The Racialized Effect of Nearby Violence across a Violent Crime Distribution

Not only is neighborhood violence a function of local structural conditions, rates of violence in adjacent spaces also bear association. As such, violent conflicts occurring in focal neighborhoods have the potential to spillover to adjacent ones, and vice versa. In spite of substantial knowledge on adjacency effects, left unclear are the conditions under which nearby violence matters the most. I demonstrate that not only does the effect of nearby violence become increasingly consequential as local violence increases, but that said effect is contingent upon local racial composition. To develop these arguments, I use quantile regression to model the effects of violence in adjacent neighborhoods at multiple quintiles of a violent crime distribution. In doing so I account for the different structural contexts of African American and White neighborhoods by performing parallel analyses across a large sample of cities in the United States.

Integrating Service Learning and Simulation into an Undergraduate Criminology Course

with Cyndi Rickards

There is evidence that certain pedagogical approaches can help students move beyond individual explanations of crime. Service learning allows students to learn about criminology and justice by contributing to the betterment of the justice process, and the lives of those who may have contact with the justice system. Simulation, on the other hand, allows otherwise unexposed students to model the institutional and social processes that have implications for crime and justice. While many courses have invoked elements of one or the other, there are no studies that document the concurrent use of both. This paper considers whether service learning and simulation may be able to serve as complementary components within an undergraduate criminology course. Specifically, weekly student journal entries are analyzed to determine if service learning and simulation experiences reinforce what is learned in the classroom, and if both components differentially and/or complimentarily contribute to meeting learning outcomes. The paper also considers obstacles to this sort of learning design, and identifies promising solutions.