Saturday, September 01, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, September 1, 2007


NCJ 219349
Edward M. Shephard; Paul R. Blackley
Impact of Marijuana Law Enforcement in an Economic Model of Crime
Journal of Drug Issues
Volume:37 Issue:2 Dated:Spring 2007 Pages:403 to 424

Using data from a pooled sample of just over 1,300 U.S. counties (1994-2001), this study compared trends in arrests for the sale and possession of marijuana with trends in selected property and violent crimes, in order to determine whether current enforcement policies for the control of marijuana use provide net benefits greater than alternative strategies such as a legal, regulated marijuana market. The study showed that marijuana arrests were positively associated with higher levels of property crime (burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft) and homicide during the period 1994-2001. Possession arrests were related to the commission of property crimes, and sales arrests were linked with burglary and homicide rates as well as arrests for hard drug possession. Improvements in enforcement ratios for total Part I crimes also contributed to lower rates of property crime. This suggests that arrest rates for Part I crimes provided a deterrent to the commission of property crimes. Effects of arrest rates for Part I crimes on homicide rates and hard drug possession were insignificant. Counties with higher unemployment rates experienced higher rates of burglary and arrests for hard drug possession, and increases in average annual wages were linked to lower rates of all types of crime assessed. These findings suggest that the recent focus on marijuana law enforcement has been counterproductive for addressing nondrug crime. The results imply that nondrug crime rates may decline because law enforcement resources may be directed against other criminal activity when marijuana arrests are given lower priority. In addition, users would not have to finance higher priced marijuana purchases related to supply disruptions, and sellers would not pursue alternative crime opportunities if the risk of arrest for the sale of marijuana declines. 4 tables, 20 notes, 46 references, and appended sample selection methodology, criminal offense definitions, and sources of variables used

NCJ 219327
Elizabeth Comack; Salena Brickey
Constituting the Violence of Criminalized Women
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Volume:49 Issue:1 Dated:January 2007 Pages:1 to 36

Based on the accounts of 18 female offenders regarding their biographies, including violent events they had experienced both as victims and perpetrators, this Canadian study compared the self-reported profiles of these women with the labels of "victim," "mad," and "bad" that have been placed on female offenders, particularly violent ones, in academic and popular publications. In answering the question about whether they viewed themselves as violent people, the women's responses varied. In some cases, women viewed themselves essentially as victims, forced to use violence to survive under conditions not of their making or choosing. Other women identified themselves as perpetrators of violence, both within and outside intimate partner relationships. Some women identified themselves as both victims and perpetrators of violence. Understanding the complexity of women's violence requires being attentive to the multiple and overlapping identities they experience and perceive at various times in their lives. At various times and under changing conditions, they may perceive themselves as a victim, a violent person, and a bad person. They tended to resist psychological labels related to mental disorders ("mad"). These perceptions of themselves were forged within the changing conditions of their roles as wives, mothers, daughters, friends, workers, and even robbers and prisoners. When responding to a question about their wish for their futures, many wanted to stay out of trouble and be good mothers to their children. Whether or not they succeed will depend on the transformation of interactions, behaviors, and social conditions that spawned their violence. 14 notes and 74 references

NCJ 219358
Jacqueline Alfonso; Michael E. Dunn
Differences in the Marijuana Expectancies of Adolescents in Relation to Marijuana Use
Substance Use & Misuse
Volume:42 Issue:6 Dated:2007 Pages:1009 to 1025

This article describes the development and testing of the Marijuana Expectancy Inventory for Children and Adolescents (MEICA), which was used to compare what adolescent marijuana users expected from marijuana's effects compared with the expectations of adolescents who had never used marijuana. The findings show that adolescents who envisioned marijuana as making them feel relaxed, happy, and funny were more likely to have used marijuana; whereas, adolescents who had never used marijuana tended to view it as having negative physiological effects, such as feeling addicted, unhealthy, and depleted of energy. These findings suggest that marijuana users focus on its more immediate effects, and nonusers focus on the more distant long-term effects of regular use. Users' actual experiences with marijuana's effects influenced their expectations for its use; whereas, nonusers tended to focus on information on its effects they had received from drug education programs, which they perceived as more objective and authoritative than testimony from users themselves. Educational approaches that have focused on the negative effects of marijuana use have not been effective in reducing consumption by current adolescent users, however. This may be because adolescent behavior is characterized by experimentation and experiencing immediate pleasurable sensations, rather than harm avoidance and the management of current behavior according to long-term outcomes. The MEICA was developed from a survey of 142 children and adolescents (11-18 years old) between 2003 and 2005 in the southeastern United States. The MEICA was tested with a different sample of 144 adolescents 14 to 19 years old, and memory modeling was used to compare marijuana expectations of users compared with nonusers. 4 tables, 2 figures, and 41 references

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