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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 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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