Alcohol and crime the unspoken truth and the practical policy solutions for prevention
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Alcohol and crime: the unspoken truth and the practical policy solutions for prevention. Robert Nash Parker University of California. Alcohol and Violence: the unspoken yet well known truth. Violence is caused in part by alcohol Alcohol makes violence worse than it might be otherwise

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Alcohol and crime the unspoken truth and the practical policy solutions for prevention

Alcohol and crime: the unspoken truth and the practical policy solutions for prevention

Robert Nash Parker

University of California


Alcohol and violence the unspoken yet well known truth

Alcohol and Violence: the unspoken yet well known truth

  • Violence is caused in part by alcohol

  • Alcohol makes violence worse than it might be otherwise

  • Alcohol control and regulation can be used to prevent Violence


The practical and the possible

The practical and the possible

  • Research from “Alcohol and Violence: The nature of the relationship and the Possibility of Prevention”

  • Look for this new book in 2010

  • Preview of several chapters today

  • A look at some new research on alcohol and assault in Canada


Minimum drinking age

Minimum Drinking Age

  • US has a uniform 21 age minimum age of legal purchase

  • In the 1970s, many US states had younger ages

  • Late 1970s to mid 1980s, all states were encouraged (forced) to adopt 21

  • What was the impact on violence?


Increasing the minimum age of purchase and youth homicide

Increasing the minimum age of purchase and youth homicide

  • Data for 49 states and DC, 1972-1993

    • Before and after critical period 1979-1984

    • First state enacted 21 (Minnesota); US Federal Government essentially forces 21 uniformity

    • Broad consideration of predictors including:

      • Taxes on Beer

      • Increases in minimum age

      • Prices of alcohol


Increasing the minimum age of purchase and youth homicide1

Increasing the minimum age of purchase and youth homicide

  • Results indicate:

    • Minimum age increase prior to 1984 decrease youth homicide

    • The Higher beer taxes, the lower youth homicide

    • Despite rising youth homicide rates during the 1972-1993 period, evidence that alcohol policy can reduce youth violence


Availability of alcohol and youth violence

Availability of alcohol and youth violence

  • Although alcohol is not supposed to be available to those under 21, youth are able to obtain with reliability in many communities

  • Studies in US show that 55% to 80% of the time, youth are able to buy alcohol directly in retail establishments

  • What would happen to youth violence if alcohol availability went down?


Availability of alcohol and youth violence1

Availability of Alcohol and youth violence

  • Three year study 1993-1995 in Small Northern California Community

  • In the second year of the study, City decided to remove alcohol outlets in 6 neighborhoods (out of 35; 12 outlets closed)

  • Youth violence measured from police data for offenders and victims, 12-24


Availability of alcohol and youth violence2

Availability of Alcohol and youth Violence

  • Natural experiment:

    • Net of other factors, the places where availability was reduced had significantly lower rates of youth violence

    • Causal effect powerfully demonstrated


Availability enforcement and youth gang activity

Availability, Enforcement, and youth gang activity

  • Minimum Age of purchase is also about enforcement as well as setting minimum age and availability

  • Is enforcement a useful tool for prevention of youth violence?

  • Tested the idea with gang violence, a most difficult target for policy intervention


Availability enforcement and youth gang activity1

Availability, Enforcement, and youth gang activity

  • Using Pseudo-Under age buyer sting

    • 21 years olds who look young

    • Attempt to buy after an intervention

  • Findings:

    • Only 24% successful

    • Neighborhoods with more successful buys had higher gang violence net of other predictors

  • Unspoken Truth:

    • Enforcement of minimum purchase laws reduces violence


Alcohol advertising and a specific type of youth violence

Alcohol Advertising and a specific type of youth violence

  • Similar study in another Northern California Community

    • Why would the industry spend so much money on advertising if the only impact was to get adults to switch brands?

    • Unspoken truth that everyone knows:

      • They would not!


Alcohol advertising and a specific type of youth violence1

Alcohol Advertising and a Specific Type of Youth Violence

  • Measured the content of advertising in local retail outlets with trained observers

    • Among the most common content:

      • Sexually explicit, commodifying, and exploitative ads featuring women in provocative and near pornographic poses

    • We measured assault and sexual assault, overall advertising and sexually explicit advertising rates


Alcohol and crime the unspoken truth and the practical policy solutions for prevention

FIGURE 11


Alcohol and crime the unspoken truth and the practical policy solutions for prevention

FIGURE 12


Alcohol and crime the unspoken truth and the practical policy solutions for prevention

FIGURE 10


Alcohol advertising and a specific type of youth violence2

Alcohol Advertising and a specific type of youth violence

  • Findings:

    • Controlling for relevant factors:

      • Advertising in general did not impact assault or sexual assault

      • Sexually explicit advertising raised the rate of sexual assault, but not other assaults

      • These findings were net of overall outlet density; they were also ethnic specific

      • More ads with Latina models, more Latina girls were sexually assaulted


Unintended truths alcohol prevention impacts violence

Unintended truths: Alcohol prevention impacts violence

  • Community Trials Study

    • Conducted by the Prevention Research Center, Berkeley (PIRE)

    • Led by Harold Holder, one of the world’s leading experts on Alcohol and Prevention

    • Designed to impact drunk driving, pedestrian accidents, falls, burns, fires, etc: everything but violence

    • Question: Did these multi faceted and coordinated interventions impact violence?


Unintended truths alcohol prevention impacts violence1

Unintended Truths: Alcohol Prevention Impacts violence

  • Time series analyses of all three experimental sites showed that:

    • The timing of a number of different types of interventions led to lower violent crime rates 1 to 3 months later

    • The volume of interventions reduced violent crime 2 to 3 months later


Alcohol and assault the canadian truth

Alcohol and Assault: the Canadian Truth

  • New study: International Project on Alcohol and Assault

    • Purpose is to assemble a massive set of evidence from 20, 30 or more countries, cities, provinces, using time series methods

    • To prove beyond a shadow of doubt that alcohol causes assault

    • Use these results to convince governments at all levels to pursue alcohol control and regulation as a means to lower numbers and costs of violent crime


Alcohol and assault the canadian truth1

Alcohol and Assault: the Canadian Truth

  • Time Series analysis shows a lagged causal relationship between Assaults and Spirits consumption, between 1950 and 1999

  • Similar to results from Republic of Ireland and the United States

  • Assault impacts more than 200,000 Canadians (2007) a year


Alcohol and violence the spoken truth

Alcohol and Violence: The Spoken Truth

  • Alcohol related violence can be prevented

  • Existing regulations on Alcohol can be used to achieve substantial reductions

  • Many of the interventions discussed here can be achieved with little or no expenditure of funds

  • Why would Anyone be Opposed to this?


More about alcohol and violence policy research reading

More about Alcohol and violence: Policy, research, reading

  • International Sociological Association Research Committee 29

    • World Congress of Sociology Gothenberg, Sweden, July 2010

    • Deadline December 1, 2009 Abstracts

    • URL: http://www.isa-sociology.org/congress2010/rc/rc29.htm


More about alcohol and violence policy research reading1

More about Alcohol and violence: Policy, research, reading

  • Meeting on Alcohol and Violence in Melbourne, Australia, March 2010

    • Sponsored by the Kettil Bruun Society

    • Hosted by Robin Room and Turning Point

    • November 1, 2009 deadline extended for Abstracts

    • URL:http://www.kettilbruun.org/Violence_Melb.htm


More about alcohol and violence policy research reading2

More about Alcohol and violence: Policy, research, reading

  • Alcohol Policy 15

    • Washington DC, December 2010

    • Email Tom Colthurst: [email protected]

    • URL: http://www.silvergategroup.com/ap15/index.htm


Finally

Finally:

  • Look for a new book on alcohol and violence in 2010

    • Alcohol and Violence: The Nature of the Relationship and the Promise of Prevention

    • Robert Nash Parker

    • Email me, [email protected], for more information


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