Archive for the ‘National Criminal Justice Reference Service’ Category

The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime

April 9, 2015 Comments off

The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime (PDF)
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

In the last few years, mortgage foreclosures have uprooted millions of households, and many have expressed concern that the foreclosed homes they leave behind are increasing crime. The three papers that emerged from our project study this question by examining whether and how elevated foreclosures affect different types of crime in the immediately surrounding area, in five cities around the country.

In our first paper, we use point-specific, longitudinal crime and foreclosure data from New York City to examine how foreclosures affect crime on the same blockface– an individual street segment including properties on both sides of the street. We compare changes in crime on blockfaces after homes on the blockface enter foreclosure to changes on other blockfaces in the same neighborhood that did not experience foreclosures during the same time period.

In our second two papers we focus more on identifying mechanisms and also extend our analysis to four other cities to test for generalizability. Our second paper, focused on Chicago, finds similar results as we did in New York City: an increase in the number of properties that receive foreclosure notices appears to increase total, violent, and public order crime on blockfaces in Chicago. In addition, our estimates suggest that foreclosures change the location of crime.

In our third paper, we explore the relationship between foreclosures and crime in five cities, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia. Overall, we find that properties banks take over through foreclosure (real estate owned or REO) are associated with higher crime both in the census tract and on the blockface. However, once we control for the number of properties in the foreclosure process (which we can do in three cities), we find no evidence that the presence of REO properties increases crime. Rather, it is the properties on the way to foreclosure auctions that appear to elevate crime.

Collectively, these results suggest that local law enforcement and housing agencies should track foreclosure notices and monitor properties as they go through the foreclosure process, as their owners have little incentive to maintain them.

NCJRS — Special Feature: Fraud Awareness

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Special Feature: Fraud Awareness
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

A single scam can destroy a company, devastate families by wiping out their life savings, or cost investors billions of dollars (or even all three). Additionally, today’s fraud schemes are more sophisticated than ever (White Collar Crime, Federal Bureau of Investigation, retrieved October 2014).

Results of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) survey of fraud in the United States during 2011 showed that an estimated 25.6 million adults – 10.8 percent of the adult population – were victims of fraud. Most consumers bought fraudulent items via the Internet with telephone purchases ranking second (Consumer Fraud in the United States, 2011: The Third FTC Survey, Federal Trade Commission, April 2013).

In an effort to educate businesses and the public about the impact of fraud, as well as to promote basic steps that can be taken to recognize, report, and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraudulent activities, NCJRS presents this online compilation of resources addressing the topic.

NCJRS — Special Feature: School Safety

November 3, 2014 Comments off

Special Feature: School Safety
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Our nation’s schools should be safe havens for teaching and learning, free of crime and violence. Any instance of crime or violence at school not only affects the individuals involved, but also may disrupt the educational process and affect bystanders, the school itself, and the surrounding community (as provided in Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013, Bureau of Justice Statistics/U.S. Department of Education, June 2014).

Launched in early 2014 and overseen by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative was established to create a firmer foundation of knowledge so that communities can implement individualized programs and policies based on scientific testing.

The Initiative has three broad components, each designed to produce evidence about what works and to identify best practices:

  • Understand school safety issues, existing models and data
  • Sponsor independent and innovative research
  • Test the effects of interventions via pilot projects

See NIJ’s Comprehensive School Safety Initiative page for further information about this Initiative.

To learn more about school safety, select a page from the following list or from the box at the right under the heading “School Safety”:

  • Bullying
  • Violence
  • Training
  • Additional Resources

How Much Crime is Drug-Related? History, Limitations, and Potential Improvements of Estimation Methods

September 22, 2014 Comments off

How Much Crime is Drug-Related? History, Limitations, and Potential Improvements of Estimation Methods (PDF)
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service
From NCJRS abstract:

Goldstein’s model of drug-related crime identifies three categories of DAFs: “economic-compulsive” (crimes committed to obtain money for buying drugs); “psychopharmacological” crime (crimes committed due to the effect of drugs, such as assaults and homicides); and “systemic” crime (crimes committed by individuals and organizations in the course of operating a drug-trafficking enterprise). In addition to these three categories of DAFs, this paper proposes four additional types of DAFs indirectly related to drug supply and demand. Although these drug-related harmful effects may not involve specific law violations, they constitute part of the cost of drug supply and consumption. One of the four additional drug-related costs to society is the diminishment of positive contributions to society the drug-user might have provided had he/she not become dependent on drugs. A second indirect effect pertains to the adverse impacts the drug-user has on his/her children and other family members because of drug dependence. A third indirect effect is the impact of drug market activities on the neighborhood environment and constructive influence. The fourth indirect cost of drug use is the general diminishment of the informal ability of a society to mold the moral development of its members and thus deter crime. 3 figures and 53 references

Measuring the Costs of Crime

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Measuring the Costs of Crime (PDF)
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service
From NCJRS abstract:

The discussion first notes the importance of approximating the cost of crime in order to determine the cost-effectiveness of efforts to reduce crime. In this calculation, the authors reject an assumption often made about crime-reduction expenditures in relation to reduction in crime costs; for example, if the costs of social condition X were $100 billion and an intervention would cut the condition’s prevalence by 10 percent, the value of that intervention is estimated to be about $20 billion. The authors argue against this assumption, noting that a 10-percent reduction in the risk for criminal victimization will not generally lead to a 10-percent reduction in completed crime. This is because it will tend to reduce precaution, increasing the “supply” of criminal opportunity as “demand” falls. A 10-percent reduction in completed crime might occasion a reduction in total crime costs either greater or less than 10 percent, because of the gains from reduced precaution. Similarly, reduced criminality might lead to reduced criminal justice expenditure. The point being made in this paper is that expenditures on crime control and crime rates are not tightly bound, and a reduction in crime will not directly mitigate all the factors that result from crime. Thus, in making effective criminal justice policy, analysis of victimization costs must be supplemented by an analysis of primary and secondary avoidance costs and residual fear that affect people’s well-being. 22 references

National Criminal Justice Reference Service — Special Feature: Youth Violence

April 11, 2014 Comments off

Special Feature: Youth Violence
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

According to data released by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, juvenile arrests for violent crimes (murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) declined 29% between 2006 and 2011 (Juvenile Arrests 2011, December 2013). The number of juvenile court cases involving violent offenses fell 8% between 2008 and 2009 (Juvenile Court Statistics, 2009, July 2012) and 8% between 2009 and 2010 (Juvenile Court Statistics, 2010, June 2013).

The Bureau of Justice Statistics resource, Violent Crime Against Youth, 1994-2010 (December 2012), presents trend data on a number of different points related to the topic. For example, from 1994 to 2010, the rate of serious violent crime occurring on school grounds declined by 62%. Also presented is information on the non-reporting of violent crimes by youth victims. During a 2002-10 period of analysis, the most frequent reasons youth provided for not reporting violence were that the incident was reported to another individual such as a school official (30%), was considered not important enough to the victim to report (15%), or was considered to be a private or personal matter (16%). Another reason youth provided for not reporting the victimization to police was that the offender was a child (7%).

The pages of this Special Feature contain publications and resources on topics related to youth violence and the prevention of such violence.

Advanced Behavior Recognition in Crowded Environments

September 20, 2013 Comments off

Advanced Behavior Recognition in Crowded Environments (PDF)
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

This program is designed to increase situational awareness in law enforcement and correctional settings and reliably detect and prevent disorderly conduct and criminal behavior. The program stresses developing a robust probabilistic event modeling framework that takes the uncertainty of low-level image evidence into consideration. The event-explanation and scenario-modeling graphical user interface also makes the program user-friendly. The program has led to developing intelligent video capabilities that can help law enforcement and corrections detect many different types of events and, often, can alert operators to the onset of an event, enabling early detection and possible prevention of critical events.