American Society of Criminology 2017 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.)


Evidence on How Individuals Consider Sanction Risk

In Event: Decision Making of Criminal Justice Actors

There is evidence to suggest that numerical probabilities are not treated consistently across the whole scale when judging uncertainty and risk. As well, there is research showing that individuals prefer to receive information about risk numerically, but transmit it to others verbally. In this paper, we explore the possibility that objective mathematical probability may not be the most appropriate metric for questions of sanction risk. Instead, subjective verbal measures may more closely mirror how laypeople naturally apprehend and understand risk. We present findings from a series of randomized experiments, embedded in a nationwide survey of American adults (18 and over) in 2016.

Authors
Sean Patrick Roche, University at Albany,SUNY
Justin T Pickett, University at Albany, SUNY


Revisiting the Role of Morality in Offender Decision Making

In Event: Decision Making of Criminal Justice Actors

This study aims to extend research on morality and offender decision-making. Integrating insights from Criminology and Psychology, we distinguish two forms of morality, global and situational. We investigate these issues with surveys that randomly vary two types of moral primes. Internal primes are part of the offending opportunity, whereas external primes are not. The findings provide insights on how these distinct but interrelated moral considerations influence offending behavior.

Authors
Shaina Herman, University at Albany - SUNY School of Criminal Justice
Greg Pogarsky, State University of New York, University at Albany


False-Positive: A Typology of Police Shooting Errors

In Event: Decision Making of Criminal Justice Actors

Few things conjure the innate American mistrust of government more or have the potential to summon greater public backlash than police actions that result in the death of a citizen. Particularly when the involved citizen was unarmed and/or did not appear to be an immediate threat to the involved officer(s). Scharf and Binder (1983) called these types of shootings false-positive errors. That is, the police shoot someone they believe is armed and/or dangerous but who is actually neither armed nor immediately dangerous. It turns out, police shooting errors are much more diverse than this and may actually occur more often than desired outcomes. According to James Reason (1990), human error is relatively rare but, where it does appear, it tends to be systematic. Similarly situated people tend to process information in similar ways and situations that result in error tend to result in repeated errors over time and across individuals. With this in mind, this study examined police shootings that resulted in error. The typology of police shooting errors that emerged will contribute to the literature on police use of deadly force and could have significant practical implications for police training and tactics.

Author
Paul Taylor, University at Albany - SUNY School of Criminal Justice


Framing Effects and the Decision to Accept a Plea Deal

In Event: Decision Making of Criminal Justice Actors

Well over 90% of convictions result from a defendant accepting a guilty plea. With prior research suggesting that individuals typically display risk-seeking behavior in the domain of losses, a potentially innocent defendant accepting a guilty plea, rather than incurring the risk of trial, seems at odds with the behavioral economics literature. Birke (1999) suggests that defendants may be viewing the plea as a gain, potentially making them more risk-averse. The current study explores how the way a plea bargain is framed impacts the likelihood of plea acceptance. 501 undergraduate students from three east-coast universities completed a survey in which they were presented with three plea bargaining scenarios with the guilty plea framed as a gain, loss, or as neutral. Framing was randomized across respondents with the scenarios varying in the likelihood of acquittal and the guilt or innocence of the respondent. Preliminary findings suggest differential effects of framing where framing the plea decision as a gain induces guilty pleas more frequently from the innocent but less frequently from the guilty. These results remain true even when controlling for demographic characteristics, cognitive reflection test scores, and risk orientation measures. Implications for theory and policy are discussed.

Authors
Theodore Wilson, University at Albany - SUNY School of Criminal Justice
Laura Dykstra, Plymouth State University


Managing Early Intervention for Police

In Event: Early Intervention Systems: The State of the Art

Police early intervention (EI) systems are not self-implementing; to the contrary, they require not only thorough planning but also on-going management and oversight. Based on case studies of six agencies’ EI systems, including reviews of policy documents, interviews with command- and line-level personnel, and surveys of officers, we offer a comparative assessment of the organizational and managerial challenges that EI systems pose and how the challenges have been addressed.

Authors
Robert E Worden, University at Albany, SUNY
Sarah J McLean, The John F. Finn Institute


Officers’ Perceptions of Early Intervention Systems

In Event: Early Intervention Systems: The State of the Art

Police early intervention (EI) systems are, in general, designed as non-punitive mechanisms for better ensuring that officers’ performance meets organizational and community expectations, providing for non-disciplinary interventions. Officers and their supervisors might be expected to perceive EI systems as less supportive and more punitive than this design, given the historically punishment-centered character of police organizations. Based on surveys of officers and field supervisors in four agencies, we offer a comparative assessment of how the police rank-and-file perceive their agencies’ EI systems.

Authors
Eugene Paoline, University of Central Florida
Robert E Worden, University at Albany, SUNY
Sarah J McLean, The John F. Finn Institute


The Predictive Accuracy of Early Intervention System Identification Criteria

In Event: Early Intervention Systems: The State of the Art

Police early intervention (EI) systems implicitly rest on the prediction that an officer who meets the identification criteria would, in the absence of an intervention, continue to engage in problematic conduct. Predictions of this kind are notoriously difficult to make. Most EI systems rest on “time and numbers” identification criteria that identify officers who exceed a specified numerical threshold on any criterion during a specified time frame. Using the most commonly-used time frames and numerical thresholds for EI systems, we empirically estimate the accuracy of their predictions, and that of alternative identification criteria, using data from several police agencies.

Authors
Christopher Harris, University of Massachusetts – Lowell
Robert E Worden, University at Albany, SUNY
Kelly J Becker, The John F. Finn Institute


Preventing Police Misconduct: Outcomes of Early Intervention

In Event: Early Intervention Systems: The State of the Art

All but one of the previous six outcome evaluations of police early intervention (EI) systems report favorable impacts on officers’ conduct, yet all but one – the same one – also rest on fairly weak designs – with either no control group or a control group that differs from the treatment group in key respects, with no use of control variables to adjust for those differences, and with no account of officers’ activity levels. We executed stronger designs in outcome evaluations of each of four agencies’ EI systems.

Authors
KiDeuk Kim, Urban Institute
Robert E Worden, University at Albany, SUNY
Christopher Harris, University of Massachusetts – Lowell
Kelly J Becker, The John F. Finn Institute


Explanations of Cross-national Lethal Violence

In Event: Explanations of Cross-national Lethal Violence

The focus of this session is examining explanations of lethal violence across nations. The types of lethal violence under exploration include homicide victimization rates, gender-specific homicide victimization rates, and a ratio of suicide to homicide rates across nations. The papers in the panel explore the application of Institutional Anomie Theory to the ratio of suicide to homicide rates, exploration of correlates of female homicide versus male homicide victimization, the efficacy of income equality and poverty in accounting for variation in homicide victimization across levels of development, and finally the efficacy of perceived income inequalities in accounting for variation in homicide victimization across nations.

Authors
Jingyi Fei, University at Albany – State University of New York
William J Zakrzewski, University at Albany – State University of New York


The Effect of Gender Equality: A Cross-national Study of Female and Male Homicide Victimization

In Event: Explanations of Cross-national Lethal Violence

Gender equality is a central component of feminist theories of crime and victimization. The most common theoretical arguments are the backlash and ameliorative theory. The backlash theory proposes that more gender equality results in more female homicide victimization, whereas, the ameliorative approach theorizes more gender equality will result in less female homicide victimization. A small, but growing, body of cross-national research has tested the association between gender equality and female homicide victimization across nations with mixed results. To address limitations in the previous literature we test two hypotheses: (1) the association between gender equality and female homicide victimization across nations depends upon how gender equality is operationalized; (2) gender equality measures should have a stronger association with female homicide victimization compared to male homicide victimization across nations. Utilizing a sample of 65 to 83 nations, we estimated a series of Seemingly Unrelated Regression and Wald Test. We found that support for either the backlash or ameliorative approach depends on the operationalization of gender equality, and most measures of gender equality have a stronger effect on male homicide victimization compared to female homicide victimization across nations. We conclude by situating our findings within the larger cross-national literature.

Authors
Megan M Alsleben, University at Albany / State University of New York
Meghan L Rogers, University of North Carolina, Wilmington


Perceived Inequality and Cross-National Homicide Rates

In Event: Explanations of Cross-national Lethal Violence

Economic inequality is a persistent structural covariate of cross-national homicide rates. The most common criminological explanation is inequality creates frustration among individuals at the bottom of the income distribution, frustration generates latent anger, and anger occasionally results in violence. There are reasons to doubt the validity of this explanation. First, recent research found the inequality-homicide association may disappear when poverty is taken into account. Second, the theoretical explanation of this macro-level phenomenon is reductionist, relying on individual-level social psychology. Third, perceived inequality is operationalized poorly by its most common measure, the Gini index, meaning this hypothesis is not actually tested. Fourth, the Gini index is strongly correlated with inequality’s main competing economic explanation, poverty. We used the World Values Survey and the International Social Survey Programme to obtain national-level measures of perceived inequality that are both much more consistent with the proposed theoretical construct and weakly correlated with poverty. Controlling for a range of structural covariates we found no consistent evidence of an association between population-level perceived inequality and homicide rates.

Authors
William Alex Pridemore, University at Albany-State University of New York
Meghan L Rogers, University of North Carolina, Wilmington


Target-Based Approach to Determine Spatio-Temporal Pattern of Crime

In Event: Innovations in Spatial Analysis

Research has long focused on two main spatial aspects of crime: spatial patterns and spatial processes. When analyzing these patterns and processes, a key issue has been to determine the proper spatial scale. In addition, it is important to consider the possibility that these patterns and processes might differ appreciably for different types of crime, and they might vary across geographic units of analysis. The present study adopts a target-based approach to develop an analytical and theoretical framework that can facilitate the determination of the proper spatial scale of analysis. We examine spatial-temporal dependence within and among types of crime, at varying geographical scales, and for different geographic distances and strength of clustering within and among types of crime at different temporal aggregations. The analyses are based on recorded incidents of crime for Columbus, Ohio during the 1994-2002 period. We implement point pattern analysis on the crime points using Ripley’s K function. The results of our analyses concerning the geographic scale of spatial patterns and processes can inform the development of effective policies for crime control.

Authors
Mohammed A Alazawi, University at Albany(SUNY)
Shiguo Jiang, State University of New York, University at Albany
Steven Messner, University at Albany, SUNY


Moral Foundations and Fear of Crime: A Gendered Analysis

In Event: Fear of Crime: Considering Gender and Identity

Social norms about gender roles have long promoted victim-blaming for female victims of sexual assault. Indeed, many women internalize these beliefs, viewing themselves as morally responsible for being “dirtied” by sexual assault. This may have important implications for understanding women’s fear of crime. According to Moral Foundations Theory, people experience moral intuitions—gut feelings about right and wrong—about various domains, including bodily purity. Because women are socialized to take responsibility for their own sexual victimizations, moral intuitions about purity may lead them to view sexual victimization a moral transgression. Thus, a woman who endorses Purity may intuitively view being sexually victimized as having done something wrong. To the extent that people desire to avoid engaging in morally wrong behaviors, women may strongly fear situations in which sexual victimization is likely. Given that women often view all victimization types as increasing the risk of sexual assault (Ferraro, 1996), Purity endorsement may thus have a broad impact on women’s fear of crime. Because gender norms do not assign blame to men for sexual activity, we further hypothesize that men’s fear of crime is unrelated Purity endorsement. We find support for these hypotheses using a national sample (N = 1,024).

Authors
Jasmine R. Silver, University at Albany, SUNY
Luzi Shi, University at Albany, SUNY


The Contaminating Effect of Confession Evidence on Jurors’ Judgments: Does It Depend on Defendant Age?

In Event: Race, Ethnicity, Age, and Sanctions: Disparate Sentencing and Biased Perceptions of Offenders

Confessions can have a contaminating effect such that the presence of confession evidence makes other evidence seem more inculpatory than in cases without a confession. Jurors tend to be more sensitive to the possibility of false confessions in cases involving juveniles than adults, however. Thus, juveniles’ coerced confessions might have an inoculating effect on how jurors perceive other evidence. We used an experimental mock trial design to observe how a defendant’s age affects mock jurors’ decision making in cases involving confession evidence. We hypothesized that jurors would be more likely to discount juveniles’ than adults’ confessions, and predicted that coerced confessions would have a contaminating effect on perceptions of other evidence in cases involving an adult defendant, but an inoculating effect in cases involving a juvenile defendant. Results demonstrated that jurors discounted a defendant’s coerced confession in their decision-making, especially when the defendant was a juvenile. Jurors were also influenced by an adult’s coerced confessed to view other evidence as more inculpatory than if there was no confession, and, conversely, perceived other evidence as less inculpatory when the coerced confession came from a juvenile defendant. Implications will be discussed.

Authors
Jennifer Weintraub, University at Albany, SUNY
Cynthia J Najdowski, University at Albany, State University of New York
George Redder, University at Albany, SUNY


Schools are a Hotbed of Crime? A Spatial Point Pattern Analysis of School Segregation and Juvenile Arrests in New York City

In Event: Stop-and-Frisk Research

Stop-and-frisk practices have become a central part of modern-day policing in America since ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968, yet the controversy over these practices—in particular, the race-related controversy—has grown over time, reaching a fever pitch. New York City has one of the country's most racially segregated educational systems. Little empirical research has been done to examine the relationship between school segregation and racial disparities in stop-and-frisk practices. To quantitatively assess the relationship between school segregation and police stops, spatial point pattern analyses are performed to examine the first order and second order effects. We offer a hypothesis that school segregation is associated with racial disparities in stop-and-frisk practices as applied to juveniles. Using a spatial point pattern analysis, we then investigate the contours of this hypothesis.

Authors
Haemi Won, State University of New York, University at Albany
Shao-Chiu Juan, University at Albany, SUNY
Shiguo Jiang, State University of New York, University at Albany


Analysis of National and State Homicide Trends, 1960-2014

In Event: Characteristics and Variability of Homicide across Space and Time

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to compare trends in homicide reported by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program and the National Vital Statistics System during the period 1960-2014 at both the national level and for the 50 US levels. The analysis provides information about the accuracy of the data and reasons for differences between the two data sources.

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


The Long-Term Effects of Child Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence on Adult Socioeconomic Adjustment

In Event: Childhood Risk Factors and Life-Course Outcomes

There is a growing literature that documents the effects of child abuse, adolescent intimate partner violence (IPV), and young adult IPV on adult socioeconomic outcomes such as educational attainment, job stability, welfare participation, and income. Largely, this literature focuses on short term consequences of violence such as the contemporaneous effects of a violent partner interfering with job and school. We aim to extend this literature more generally by examining why exposure to these types of violence have long-term effects. Drawing on the life course literature, these experiences with violence may act as turning points in the life course that impact conceptions of self, emotional well-being, and self-efficacy which in turn lower adult socioeconomic stability and success. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine if depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and lack of future planning mediate the impact of child abuse, adolescent IPV, and early adulthood IPV on several measures of adult socioeconomic adjustment (financial problems, job instability, and educational attainment). We find some evidence of mediation for all three outcomes, though child abuse and IPV continue to exert independent effects. We discuss implications of these analyses for experiences with different types of violence in the life course.

Authors
Joanne M Kaufman, University at Albany, SUNY
Christine M Walsh, University at Albany, SUNY


Exploring Morality as a Moderator of the Association Between Strain and Crime

In Event: Differential Processes Linking Strain and Crime

This research examines the ability of moral beliefs to affect the strength of the relationship between strain and delinquency.

Authors
Glen Ishoy, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Matthew Kijowski, University at Albany-SUNY


What They Don't Know Says a Lot: Multilevel Analysis of Residents' Knowledge of Neighborhood Crime in Contemporary China

In Event: Fear of Crime: International Perspectives

Survey researchers have long debated the issue of whether to provide a "don’t know" (DK) option in survey instruments and how to handle DK responses in data analysis if the option has been provided. The debates center around whether the incorporation of the DK option is necessary to avoid forced answers to nonexistent attitudes/opinions, whether this option simply encourages respondents to avoid contemplating an item, and whether to treat DK responses as missing data or as revealing something of substantive interest (e.g., lack of knowledge). We conducted a multistage survey of residents’ perceptions of crime in their neighborhoods in Chongqing, China and included the DK option. We found surprisingly high percentages of DK responses for all of these questions, ranging from 42% to 60%. Such high percentages of DK responses are not found for other items such as household victimization, neighborhood social cohesion, and neighborhood social control, suggesting that the responses do not reflect a general unwillingness to respond. We examine the effects of individual-level and neighborhood-level characteristics on the propensity to give the DK response as a means of gaining a better understanding of who does and does not have knowledge of neighborhood crime.

Authors
Yinzhi Shen, State University of New York at Albany
Steven Messner, University at Albany, SUNY
Jianhong Liu, University of Macau
Robert Sampson, Harvard University


Prison Sentences among Incarcerated Inmates in China: Comparisons across Migrant Statuses

In Event: Immigration and Sentencing

Studies on judicial justice have revealed that defendants convicted of similar criminal offenses with similar legally relevant characteristics often receive different sentences, a phenomenon commonly referred to as sentencing disparity. The bulk of this research has been conducted in Western counties, especially the US, and has focused on race/ethnicity. By contrast, few studies have examined sentencing disparity in China. Moreover, given that China is largely homogeneous with respect to race, researchers must look elsewhere for likely determinants of disparities in sentencing. Our study extends the literature by considering the effect of migrant status on sentencing disparity in contemporary China. We examine whether migrant offenders tend to receive more severe legal punishment, and how the association between migrant status and punishment relates to sociodemographic and criminal profiles. These questions are explored with recently collected data for a sample of approximately 1,800 prisoners from four prisons in Southern China. Along with other findings, the analyses suggest that migrant offenders actually receive less severe punishment than their counterparts with local urban residence (Hukou), but this greater apparent leniency is accounted for by age. Migrant prisoners are younger on average than are non-migrant prisoners. Potential explanations of our findings and policy implications are discussed.

Authors
Jianhong Liu, University of Macau
Yunhan Zhao, University at Albany, SUNY
Steven Messner, University at Albany, SUNY


Getting to a Guilty Plea: A Qualitative Examination of the Role of Internal and External Factors in Plea Negotiations

In Event: Legal Services for the Indigent: Guilty Pleas and Sentencing

Although 95-97% of criminal convictions are the result of plea arrangements, the nature of plea bargain decisions remains elusive. There has been little research examining the factors affecting, and rationales underlying, the plea decision. Though there have been a few studies looking at defendants’ plea decisions, we have little understanding of the rationales for pleading guilty and how court actors perceive defendant decision-making; ironically, individuals who have to make the actual decision are rarely asked (by researchers at least) about the reasons underlying their plea decisions. The present research examines plea decision-making through court observations and semi-structured interviews with defendants, defense attorneys, and prosecutors to investigate how defendants perceive and understand the choices and imperatives with which they are faced as they navigate the legal system. Whereas interviews with defendants examine their experiences and perceptions surrounding a specific case in which they pled guilty, defense attorneys and prosecutors are interviewed more generally about their perceptions of generic defendants’ rationales for their plea decisions as well as how those perceptions inform either the plea offer or the advice about accepting the offer. Preliminary findings and their implications will be discussed.

Author
Reveka Shteynberg, University at Albany, SUNY


The Skills of Proactive Policing

In Event: Police Decision-Making

Research has suggested that the performance of proactive policing is a domain of practice in which officers’ performance varies. Proactive policing performed expertly may enable police to achieve its crime control benefits with a minimum of adverse community opinion. Insofar as the practices of the high-performers can be described and their expertise codified, their skills can be taught to other practitioners. We identified officers who displayed a high level of performance in proactive policing. Using ride-along observations as occasions for semi-structured interviews with officers, supplemented by brief interviews concerning individual events, we examined the practices of these officers, e.g., in detecting suspicious activity, forming reasonable suspicion, conducting street interrogations, gaining consent or probable cause to search.

Authors
Sarah J McLean, The John F. Finn Institute
Danielle L Reynolds, The John F. Finn Institute & the University at Albany
Caitlin J Dole, The John F. Finn Institute
Robert E Worden, University at Albany, SUNY


A Cross National Examination of the Relationship Between Social Progress and Gender Violence

In Event: Poster Session II

Even in the most economically developed and modern nations women experience disparities in the workplace, in religious and social life. Some scholars argue that women experience victimization and violence in ways that equally disparate. This project explores the relationship between relative levels of social progress and the ways in which women in a given nation experience victimization and violence.

Authors
Laurie Gould, Georgia Southern University
Matthew Pate, State University of New York at Albany


Mapping Attitudes Towards the Police at Micro Places

In Event: Poster Session II

We demonstrate the utility of mapping community satisfaction with the police at micro places using data from citizen surveys conducted in 2001, 2009 and 2014 in one city. In each survey, respondents provided the nearest intersection to their address. We use inverse distance weighting to map a smooth surface of satisfaction with police over the entire city, which shows broader neighborhood patterns of satisfaction as well as small area hot spots of dissatisfaction. Our results show that hot spots of dissatisfaction with police do not conform to census tract boundaries, but rather align closely with hot spots of crime and police activity. Models predicting satisfaction with police show that local counts of violent crime are the strongest predictors of attitudes towards police, even above individual level predictors of race and age.

Authors
Andrew Wheeler, University of Texas at Dallas
Jasmine R. Silver, University at Albany, SUNY
Sarah J McLean, The John F. Finn Institute
Robert E Worden, University at Albany, SUNY


Medical Professionals’ Stereotypes about Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Child Abuse

In Event: Poster Session II

As explained by Madon (1997), examining the specific components that make up a stereotype allows one to assess the valence, strength, and inaccuracy of the stereotype. Moreover, identifying the content of stereotypes helps to contextualize their effects. Drawing from this social psychological foundation, we determined the content of stereotypes associating race and social class with child abuse as perceived by medical professionals, as recent exonerations have identified medical misdiagnosis of abuse as a source of wrongful convictions. Medical professionals (e.g., doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants) were recruited via local hospitals and snowball sampling to complete one of two online surveys. On the Phase 1 survey, participants listed words related to stereotypes about child abuse and either race or socioeconomic status. On the Phase 2 survey, a second group of participants rated how much the most common attributes identified in Phase 1 (e.g., poor, uneducated, stressed) were related to either the race or social class stereotype. This combined procedure both assessed the content of the stereotypes and identified the most stereotypic constructs. Results have implications for understanding how stereotypes might affect medical decision making, racial and class disparities in misdiagnosis of child abuse and, in turn, wrongful convictions.

Authors
Kimberly Bernstein, University at Albany, SUNY
Cynthia J Najdowski, University at Albany, State University of New York


Demeanor and Police Culture: Theorizing How Procedurally Just Cooperation Influences Police Officers

In Event: Research Focusing on Police Officers

This study revisits classic theoretical arguments regarding the broad effects of civilian demeanor on policing and extends associated findings (Wilson, 1967). Our theoretical framework draws on insights from the literatures on police culture, the group engagement model and fairness heuristic theory. We argue that demeanor should be conceptualized as the degree of procedural justice exhibited by civilians. Theoretically, procedurally just cooperation should influence officers’ adherence to police culture by affecting their social identification and assessments of civilians’ motives and moral deservingness. An analysis of data from a sample of U.S. police officers supports these hypotheses. Regression results reveal that officers use their procedural justice judgments as heuristics to assess civilians’ trustworthiness, dangerousness, and moral deservingness. Officers who perceive greater procedurally just cooperation by civilians feel less threatened by the public, are more willing to use procedural justice themselves, and are less supportive of a “tough cop” policing style.

Authors
Justin T Pickett, University at Albany, SUNY
Justin Nix, University of Nebraska Omaha


The Effects of Attribution-Based Persuasive Messages on Deviant Behavior

In Event: Research on Traffic Crash, Robbery against Businesses, and the Effects of Child Maltreatment and Persuasive Messages on Deviant Behavior

Although research has shown that individuals engage in crime due to the influence of others, it remains unclear how criminal or deviant behavior is promoted through verbal communications. We considered whether persuasive messages that manipulate the attributions a person makes about him- or herself can promote deviant behavior. Participants (N = 134) were randomly assigned to receive either no persuasive message or persuasive messages designed to either promote or prevent cheating using either positive (e.g., “be an honest person”) or negative attributions (e.g., “be a cheater”). Participants then completed a coin-flipping task with the potential for monetary benefit. Those who received prevention-focused messages did not report more heads than chance would predict, regardless of whether the messages implied positive or negative attributions. Participants who received no persuasive messages or positive attribution promotion-focused messages reported marginally more heads than chance. In addition, participants who received negative attribution promotion-focused messages reported significantly more heads than chance. Planned comparisons revealed that only participants who received negative attribution promotion-focused messages reported significantly more heads relative to those who received no persuasive message, F(1, 54) = 4.35, p = .04, indicating that specific features of persuasive communications can induce individuals to engage in deviant behavior.

Authors
Lauren S Springer, University at Albany, State University of New York
Cynthia J Najdowski, University at Albany, State University of New York


Media Consumption and Crime Trend Perceptions: Comparing Results from OLS, Fixed Effects, and Dynamic Panel Models

In Event: Rethinking Media and Perceptions of Crime

Objectives: The American public has persisted in believing that crime is on the rise, despite the fact that U.S. crime rates have been dropping steadily. Cultivation theory holds that media is responsible for the public’s perception of crime trends. This argument, though long-standing, lacks definitive proof because of omitted variable bias and reserve causation. This study aims to fill in this research gap and examine the causal relationship between news consumption and crime trend perceptions.
Methods: We draw on three waves of the 2008-2009 American National Election Survey (ANES). We first employ ordinary least squares (OLS) and fixed effects methods to assess if greater exposure to crime news causes perceptions that crime trends are worsening. We then take advantage of the longitudinal character of the ANES data to employ generalized method of moments (GMM) dynamic panel estimators.
Results: Newspaper and TV news consumption appears to be related to crime trend perceptions when OLS is used. However, media consumption variables have no statistically significant relationship with crime trend perception when in the fixed effects and GMM dynamic panel models.
Conclusions: The results provide little evidence for the argument that media exposure influences the public’s perceptions of crime trends.

Authors
Luzi Shi, University at Albany, SUNY
Sean Patrick Roche, University at Albany, SUNY
Ryan M. McKenna, Drexel University


Gender Differences in the Effect of Community Policing Training on Police-Juvenile Relations

In Event: Evaluation of Police Training Programs

Community policing emerged as a distinct paradigm of policing in the 1970s, and ever since then, it has been changing the established view of police functions and making the very notions of police functions more dynamic and elastic. Community police training is the key of successful community policing implementation to make officers familiar with dynamic and elastic police functions through community policing training. This paper will examine gender differences in police use of force in police-juvenile encounters by using the Project on Policing Neighborhoods (POPN) data 1997-1998. This will examine the impact of community policing training on police use of force and the moderating effects of gender in the impact of community policing training on police use of force. Policy and research implications will be discussed.

Author
Haemi Won, State University of New York, University at Albany


“We Needed Help. She Needed Help:” Caregivers’ Feelings About Juvenile Residential Placement and Their Engagement

In Event: Experiences of Incarcerated Juveniles

Juvenile justice services have undergone a paradigm shift from youth-centered services to family-centered services. While increased attention and effort have been given to engaging caregivers in interventions for justice-involved youth, most understanding of caregiver engagement has been derived from the staff perspective. Exploring the attitudes and feelings of caregivers at the time of their child’s placement will assist in understanding caregiver experiences that might relate to their ability to be engaged. The current study utilized data generated during interviews with 101 caregivers, who recently had a child residentially placed. Caregivers were asked questions pertaining to their feelings and experiences surrounding the placement of their child. This study explored some the caregivers’ feelings related to placement including their general level of agreement or disagreement with the placement decision and what they felt and experienced during the days leading up to the placement. A discussion of how these feelings and experiences could either contribute to or inhibit caregiver engagement will be explored. Recommendations for agencies focused on early caregiver engagement will be made based on the experiences and emotions expressed by caregivers.

Author
Raquel Moriarty Derrick, University at Albany


Hot Spots Policing and Crime Prevention: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

In Event: Hot Spots Policing

Research consistently demonstrates that crime is unevenly distributed across space and relatively few places account for disproportionately high levels of crime. This suggests that the police may be more efficient and effective at reducing crime when targeting crime “hot spots,” or small geographic areas where crime clusters. These insights have seemingly become common knowledge among crime scholars and practitioners, and small places have increasingly been incorporated into crime prevention strategies. Given the proliferation of interventions that have employed this strategy in recent years, it is prudent to assess the evolving body of research on hot spots policing. In this paper, we detail an updated systematic review of hot spots policing and crime that adhered to the protocols and conventions of the Campbell Collaboration. Meta-analysis techniques are used to determine the magnitude, direction, and significance of the effects of hot spots policing methods on crime. Similar analytic methods are used to examine whether policing interventions at hot spots are associated with crime displacement or a diffusion of benefits. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of relevant policy implications stemming from our findings.

Authors
Anthony Braga, Northeastern University
Andrew V. Papachristos, Yale University
David M. Hureau, University at Albany - SUNY
Brandon Turchan, Rutgers University


Continuity of Social Capital Across a Period of Incarceration

In Event: Incarceration, Social Capital, and Community Re-Entry

Researchers have started to examine the social ties of prisoners to identify sources of support or capital that can help them with their transition back to society upon release. Often these studies use visitation as a proxy for social support, but are unable to empirically test the link between visitors and the overall social capital of prisoners. This paper seeks to address that gap by directly linking pre-prison social network and capital measures to during prison visitation and back to post-release social support using a rich set of longitudinal administrative and self-report data from the Prison Project, a nation-wide longitudinal panel study of incarcerated males in The Netherlands. Specifically, this paper will link ties to parents, partners, children, other family members, and friends from prior to incarceration (self-reported at intake) to visits during incarceration and to ties to these parties at 6- and 24-months post-release. Indicators of instrumental support (e.g., depositing money in prisoner accounts, housing, jobs) and expressive support (e.g., discuss important matters) provided by the social network will also be explored. This paper will contribute to the literature by directly modeling the continuity of social capital from pre- to during- and post-incarceration.

Authors
Audrey Hickert, University at Albany (SUNY)
Hanneke Palmen, Leiden University
Anja Dirkzwager, Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement
Paul Nieuwbeerta, Leiden University


Mechanisms of Extralocal Neighborhood Influence on Adolescent Offending

In Event: Innovations in Delinquency Research: Parental Incarceration, Peer Networks, and Neighborhood Context

Drawing on routine activities theory, research on parenting practices in urban settings, and relative deprivation theory, this study examines the mechanisms through which levels of socioeconomic disadvantage in local and extralocal neighborhoods contribute to adolescent offending. We employ a spatial modeling strategy that allows us to assess the unique and separable effects of local and extralocal neighborhood disadvantage on the offending behavior of 794 Dutch adolescents participating in the Study of Peers, Activities, and Neighborhoods (SPAN). We find that the strongest neighborhood effects occur when youth reside in disadvantaged neighborhoods surrounded by relatively high levels of affluence, rather than concentrated disadvantage. Much of this effect can be attributed to greater temptations to offend, reduced parental monitoring, and greater opportunities to engage in unstructured activities with peers afforded to youths who live in close proximity to neighborhoods more affluent than their own. This study highlights the importance of criminogenic opportunities and parental monitoring for understanding the countervailing influences of local and extralocal neighborhood disadvantage on adolescent offending. To this end, we encourage researchers to consider broader community factors, in addition to residential neighborhood features, when examining neighborhood effects on adolescent behavior.

Authors
Matt Vogel, University of Missouri - St. Louis
Evelien Hoeben, University at Albany, SUNY
Wim Bernasco, NSCR


Counsel at First Appearance in Court: Defense Lawyers' Roles in Pretrial Justice

In Event: NIJ's Research on Indigent Defense

In 2008, the Supreme Court established in Rothgery vs. Gillespie County that a defendant's right to counsel in criminal cases begins with the first court appearance at which he is advised of charges against him. Advocates argue that when defendants are unrepresented by counsel at this critical early point, they face significant disadvantages as their cases unfold, disadvantages that may have a cumulative effect on case outcomes. This paper, based on research funded by the National Institute of Justice, examines the impact of six upstate New York counties’ programs designed to ensure legal representation at arraignments. Using data coded from court cases disposed before and after CAFA programs were implemented, supplemented by court observation and interviews, we assess the impact of CAFA on arraignment and pretrial release decisions, time spent by defendants in jail, early engagement of pretrial services, time to dispositions, and characteristics of dispositions (pleas to reduced charges, sentences, and post-conviction supervision).

Author
Alissa Pollitz Worden, University at Albany-SUNY


Recent Advancements in Behavioral Economic Perspectives on Offender Decision Making

In Event: Old Ideas, New Puzzles: Advancing Offender Decision Making

Incentives remain a critical component in many theoretical perspectives on crime. Criminology has typically appealed to economics for guidance in modeling how incentives influence crime. But research on Behavioral Economics has long cast doubt on the full empirical validity and descriptive accuracy of economic models. This paper explores recent advancements in using Behavioral Economic insights to better understand how people decide to commit or refrain from crime.

Author
Greg Pogarsky, State University of New York, University at Albany


Situational Peer Influence

In Event: Peer Influence and Delinquency

The literature on peer influence and adolescent delinquency is dominated by studies with long-term (social network) designs, focusing on long-term influence affecting behavior and attitudes. Little attention has been paid to peer influence that occurs instantaneously, even though abundant evidence indicates that adolescents are more likely to take risks, cheat, and use substances when peers are present. A project was conducted among Dutch adolescents, aged 15 to 18, in which they were asked to report retrospectively about situations where they either felt pressured by others to engage in certain behavior, or in which they tried to affect certain behavior of others. Attention is paid to influence toward negative behavior, such as delinquency and substance use, as well as to influence toward positive behavior, such as engagement in school, structured leisure activities, or strengthening social bonds. Findings of this project provide insight into tactics applied by adolescents to actively convince each other to engage in certain behaviors, motives for why they try to affect behavior of their peers, and motives for why they respond to such pressure. Challenges and suggestions are discussed for future studies aimed at further scrutinizing processes of situational influence.

Author
Evelien Hoeben, University at Albany, SUNY


No Magic Bullets: Reductions in Harm with Research and Policy on Firearms

In Event: Policies and Perspectives on Firearms

America is an armed nation. Recent firearms ownership estimates by news outlets argue that there are now more guns than people. (Ingraham, 2015) Much of this debate has failed to concentrate on how harm results from legal and illegal gun use. The proposed policy analysis and theoretical expansion identifies the challenges present within the current theories, research, and policy, much of which is uninformed by how firearms work and how people using them behave in both the legal and illegal gun cultures. The authors focus on problems resulting from a lack of understanding of the culture of legal gun ownership and a lack of respect for the sensibilities and experiences of legal gun owners. Denials of the realities that legal gun owners see, including those living in rural areas where hunting and sport shooting are strong aspects of their cultural experiences, results in polarizing, ineffective, and inefficient policy doomed to fail. Other problems result from a lack of communication on how research and gun policy can benefit legal owners. Changes in the style and focus of research and policy development could realign these perspectives and lessen acrimony giving pathways out of the stalemate that currently characterizes the larger discussion.

Authors
Alan J Lizotte, University at Albany, State University of New York
Nicole Hendrix, Radford University


Directions in Sentencing in the Current Political Climate

In Event: Policy Panel: Prospects for Criminal Justice Reform in the Trump Era - Sentencing Reform

The time period of the late 1980’s and 1990’s is revered as one encompassing both the “get tough on crime” philosophy and the proposed “war on drugs” promoted by a conservative political agenda. The sentencing policies of this time mirrored the political rhetoric with mandatory sentences for drug offenders, three strikes laws, and the emergence of a “suspect” population of youth—at that time being young, urban males of color. With recent decades turning much scholarly attention to the aftermath of those policies and their discriminatory results for minority males, it seemed American society was on the precipice of criminal justice reform to reduce mass incarceration and the social ills associated with these policies. For example, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 changed the federal sentencing guidelines to reduce, among other penalties, the previous disparity in recommended sentences for crack and powder cocaine. Yet, today, we again find ourselves in the midst of a political attack with a new villain—terrorists—and the emergence of a new set of suspect population. In this case, the suspect population includes all individuals practicing the Muslim religion, Hispanics (particularly those of Mexican decent) and refugees of foreign wars. Will the lessons of the past apply and will we see new disparate criminal justice policies emerge aimed at these populations? If so, what form and shape might these disparities take? In this panel we discuss the current political stage with an eye towards policies and lessons learned from the past and work together to devise strategies to ensure science and not political rhetoric continue to inform sentencing policies.

Authors
John Kramer, Penn State University
Megan C Kurlychek, University at Albany


Mama’s Boy or Daddy’s Girl? Delinquent Consequences of Family Instability by Parent for Youth.

In Event: Poster Session I

Recent estimates from demographers indicate that more than half (52%) of youth in the United States will experience family instability (movement from one type of family structure to a different type of family structure) before the age of 12. As “non-traditional” father headed households (single father, cohabiting, or stepparent) become more commonplace today than in the past this might influence the delinquency rates of those specific youth, as evidence suggests that youth who belong to a non-traditional father headed household are at higher risk for being delinquent than youth in a “non-traditional” mother headed household (single, cohabiting, or stepparent) . This phenomenon has only been looked with family structure being a static measure, even though these youth transitioning might be at higher risk for delinquency. The current study, therefore, seeks to determine whether the effect on delinquency is larger when transitioning to a non-traditional mother headed household versus a non-traditional father headed household taking into account known risk for delinquency. To test this relationship, I will employ longitudinal data from the second National Evaluation of G.R.E.A.T.

Author
Walter W. Shelley, University at Albany (SUNY)


Testing the Generality of Low Self-Control Through Legal and Illegal Behaviors

In Event: Poster Session I

Alcohol has been posited to be the most commonly used drug among college students. Similarly, marijuana use is a regular occurrence at the collegiate level, but to a lesser extent than alcohol. Gottfredson and Hirschi’s low self-control theory has been largely overlooked when attempting to explain these behaviors in solely underage students – especially when trying to discover gender differences. Using a sample of 233 undergraduate students from a Western Pennsylvania university, alcohol use, binge drinking, marijuana use, and arguments are predicted from low self-control to test legal and illegal behaviors focused on substance use, substance abuse, and asocial behaviors. Through 16 regression models and further analyses, results suggest that low self-control theory continues to be a strong correlate of crime and deviance. However, low self-control’s predictive ability is contingent on gender. Implications are offered with more research on solely underage college students needed.

Author
Matthew Kijowski, University at Albany-SUNY


Threat Communication and the White Collar Offender: The Potential for Direct Deterrence Messaging in the Workplace

In Event: Regulation and Prevention of White-Collar Crime

Direct deterrence programs (e.g., Boston’s Ceasefire, Hawaii’s HOPE probation) focus on reducing crime by increasing the certainty of sanctions. This is achieved in part by explicitly communicating the likelihood and severity of sanctions to potential offenders. Program evaluations support these programs’ value. We believe a similar strategy may be useful for white-collar offenders. In this study, we experimentally examine the ability of direct sanction messaging to deter white-collar crime.

Ethics codes are the most commonly applied aspect of corporate internal compliance programs, yet evidence supporting their effectiveness is mixed. It’s likely that inconsistent support for codes’ effectiveness comes from the blunt operationalizations used in prior research. Most studies simply examine whether malfeasance is higher in businesses that have an ethics code compared to those without one, without looking at the content of the code or how the code is communicated. The few studies that do examine code content and communication fail to look specifically at how potential/actual sanctions are portrayed in the ethics code or communicated through other avenues (e.g., company memos publicizing employee punishments). Here, we present hypothetical ethics materials to business professionals to determine how variations in sanction messaging impact offending decisions.

Authors
Melissa L Rorie, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Greg Pogarsky, State University of New York, University at Albany
Matthew P West, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


‘Inactive Policing’: Officers’ Responses to Increased Visibility and Intensified Societal Engagement with Front-Line Police Work

In Event: Research Issues Arising from Police-Community Interactions

Societies’ intensifying concerns with front-line police behavior is much discussed in mediated public, and academic, discourses. The idea that practices must change, in order to rehabilitate public trust and bolster waning legitimacy, is ubiquitous across popular and scholarly literature. Scant attention, however, has been directed toward understanding how officers are responding to today's policing environments – featuring unprecedented visibility of actions in the field and heightened societal scrutiny, critique, and distrust. Some (perhaps most notably FBI Director Comey) have advanced that unascertained, but significant, numbers of rank-and-file officers have adopted disengagement (‘de-policing’) strategies to mitigate exposure to interactions that officers understand as presenting elevated risks for misconduct allegations, potential public attention and criticism, and unpleasant internal inquiries. This paper presents results of empirical research (involving 3,660 American and Canadian front-line officers), which inquired into the prevalence, and nature, of behavioral modifications in response to contemporary policing environments. It is argued, given the preponderance of study data, that ‘inactive policing’ (perhaps the best terminology to characterize the phenomenon) is widespread. Many officers are struggling with an existential sense of insecurity, which manifests, in their day-to-day police work, as risk-averse perceptions, attitudes, and avoidance practices – vis-à-vis certain situations, communities, and individuals.

Author
Gregory Brown, University at Albany and Carleton University (Canada)


The Moral Foundations of Crime Control: Mapping the Moral Foundations of American Political Party Platforms, 1948-2016

In Event: State and Federal Responses to Crime

The past sixty years have seen considerable shifts in the salience of crime control as a party platform, in the framing of crime, and in orientations of both the Democratic and Republican Parties to addressing it. In an effort to better understand the dynamics of partisan shifts in crime control and interconnected issues (race, immigration, and social welfare), the present research evaluates the moral content of party platform language on these issues from 1948 through 2016. Our analysis is shaped by Moral Foundations Theory (Haidt, 2012) which suggests that conservative and liberal ideologies are rooted in different sets of moral concerns such as Fairness, Harm, Loyalty, Authority, and Purity. We use text-analysis to inductively evaluate the moral content and underlying ideologies of party platforms addressing crime control issues.

Authors
Elizabeth K Brown, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Jasmine R. Silver, University at Albany, SUNY


The Cost Of Racial Inequality Revisited

In Event: Toward a Black Criminology

Approximately thirty-five years ago, Judith and Peter Blau published their seminal article in the American Sociological Review entitled “The Cost of Inequality: Metropolitan Structure and Violent Crime.” The distinctive feature of their research was not the proposition that inequality might have criminogenic consequences, a notion that had long been considered by scholars in the field. Rather, the Blaus’ original contribution was to direct attention to inequality rooted in ascribed characteristics, and more specifically, to racial inequality. In this paper, we revisit the pioneering research by the Blaus. We place their work in intellectual context, review the theoretical and empirical controversies directly stimulated by it, and discuss selected aspects of the evolution of criminological research on the cost of racial inequality over the following decades, with a particular focus on the racialized hierarchy of place in American society.

Authors
Steven Messner, University at Albany, SUNY
Brian Stults, Florida State University


Changing Trends: An Empirical Analysis of Drug Legislation and Female Incarceration Rates in the US

In Event: Women in Prison: Rates, Experiences, and Reentry

The purpose of this study is to empirically evaluate the assertion that drug legislation introduced in the 1980s impacted female incarceration rates. Previous research contends that drug legislation introduced during that time period increased the likelihood of incarceration for female offenders. Few studies offer empirical support for this conclusion, however. This study utilizes archival data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics Survey of Inmates of State and Federal Correctional Facilities Series (1974 - 2004), Census of State and Federal Adult Correctional Facilities Series (1979 - 2000), and National Jail Census Series (1970 - 1999). An interrupted time series design is used to determine whether there was a change in the incarceration rate for female offenders after the introduction of new drug legislation.

Author
Colleen Mair, University at Albany, SUNY


Workshop: Designing and Fielding Online Surveys

Original data collection using surveys is an indispensable component of criminological inquiry. However, declining rates of coverage and response have made it more difficult and costly to administer surveys using traditional survey modes. At the same time, technological advancements and expansions in Internet access have increased the feasibility of online surveys. This workshop will provide a broad introduction to Internet survey methods. First, we will review common methods for sampling survey respondents online (e.g., crowdsourcing, opt-in panels), and discuss associated challenges (e.g., coverage bias, panel overlap, non-naivete). Next, we will review current best practices for constructing online questionnaires (e.g., background colors, font types, response formats). The workshop will provide the most recent evidence on each of the the issues we discuss. There will also be an overview of different services and software (e.g., SurveyMonkey) available for developing and delivering online surveys. Finally, we will cover several common pitfalls that can arise when conducting online surveys, and strategies for avoiding them.

Instructor
Justin T Pickett, University at Albany, SUNY