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
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.

Understanding Workplace Stress Among Federal Law Enforcement Officers

Research dating back to the 1940s has examined how police work may offer unique and high-volume stressors. While much has been learned from those studies about the sources and consequences of police stress, scholars have typically examined those issues from the perspective of local and state officers. That being the case, much less is known about the sources and consequences of workplace stress among those working at the federal level of law enforcement. To add to this limited knowledge base, here we present findings from 20 in-depth interviews conducted with current federal law enforcement officers in the Southern United States. We provide extensive analysis and description of four key stressors that emerged from the lived experiences of interviewees. This is followed by a discussion of the consequences of these stressors, as well as relevant policy implications.

Mental Health & Trauma among Incarcerated Persons: Development of a Training Curriculum for Correctional Officers

Serious mental illness and trauma among persons incarcerated in prisons and jails are issues of growing concern across the nation. This study describes a three-phase process of needs assessment, media development, and pilot testing for a comprehensive curriculum for training correctional officers on the mental health needs of persons who are incarcerated. Following the pilot training, there was a significant increase in correctional officers’ knowledge from pretest to posttest, and their ratings of course content and delivery methods were positive. The open-access, downloadable curriculum includes a PDF facilitator’s manual, participant handouts and activity cards, PowerPoint presentation slides, and brief videos or animations. The curriculum is ideally suited for delivery to correctional officers working at state and federal prisons, and may also be useful for training officers working in jails, community corrections, or other criminal justice roles.

An Outcome Evaluation of a Substance Abuse Program for Probationers: Findings from a Quasi-Experimental Design

The current study provides an evaluation of a substance abuse treatment program for probationers in a county in the state of Texas. Relying on a quasi-experimental design with a propensity score matched sample of 69 treatment group subjects and 69 control group subjects, the results revealed that while a significant treatment effect was observed for program participants in terms of a reduction in recidivism, a significant treatment effect on the percentage of people failing drug tests or the rate of failed drug tests was not detected. Study limitations and implications are also discussed.

Police Strain, Negative Emotions, Criminal Propensity, and Criminal Coping

Utilizing a sample of homeless street youths, the paper draws on general strain theory to understand how police contact and perceived police injustice are related to two forms of criminal coping. It also examines if the relationship between the two police strain measures and criminal coping is mediated by anger and depression. Further, it explores if a composite criminal propensity moderator recently theorized in GST influences the relationships between police strains and coping. Findings show both forms of police strain have direct relationships with property crime, while only police contact has a direct relationship with violence. Further, both forms of police strain have an indirect relationship with violence through anger. Finally, criminal propensity moderates the relationship between both forms of police strain and violent offending but not property offending. Suggestions for further research are offered.

The Brain of Dexter Morgan: the Science of Psychopathy in Showtime’s Season 8 of Dexter

This article identifies and discusses on the ways in which biological influences to psychopathy are thematically portrayed in the eighth season of Dexter to describe Dexter’s psychopathy, particularly focusing on fatalism and the inevitability of succumbing to one’s “biological self.” This paper, utilizing traditional content analysis, focuses on seven qualitative themes surrounding “biological fatalism” and psychopathy in this final season of Dexter. As lay theories of psychopathy are thought to originate from the media’s conceptualization of the disorder, such thematic portrayals serve to potential affect lay understandings of psychopathy and correspondingly, how the disorder is treated and perceived in the criminal justice process as a modern psychopathy-related “CSI Effect.” The conclusion focuses on the messages that this final season of Dexter sends to the lay public about the biological influences to psychopathy and how this may create implications for the criminal justice system.

Empty Homes and Acquisitive Crime: Does Vacancy Type Matter?

Research suggests that vacant homes are associated with a variety of negative outcomes for communities, including higher rates of some crimes. A few studies in this vein have examined the effects of particular types of vacancy, such as abandoned homes, empty occupiable residences, seasonal housing, and undeveloped lots. However, these works have focused on a single state or urban area. The present study sought to advance the understanding of vacancy’s relationship to acquisitive crime (burglary, robbery, and larceny) by including several vacancy rates (homeowner, rental, seasonal, and overall) as distinct predictors and by using a sample of large cities from across the United States. The analysis also controlled for social, demographic, and economic factors relevant to crime and vacancy. Results from negative binomial regression models indicated that the relationship between empty residences and crime varied depending upon the particular form of vacancy and upon the type of criminal offense.

Letter from the Editor
Calibrating Student Perceptions of Punishment: a Specific Test of General Deterrence

General deterrence theory assumes objective risks of punishment and citizens’ perceptions of punishment risks are closely calibrated. Yet little empirical attention has been devoted to testing this assumption. Of the few studies that exist, most have tested the calibration with county-level indicators of objective punishment risk. This strategy has been criticized for being too far removed from the individual citizen: why should we expect citizens to know the punishment risks in such a large geographic unit? We estimated the calibration between objective punishment levels and individuals’ perceptions of those punishment levels by analyzing data drawn from a large sample of students (n = 11,085) from 44 schools in Ohio. Multi-level models found the calibration between objective punishment and students’ perceptions is weak and not statistically significant. More than half of our calibration estimates were in the wrong direction (i.e., they were negative) and results from interaction tests did not indicate that the calibration is any stronger among those with the highest levels of self-reported offending. We discuss the implications of these findings for policies rooted in general deterrence theory.

Translational Criminology: Toward Best Practice

Over the past two decades, criminologists have attempted to better understand the process through which research is used by practitioners and policymakers to identify the conditions that facilitate its policy and practice use. As part of this effort, the current study examines the translational research process and the use of researcher-practitioner partnerships (RPPs) in two state correctional agencies. The methods include interviews with leading national researchers, Florida legislative personnel, and state-level decision makers in adult and juvenile corrections. The findings document barriers, facilitators, and mechanisms involved in the translation process and reveal the effectiveness of RPPs to translate research into policy and practice.

The Relative Influence of Legal Pressure on Outcomes in a Rehabilitation Aftercare Drug Court

The concept of legal pressure has been used in research to study the effect threats of increased punishment have on the rehabilitation trajectory of individuals with substance use disorders under community supervision. This study investigates how unequal legal pressures affect the chances of success for participants in a drug court-supervised rehabilitation aftercare program. Using bivariate and logistic regression analyses, we compare the successful program completion rates of individuals charged with felony- and misdemeanor-level offenses. Consistent with the legal pressure thesis, we find that clients under misdemeanor-level charges become more likely to fail probation than those under the threat of felony-level punishment upon transition to community aftercare. Moreover, the higher rate of failure in the lower legal pressure group is strongly associated with their failure to abstain from drug use during the outpatient phase of community supervision. A shift in legal pressure is thus identified as a potential dynamic risk factor in substance abuse aftercare. The implications for community supervision of offenders recovering from addictions are discussed.

Policing The Drunk Driving Problem: A Longitudinal Examination of DUI Enforcement and Alcohol Related Crashes in the U.S. (1985–2015)

This project examines the relationship between police enforcement of driving under the influence (DUI) and fatal alcohol related crashes. This article merged data from several sources to fit several 3-level growth curve models that assess the relationship between DUI arrests and fatal alcohol related crashes in U.S. counties from 1985 to 2015. The findings indicate that increases in DUI arrests are related to decreased fatal alcohol related crashes during the period. However, the two are not linearly related and the relationship varies across states. The non-linearity indicates there is a point of diminished returns where increased arrests are no longer related to reductions in fatalities. These findings suggest that policy makers should explore alternative methods of reducing crashes to supplement enforcement efforts such as addressing problems of alcoholism and traffic safety.

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    Bei Fragen wenden Sie sich bitte jederzeit an unseren vub-Kundenservice und Ihre bekannten Ansprechpartner unter