Introduction to Special Issue: Spatial Approaches to Community and Place Violence

Published date01 June 2021
Date01 June 2021
Subject MatterIntroduction
Introduction to Special Issue:
Spatial Approaches to
Community and
Place Violence
Jonathan Grubb
and Grant Drawve
ecology and crime/spatial analysis, crime/delinquency theory, structural theories of crime causation,
crime/delinquency theory, violent behavior
There has been continual growth in the availability of address and neighborhood-level crime data
allowing for many spatial approaches to crime occurrence (see Hipp & Williams, 2020). Through
the availability of data and the development in analytical software for analyses, spatial approaches to
understanding crime occurrence have grown more complex. This special issue aims to advance
knowledge of the “where” characteristic of crime but through a more transparent lens of how. We
understand that data cannot always be shared given the nature of criminal justice related data but the
analytical steps taken can be (to an extent), allowing for future researchers to replicate the analytical
approach with their own data.
At some point, we have all come across a study, and thought, I would like to do what the author(s)
did here. This could become problematic and counterproductive to research advancement when the
analytical steps taken in a study are not transparent to the reader. We would argue there should be
greater emphasis put on detailed analytical steps used in a study, even if it leads to a shorter review of
literature, or abandoning all together (see Maddan, 2018). We understand the likelihood of the
disappearance of a literature review is slim; however, with limited pages within journal articles,
there needs to be a balancing act with analytical transparency in mind. The analytical side has often
been sidelined to links to open-source sites such as GitHub or personal websites/blogs where greater
details are available. While this is extremely beneficial, this also adds another hurdle for readers to
The author(s) of the special issue studies were asked by us (Grubb & Drawve) to speak toward
transparency and a movement toward open/replicable approaches in their discussion after their
paper was accepted. To that, there are varying degrees of transparency in the articles of this special
issue. Data are only one aspect of any approach. The spatial approach used can also reduce the
Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, USA
Department of Sociology & Criminology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA
Corresponding Author:
Jonathan Grubb, Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, Georgia Southern University, 1360 Southern Drive,
Statesboro, GA 30460, USA.
Criminal Justice Review
2021, Vol. 46(2) 132-133
ª2021 Georgia State University
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/0734016821997537

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