Saturday, September 22, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, September 22, 2007


NCJ 219576
Jeffrey A. Walsh; Ralph B. Taylor
Community Structural Predictors of Spatially Aggregated Motor Vehicle Theft Rates: Do They Replicate?
Journal of Criminal Justice
Volume:35 Issue:3 Dated:May/June 2007 Pages:297 to 311

Compared with previous studies of motor vehicle theft (MVT) rates, this study was designed to provide a more precise estimate of the influence of nearby MVT rates and community characteristics on a given community's MVT rate. The study found that community socioeconomic status (SES) and nearby MVT rates were the only two consistently significant community structural predictors of MVT rates. Communities with low SES had higher MVT rates, as did those with high MVT rates in nearby communities. This suggests that attributes, events, and long-term trends in sections of a city may be influencing MVT rates. These findings differed from earlier similar studies, which have suggested other structural correlates of MVT rates; for example, Copes (1999) found that the percentage of young males and the percentage of multiple-housing units were significant predictors of MVT rates. Rice and Smith (2002) found that the number of African-Americans in a community was a significant predictor of MVT. Gilliam and Damphousse (2000) found that residential instability was significantly related to MVT. The relevance of these additional community parameters beyond SES may have emerged because these studies failed to fully control for nearby MVT rates. It is also possible that the different findings in previous studies could be due to different levels of aggregation, different locations, different demographics, and/or data from different times. The MVT incident report data for January 1, 1990 through December 31, 2001 (n=10,439 MVTs) were provided by a medium-size midwestern city police department. The data included the address of the location from which the vehicle was stolen. The period of 12 years was chosen because it corresponded to the two most recent decennial U.S. Census Bureau surveys (1990 and 2000) and allowed for a thorough analysis of MVT over the decade. 7 tables, 8 notes, and 62 references

NCJ 219579
Kimberly de Beus; Nancy Rodriguez
Restorative Justice Practice: An Examination of Program Completion and Recidivism
Journal of Criminal Justice
Volume:35 Issue:3 Dated:May/June 2007 Pages:337 to 347

Using individual and community data, this study examined how offense type and poverty level influenced program completion and recidivism among juveniles who participated in a restorative justice program, as well as the relationship between program completion and recidivism. The data showed that 89 percent of juveniles in a Maricopa County (Arizona) diversion program based on restorative justice principles and 86 percent of juveniles in the comparison group successfully completed the programs in which they participated. Twenty percent of the juveniles in the restorative justice program reoffended compared to 32 percent of juveniles in the comparison group. Status offenders in the restorative justice program were more likely than status offenders in the comparison group to complete the program successfully; and status and property offenders in the restorative justice programs were less likely to recidivate than similar offenders in the comparison group. Juveniles from communities where a moderate proportion of residents lived in poverty (i.e., between 11 and 20 percent) were .83 times as likely to complete the program than juveniles who resided in communities where a small proportion of residents (less than 11 percent) lived in poverty. The two other poverty measures used showed similar negative effects on program completion. The restorative justice program, known as the Community Justice Committees (CJC) was designed to divert juveniles away from formal court processing. The CJC functions much like a family group conferencing program, in that the victims and family members respond to the harm caused by the offense at issue. Case resolutions may include restitution to the victim, community services, a fine, counseling, and educational sessions. Juveniles complete the terms of the resolution in 60 to 90 days. This study examined all juvenile referrals (n=9,255) eligible for diversion who were processed in either the CJC or the standard diversion program. All of the juveniles were processed from January 1999 through June 2001. 4 tables, 5 notes, and 49 references

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