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Showing papers in "Criminology and public policy in 2018"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors conducted a meta-analysis of the effects of focused deterrence strategies on crime and found that focused deterrence is associated with an overall statistically significant, moderate crime reduction effect, however, program effect sizes varied by program type and were smaller for evaluations with more rigorous research designs.
Abstract: Research Summary Focused deterrence strategies are increasingly being applied to prevent and control gang and group-involved violence, overt drug markets, and individual repeat offenders. Our updated examination of the effects of focused deterrence strategies on crime followed the systematic review protocols and conventions of the Campbell Collaboration. Twentyfour quasi-experimental evaluations were identified in this systematic review. The results of our meta-analysis demonstrate that focused deterrence strategies are associated with an overall statistically significant, moderate crime reduction effect. Nevertheless, program effect sizes varied by program type and were smaller for evaluations with more rigorous research designs.

150 citations




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Thornberry et al. as discussed by the authors presented a study of the Philadelphia Family Court system with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention during the development phase and from the Smith Richardson Foundation and the National Institute of Justice during the implementation phase.
Abstract: We are grateful for support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention during the development phase and from the Smith Richardson Foundation and the National Institute of Justice during the implementation phase of the study. We wish to thank the Honorable Lori Dumas, Chief Faustino Castro-Jimenez, William Cooney, and many other partners in the Philadelphia Family Court system for their leadership and guidance; Mike Robbins and Helen Midouhas of FFT LLC for their support; Pam Porter of the University of Maryland for input on study design and implementation; and Courtney Harding and Joe Pitts of Temple University for data collection. We also thank Senior Editor Abigail Fagan and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on an earlier draft of this article. Direct correspondence to Terence P. Thornberry, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2220 LeFrak Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (e-mail: thornbet@umd.edu).

40 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Bartos et al. as mentioned in this paper employed a synthetic control group design to approximate California's crime rates had Prop 47 not been enacted, finding that Prop 47 had no effect on homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, or burglary.
Abstract: Author(s): Bartos, BJ; Kubrin, CE | Abstract: Research Summary: Our study represents the first effort to evaluate systematically Proposition 47's (Prop 47's) impact on California's crime rates. With a state-level panel containing violent and property offenses from 1970 through 2015, we employ a synthetic control group design to approximate California's crime rates had Prop 47 not been enacted. Our findings suggest that Prop 47 had no effect on homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, or burglary. Larceny and motor vehicle thefts, however, seem to have increased moderately after Prop 47, but these results were both sensitive to alternative specifications of our synthetic control group and small enough that placebo testing cannot rule out spuriousness. Policy Implications: As the United States engages in renewed debates regarding the scale and cost of its incarcerated population, California stands at the forefront of criminal justice reform. Although California reduced its prison population by 13,000 through Prop 47, critics argue anecdotally that the measure is responsible for recent crime upticks across the state. We find little empirical support for these claims. Thus, our findings suggest that California can downsize its prisons and jails without compromising public safety.

39 citations






Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article used survey data from a nationally representative sample to explore public support for government-run victim compensation programs for financial fraud, consumer fraud, identity theft, and burglary, and found that the general public is supportive of restitutive compensation programs, not only as paid for by offenders, but by the government.
Abstract: We use survey data from a nationally representative sample to explore public support for government-run victim compensation programs for financial fraud, consumer fraud, identity theft, and burglary. We use contingent valuation (willingness to pay) methodology to infer preferences for compensation programs, and also explore predictors of those preferences. Overall, findings suggest that the public strongly supports the implementation of victim compensation programs. However, our results also indicate that this support may be driven in part by perceptions of benefiting from this program directly in the future. Additionally, a small but notable minority of respondents exhibit preferences for programs without compensation. Our findings suggest that the general public is supportive of restitutive compensation programs, not only as paid for by offenders, but by the government. We suggest that policy makers may embrace some principles of restorative justice for white collar crimes, which may otherwise be more financially damaging than traditional crimes.

19 citations







Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: When police were provided with dash-camera or in-car recorders, it was argued they would be able to confirm the stories officers were telling and assist with prosecutions, while capturing improper police actions.
Abstract: When police were provided with dash‐cam or in‐car recorders, it was argued they would be able to confirm the stories officers were telling and assist with prosecutions, while capturing improper police actions. Soon after their implementation, the in‐car videos along with closed‐circuit television (CCTV) were being used to justify police activities, played in court to help convict criminals, and reviewed for police misconduct. These videos have been lauded for confirming proper behavior in driving‐under‐the‐influence (DUI) enforcement, sustaining comments and actions officers attributed to subjects, and showing the dangers of high‐speed pursuits, among other activities. When the first generation of cameras was rolled out in the 1980s, there was no agreed‐upon goal for them, some video was grainy, cameras were not always pointing in the right direction, they were not always working, they were not always turned on, and tapes were sometimes full or damaged (International Association of Chiefs of Police [IACP], 2004). Watching the videos was, for the most part, a boring exercise. The video evidence, however, was helpful in understanding the daily routines of officers (Meyer, 2014) and helped prosecute drunk drivers. Mothers Against Drunk Driving helped convince government and private funders to purchase the equipment for law enforcement. Quickly, fears and apprehension transformed into satisfaction and support, as the videos more often than not exonerated officer behavior and in many cases reduced citizen complaints.1








Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, police need to understand and build four key principles into their interactions with members of the public: (1) treating people with respect, (2) being neutral in their decision making, conveying trustworthy motives, and (3) giving citizens a voice during the encounter.
Abstract: Procedural justice policing is considered to be central to better policing (President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, 2015). To implement procedural justice policing, police need to understand and build four key principles into their interactions with members of the public: (1) treating people with respect, (2) being neutral in their decision making, (3) conveying trustworthy motives, and (4) giving citizens a voice during the encounter. Drawing on these principles in a genuine manner underpins the quality of the dialogic interaction (Bottoms and Tankebe, 2012). It is not just enough to say polite things; the manner in which polite phrases and directives are communicated in both short and long encounters makes the difference between people believing the procedures used by police to reach an outcome are fair or not (Tyler, 2006 [1990]; Tyler, Fagan, and Geller, 2014).



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Functional Family Therapy-Gang (FFT-G) as mentioned in this paper is a gang-adapted program, which uses functional family therapy-gang to reduce gang violence.
Abstract: Progress has been slow in developing antigang programs. Preventing gangs from forming and eliminating established gangs altogether seems impossible when they are rooted in the cracks of our society—most prevalent in large cities with long histories of socioeconomic deprivation and racial-ethnic conflicts (Howell, 2015). Nevertheless, past reviewers of gang programs have been fixated on finding a “magic bullet”—that is, exclusively model or exemplary programs (Elliott and Fagan, 2017; Gravel, Bouchard, Descormiers, Wong, and Morselli, 2013; Klein and Maxson, 2006; Wong, Gravel, Bouchard, Descormiers, and Morselli, 2016). Each of these reviews has important shortcomings, commonly, failure to include all relevant studies, use of inconsistent criteria for determining program effectiveness, and the application of the “model” program or “blueprint” criterion requiring random assignment of subjects for “effective” or “exemplary” ratings in cases where this is unacceptable. For example, as a matter of public safety, gangs cannot be randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Moreover, even small benefits would be welcomed in economically disadvantaged inner cities with long histories of gang violence, given that historically gang-ridden communities present special challenges. As one example, Spergel’s (2007) Comprehensive Gang Program proved to be moderately effective in the Little Village community of Chicago in which a protracted “war on gangs” that was waged by police and embroiled community agencies clearly impeded Spergel’s innovative programming (Vargas, 2016). In this policy essay, I applaud the positive outcomes of a gang-adapted program, Functional Family Therapy-Gang (FFT-G). I draw attention to this breakthrough program in the context of existing state-of-the-art of gang prevention and “comprehensive” gang intervention and suppression programs. The reality is that several programs not designated