Friday, November 23, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, November 23, 2007


NCJ 220290
Erica Turley; Stephen M. Haas
Crime in WV Cities: A Comparative Analysis of Selected Population Groups and Victim-Offender Relationships
West Virginia Division of Criminal Justice Services

This report presents findings from an examination of crime trends in various principal cities and other population groups in West Virginia (WV). Crime rates in WV cities have varied directly with population size; crime rates in the six largest cities in WV were on average approximately 3.5 times greater than in the smallest cities between 2002 and 2006. Between 2002 and 2006, mid-size cities with a population over 10,000 experienced the greatest increase in crime rates, from 74.7 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2002 to 88.2 in 2006. Between 2002 and 2006, Charleston's crime rate was consistently higher than crime rates in other principal cities. The cities of Huntington, Morgantown, and Parkersburg each showed an increase in total crime rates over the past 5 years. For any given year between 2002 and 2006, WV's violent crime rate was roughly half that of the Nation. Violent crimes accounted for only 4.1 percent of all offenses reported in WV during 2006. In 2006, violent-crime rates varied significantly across all principal cities, ranging from a high of 8.8 in Charleston to a low of 2.7 in Parkersburg. Nearly two-thirds of all victims of violent crime (62.2 percent) were in a nondomestic relationship with their offender in 2006. Metro and nonmetro county law enforcement agencies were significantly more likely to report victims as being domestically related to their offenders. WV's property-crime rate has steadily increased over the past 5 years, while it has declined in the Nation as a whole. The cities of Charleston, Huntington, and Martinsburg had the highest rates of property crime among principal cities in 2006. Huntington had the highest property crime rate for all six principal cities in 2006. Data sources were the West Virginia State Police, Uniform Crime Reporting Section, and the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. 5 tables, 7 figures, and 8 references

NCJ 220322
Michael G. Turner; Jennifer L. Hartman; Donna M. Bishop
Effects of Prenatal Problems, Family Functioning, and Neighborhood Disadvantage in Predicting Life-Course-Persistent Offending
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Volume:34 Issue:10 Dated:October 2007 Pages:1241 to 1261

Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this study tested Moffitt's biosocial hypothesis (Neuropsychological deficits interact with disadvantaged family environments to predict "life-course-persistent" offending) across different neighborhood and racial contexts. The study found that within the full sample, biosocial interaction failed to predict "life-course-persistent" offending, defined as problem behavior in early childhood that evolves into antisocial behavior well into adulthood. The biosocial interaction predicted life-course-persistent offending only for individuals living in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Further, when the data were analyzed by race and neighborhood characteristics, the biosocial interaction was only a significant predictor of life-course-persistent offending for non-Whites living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Although Whites and non-Whites were not different in their exposure to sources of prenatal problems (biological), they did experience significant differences in the social environments in which they were raised. These findings are consistent with prior research on the racial concentration of neighborhood and family disadvantage. Study data were obtained from the child-mother data of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. This involved a separate biennial data collection begun in 1986 that included detailed assessments of each child born to females in the original data cohort (1979). For the current study, the analyses focused on a subsample of 513 individuals who were age 15 by 1994 and who provided valid interviews during the years 1994, 1996, and 1998. Life-course-persistent offending was measured by self-reported involvement in violent offending and offending chronology. Independent variables were the prenatal problem index, the family disadvantage index, neighborhood disadvantage, and biosocial interaction. 4 tables, 5 notes, 89 references, and appended items used for the delinquency scale

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