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Desistance and Legitimacy: Effect Heterogeneity in a Field Experiment on High Risk Groups. Jeffrey Fagan Andrew Papachristos Danielle Wallace Tracey Meares American Society of Criminology St. Louis November 2008. Background.

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desistance and legitimacy effect heterogeneity in a field experiment on high risk groups

Desistance and Legitimacy: Effect Heterogeneity in a Field Experiment on High Risk Groups

Jeffrey Fagan

Andrew Papachristos

Danielle Wallace

Tracey Meares

American Society of Criminology

St. Louis

November 2008

background
Background
  • PSN as demand-side intervention designed to reduce gun carrying and gun use
  • Recent policy preferences lean toward specific deterrence and forced compliance: intensive cost-based strategies of close surveillance coupled with low threshold interventions to incapacitate offenders.
    • Risk increase by changing police surveillance strategies to focus on weapons and intensifying parole and probation supervision
    • Cost increase by threat of federalizing gun crimes
      • Longer sentences, higher conviction rates with tougher plea negotiations
slide3

PSN combines applies alternate strategy to engage offenders in more complex rational choice calculus where elevated risks and costs of offending are offset by simultaneous increases in the benefits of compliance and crime avoidance.

    • Federal prosecution for gun crimes
    • Longer sentences
    • Gun-focused policing and seizures
    • Serious offers of social, economic and other human services in group dynamic (forums)
  • Providing capital to high risk groups in resource-starved neighborhoods is designed to legitimate legal sanctions in context-neutral forums that clarify and promote more balanced deterrence signals
  • Designed for and implemented in two Chicago neighborhoods with very high homicide and gun crime rates.
assignment groups

PSN Beats

Control Beats

Moran’s I = .378 , p =.001

Assignment Groups
  • Guns and Homicides are notrandomly distributed
  • Treatment
    • 24 beats on West Side
  • Control:
    • 30 beats on South side
research design
Quasi-Experimental Panel Design

Near-equivalent Control Group

Panel data of every “neighborhood” in Chicago from 1999 to 2006

Multi-level modeling strategy to assess within and between group variation in neighborhoods

Neighborhood and individual data

Data

Multiple sources – CPD, ATF, IDOC, and the Census

Crime reports geocoded to police beat

Quarterly from January 1999 to December 2006

Individual data reported by zip code (!@#*)

Research Design
neighborhood results
Neighborhood Results
  • Strong declines in homicides in target areas compared to control areas and citywide rates
  • No evidence of displacement to adjacent police districts
    • We use propensity scores to adjust for differences in target and control areas as well as secular trends in the city
    • Declines evident in both homicide and other gun crimes
  • Compared to other PSN components, the number and saturation of PSN forums exerts the strongest influence on recidivism rates
  • Aggregate effects on social networks of gun offenders? Aggregation produces generalized effects (general deterrence) via social influence model?
recidivism effects
Recidivism Effects
  • Methods and Data
    • Criminal history data on 3,092 ex-offenders from experimental and control Chicago police districts
    • Analyzed over four years to assess differences in timing of recidivism
      • Cox regressions
    • Disaggregated to examine separate effects on gang and non-gang members and first offenders versus repeat offenders
    • Disaggregate by type of crime
slide12

Propensity Scores ?

  • Cox Models
    • S (t) = Pr (T > t)
    • Overlapping risks, neither competing nor exclusive
    • Covariates
      • Race – African American
      • Age – years
      • Education – High school graduate
      • Family ties – Married or cohabitating
      • Prior record – first offense
      • Gang member
next steps
Next Steps
  • Competing risk hazards model
  • More detail on prior records
  • Temporal analysis to estimates effects of degrading of intervention
  • Contemporaneous neighborhood change