MAPS Projects: Neighborhoods, Communities and Place

Collective Efficacy and Violent Crime in Chicago Neighborhoods, 1991-1999

Grantee: Joint Centers for Justice Studies, Inc.
Amount: $34,740
Award Number: 2007-92449-WV-DN

Description: This research will assess the direct and indirect effects of collective efficacy on criminal behavior in Chicago. Neighborhood-level collective efficacy is an important theoretical component of contemporary thinking about the causes of crime and the role of informal and formal mechanisms of social control. This research proposes to reproduce and extend the analyses originally generated by Sampson et al. (1997) and Morenoff et al. (2001). Based on a 1995 citywide community survey of 8,782 residents in 343 neighborhood clusters conducted as part of the NIJ-sponsored Program on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, these published analyses found that collective efficacy directly affects homicide rates, perceived violence and personal victimization; collective efficacy was also found to moderate the effects of concentrated disadvantage.

This research will use the archived data from the community survey to assess the extent to which the measures and statistical methods in them can be reproduced. Researchers will also extend these analyses to include expanded measures of criminal behavior, alternative definitions of neighborhood and enhanced tests of the spatial nature of criminal behavior.

Crime Displacement and HUD’s HOPE VI Initiative

Grantee: The Urban Institute
Amount: $90,298
Award Number: 2007-IJ-CX-0020

Description: The purpose of this project is to assess how crime patterns change during and after the closing, renovation and subsequent reopening of public housing developments under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) HOPE VI initiative. This will be accomplished through examination of crime in and around three HOPE VI redevelopment sites in Milwaukee, Wis., and the District of Columbia. No previous studies have specifically considered the effects on crime of redevelopment of public housing under the HOPE VI initiative.

The analysis will consist of two central components: (1) a qualitative assessment of changes in the physical environment, resident demographics and the spatial patterns of crime and (2) statistical tests for spatial displacement using three methods: a time series analysis, the Bowers and Johnson (2003) Weighted Displacement Quotient and Ratcliffe’s (2005) point pattern analysis. The methods will be used to test the following hypotheses: (1) the closing of the HOPE VI redevelopment sites resulted in a reduction of crime and drug activity in and around the sites; (2) the closing of the HOPE VI redevelopment sites resulted in the displacement of crime to other public housing locations and/or other neighborhoods; (3) crime will be low in the immediate and surrounding areas of HOPE VI sites after their redevelopment and reopening under the HOPE VI project guidelines, which include mixed uses, mixed resident income levels and community improvements; (4) benefits from the redevelopment of HOPE VI sites will extend to the surrounding community; (5) crime that is displaced as a result of the redevelopment of severely distressed public housing sites under the HOPE VI initiative will persist in the displacement areas after the HOPE VI development is reopened; and (6) the results obtained from the selected methodologies will be comparable, allowing The Urban Institute to develop a framework of displacement methodologies that are appropriate in different situations.

The Geography and Crime Project: Understanding Place and Its Influence on Crime

Intramural researcher: Ronald E. Wilson

Description: MAPS researchers will analyze the impact of ecology, economics and demographics on crime trends at the local and regional levels, looking at eight different regions in the United States. Researchers also will study historical trends in each area to better understand the causes of crime today.

Investigating the Simultaneous Effects of Individual, Program and Neighborhood Attributes on Juvenile Recidivism Using GIS and Spatial Data Mining

Grantee: Temple University
Amount: $316,712
Award Number: 2006-IJ-CX-0022

Description: The project proposes to develop, apply and evaluate improved techniques to investigate the simultaneous effects of neighborhood and program forces on preventing juvenile recidivism. For many years, program evaluation researchers have focused on understanding what forces are most effective in preventing delinquency, for which individuals, and under what circumstances. In community settings, answering these questions presents a unique challenge because "circumstances" include the home neighborhoods of youth participating in correctional programs. Understanding how programs and neighborhoods jointly shape youth behavior and identifying conditions under which rehabilitative programs are successful are fundamental to planning programs that facilitate positive trajectories for the physical, social, cognitive and affective development of young people.

Using geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial data mining and a number of data sources from Philadelphia, the study proposes to investigate the simultaneous effects of neighborhood, program and individual characteristics (including family) on juvenile recidivism. GIS provides the technology to integrate diverse spatial data sets, quantify spatial relationships and visualize the results of spatial analysis. In the context of juvenile recidivism, this approach will facilitate the investigation of how and why recidivism rates vary by location, program and individual.

The Impact of Residency Restriction Laws on the Displacement of Sex Offenders

Intramural researchers: Carrie Mulford, Ronald E. Wilson, Angela Moore-Parmley

Description: MAPS research will build on a previous study in which researchers found evidence that residency restriction laws tend to limit offenders to living in socially disorganized communities. The disorder in these communities can increase the likelihood of recidivism. Current research will replicate the original study for 38 metropolitan areas and determine whether these findings can be generalized.

Spreading the Wealth: The Effect of the Distribution of Income and Race/Ethnicity Across Households and Neighborhoods on City Crime Trajectories

Grantee: University of California
Amount: $35,000
Award Number: 2008-90023-CA-IJ

Description: This study will estimate the trajectories of crime rates in seven areas that have seen dramatic population growth since World War II — Orange County, Calif.; the San Diego area; the Silicon Valley area; the Denver area; the Miami area; the Dallas area; and the Las Vegas area. Studying geographical areas that are at a similar "developmental" stage will provide more appropriate comparisons of these trajectories of crime.

This study will attempt to determine how the racial and socioeconomic makeup of these urban areas affects their trajectory of crime. It will examine the effects on crime rates of the overall level of these measures, of the distribution of these measures across households and of the spatial distribution of these measures across neighborhoods.

This approach will test two competing perspectives on the causes of crime. The political perspective argues that the overall inequality in a city affects the amount of crime by reducing the political will to address underlying disorder in the community; in contrast, the social distance/social disorganization model posits that poverty and the lack of social/educational opportunities in underprivileged neighborhoods cause crime and its increase over time. This study will test whether a simple measure of the level of poverty overall affects crime, or whether highly disadvantaged neighborhoods with high levels of poverty have a nonlinear effect on crime (Sampson and Wilson, 1995).

Studies have generally found a positive relationship between racial/ethnic heterogeneity and crime rates. By accounting for the spatial distribution of such heterogeneity in metropolitan areas, this study will be able to determine whether this effect occurs at the tract (or neighborhood) level or city level. The study will use latent trajectory models to estimate these trajectories of urban crime rates and what determines these trajectories. Separate trajectories will be examined over the periods 1970-80, 1980-90, 1990-2000 and 2000-05, allowing criminologists to determine whether these effects have changed over a 35-year period.

Determinants of Chicago Neighborhoods Homicide Trends: 1980-2000

Grantee: Florida State University
Amount: $34,798
Award Number: 2007-92429-FL-DN

Description: One of the most important social changes in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s was the dramatic increase and subsequent decrease in crime, and particularly violent crime, in large cities. For example, the homicide rate in Chicago nearly tripled between 1965 and 1992, after which it declined by more than 50 percent through 2005. Surely this is a remarkable pattern of change, but is this trend representative of all areas in the city?

The purpose of the proposed project is to examine homicide trends in Chicago neighborhoods during the period 1980-2000 using three data sources available from the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research and the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. Drawing on the literature about social disorganization and concentrated disadvantage, this study will use growth-curve modeling and semiparametric group-based trajectory modeling to (1) assess neighborhood variation in homicide trends, (2) identify the particular types of homicide trajectory that Chicago neighborhoods follow, (3) assess whether structural characteristics of neighborhoods influence homicide trends and trajectories and (4) determine the extent to which the influence of structural characteristics is mediated by neighborhood levels of collective efficacy. This project extends previous research by not only describing the homicide trends and trajectories of Chicago neighborhoods, but also identifying the neighborhood characteristics that directly and indirectly influence those trends.

Expanding the Scope of Research on Recent Crime Trends

Grantee: University of Missouri
Amount: $35,000
Award Number: 2007-92437-MO-DN

Description: The substantial shifts in crime rates observed in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s were largely unanticipated, and they have stimulated a deep curiosity among researchers, policymakers, the media and the general public about what happened and why. This curiosity has stimulated a long and creative list of ideas about why crime rates probably took their observed path. However, there have been surprisingly few comprehensive empirical assessments, and there is little consensus about the factors that mattered most. The extant research on recent crime trends has focused on a narrow subset of the many factors thought to be potentially relevant. The proposed project would advance understanding and produce valuable data and results for policymakers and others by (1) building a more complete data infrastructure and (2) conducting a comprehensive and systematic analysis of each of the major hypotheses emphasized in the literature across multiple geographic units (states, metropolitan areas, counties and cities).

Date Created: July 21, 2009