control of music led to a hearing in the U.S. Senate and produced an intense debate, involving members of the community and musicians, litigation in the courts and legal discussions, police actions, as well as research by academic experts. The moral panic faded rather quickly after a warning label for music recordings was adopted, which remains in place today. This paper presents an effort in cultural criminology to make sense of this episode in the social control of music and argues that a historical approach to moral panics, conceived as cultural struggles, has important analytical advantages because of its relative detachment from the immediacy of an intensely debated social concern.

Children with Incarcerated Parents and Developmental Trajectories of Internalizing Problems across Adolescence

Research over the past several decades has documented the effect of parental incarceration on child development. While many findings point to a negative impact of parental incarceration on children, increasingly research demonstrates the heterogeneity of children’s experiences, behavior, and eventual outcomes. Examining this heterogeneity is key to developing effective interventions that enhance protective factors while addressing especially harmful risk factors. In the current study, we used growth mixture modeling to identify distinct trajectories of internalizing problems for youth (N = 655) from 10 to 16 years of age. We then examined the relations of the identified trajectories with parental incarceration, parent-child relationships, stressful life events, and parenting as well as future substance use, criminality, and suicidality (ideation and attempt). Four trajectory classes were identified: Low-Stable, Pre-Adolescent Limited, Moderate-Increasing, and High-Decreasing. Over half of the children who had experienced parental incarceration were best represented by the low risk trajectory. However, children with incarcerated parents were underrepresented in this trajectory and overrepresented in two of the three problematic trajectories. The trajectory classes differed significantly on many of the pre-adolescent measures as well as on adolescent delinquency, substance use, suicide ideation and suicide attempt. The Pre-Adolescent Limited, Moderate-Increasing, and High-Decreasing showed significantly higher levels of early risk factors and problematic outcomes than the Low-Stable trajectory group. Implications are discussed.

Letter From the Editor
Residential Stability and Trust in the Police: an Understudied Area of Police Attitudinal Research

Residential in/stability has been observed to influence several behavioral outcomes such as mental health, child abuse, adolescent substance uses and crime/delinquency. Despite its record of predicting behavior, residential stability has barely been explored to explain citizens’ behavior and attitudes toward their local police departments. This lack deeply affects the extent to which we can formulate policies to strengthen police and community relationship. The purpose of the present study was to explore the predictive effects of three dimensions of residential stability on residents’ perception of police trustworthiness after accounting for the effects of individual, attitudinal, and contact variables. Using community survey data collected from several areas of Northwestern states, results from the analysis found statistically significant effects for years in the community, residence, level of education, political ideology, quality and frequency of contact on residents’ assessments of police trustworthy. The implications of these results are discussed.

Unraveling the Relationships between Low Self-Control, Substance Use, Substance-Using Peers, and Violent Victimization

Low self-control, substance use, and affiliations with delinquent peers have been tied to victimization, but the related relationships between these variables and their effects on violent victimization have rarely been studied. The current study considers whether low self-control, substance use, and affiliations with substance-using peers shape violent victimization, and how these variables are related to one another, within an integrated self-control/routine activities theoretical model using path modeling in MPLUS and two waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Results suggest that (1) low self-control increases substance use and affiliations with substance-using peers, (2) substance use and affiliations with substance-using peers reciprocally shape each other, and (3) all three variables directly and indirectly shape violent victimization, providing direction for theoretical and policy development.

The Aftermath of Cyberstalking: School, Work, Social, and Health Costs of Victimization

The harms crime victims experience extend far beyond the initial victimization and can have severe negative impacts on daily life. Using data collected via a self-report survey from 477 cyberstalking victims, the current study explores the consequences associated with being cyberstalked. Specifically, we seek to identify which characteristics of the victimization incident, cyberstalker, and victim impact the likelihood of experiencing four types of consequences – those that are school-, work-, social-, and health-related. Findings revealed that dimensions of the incident, along with offender and victim characteristics, were significantly related to experiencing consequences as a result of being cyberstalked. A discussion of these findings and suggestions for future research are provided.

Correction to: Exploring the Relationship Between Lasting, Quality Social Bonds and Intermittency in Offending
The original version of this article, unfortunately, was missing a decimal point in Table 2. The effect size (b) for Proportion of Time on the Street in Waves 1–6 should be −2.403 instead of −2403.
Self-Reported Male-Female Differences in Criminal Involvement Do Not Account for Criminal Justice Processing Differences

Disparities between males and females in criminal behavior have been widely documented. Despite the extensive amount of research examining sex differences in criminal and analogous behaviors, there is no consensus on whether self-reported misbehavior accounts for the large sex differences found in all phases of the criminal justice system. The current study explores whether, and to what degree, self-reported misconduct accounts for male-female differences. To do so, data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) were analyzed. Consistent with prior research, the results revealed statistically significant and substantively large male-female differences in being arrested, pleading guilty, being sentenced to probation, and being incarcerated. These disparities were unaffected by self-reports of lifetime violent behavior, lifetime non-violent behavior, low self-control, IQ, parental socialization, and social support.

Citizens’ Support for Local Law Enforcement Anti-Counterfeiting Activities

Product counterfeiting is a global crime that can have substantial effects within local communities, particularly with regard to its impact on citizens. Undertaking anti-counterfeiting activities at the local level requires law enforcement agencies to direct resources toward a non-traditional crime problem. Yet, it is unclear whether citizens would be willing to support increasing the financial resources given to local law enforcement to support anti-counterfeiting activities. Our study of Michigan citizens found that most would support such increases, however, support declined when respondents were asked to consider financial and non-financial costs. Our findings suggest that the strongest support for increasing local anti-counterfeiting resources comes from citizens who are willing to support such increases through paying higher taxes, and victims of product counterfeiting. However, policies aimed at increasing resources are not likely to gain wide acceptance unless it can be shown that existing law enforcement missions will be preserved, and resources will not be shifted away from traditional law enforcement functions.

Youth Gangs: Nationwide Impacts of Research on Public Policy

This article examines the public policy benefits of gang research. In particular, the author highlights the benefits of longitudinal research on gang members in several cities and multi-city tracking of gang problems nationwide. Remarkably, the accumulated research led directly to expanded federally sponsored gang research, program development and program evaluations—a clear-cut case in which research influenced public policy.

Reflections on the Impact of Race and Ethnicity on Juvenile Court Outcomes and Efforts to Enact Change

There are persistent racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. The current paper reviews how and whether public and private strategies have effectively reduced such disparities and bias within the juvenile justice system. The review initially provides a description of the overrepresentation and continuous presence of racial and ethnic minority youth in the juvenile justice system. Next, two traditional explanations for these juvenile justice disparities are discussed (i.e., differential offending perspective, selection bias perspective). The current paper then focuses on reviewing three primary initiatives aimed at reducing racial/ethnic disparities in juvenile justice settings, discussing barriers and successes to each practice. These include the Federal Disproportionate Minority Contact mandate of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative model, and the Models for Change initiative. Overall, our review indicated that efforts to reduce racial and ethnic minority youth overrepresentation and selection bias are often ineffective, though some practices do have mixed support. Finally, our review concludes with an integrated discussion of how the politico-legal environment can impact both racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system and the ability to enact change.

Exploring the Relationship Between Lasting, Quality Social Bonds and Intermittency in Offending

The current study expands the existing understanding of intermittency in offending by applying the age-graded theory of informal social control to further conceptualize and theorize intermittency. Using the Pathways to Desistance data, random effects models are used to determine whether within-individual changes and between-individual differences in the duration and quality of school, employment, and marriage/engagement are related to the time between arrests. Bonds of greater duration to school, employment, and marriage are related to longer average gaps between arrests. Transitioning into low wage employment is related to shorter periods of intermittency in the later years. On average, lower quality employment and marriages during this time period are also tied to shorter time between arrests as opposed to high quality employment and marriages.

Making a Difference - or Not: an Evaluation of the Effects of Failing to Evaluate
Regulating Guns among Young Adults

This paper reports the results of two studies of the impact of gun control measures on violent criminal behavior among persons age 18 to 20. The first study assessed the impact of state bans on gun carrying among persons age 18 to 20 on rates of violent crime committed by persons in that age group. The research used a state-level cross-sectional weighted least squares analysis of murder, robbery, and aggravated assault rates in 2000, controlling for possible confounding variables. The results indicate no significant effect of these carry bans on any of the three violent crime rates. The second study was a longitudinal analysis performed to evaluate the impact of a single previously unstudied element of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 – its ban on the purchase of handguns by persons aged 18 to 20. The analysis tested whether the share of arrests for three violent crime types trended downward, or less strongly upward, after the law went into effect, controlling for trends in the share of the population in this age group. Results indicate that there was no impact of this ban on the 18-to-20 year-old share of arrests for homicide, robbery, or aggravated assault.

Environmental Crime and Contemporary Criminology: Making a Difference

The current body of literature on the topic of environmental crime is bigger and better than ever, but the question of whether criminology/criminal justice scholars make a difference in this area is another matter entirely. This paper offers an interpretive view on the strengths and shortcomings in the sub-field of environmental crime, including discussion of the green criminology movement as well as various studies addressing criminal justice system responses to this complex phenomenon. Although this domain has grown steadily since the 1990s, our discipline must change its approach fundamentally in order to maximize the potential for impact. To this end, four major recommendations are directed to the field, along with two overarching messages: (a) environmental crime must move away from the fringes into the criminological mainstream, and (b) participation in this process is open to all motivated criminologists.

Shoot first and ask questions later: the interplay of social science research and firearms policy and use

This paper examines the context within which research and policy have developed by tracing the historical development of gun research across decades and topics. While the journey is not necessarily linear, nor is it always clear, the work done by researchers on gun issues offers some hope for improving both the debate and outcomes associated with this area. Identifying seminal moments in gun research and policy history aid in the exploration of this issue and offer directions for the future. Research has addressed many of the challenges of firearms in society. The purpose of this paper is to note the failure of the research to recognize the role of guns in America even as it attempts to bring change within the volatile arena of guns in America. This disconnect between the research and the social problems and harm associated with guns is clear in the literature and the policy that attempts to respond.

Criminological Research and the Death Penalty: Has Research by Criminologists Impacted Capital Punishment Practices?

At the request of the SCJA president this paper addresses five questions. Does criminological research make a difference relative to the death penalty? - If criminological research does make a difference, what is the nature of that difference? - What specific instances can one cite of research findings influencing death penalty policy decisions? Why hasn’t our research made more of a difference? What can we do, either in terms of directing our research or in terms of disseminating it, to facilitate it making a difference? Specific examples of research directly impacting policy are examined. The evidence presented suggests that research on capital punishment has had some impact on policy, but not nearly enough. There is still a high level of ignorance that has limited the impact of criminological research on death penalty policy. The proposed solution is to improve the education of the general public and decision makers in order to increase the impact of criminological research on capital punishment policy.

Making a Difference in Criminology: Past, Present, and Future

Over the past century, criminology has evolved as both an applied and increasingly recognized scientific discipline. Although criminology has experienced a number of ideological shifts in focus, the discipline is now poised to effectively combine both of its purposes, namely the ongoing search for the causes of crime and advancing the use of empirical research in policy and practice decisions. One of the most promising best practices in this simultaneous pursuit is researcher and policymaker/practitioner partnerships. This paper traces the “making a difference” movement in criminology since 2000. It begins with an assessment of the rise of and resistance to the making a difference movement, followed by a discussion of some of the challenges and prospects for criminologists in their efforts to apply research to policy and practice through researcher and policymaker/practitioner partnerships. The paper concludes with discussion of the future potential of researcher and policymaker/practitioner partnerships in successfully confronting our major crime and criminal justice system challenges.

Examining the Effectiveness of Academic Scholarship on the Fight Against Cyberbullying and Cyberstalking

Online victimization via cyberbullying and cyberstalking are plaguing our young online users. These tormenting and intrusive behaviors have infiltrated relationship formation, online communication and social identity. Friends and romantic partners have become increasingly dependent on the use of technology to initiate relationships. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the current state of these online crimes and the involvement of youth and young adults. We will consider current responses by our criminal justice system, as well as our educational and community groups. Based on what is currently implemented and its success factor, we will make our assertions about the effectiveness of scholastic work and its influence on what we are doing to combat these forms of cybervictimization.

Changes in Arrest Patterns of Buyers and Sellers of Commercial Sex: An Interrupted Time-Series Analysis

Although the commercial sex trade consists of three distinct parties—buyers, sellers, and facilitators—sellers are the most likely to be criminalized for their role in prostitution. In 2015, the Texas state legislature passed Senate Bill (S.B.) 825. This bill created separate offense codes for buyers and sellers of commercial sex. Prior to this, buyers and sellers were legally indistinguishable from each other under Texas law. Legally distinguishing buyers from sellers recognizes that different roles exist within the commercial sex trade, and serves as a necessary prerequisite for creating divergent pathways for individuals in these roles (e.g., targeting buyers with criminal sanctions, but providing sellers with access to victim services and diversion programs). This study examined whether S.B. 825 was associated with a shift in the number of buyers and sellers arrested for prostitution in Harris County, Texas. Findings revealed that the enactment of S.B. 825 corresponded with an increase in the number of prostitution arrests buyers accounted for, and an observable decrease in the number of prostitution arrests sellers accounted for. These changes remained relatively stable over a one-year period after the bill took effect.

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