[Weekly Tip Sheet] Nonlethal police weapons, drug consumption rooms, mandatory minimums, and more

Note: Originally sent to the Understanding Crime mailing list on March 30.

The Weekly Tip Sheet is a series of story tips for journalists, bloggers, and academics interested in the newest published research related to crime and justice. Everyone with an interest in these topics is welcome too.

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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

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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[Weekly Tip Sheet] MilDVE, mass murder, unacknowledged rape, and Chinese immigrant views of police

Note: Originally sent to the Understanding Crime mailing list on March 23.

The Weekly Tip Sheet is a series of tips for journalists, bloggers, and academics interested in the newest published research related to crime and justice. Everyone with an interest in these topics is welcome too.

Not subscribed yet? Sign up.

When domestic violence abusers were arrested, their victims were more likely to have died 23 years later than victims whose abusers were only warned

The Milwaukee Domestic Violence Experiment, conducted during the late 1980s, randomly assigned abusers to arrest or warn groups. The current study, published this month but available for nearly a year, followed up on the original experiment and found that victims whose abusers were in the arrest group were 64% more likely to have died from all causes.
'Increased death rates of domestic violence victims from arresting vs. warning suspects in the Milwaukee Domestic Violence Experiment (MilDVE)', Journal of Experimental Criminology, March 2015

Researchers examine '282 identified cases of mass murder incidents in schools across 38 nations'

The research, published this month, compares incidents (both completed and attempted) on factors including "incidents' date and location, the demographic characteristics of perpetrators, weapons used, number of victims, and school contexts." The results aren't readily apparent from the abstract, but might be worth digging for.
'A Comparative Analysis of Attempted and Completed School-Based Mass Murder Attacks', American Journal of Criminal Justice, March 2015

Study: 'The findings supported that over half of all female rape survivors do not acknowledge that they have been raped'

Those who don't consider themselves to have been raped "instead use more benign labels, such as 'bad sex' or 'miscommunication.'" The study, published this month, examined the results of 28 studies that included 5,917 female rape survivors.
'Meta-Analysis of the Prevalence of Unacknowledged Rape', Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, March 2015

Chinese immigrants in Toronto see the police differently than Chinese immigrants in New York City

Research to be published in April shows that Chinese immigrants in Toronto have a higher overall opinion of their police than Chinese immigrants in NYC. However, there was no statistically significant difference in how the two groups of immigrants saw their local police when it came to "efficacy in dealing with crime."
'A Comparison of Chinese Immigrants' Perceptions of the Police in New York City and Toronto', Crime & Delinquency, April 2015

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The Weekly Tip Sheet

Note: Originally sent to the Understanding Crime mailing list. I have edited this version slightly to make it more appropriate for anyone reading it on the website.

After a three-week experiment in sending out curated collections of links to news and research related to crime and justice, I've decided to make the following changes to this weekly newsletter:

  • Put the newsletter together by hand rather than using the service I had been, which didn’t seem to have many formatting choices.
  • Focus on peer-reviewed research instead of trying to point the way to every quality thing in news, research, blogs, and so on.
  • Use plain language to describe the findings mentioned in the abstracts of newsworthy research articles from the past week.
  • Use bold text to highlight news value indicators to help journalists who may be scanning for something relevant to their audience.

I think these changes will make this newsletter more useful to you.

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Did sex offender registration in Florida cause declines in sex offender recidivism?

When researchers compared sex crime repeat arrest rates from 1990 to 2010, they actually found a statistically significant increase in the years after sex offender registration was introduced in 1997. Repeat arrest rates also rose for "non-sex assaults, robberies, drug crimes, and DUIs."
'Community Protection Policies and Repeat Sexual Offenses in Florida', International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Do genetics play a role in whether delinquent peers influence offending?

Researchers found that having a specific variant (the 10R allele) of the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1) and associating with delinquent peers interacted "to influence offending, net of control variables for self-control, and respondent's substance use" (bolding mine) in a sample of adolescent males from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health. The effect was only statistically significant for the boys who had two of the alleles. The researchers are from the universities of Wisconsin and Georgia.
'Delinquent Peers and Offending', Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

Are students more likely to bring a weapon to school if they think their teachers aren't fair?

Yes, apparently. Researchers from the universities of Georgia and Montana found that students who think teachers are unfair are "more likely to bring a weapon to school and fight at school than are students who believe that their teachers are fair." Support from adults at school, or the perception of support, seems to mitigate the effect.
'Perceived Injustice and School Violence', Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

How well does the WISE arrest diversion program narrow the 'school-to-prison pipeline' in NY?

Researchers from two New York state universities and a county police department found that the program was better at diverting young people from arrest than improving conduct. Nonetheless, they describe the program as promising.
'A Promising Approach to Narrowing the School-to-Prison Pipeline', Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

How do legally irrelevant factors, such as race, influence sentencing decisions in the U.S.?

Researchers from North Carolina and Florida found that the effects vary, but that one of them is that the chances of death sentences rise in severe cases if the defendant is Black and the victim is White. If this sounds familiar, it could be because I shared a link to a Vox story in a newsletter a few weeks back about a study with similar findings.
'A Further Examination of the Liberation Hypothesis in Capital Murder Trials', Crime & Delinquency

Does traditional femininity tend to go hand in hand with higher sexual assault risk in college women?

Researchers from the University of Miami and the State University of New York found that while "traditional" feminine beliefs were not directly associated with having been sexually assaulted, these beliefs were associated with behaviours that were associated with a lower risk of being assaulted.
'Feminine Ideology and Sexual Assault,' Violence Against Women

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March 9 Newsletter

Note: Originally sent to the Understanding Crime mailing list. I have edited this version slightly to make it more appropriate for anyone reading it in a browser.

This is my weekly collection of links related to crime, justice, etc. If you know someone who might be interested, please forward this email to them. If someone forwarded this to you and you want to sign up to get the newsletter directly, click here to visit the blog and subscribe. – Aaron Jacklin

The Press

A New Estimate Of Killings By Police Is Way Higher — And Still Too Low

“We still don’t know how many people the police kill in the U.S. annually. But we’re getting closer.”

The State of Marijuana

“A conversation with a prominent thinker on the evolving law — and business — of pot.”
The Marshall Project

The murder of Ahmed Al-Jumaili in Texas should be a front-page story

“In the quiet moments before Ahmed Al-Jumaili died, he and his wife stepped out of her family’s apartment, in a small complex in a suburb of Dallas, to photograph the first snowfall he’d ever seen.”

The Academy

Space–Time Clustering of Crime Events and Neighborhood Characteristics in Houston

This study looked for patterns in time and space for residential burglary, street robbery, and aggravated assault. From the abstract: “The findings suggest that each type of crime event has a unique clustering signature. Residential burglaries show significant space–time clustering in a relatively longer time range (up to 90 days) and distance interval (up to 1.55 miles). In contrast, street robberies present significant clustering only up to 6 days and a quarter of a mile. For aggravated assault, the clusters of pairs occur within the interval of 7 days and within a little more than 1 mile of an initial assault.”
Criminal Justice Review

Media, Gender, and Fear of Crim

From the abstract: “Only slight differences between men and women were found and differences across race/ethnicity within gender groups were minor. Therefore, despite the prevalence of White female victims in crime-related media, media messages of risk, and fear seem to influence viewers similarly regardless of gender or race..”
Criminal Justice Review

Rethinking women’s post-release reintegration and ‘success’

Researchers interviewed women and support workers in Victoria, Australia. From the abstract: “Ultimately, we contend that the introduction of women-specific policies and support programs in Victoria has had limited impact because they are at core premised upon the same problematic success-related assumptions that have failed to adequately serve mainstream prisoner populations, i.e. men.”
Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology

Unemployment, business cycles, and crime specialization: Canadian provinces, 1981–2009

Researchers analyzed the effect of unemployment on crime specialization. From the abstract: “Using panel data and a hybrid modeling technique we find that unemployment impacts crime specialization, but this impact varies in magnitude and by crime type.”
Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology

Cognitive and Aggressive Reactions of Male Dating Violence Perpetrators to Anger Arousal

From the abstract: ‘Results suggest that assessing cognitive and affective content “in the heat of the moment” may be a more sensitive indicator of dating violence than retrospective self-reports.’
Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Individual Community-Based Treatment of Offenders With Mental Illness

Relationship to Recidivism
This study looked at data for offenders housed in a Correctional Service of Canada facility. From the abstract: “Data on the number of individual counseling sessions received and progress in treatment were collected from official file information for the purpose of the present investigation. After accounting for actuarially assessed risk, moderate doses of treatment were found to be associated with 7.7 times less likelihood of recidivism, and high doses of treatment were found to be associated with 11.6 times less likelihood of recidivism, when compared with offenders who received no treatment or were only assessed for treatment.”
Journal of Interpersonal Violence

The Association Between Psychopathic Personality Traits and Criminal Justice Outcomes

Results From a Nationally Representative Sample of Males and Females
This study looked at data from a long-term study of the same group of students who were in grades 7 through 12 in the United States during the 1994-95 school year. From the abstract: “Analysis of data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) revealed that psychopathic personality traits predicted the probability of being arrested, of being incarcerated, and of being sentenced to probation for both males and females. Additional analyses revealed that the psychopathic personality traits scale was also associated with a self-reported delinquency scale.”
Crime & Delinquency

Complaints of rape and the criminal justice system: Fresh evidence on the attrition problem in England and Wales

Abstract: “The UK has one of the lowest conviction rates for rape in Europe. This article presents unique evidence on the factors that influence the attrition of rape allegations in the English criminal justice system. The study is based on a large, representative sample of rape allegations reported to the London Metropolitan Police, the UK’s biggest police force. The dataset contains unprecedented detail on the incident, the victim, the suspect and the police investigation. The results lend support to the influence of some rape myths and stereotypes on attrition. These findings suggest that further central factors include the ethnicity of the suspect as well as what police officers and prosecutors perceive as evidence against the truthfulness of the allegation: police records noting a previous false allegation by the victim, inconsistencies in the victim’s account of the alleged rape, and evidence or police opinion casting doubt on the allegation.”

The Thief With a Thousand Faces and the Victim With None

Identifying Determinants for Online Identity Theft Victimization With Routine Activity Theory
This study looked at data from the Canadian General Social Survey. From the abstract: “It was found that certain routine activities directly influence the likelihood of experiencing identity theft. Potential research and policy implications also are discussed.”
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

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March 2 Newsletter

Note: Originally sent to the Understanding Crime mailing list. I have edited this version slightly to make it more appropriate for anyone reading it in a browser.

This is the second of a three-issue experiment in curating a collection of links to high-quality articles about crime, justice, and the like. While the initial experiment will only last for three weeks, I will continue sharing a weekly digest after the end of those three weeks. You can unsubscribe at any time.
I welcome feedback, which I’ll use to inform future issues and the next iteration/experiment.
I hope you find something to read. If you know someone who might be interested, please forward this email to them. If someone forwarded this to you and you want to sign up to get the newsletter directly, click here to visit the blog and subscribe.

The Press

Police shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Washington state could be the next Ferguson – Vox

“Among the similarities between Ferguson, Missouri, and Pasco are racial disparities between the city’s residents and local government. Pasco is nearly 56 percent Hispanic, but its local government isn’t representative of the city’s racial makeup…” Vox

Bill’s terrorist propaganda provisions overly broad: law professors

“A federal proposal to scrub terrorist propaganda from the Internet risks sweeping in too much speech that has no ties to violent threats, says a new analysis.” Yahoo News Canada

Study: Killers are less likely to be executed if their victims are black

“The researchers found that it was exceptionally hard to find examples of killers of black male victims who were executed.” Vox

Behind ‘the Disappeared’ of Chicago’s Homan Square – Atlantic Mobile

“Basu [of The Atlantic]: Why wasn’t the press covering it?
“Siska [a criminologist]: I think that many crime reporters in Chicago have political views that are right in line with the police. They tend to agree about the tactics needed by the police. They tend to have by one extent or the other the same racist views of the police—a lot of urban police (not all of them by any stretch, but a lot of them) embody racism.” The Atlantic

Building a Face, and a Case, on DNA

“Rather than an artist’s rendering based on witness descriptions, the face was generated by a computer relying solely on DNA found at the scene of the crime.” The New York Times

Planned Canadian DNA data bank will fall short of gold standard as tool in search for missing indigenous women

“But a Globe and Mail investigation has found that plans for the data bank fall far short of the system in the United States, which American and Canadian experts deem a gold standard. This means fewer cold cases could be solved, fewer people could be identified and fewer criminals could be brought to justice.” The Globe and Mail

The Academy

Crime Narratives, Dramatizations, and the Legacy of the Kitty Genovese Murder

“The essay also explores the emerging revisionist perspective on the Genovese incident, which illustrates how the dramatized reportage of the case iconized Kitty and reserved a permanent place for her in crime victim narratives and psychology textbooks.” Criminal Justice and Behavior (OnlineFirst)

Re-imagining Justice for Girls: A New Agenda for Research

From the abstract: “I contend that the translation of feminist pathways research into gender-specific programming (GSP) has inherent logic flaws and that GSP makes unwarranted assumptions about girls’ routes into and out of offending. In addition, by translating girls’ victimisation histories into individualised intervenable risks/needs, state welfare (non-)responses to them are ignored.” Youth Justice (OnlineFirst)

Violent Victimization in the Prison Context

From the abstract: “Inmates who were charged with a violent offense, were previously victimized, were smaller in size, were not married, were without a work assignment, misbehaved, did not participate in programs, used alcohol or drugs, and those who had a depression or personality disorder were more likely to be victimized. In addition, the data suggest that 8% of the variance in victimization is due to the prison context. Prisons with high proportions of violent offenders, males, inmates from multiracial backgrounds, and inmates with major infractions had increased odds of victimization. Moreover, the sex-composition of the prison has significant main and interactive effects predicting victimization. Specifically, we find that the effects of being convicted of a drug crime, drug use, military service, major infractions, and diagnosed personality disorders are all gendered in their impacts on victimization.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (OnlineFirst) N.B. This study looked at U.S. correctional facilities.

Violence and Vulnerability of Female Migrants in Drop Houses in Arizona

From the abstract: “We argue that the drop houses must be seen as a consequence of a ‘state of emergency’ declared by policy makers that led to changes in U.S. national and local immigration policies that fueled what we call a ‘chain reaction of violence.'” Violence Against Women

Attrition and Rape Case Characteristics: A Profile and Comparison of Female Sex Workers and Non-Sex Workers

From the abstract: “Although no significant difference was found in terms of attrition from the CJS, SW [sex worker] cases were observed to secure more convictions for rape than NSW [non-sex-worker] cases.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Low Self-Control and the Victim–Offender Overlap

From the abstract: “Results … indicate that low self-control is positively related to both victimization and offending. However, only among males does low self-control account for a substantive portion of the victim–offender overlap. Limitations of the study and implications and directions for future research are discussed.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence (OnlineFirst)

Harsh Parenting As a Potential Mediator of the Association Between Intimate Partner Violence and Child Disruptive Behavior in Families With Young Children

From the abstract: “Results suggest that mothers reporting a greater occurrence of psychologically aggressive IPV intimate partner violence more often engage in psychological and physical aggression toward their children (odds ratios [ORs] = 4.6-9.9). Mothers reporting a greater occurrence of IPV in the form of physical assault more often engage in mild to more severe forms of physical punishment with potential harm to the child (ORs = 3.8-5.0). Psychological and physical forms of IPV and harsh parenting all significantly correlated with maternal reports of child disruptive behavior (r = .29-.40). Psychological harsh parenting partially mediated the association between psychological IPV and child disruptive behavior. However, a significant direct effect of psychological IPV on preschool children’s disruptive behavior remained.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence

The Role of Parent Communication and Connectedness in Dating Violence Victimization among Latino Adolescents

According to the abstract, “Latino youth are at increased risk of dating violence victimization.” The researchers found that, “perceived parent caring was the most important protective factor against physical and sexual dating violence among males and females. High levels of mother and father communication were associated with less physical violence victimization among males and females and with less sexual violence victimization among females.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence (OnlineFirst)

The anatomy of written scam communications: an empirical analysis

From the abstract: “[This research] explores and exposes what elements of the scammers’ communicative efforts are enlisted and directed towards the performance of particular acts such as inferring legitimacy and credibility, and inspiring urgency and secrecy.” Crime Media Culture

Sexual homicide in the USA committed by juveniles and adults, 1976–2007: Age of arrest and incidence trends over 32 years – Myers – 2014 – Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health – Wiley Online Library

“The last decade of the three studied accounted for just one quarter of the homicides as charged in the whole period, but the proportion of sexual homicides specifically fell with each decade…” Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health (Early View)

The ‘emotionalization of the “war on terror”’: Counter-terrorism, fear, risk, insecurity and helplessness

From the abstract: “This article presents the findings from a study investigating the impact of the ‘war on terror’ on British Muslims’ emotions. The study revealed how facets of the ‘war on terror’, including ‘human rights and policing’, ‘What if? and pre-emption’, ‘geopolitics and reflexive fear and risk’ and ‘fear from inside the binary’ impacted participants’ emotions.” Criminology & Criminal Justice

I used Goodbits while building this collection.

Some links from the last week or so: Incarceration, bite marks, police surveillance, and more

Note: Originally sent to the Understanding Crime mailing list. I have edited this version slightly to make it more appropriate for anyone reading it in a browser.

I want journalists and bloggers to have a wealth of quality information and ideas at their fingertips about an often-misunderstood topic. While I’m aiming at them, anyone interested in crime, news, data, science, and the intersection between them should find something of interest in this newsletter.

Whoever you are, I want to figure out how to help you find the most useful content out there about this stuff. This is the first of a three-issue experiment in curating a collection of links to things like that. The next two issues will include more links as I figure out how to be more comprehensive.

Starting next week, a new issue will arrive in your inbox by 9 a.m. on Mondays for the duration of the experiment. Each issue will contain links from the previous seven days. (I’m stretching that a little for this issue because it’s the first one.) You can unsubscribe at any time.

I welcome feedback, which I’ll use to inform future issues and the next iteration/experiment.

I hope you find something to read. If you know someone who might be interested, please send them a link to this issue.

The Press

John Legend is right: more black men are in correctional control now than enslaved in 1850 | Vox

“That doesn’t keep the statistic Legend offered from being true, or alarming. What’s even more alarming is the number of other statistics he could have offered to show the impact that mass incarceration has had on black men over the past few decades.”

The Imprisoner’s Dilemma | FiveThirtyEight

“Pick a stat, any stat. They all tell you the same thing: America is really good at putting people behind bars.”

The path forward on bite mark matching — and the rearview mirror | The Washington Post

“Reform, of course, is a long process, but in the field of bite mark matching — which again was the forensics specialty the NAS report singled out for some of its harshest criticism — the “path forward” looks to be obstructed. That’s probably because with bite mark matching, the debate isn’t just about adopting better standards or practices, but also about whether the field should exist at all.”

The Academy

Drug Market Violence: Virtual Anarchy, Police Pressure, Predation, and Retaliation | Criminal Justice Review

From the abstract: “The unfortunate consequence of this governmental control is that it increases drug market violence. This article examines how drug prohibition and its enforcement affect violence among illicit drug traders.”
Scott Jacques, Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Andrea Allen, Department of Social Sciences, Clayton State University, Morrow, GA

Prevalence and Predictors of Surveillance Cameras in Law Enforcement

Amie M. Schuck, a researcher affiliated with the University of Illinois at Chicago, looked at data from 2,500+ law enforcement agencies to see what factors predicted the use of surveillance cameras.

Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology

The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology released the table of contents for their March issue. The following articles look particularly interesting:

I used Goodbits while building this collection.