231628 Measuring Police Effectiveness in Violence Reduction: Applications of Epidemiological Criminology

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Jennifer Wood, PhD , Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Elizabeth Groff, PhD , Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University, Philadelphi, PA
Jerry Ratcliffe, PhD , Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Scott Burris, JD, LLD , Beasley School of Law, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Research on the nature and effects of violent criminal behavior has been influenced in large part by theories and methods developed within the fields of criminology and criminal justice. While criminologists have traditionally sought to advance biological, psychological and sociological perspectives on the nature of crime, scholars of criminal justice have centered on policy solutions carried out by the institutions of police, courts and corrections. Researchers working in the fields of health policy and public health law research have long pointed out that crime is injurious to health on a range of fronts, ranging from individual physical injury and emotional trauma to the costs incurred by our health care system. It is at this intersection of crime and health that a new and exciting strand of interdisciplinary research, termed Epidemiological Criminology, is growing. This presentation reports on a study that applies and integrates theories and methods from criminology and public health. It involves a mixed-method evaluation of police effectiveness in the reduction of violence in Philadelphia's highest crime neighborhoods. The study consisted of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of an intervention involving foot patrol officers assigned to 60 areas of the city (the ‘treatment'). The presenters will then discuss other components of the research involving qualitative and quantitative methods designed to measure ‘dosage' as well as identify and explain the legal and other mechanisms deployed by foot patrol officers in shaping behaviors and environments. The presenters further explore the crime-health nexus while contributing to theory and methods development within Epidemiological Criminology.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand how methods in spatial criminology can be used to evaluate police effectiveness; 2. Explore the theoretical mechanisms through which place-based law enforcement can influence unhealthy behaviors; 3. Identify future research strategies for studying how crime reduction efforts can result public health outcomes.

Keywords: Criminal Justice, Law

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The abstract Author has published significantly in similar areas to the session topic on Epidemiological Criminology.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.