Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice

Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • Domestic Violence During a Global Pandemic: Lockdown Policies and Their Impacts Across Guatemala

    This study uses official data from Guatemala’s Departamento de Atencion a la Victima (Victim Attention Department), a specialized unit in Guatemala’s National Civil Police, to assess the long-term impacts of a government mandated lockdown and reopening on domestic violence. It also considers how the lockdown and reopening impacted domestic violence across administrative departments in the country. Our findings suggest that combined, daily cases of domestic violence were already decreasing prior to the pandemic lockdown and that both the shutdown and the reopening altered the patterning of domestic violence, first to increase domestic violence and then to decrease it, respectively. When assessing this trend across departments, not every department exhibited the same, national-level trend, but instead domestic violence trends varied. This study provides a starting point in analyzing long-term pandemic-related policy responses and their impacts on domestic violence in international contexts.

  • The 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic and Its Corresponding Data Boon: Issues With Pandemic-Related Data From Criminal Justice Organizations

    Public organizations, including institutions in the U.S. criminal justice (CJ) system, have been rapidly releasing information pertaining to COVID-19. Even CJ institutions typically reticent to share information, like private prisons, have released vital COVID-19 information. The boon of available pandemic-related data, however, is not without problems. Unclear conceptualizations, stakeholders’ influence on data collection and release, and a lack of experience creating public dashboards on health data are just a few of the issues plaguing CJ institutions surrounding releasing COVID-19 data. In this article, we detail issues that institutions in each arm of the CJ system face when releasing pandemic-related data. We conclude with a set of recommendations for researchers seeking to use the abundance of publicly available data on the effects of the pandemic.

  • Did Covid-19 Lead to an Increase in Hate Crimes Toward Chinese People in London?

    We examine whether Covid-19, which is widely believed to have originated in China, negatively affected the environment for Chinese people in London leading to an increase in hate crimes toward this group relative to others. With data from the Metropolitan Police for the whole of the Metropolitan area of London, we use a difference-in-differences approach to examine what happened to hate crimes against Chinese people in London in the months before (October to December 2019) and the months after the Covid-19 pandemic (January to March 2020) relative to other ethnic groups, to other crimes, and to other time periods. Our methodology utilizes the fact that Covid-19 came as an unexpected shock, which very quickly changed the environment for crime, and did so differentially across ethnicities. We argue that this shock is likely to negatively affect attitudes and behaviors toward Chinese people, but has no effect on other ethnicities. Our results show that in the months after Covid-19, there was an increase in hate crimes against Chinese people, but this increase was not seen among the other ethnic groups, other non hate crimes, or in any other time period. This leads us to conclude that Covid-19 led to an increase in hate crimes against Chinese people in London. That Covid-19 changed behavior toward Chinese people highlights an intrinsic link between Covid-19 and racism. Unfortunately, the rise in hate crime that we identify adds to a growing list of ways in which ethnic minority groups disproportionately suffered, and continue to do so, during the pandemic.

  • Impacts of Incarceration on Health Focusing on Minority Males: Considerations for COVID-19 and Future Pandemics

    Long-standing health and social inequalities associated with minorities have increased their risk for infection, hospitalization, and death related to COVID-19. This disparity is further exacerbated with incarcerated individuals, yet little attention, both prepandemic and presently, has been devoted to collecting up-to-date data. This study uses the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities (SISCF), the most recent data, to explore the general offender population and self-reported chronic and medical health conditions to highlight how COVID-19 will impact marginalized populations. Results from the four binary regression models found that minority males are more likely to have chronic illnesses which increase in probability with longer sentences, number of incarcerations, and advancement in age. Our findings advocate for the development of recent data sets on inmate health, particularly minority individuals, as well as the construction of more precise health measures to address these health disparities, including COVID-19.

  • Where, When, and By Whom: An Exploratory Analysis of COVID-19 Public Health Violations

    COVID-19 health restrictions not only affected crime rates but also created a new and temporary type of crime, COVID-19 public health violations. Unfortunately, this new crime type has not yet been empirically scrutinized. The current study is the first to explore these COVID-19 public health violations by using a dataset created by the City of San Antonio which documents all calls and inspections about COVID-19 public health violations. Specifically, this study investigates the location types (where) that produce the greatest number of calls/inspections, warnings, and citations for COVID-19 public health violations; how they trended over time (when); and which agencies responded to and enforced them (who). The results indicate that there were differences across location type, variation throughout the observation period, and violations were enforced by several agencies. It is crucial to document the effect of COVID-19-related policies so that we may be better prepared for the future.

  • Empty Streets, Busy Internet: A Time-Series Analysis of Cybercrime and Fraud Trends During COVID-19

    The unprecedented changes in routine activities brought about by COVID-19 and the associated lockdown measures contributed to a reduction in opportunities for predatory crimes in outdoor physical spaces, while people spent more time connected to the internet, and opportunities for cybercrime and fraud increased. This article applies time-series analysis to historical data on cybercrime and fraud reported to Action Fraud in the United Kingdom to examine whether any potential increases are beyond normal crime variability. Furthermore, the discrepancies between fraud types and individual and organizational victims are also analyzed. The results show that while both total cybercrime and total fraud increased beyond predicted levels, the changes in victimization were not homogeneous across fraud types and victims. The implications of these findings on how changes in routine activities during COVID-19 have influenced cybercrime and fraud opportunities are discussed in relation to policy, practice, and academic debate.

  • Against All Odds, Femicide Did Not Increase During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence From Six Spanish-Speaking Countries

    This paper tests a situational hypothesis which postulates that the number of femicides should increase as an unintended consequence of the COVID-19-related lockdowns. The monthly data on femicides from 2017 to 2020 collected in six Spanish-speaking countries—Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Panama, Mexico, and Spain—and analyzed using threshold models indicate that the hypothesis must be rejected. The total number of femicides in 2020 was similar to that recorded during each of the three previous years, and femicides did not peak during the months of the strictest lockdowns. In fact, their monthly distribution in 2020 did not differ from the seasonal distribution of femicides in any former year. The discussion criticizes the current state of research on femicide and its inability to inspire effective criminal polices. It also proposes three lines of intervention. The latter are based on a holistic approach that places femicide in the context of crimes against persons, incorporates biology and neuroscience approaches, and expands the current cultural explanations of femicide.

  • Crime, Criminal Justice, and the COVID-19 Crisis Lockdown: A Special Issue Introduction
  • Explaining Fear of Identity Theft Victimization Using a Routine Activity Approach

    The current study aims to estimate and explain citizens’ fear of identity theft victimization by examining data collected from a nationally representative sample of South Korean residents. Specifically, we compared participants’ levels of fear of identity theft victimization with fear of other types of crime using paired-samples t-tests. We found that fear of identity theft victimization is significantly higher than fear of other types of crime. Drawing on routine activity theory, we explored the relationship between victimization (i.e., identity theft), online proximity to motivated offenders (i.e., phishing), online exposure to motivated offenders (e.g., online banking and shopping), target suitability (e.g., downloading pirated media), and fear of identity theft victimization. Results from ordinal logistic regression models suggest that victimization and online exposure to motivated offenders were significantly related to fear of identity theft victimization.

  • Institutional Anomie Theory and Cybercrime—Cybercrime and the American Dream, Now Available Online

    As the world becomes increasingly connected and interdependent upon technology, crimes are moving online. Research on cybercrime is beginning to test the applicability of traditional criminological theories for understanding crime in this new medium. Using a national sample of 215 self-admitted cybercriminals, we examine Messner and Rosenfeld’s institutional anomie theory. Negative binomial regressions reveal that expressed levels of institutional anomie correlate with increased cybercrime activity. A curvilinear relationship was found, such that low and high levels of institutional anomie lead to higher levels of cybercrime. Our findings reveal how the dark side of the American Dream can lead to online criminality. Specifically, the penetration of, and accommodation to economic values dictated by American capitalism can lead individuals to adopt values such as the fetishism of money that, in turn, affects their online behavior and criminality.

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