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
Know someone who might like to hear about one of these tips?
Forward the entire email to them, noting which one made you think of them. I won't mind at all.