American Society of Criminology 2015 Presentations

(This is intended to be a comprehensive list of all presentations by current faculty and students. Please report any missing presentations to the webmaster.)

When is Counsel Provided at First Appearance in Magistrates Courts? Results from a Survey of Judges

In Event: Legal Services for the Indigent: Early Intervention by Counsel

New York’s lowest courts, like those of many states, are numerous, widely scattered, and often staffed by non-lawyer judges. State law requires that arrestees are brought to the nearest court for immediate arraignment, even if that requires waking the judge up in the middle of the night. Providing counsel at these critical hearings, where liberty interests are indeed at stake, is an ongoing logistical problem. We surveyed the entire magistracy of New York State, receiving responses from 66% of town and village courts. The results of the survey suggest counsel is often unavailable during scheduled sessions, and almost never available for ‘off-hours’ arraignments. Preliminary analyses do suggest, however, that counsel is more often available in certain contexts (large, densely populated places for example), and also that it is related to law enforcement practices (e.g. issuance of appearance tickets in place of arrest.) Analyses and discussion seek to set our observations in the context of criminal justice policy-making in local, and especially rural, jurisdictions, and to offer insight into how greater consistency in representation by counsel at first appearance can be achieved.

Authors
Karise M. Curtis, University at Albany, SUNY
Andrew L.B. Davies, NY Indigent Legal Services / SUNY Albany

Providing Counsel at First Appearance in a Semi-Rural County

In Event: Legal Services for the Indigent: Early Intervention by Counsel

We conducted research on the efforts in a semi-rural upstate New York county to consolidate off-hours first appearance proceedings from across the county into two city courts. Utilizing mixed-methods, we specifically examined the relationship between the provision of counsel at first appearance and case outcomes at multiple case stages. A sample of cases from 2013-2014, during which time counsel was provided at first appearance, was compared to a sample of cases from 2012-2013 that were not provided counsel at first appearance. Analysis of the two city courts separately demonstrated mostly similar results, with some marked differences that can likely be attributed to differences in court culture. In both courts the judge and provision of counsel consistently affected case outcomes at every stage except sentencing. Comparing the pre and post samples, we also found little change in the number of defendants offered bail, suggesting no compromise on public safety, but did find marked differences in the amount of bail set in one court. We conclude that counsel at first appearance is an effective innovation that can serve fiscal and liberty interest simultaneously, but that ultimately how strong those effects are will be mitigated by local actors and contexts.

Authors
Andrew L.B. Davies, NY Indigent Legal Services / SUNY Albany
Kirstin Morgan, University at Albany, SUNY

The CAFA Project: Preliminary Findings from the Evaluation of Counsel at First Appearance

In Event: Legal Services for the Indigent: Early Intervention by Counsel

The right to counsel in criminal prosecutions has long been established as a necessary element in a just legal process. Yet in both policy and practice, questions about the parameters of that right remain unresolved. This paper investigates one such question: What are barriers to, and benefits from, providing counsel at defendants’ first court appearance? In many jurisdictions, ensuring early access to counsel is a logistical challenge, and often does not happen at all. But there is reason to expect that timely appointment of counsel will improve case outcomes for defendants as well as communities: less unwarranted pretrial time spent in jail, fewer uncounseled guilty pleas, and more opportunities for diversion and treatment programs, as well as possible cost savings from a more efficient process. This project, supported by the National Institute of Justice, examines six New York county initiatives designed to improve access to counsel at first appearance. The paper will (1) describe these diverse counties’ plans and their legal and political contexts, (2) explore programs’ implementation through the lens of Malcolm Feeley’s theoretical perspective on court reform, and (3) present preliminary findings from the first stage of data collection on cases processed in the pre- and post-initiative periods.

Authors
Alissa Pollitz Worden, University at Albany, SUNY
Andrew L.B. Davies, NY Indigent Legal Services / SUNY Albany
Reveka Shteynberg, University at Albany, SUNY
Kirstin Morgan, University at Albany, SUNY

Estimating the Mark of a Criminal Record

In Event: Employment Prospects and Recidivism Risk in an Era of Widespread Criminal Background Checks

Background check policies balance two competing interests: protections for employers, businesses and patients, and opportunities for individuals with records. Existing research demonstrates having a record reduces the probability of a callback for a job and overall employment relative to selected control groups. However, research has not documented the direct impact of a background check decision on overall employment. This paper expands the literature with an analysis of individuals with records who undergo a background check in the healthcare industry in New York State. Using unemployment insurance data for 12 quarters before and after the background check decision, we conduct a fixed effect analysis comparing individuals with records who do or do not pass the background check.
Individuals not cleared to work have comparable pre/post levels of employment and earnings. However, compared to those not cleared, the cleared group experiences large and significant increases in overall levels of employment in the short and long-term. Although those cleared also earn considerably more over the three years, this difference is driven by overall employment effects rather than differences in salary. Policy implications of these results will be discussed.

Authors
Shawn David Bushway, University at Albany, SUNY
Megan Denver, University at Albany, SUNY
Megan C. Kurlychek, University at Albany, SUNY

Is Forgiveness Divine? The Short-Term Employment Outcomes of Youthful Offender Seals in the NY State Long-Term Healthcare Field

In Event: Employment Prospects and Recidivism Risk in an Era of Widespread Criminal Background Checks

In an era of widespread criminal background checks, it stands to reason that avoiding reporting a conviction on employment applications is more important now than it has ever been. This is perhaps most crucial for youth with criminal records, as research has demonstrated that employment is important for a successful transition to adulthood. Policies allowing records to be sealed could therefore provide critical second chances to this population. The current analysis approaches the issue of criminal record sealing from this perspective, arguing that NY State’s Youthful Offender Sealing policy offers an opportunity for these youth to make normative transitions to adulthood, absent the impediment of a criminal record.
Using data from a sample of provisionally hired employees with criminal records who are required to submit to a background check before final clearance for work, we conduct a matched samples comparison of applicants who were offered or not offered the Youthful Offender seal option. Our results demonstrate that official clearance for work among comparable applicants without seals is considerably lower than the rate for those with seals. Additionally, when hiring those with sealed convictions, employers take on no more risk than they do when hiring those whose convictions are known.

Authors
Samuel DeWitt, Rutgers University - Newark
Megan C. Kurlychek, University at Albany, SUNY

Evaluating the Impact of “Old” Criminal Record Policies on Employment Outcomes

In Event: Employment Prospects and Recidivism Risk in an Era of Widespread Criminal Background Checks

Employers have incorporated criminal history background checks into hiring practices at rapid rates, albeit with little empirical guidance on how to distinguish between individuals with criminal records in practice. A major exception involves research on the “age” of the criminal record, where researchers have established estimates for when an individual with a record starts to look like an individual without a record. While there has been a focus on the “risk” component of time since last conviction policies, prior research has not yet examined the potential benefits of this policy for individuals with records. This study provides the first causal estimates of the impact of adopting a time since last conviction policy on employment outcomes for a sample of provisionally hired applicants in the healthcare industry in New York State. The results indicate that even with a fairly conservative general policy (10 years since last conviction), individuals with records who are influenced by this policy experience sizable increases in employment and earnings. Policy implications and future research directions are discussed.

Author
Megan Denver, University at Albany, SUNY

Exploring Longitudinal Patterns of Prison Visits in New York State

In Event: Prison Visits: Patterns & Effects

The notion that prison visits may sustain or increase social bonds which ultimately translate to improved inmate outcomes has led to renewed interest in studying prison visitation, with a specific call for more research into the heterogeneity of the visit experience (Cochran & Mears, 2013). One of the key features of prison visit heterogeneity is the pattern of visitation over time.
Two recent papers used semiparametric group-based modeling to explore visitation trajectories. This paper builds on that work by examining longitudinal patterns of visitation in a large sample of New York State prison inmates receiving visits between 1995 and 2013. In addition to presenting patterns of visitation for inmates over time, we will discuss the extent to which previously observed patterns are present in this new and diverse population as well as implications for methodology and policy.

Authors
Audrey Hickert, University at Albany, SUNY
Shawn David Bushway, University at Albany, SUNY

Closer to Home: Estimating the Causal Effect of Prison Visits on Recidivism

In Event: Prison Visits: Patterns & Effects

Prison sentences separate incarcerated individuals from their families and communities. This separation may degrade the social bonds essential for successful reentry and desistance (Harding, Wyse, Dobson, & Morenoff, 2014; Maruna & Toch, 2005). However, the effects of separation might be mitigated (or exacerbated) by contact with those outside prison during incarceration. Although inmates correspond with family and friends via mail and phone calls, prison visitation is the focal point of inmate contact with those outside prison (Comfort, 2008).

In this paper, we use data from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to estimate the causal effect of prison visits on recidivism for a group of male, medium security inmates. Inmates in NY can become eligible for an “Area of Preference” transfer that allows them to move closer to home. Inmates placed closer to home are much more likely to receive a visit. Inmates become eligible for the program based on a set of observed criteria and eligibility is automatic; however, there is excess demand for placements in medium security prisons near metropolitan areas. Using random variation in actual transfers, and therefore likelihood of getting visits, we are able to estimate the effect of visits on recidivism.

Authors
Sarah Tahamont, University at Albany, SUNY
Shawn David Bushway, University at Albany, SUNY

An Evaluation of Demographic Matching of Criminal History Records in New York State

In Event: Poster Session II

In criminological and criminal justice research, the validity of measurement of criminal behaviors using administrative data has evoked a series of long-lasting discussions. Considerable variation exists in criminal records on rap sheets obtained from different official sources. However, few published studies have recognized the complexities associated with matching individual-level data to administrative criminal records. Typically, for a given group of individuals criminal history data from official sources are obtained through a name-based search rather than a fingerprint-based one. This task can be particularly challenging, because there are often multiple combinations of demographic information associated with a given state ID. As a result, plenty of room for errors exists in name-based searches.
Erroneous attribution of criminal records in individual-level data sets has substantial implications for the results of recidivism research. Using a known sample, obtained from fingerprint cards, of 10,000 arrests in New York State, we implement various methods designed to match individuals to their criminal history data. The hit rate and false positive rate changed dramatically when different sets of search criteria were implemented, which demonstrate the potential magnitude for accuracy problems in name-based criminal history searches.

Authors
Sarah Tahamont, University at Albany, SUNY
Shi Yan, University at Albany, SUNY
Leslie Kellam, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
Srivatsa Kothapally, New York State Office of Information Technology Services

Gender Differences in Treatment Effect: A Systematic Review in Drug Courts

In Event: Poster Session II

Drug courts have been the major project aimed at drug addicts’ rehabilitation and recovery since 1989. Even though there were a great number of studies to evaluate their effectiveness, comparatively minor studies examined the differences in treatment effect between genders. Therefore, the objectives of this research is to systematically review the empirical researches in the light of gender differences in treatment effect on drug courts based on Therapeutic Jurisprudence Theory. This study unequivocally identified 24 researches, involving both experimental and quasi-experimental designs. The study included following criteria: firstly, the study evaluated a drug court program and a comparison group; moreover, the study examine the elements involving gender; finally, the study carried out outcome evaluation. The study came up with following results: firstly, treatment in drug courts is more effective; moreover, gender is a predictor of recidivism; finally, gender-specific treatment programs prove more effective than standard drug court program. The study suggested that the authority should adopt comprehensive strategies to promote drug addicts’ mental health and gender-specific strategies to magnify treatment effect in drug courts.

Author
Tzu-Hsuan Liu, University at Albany, SUNY

Tip of an Iceberg: Citizen Complaints and Citizen Dissatisfaction with the Police

In Event: Poster Session II

We analyze three datasets in order to generate evidence on the likelihood and the circumstances under which citizens file complaints against the police. First, we analyze citizen survey data collected in 24 localities for the Police Services Study and revisit the results of the only existing study of citizens’ decisions to complain. Second, we analyze national survey data collected in the Police Public Contact Survey. Third, we analyze survey data collected in one city, which afford a wider range of explanatory variables. Findings provide a deeper understanding of citizen complaints as a means of police accountability and as an indicator of police misconduct.

Authors
Robert E. Worden, University at Albany, SUNY
Kelly J. Becker, The John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety, Inc.

Verbal Intelligence, Attitudinal Coherence, and Support for the Death Penalty

In Event: Poster Session II

Scholars argue that intelligence and knowledge are central to citizens’ ability to form political attitudes that are consistent with their values as well as self- and group-interests. Building on this insight, we posit that people with high verbal intelligence may best able to conform their policy preferences to their overall worldviews. That is to say, they will be more efficient in supporting policies that advance their more abstract ideals. In contrast, people with low verbal intelligence will be more likely to: a) have less coherent constellations of policy preferences and values, and b) be more influenced by non-substantive circumstances (e.g. measurement effects like question wording), making their responses more prone to measurement error. This poster presents results from analyses of the General Social Survey, 1972-2014, assessing how the additive score of a ten-question word association test that measures verbal intelligence (WORDSUM) moderates the relationship between support for capital punishment and several theoretical correlates of such support, such as fear of crime, racial animus, and political ideology.

Authors
Sean P. Roche, University at Albany, SUNY
Justin Tyler Pickett, University at Albany, SUNY

Drawing the Line: Quasi-experimental Evidence on the Relative Benefits of Designating Specific Age Cutoffs for Adult Court Processing

In Event: Navigating the Boundary between Juvenile and Criminal Courts

A principle of the juvenile court system is the rehabilitative philosophy that conditions leniency in punishment for youth as compared to treatment in the adult court. However, the definition of “juvenile” and the protocol for adjudicating juveniles varies from state to state. While most states set the limit of juvenile court jurisdiction at 17, eight states draw the line at 16 and New York and North Carolina treat youth as juveniles only to age 15. Recent findings from an evaluation of a policy change in Connecticut that increased the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 16 suggests juvenile court processing is preferential for this age group particularly as it relates to recidivism outcomes. A further change in this state that subsequently increased the age to 17 allows this research to assess the advantages of “drawing the line” of adulthood at 17 or 18. Using quasi-experimental methods, this study specifically compares the arrest, conviction, sentencing, and recidivism outcomes of 17-year-olds before and after the policy change redefined them as juveniles. These results are discussed as they relate to drawing the line of adulthood at the various age-points (15, 16, 17) and decisions to prosecute youth as juvenile or adults.

Authors
Eric Fowler, University at Albany, SUNY
Megan C. Kurlychek, University at Albany, SUNY

Encouraging and/or Identifying Desistance

In Event: New Developments in Understanding Reoffending by Merging Desistance and Reentry/Recidivism Research

The intellectual conversation regarding desistance centers on two key and often intertwined concepts: understanding how people desist from crime, and identifying those who have desisted from crime. Both concepts have important implications for policy, particularly those policies that aim to open up opportunities for offenders. For example a common question is whether policies should be designed to open up opportunities immediately after conviction in hopes of promoting desistance, or whether such opportunities are better reserved for those already showing signs of desistance. This research examines the utility of several existing and popular policies to open up employment opportunities to individuals with criminal records as they relate to both theoretical predictions of desistance and real world examples of their application. Specifically, this research addresses the sealing of criminal records upon conviction, the sealing of criminal records after a given period of time has passed, and the individual’s right to appeal negative employment decisions presenting proof of rehabilitation to potential employers in between these two time periods.

Authors
Megan C. Kurlychek, University at Albany, SUNY
Shawn David Bushway, University at Albany, SUNY
Megan Denver, University at Albany, SUNY

Underreporting of Justifiable Homicides Committed by Police Officers in the United States, 1976-2012

In Event: Police Use of Deadly Force

This study assessed the consistency of estimates of the number and demographic characteristics of justifiable homicides committed by US police officers. We obtained data for comparable cases for the period 1976 through 2012 from the Supplementary Homicide Reports and National Vital Statistics System. Both data systems underreport homicides committed by police officers, but the differences between the two systems provide insight into the structure of reporting errors.

Authors
Colin Loftin, University at Albany, SUNY
David McDowall, University at Albany, SUNY
Min Xie, University of Maryland, College Park

Age Period Cohort Analysis of the Crime Drop in New York from 1990 to 2010.

In Event: Understanding Crime Trends: Results From the National Academies of Sciences Roundtable

There has been much research focused on the nature of the crime drop since 1990’s. Much of the discussion focuses on specific substantive explanations, such as policing practices or the drop in ambient lead in the environment due to mandates for unleaded gasoline. However, very little research has focused on describing the nature of the crime drop itself. Demographic methods offers a model – the Age Period Cohort (APC) model – which can help describe in abstract terms the main features or drivers of a change in the aggregate level of a phenomenon such as fertility, mortality or crime. In this paper, we use this technique to present the first application of the APC model to explain drops in the arrest counts and rates in New York State from 1990 to 2010. We find that later cohorts are being arrested at much lower rates than older cohorts. This finding has implications for the kinds of substantive phenomenon that can explain the crime drop.

Authors
Jaeok Kim, University at Albany, SUNY
Shawn David Bushway, University at Albany, SUNY
Hui-Shien Tsao, University at Albany, SUNY

‘Yes Means Yes’: Perceptions of University-Based Affirmative Consent Policies

In Event: Crime and Justice on Campus: Perceptions and Attitudes

Though schools and governments have been increasingly raising awareness about campuses sexual assaults, the most effective approach for preventing sexual misconduct on campus is still unclear. In an effort to minimize sexual assaults, universities across the U.S. are increasingly being mandated by legislation to implement unified university-based Affirmative Consent Policies (ACPs) to clarify and narrow the definition of consensual behaviors in sexual encounters. More than 800 colleges and universities, including all CA public universities and 64 SUNY institutions, now use some type of ACP. Yet, the ACPs’ effectiveness and students’ abilities and willingness to apply the policy is largely unknown. This project examines this issue by surveying undergraduate students at a SUNY institution. The paper (1) measures how students perceive sexual consent before they receive Affirmative Consent Policy education and training as well as measure differences in male and female perceptions about sexual behaviors; (2) tests students’ understanding and appreciation of verbal versus nonverbal consent as outlined in SUNY’s university-wide ACP on sexual harassment and sexual assault; and (3) uses hypotheticals to examine students’ abilities to meaningfully identify and apply the ‘Yes Means Yes’ ACPs (as opposed to the legally embraced ‘No Means No’ standards) in sexual encounters.

Authors
Reveka Shteynberg, University at Albany, SUNY
Haemi Won, University at Albany, SUNY

Examination of the Relationship Between Domestic and Foreign Attacks Against the U.S.

In Event: Determinants and Variation in Extremist Violence

An important concern of “hardening” targets is whether terrorists will simply divert their attacks elsewhere. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. engaged in sweeping homeland security efforts to protect the country from future attacks. Yet, as a result, terrorists may have shifted their attention to attacking U.S. targets abroad.

Authors
Henda Y. Hsu, University of Houston-Clear Lake
Bob Edward Vasquez, Texas State University
David McDowall, University at Albany, SUNY

The Effect of 311 Calls for Service on Crime in D.C. at Micro Places

In Event: Environmental Approaches to Crime Prevention and Intervention

Broken windows theory has been both confirmed and refuted with several different measures of physical disorder. Small experiments tend to confirm the priming effects of physical disorder on minor deviant acts, but measures based on order maintenance policing and surveys are much more mixed. Here I use 311 calls for service as a proxy for physical disorder and estimate the effects on crime at street segments and intersections in Washington, D.C.

I show that 311 calls for service based on detritus (e.g. garbage on the street) and infrastructure complaints (e.g. potholes in sidewalks) both have a positive but very small effect on Part 1 crimes under many different model specifications. I also critically discuss model specifications of street units nested within neighborhoods, and show that crime counts do not conform to fixed neighborhood boundaries. In this example such specifications introduce artificial negative auto-correlation at the boundaries of neighborhoods in the model residuals, and I show how using spatial correlograms can identify the differences between a continuous spatial model and a neighborhood effects type model.

Author
Andrew Palmer Wheeler, University at Albany, SUNY

Breaking the Intergenerational Cycle: Interparental Violence, Child-Parent Attachment, and Children’s Aggressive Behaviors

In Event: Intergenerational Influences and Incarcerated Parents

Children’s exposure to interparental violence (IPV) is associated with children’s aggression in later developmental stages. However, little is known about childhood protective factors that may break the intergenerational cycle of violence, and whether the strengths of protective effect varies by children’s gender. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a five-wave longitudinal study of 4,898 families, we investigate the association between children’s exposure to IPV during early childhood and their subsequent aggressive behaviors at age 9. We hypothesize that the emotional bonds between children and parents mediate and moderate the negative impact of IPV exposure on childhood aggression. Findings indicate that children’s early exposure to IPV is associated with increased aggressive behaviors at age 9, and this association is moderated by child-mother attachment at age 3 and mediated by child-parent attachment at age 9. The protective effect of attachment on IPV-aggression link controlling for other aggression-related covariates is of similar strength for children of both sexes. The present study contributes to extant literature by showing evidence that positive child-parent relationship is an important protective factor that reduces and modifies the negative effect of early exposure to interparental violence on children’s aggressive behaviors.

Authors
Heather M. Washington, University at Albany, SUNY
Shao-Chiu Juan, University at Albany, SUNY

Criminal Specialization in Criminal Justice Context

In Event: Issues in Quantitative Methods: Prediction and Classification

Laws, criminal justice actors, and politicians categorize individuals who commit crimes into types, and talk about these “offender types.” The types associated with these individuals are not merely labels, but lead to substantial consequences. For example, most states and the federal jurisdiction mandate individuals convicted of sexual crimes to register. The association between labels of offender types and the enhanced sentences builds upon the assessment of risk. A particular concern of risk here is criminal specialization, as laws prescribe enhanced sentences for defendants who demonstrate evidence of specializing in violent, sexual, or other serious crimes. As of my awareness, no published research on sentencing has addressed the connection between criminal specialization reflected the the defendant's criminal history and sentencing outcomes. In the present study, I will apply methods of criminal careers research to data of criminal justice contacts to model the “criminal justice careers,” and investigate how specialization may explain sentencing outcomes. Specifically, I will first investigate whether the measurements of specialization explain criminal justice outcomes. I will next investigate whether including measurements of criminal specialization in the models would change how legal and extralegal variables predict the outcomes.

Author
Shi Yan, University at Albany, SUNY

Effects of Citizens' Stereotype Threat on Police Officers' Perceptions and Decision Making

In Event: Police and Minorities: Bias, Fear, Social Distance, and Procedural Injustice

Prior studies have shown that, more than Whites, innocent African American individuals are concerned about being perceived unfairly by police due to stereotypes that depict members of their racial group as criminals. Further, this stereotype threat causes Blacks to appear objectively more nervous than Whites during encounters with police-type figures. Because police believe nervous behavior is suspicious, stereotype threat could ironically increase the likelihood that police will perceive Blacks as suspicious disproportionately more often than Whites. We tested this hypothesis by having actual police officers view videos of "targets" who were either Black or White men who experienced either high or low stereotype threat in a staged encounter with a security officer. After viewing the videos, officers made judgments regarding how dissimilar to themselves they perceived each target to be and whether they would initiate contact with the target. Officers reported being more likely to investigate a dissimilar Black target who was experiencing high rather than low stereotype threat. In contrast, officers were less likely to investigate a dissimilar White target who was experiencing high versus low threat. This research contributes to a growing body of work suggesting that stereotype threat contributes to racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Authors
Cynthia Najdowski, University at Albany, SUNY
Catherine Bonventre, University at Albany, SUNY

Examining the Relationship between Fear of Terrorism and Similarity to Victims’ Backgrounds

In Event: Poster Session I

The threat of terrorism is recognized to be worldwide. However, little research has focused on the relationship between the similarity of terrorism victims’ background to that of the public and people’s level of fear of crime. This experiment builds on and refines previous research to further determine whether or not reading news about a terrorism victim with identical or similar background to that of the respondant will result in respondents' higher level of fear of terrorism. The method of random experiment was employed. Sixty-nine college students enrolled in an introductory level criminal justice course in a northeastern public university were randomly assigned into two groups. The first group read a hypothetical news article about a non-American journalist being taken hostage by ISIS while the second group read a hypothetical news article about an American college student being taken hostage by ISIS. The results show that reading news about a terrorism victim with a similar background is associated with the respondents’ decreased fear and yet increased perceived risk of terrorism.

Author
Luzi Shi, University at Albany, SUNY

Parental Involvement of Incarcerated Fathers and Recidivism Outcomes

In Event: Roundtable: Families and Criminal Justice Research

Life course theorists highlight the importance of prosocial bonds as a contributing factor towards desistance from crime. Prior research has shown that among formerly incarcerated mothers, strong attachments to their children plays a role in their desistance. However, minimal attention has been given to parental involvement and recidivism among formerly incarcerated fathers. Due to the fact that the effects of social bonds on recidivism vary by gender, this raises the importance of examining these outcomes. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, the proposed study will seek to expand on theoretical perspectives by examining if parental involvement influences the subsequent criminal behavior of previously incarcerated fathers.

Author
Melissa Noel, University at Albany, SUNY

Exploring the Characteristics and Behaviors of Gun Owners and Carriers

In Event: Understanding Legal Gun Cultures

In this paper we explore multiple facets of gun owners and carriers. We compare the firearm types, owner demographics, motivations for owning, firearms training, and delinquent behaviors. Similarly, we look where individuals are most likely to carry firearms.

Authors
Amanda D. Emmert, University at Albany, SUNY
Alan Lizotte, University at Albany, SUNY
Marvin Krohn, University of Florida

The Moral Foundations of Punishment: Why Conservatives are More Punitive

In Event: Understanding Punitiveness and Support for Rehabilitation

Conservatives--both political and religious--may be more punitive than liberals because they adhere to a different moral system. Moral foundations research (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009) suggests that liberals’ moral judgments conform to individual-based moral concerns, while conservatives’ moral judgments also include group-based moral concerns. We hypothesized that individual-based moral foundations promote a view of crime as being perpetrated against individuals, whereas group-based moral foundations promote a view of crime as being perpetrated against society. Drawing on Durkheim’s notion that crimes against a “collective victim” provoke a more punitive response than crimes against individual victims, we therefore predicted that adherence to group-based moral foundations would promote punitive attitudes, but that adherence to individual-based moral foundations would promote less punitive attitudes. We also hypothesized that these alternate moral systems would explain the link between conservatism and punitiveness. Using survey results from a sample of undergraduates (n=1,429) at a large, Northeastern university, we found that adherence to binding and individualizing moral foundations predicted punitive attitudes in the expected directions, and that group-based moral foundations mediated the relationships between political and religious conservatism and punitiveness.

Authors
Jasmine Silver, University at Albany, SUNY
Eric Silver, Pennsylvania State University

Family Transitions and Youth Gang Joining

In Event: Correlates, Causes, and Consequences of Gang Involvement

Many adolescents in the United States will undergo a family transition (movement from one type of family structure to a different type of family structure) over their life-course, as this is becoming an increasingly common event in the U.S. Prior research has found that youth who have faced a family transition have more negative outcomes than youth who remain within a stable family structure; this includes delinquency, and might include gang joining. Family transitions could belong to either two domains of risk factors for gang joining: individual (i.e. negative life events), and family (e.g. family structure, parental supervision). However, it has yet to be investigated in the literature aside from Eitle et al. (2004) who focused on divorce and parental separation, and Thornberry et al. (2003) who did not find a relationship. This study employs longitudinal, adolescent self-reported data from the second National Evaluation of G.R.E.A.T. to examine the relationship between family transitions and gang membership. The key research question being asked is does undergoing a family transition predict gang joining at a later point in time?

Author
Walter Winslow Shelley, University at Albany, SUNY

Does Social Control Account for the Cross-National Association Between Social Protection and Homicide Rates?

In Event: Crime and the American Dream: Institutional Anomie, the Economy, and Crime

Several different mechanisms are theorized to explain why social protection is associated with homicide victimization rates across nations. One of these key proposed explanations is social control. Borrowing from Institutional Anomie Theory (IAT), and assuming that institutional imbalance results in weakened social control as proposed by Messner and Rosenfeld, we propose that by measuring imbalances in institutional preferences among citizens we can generate a proxy measure of social control and thus test this explanation. Employing multiple statistical methods we tested one methodological and one substantive hypothesis: (1) Institutional imbalances can be measured utilizing confirmatory factor analysis and (2) Institutional imbalances moderate the association between social protection and homicide across nations. We describe the meaning of our results for methods, IAT, and our substantive hypothesis, and we conclude by situating these findings into the wider cross-national empirical literature.

Authors
Meghan Lynn Rogers, Indiana University
William Alex Pridemore, University at Albany, SUNY

The Politics of "Death with Dignity": Legal Reform Efforts Past and Present

In Event: Criminal Justice Policies and Practices in Historical Perspective

This presentation will review the recent efforts to legalize aid in dying in New York State, setting them in the context of other such legalizations in states including Oregon, Washington and Vermont. Advocates and lawmakers from all four states were interviewed. Drawing on a social movement perspective, the respective roles of key players in favor of and opposed to reform are compared and contrasted. Reasoned projections regarding the likely futures of the New York and other such campaigns are made.

Author
Giza Lopes, University at Albany, SUNY

Terrorist Ideology and Behavior: An Examination of the Behavior of Known and Unknown Perpetrators

In Event: Empirical Analysis of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism from a Variety of Perspectives

The terrorist decision-making process is the key component of understanding the types of attacks terrorists will execute. Terrorists employ a rational decision-making process, and the group’s ideology is the goal-orientation portion of that rational decision-making process. Terrorist group ideology determines a number of aspects of the decision-making process that expand or limit the targets groups will attack and the tactics they will use to achieve their larger ideological goals. These factors include a group’s long-term goals, short-term objectives, an attack’s purpose, the audience, the group’s constituency, its enemies, and its message.
Using the Global Terrorism Database and a database of terrorist group ideologies of my own making, I will determine how many of each type of terrorist behavior groups of each ideology committed between 1998 and 2013, ascertain the types of behaviors different ideologies are likely to employ, and examine the behavior of individuals who perpetrated acts of terrorism, and groups responsible for only one act of terrorism. Finally, I will examine the types of terrorist attacks committed by unknown perpetrators.

Author
Rose Bellandi, University at Albany, SUNY

Boko Haram and the Islamic State: Variations in Terror

In Event: Explanations of Political and Social Violence

During the past several years Nigeria has experienced a marked increase in terrorism. This rise owes primarily to the emergence of Boko Haram. While the Institute for Economics and Peace notes that terrorist activities in Nigeria are qualitatively different from those in the Middle East, it is increasingly evident that Boko Haram has much in common with the Islamic State, insofar as group goals and ideology are concerned. Recent statements of alliance support this position. In this paper we explore the growth of Boko Haram and examine commonalities with the Islamic State, with a particular focus on ideologies, tactics, and practices.

Authors
Laurie Amanda Gould, Georgia Southern University
Matthew Pate, University at Albany, SUNY
Jack Lightfoot, Georgia Southern University

Perceptions of Justice: Comparing Gang and Non-Gang Involved Defendants

In Event: Legal Services for the Indigent: Contemporary Challenges

Prior research has suggested that defendants’ satisfaction with case outcomes and with the courts in general are most often predicted by measuring two concepts: distributive justice and procedural justice. This project examines defendant perceptions of their experiences in court, including with various court actors, with a focus on interactions with their defense attorney. Questions on the fairness of case outcomes compared to what was expected and what defendants believed others with similar charge received were also asked. Participants were all from a city in upstate New York and about half identified as gang involved, while the other half did not, thus allowing for the possibility of different outcomes for gang vs non-gang involved participants. The city has been working to address gang issues for several years, making it extremely likely that gang involved participants would generally be known to law enforcement and thus to court actors. The analyses compare these two samples to explore not only how perceived gang involvement might alter interactions and case outcomes, but to search for similarities in the experiences of the two groups. The results and conclusions will be discussed along with policy implications.

Author
Kirstin Morgan, University at Albany, SUNY

An Experimental Test of the Expressive Theory of Punishment

In Event: Moral Judgments as Antecedents and Outcomes of Punishment

Scholars have long theorized that a central function of criminal punishments is to reinforce moral values and, in so doing, to symbolically reaffirm the vitality of the shared beliefs that underpin social trust and bonding—or what Durkheim refers to as “mechanical solidarity.” Unsanctioned crime, according to this theoretical scholarship, is a symbol of disconsensus and possesses the potential to trigger a demoralization cascade. Punishment counteracts the demoralizing effect of crime by demonstrating that a consensus remains about the moral boundaries in society and that legal authorities continue to have the motivation and resources necessary to enforce this consensus. The severity of punishment signifies the moral gravity of the offense. Versions of this denunciatory or expressive theory of punishment can be found in the sociological, criminological, and legal literatures. The theory has also commonly been espoused by criminal justice professionals. All varieties of the theory share a common feature: To date, they have largely escaped empirical scrutiny. The current study tests this theoretical tradition’s foundational hypotheses using data from a randomized experiment conducted with a sample of 3,173 Americans. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Authors
Justin Tyler Pickett, University at Albany, SUNY
Thomas Baker, University of Central Florida

Problem Officers and Problem Behavior: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Patterns of Police Misconduct

In Event: Police Deviance

Research to date on problem officers, relying on cross-sectional analyses, does not address the temporal stability of reported patterns. Officers whose behavior is problematic during one period may or may not exhibit similarly problematic behavior in later periods, as the problem officer concept would predict. Employing retrospective longitudinal data, this study examines multiple indicators of problem behavior, individually and in a composite construct, to determine the temporal stability of problem behavior. Results indicate that officers whose behavior is problematic in one period are unlikely to be problematic in other periods. Implications for police accountability and early intervention systems are discussed.

Authors
Robert E. Worden, University at Albany, SUNY
Christopher Harris, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Mary Pratte, New York State Police (ret)
Shelagh Dorn, The John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety, Inc.
Shelley Hyland, Bureau of Justice Statistics, USDOJ

The Politics of "Death with Dignity": Legal Reform Efforts Past and Present

In Event: Politics and Policy

This presentation will review the recent efforts to legalize aid in dying in New York State, setting them in the context of other such legalizations in states including Oregon, Washington and Vermont. Advocates and lawmakers from all four states were interviewed. Drawing on a social movement perspective, the respective roles of key players in favor of and opposed to reform are compared and contrasted. Reasoned projections regarding the likely futures of the New York and other such campaigns are made.

Author
Giza Lopes, University at Albany, SUNY

Varieties of Police Early Intervention: The Structure of Contemporary EI Systems

In Event: Preventing Police Misconduct? Empirical Studies on Early Intervention Systems in the U.S.

Early intervention (EI) systems for police remain a widely-prescribed administrative tool for preventing misconduct, but no professional consensus about the optimal structure of an EI system has emerged. Moreover, from an empirical standpoint, we know very little about the ways in which contemporary EI systems are configured. In 2007, 344 of 883 agencies (39%) reported through the LEMAS survey that they had an early intervention system. We surveyed these agencies to learn whether their systems remained in operation and, if so, about their structure: the indicators on which selection turns, the thresholds and time frames for selection, the nature of the interventions, and provisions for post-intervention monitoring. Based on these survey data, we describe the structure of these mature EI systems, noting key dimensions of variation.

Authors
Eugene Paoline, University of Central Florida
Robert E. Worden, University at Albany, SUNY
Sarah J. McLean, The John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety, Inc.
Julie Krupa, University of South Florida

The Historical Context of Neighborhood Racial Diversity and Crime in Philadelphia, PA

In Event: Race and Crime in the United States in Historical Perspective

It is not always the case that relationships between variables are consistent across a study area. Indeed, the idea that neighborhood demographic characteristics might influence neighborhoods in ways that are not stable across place or time is an interesting one. My previous work has shown that this is the case with the relationship between racial diversity and crime in neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2000, neighborhood racial diversity was related to higher levels of violent crime in some neighborhoods, but lower levels in others. In cases like these, it is oftentimes useful to explore the natural histories or historical trajectories of these neighborhoods to better understand their development and the reasons that this heterogeneity exists. This study analyzes racially changing neighborhoods in a historical context in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It traces demographic shifts, political swings, geographical developments, community activism, and other major historical fluctuations in these neighborhoods dating back to 1960. It then examines how changes in these characteristics corresponded with the larger migration patterns, civil rights movements, and crime trends. The result is a comparative case study that provides a back-story for interesting patterns that reveal themselves in the present.

Author
Jeaneé C. Miller, University at Albany, SUNY

Much Ado about Nothing: Rates versus Counts in Studies of Crime and Justice using ARIMA Interrupted Time Series Techniques

In Event: Research on the Measurement of Crime Prevalence and Trends

Autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) interrupted time series techniques are well-suited for estimating the impact of a policy or event. There is substantial disagreement, however, about how best to control for the confounding effects of population size. In this study we employed ARIMA techniques to discern if the creation of rates relative to counts is preferable when constructing the noise component of an ARIMA transfer function equation as a means of accounting for the cumulative effects of population changes over time on an outcomes series. We compared the impact of two interventions on several outcome series using counts and rates. In one analysis we examined the impact of stand-your-ground legislation on monthly burglaries in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In another we examined the impact of the 1980s farm crisis on sex-specific monthly suicides in US counties. Results show negligible differences in the inferences drawn about the impact of these interventions on the outcome series when using counts and rates. We conclude ARIMA techniques adequately control for population changes and that the use of counts provides a valid estimate of the impact of the intervention. Our results are applicable to a wide array of interventions and outcomes in criminology and other disciplines.

Authors
Mitchell B. Chamlin, Texas State University
Andrea E. Krajewski, Texas State University
William Alex Pridemore, University at Albany, SUNY
Ethan Rogers, University of Iowa

Legislating “Revenge Porn”: Protecting Victims and Preserving Civil Liberties

In Event: Sexual Victimization

Reports of a newfound type of online sexual harassment, known as “revenge porn” have caught the attention of the media, researchers, and politicians alike. Throughout the country, states are considering enacting legislation designed to curb this invasive crime and protect potential victims. Although the issue has received significant media attention, not all states are willing to consider such legislation with many fearing that doing so will infringe on individual liberties. We present the constitutional context and scope of “revenge porn” legislation. We describe the status of this legislation in various states, the difficulties associated with the First Amendment and legislating online, then present state by state analyses. We conclude by comparing these content analyses of current legislation to model legislation proposed by advocacy groups.

Authors
Meagen Michelle Hildebrand, University at Albany, SUNY
Sarah E. Lageson, Rutgers University - Newark

The Juvenile Transfer Heuristic: An Experimental Test of Criminal Justice Professionals’ Sentencing Preferences

In Event: The Role of Defendants' Age in Case Processing

One of the most notable examples of “get tough” juvenile justice policies has been the expansion of legal mechanisms facilitating the transfer of juvenile cases to the adult court. The extant literature suggests that juvenile offenders who are sentenced in criminal court receive harsher sanctions than both juvenile and adult comparison groups. While there are a number of theoretical perspectives that would explain why transferred juveniles are treated more harshly than their peers, one of the most frequently cited mechanisms is the focal concerns perspective. Under this framework, juvenile transfer may act as a focal concern used by judges and other court actors to assess the dangerousness and blameworthiness of youthful offenders. The current study provides the first experimental test of the hypothesis that transfer status identifies a juvenile offender as possessing adult criminal intent, thereby justifying harsher sanctions. Using a nationwide sample of criminal justice professionals, the experiment involved soliciting respondents’ sentencing preferences in vignettes that were identical in all respects, with the exception that the outlet of the trial (juvenile versus adult court) was randomized. The results of the experiment provide partial support for the conclusion that transfer status does, in fact, operate as a focal concern.

Authors
Peter Lehmann, Florida State University
Justin Tyler Pickett, University at Albany, SUNY
Stephanie Bontrager Ryon, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs