Note: Originally sent to the Understanding Crime mailing list on March 30.
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New research compares police use of pepper spray and TASERs
Researchers from two Milwaukee universities have published an analysis of 504 use-of-force incidents that involved the use of TASERs or oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, commonly known as pepper spray. While the results were not included in the journal article abstract, the authors’ aim was to uncover “when these weapons are used and whether they are effective,” something that “we still know relatively little about.”
‘Oleoresin Capsicum Spray and TASERs: A Comparison of Factors Predicting Use and Effectiveness‘, Criminal Justice Policy Review, March 2015
England and Wales lacked the political landscape that led Canada to approve the Vancouver safe injection site
University of Toronto researcher Steven Hayle argues that “an alignment of problems, policy options, and political circumstances” present in Canada and absent in England and Wales is why the Canadian government approved InSite, the drug consumption room in Vancouver, but the British government has not approved any such site.
‘Comparing Drug Policy Windows Internationally: Drug Consumption Room Policy Making in Canada and England and Wales‘, Contemporary Drug Problems, March 2015
Australian study: Longer prison terms do not seem to reduce alcohol-related assault
The New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia proposed mandatory minimum sentences earlier this year to prevent alcohol-fueled violence. Researchers from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research set out to discover if a similar NSW reform had reduced violence. “No evidence is found that the threat of longer prison terms had any effect on the incidence of assault in New South Wales.”
‘Does the threat of longer prison terms reduce the incidence of assault?‘, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, March 2015
Risk factors appear to differ between sexual aggression that involves alcohol and sexual aggression that doesn’t
Data from 638 male college students at a large university in the southeaster USA suggest that binge drinking is a risk factor for sexual aggression involving alcohol while “impulsivity, rape myth attitudes, and hostility toward women” are risk factors for sexual aggression that does not involve alcohol. The men “completed self-report measures of seven risk factors and SA [sexual aggression] perpetration during their first and second years of enrollment.” The researchers, from Clemson University in South Carolina, note that if the study can be replicated, the results have implications for how to prevent the two kinds of sexual aggression.
‘A Comparison of Risk Factors for Alcohol-Involved and Alcohol-Uninvolved Sexual Aggression Perpetration, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, May 2015
Sex offender state residence restrictions did not decrease rates of forcible rape
Using 19 years of state-level data for 49 states and the District of Columbia, University of Massachusetts assistant professor Kelly Socia found that states with residence restrictions had higher forcible rape rates after implementing the policy than before. “This suggests that residence restrictions, at least at the state level, are not useful as an overall crime prevention measure, but may be useful for increasing detection or reporting levels of such crimes.”
‘State Residence Restrictions and Forcible Rape Rates: A Multistate Quasi-Experimental Analysis of UCR Data‘, Sexual Abuse, April 2015
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