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Concept: Felony


The New York Police Department (NYPD) under Operation Impact deployed extra police officers to high crime areas designated as impact zones. Officers were encouraged to conduct investigative stops in these areas. City officials credited the program as one of the leading causes of New York City’s low crime rate. We tested the effects of Operation Impact on reported crimes and arrests from 2004 to 2012 using a difference-in-differences approach. We used Poisson regression models to compare differences in crime and arrest counts before and after census block groups were designated as impact zones compared to census block groups in the same NYPD precincts but outside impact zones. Impact zones were significantly associated with reductions in total reported crimes, assaults, burglaries, drug violations, misdemeanor crimes, felony property crimes, robberies, and felony violent crimes. Impact zones were significantly associated with increases in total reported arrests, arrests for burglary, arrests for weapons, arrests for misdemeanor crimes, and arrests for property felony crimes. Impact zones were also significantly associated with increases in investigative stops for suspected crimes, but only the increase in stops made based on probable cause indicators of criminal behaviors were associated with crime reductions. The largest increase in investigative stops in impact zones was based on indicators of suspicious behavior that had no measurable effect on crime. The findings suggest that saturating high crime blocks with police helped reduce crime in New York City, but that the bulk of the investigative stops did not play an important role in the crime reductions. The findings indicate that crime reduction can be achieved with more focused investigative stops.

Concepts: Crime, Criminal law, New York City, Police, Felony, Assault, Theft, Misdemeanor


The steep rise in U.S. criminal punishment in recent decades has spurred scholarship on the collateral consequences of imprisonment for individuals, families, and communities. Several excellent studies have estimated the number of people who have been incarcerated and the collateral consequences they face, but far less is known about the size and scope of the total U.S. population with felony convictions beyond prison walls, including those who serve their sentences on probation or in jail. This article develops state-level estimates based on demographic life tables and extends previous national estimates of the number of people with felony convictions to 2010. We estimate that 3 % of the total U.S. adult population and 15 % of the African American adult male population has ever been to prison; people with felony convictions account for 8 % of all adults and 33 % of the African American adult male population. We discuss the far-reaching consequences of the spatial concentration and immense growth of these groups since 1980.

Concepts: Mathematics, United States, Criminal law, Prison, Caribbean, Punishment, American Civil War, Felony


A substantial contributor to prison admissions is the return of individuals recently released from prison, which has come to be known as prison’s “revolving door.” However, it is unclear whether being sentenced to prison itself has a causal effect on the probability of a subsequent return to prison or on criminal behavior. To examine the causal effect of being sentenced to prison on subsequent offending and reimprisonment, we leverage a natural experiment using the random assignment of judges with different propensities for sentencing offenders to prison. Drawing on data on all individuals sentenced for a felony in Michigan between 2003 and 2006, we compare individuals sentenced to prison to those sentenced to probation, taking into account sentence lengths and stratifying our analysis by race. Results show that being sentenced to prison rather than probation increases the probability of imprisonment in the first 3 years after release from prison by 18 percentage points among nonwhites and 19 percentage points among whites. Further results show that such effects are driven primarily by imprisonment for technical violations of community supervision rather than new felony convictions. This suggests that more stringent postprison parole supervision (relative to probation supervision) increases imprisonment through the detection and punishment of low-level offending or violation behavior. Such behavior would not otherwise result in imprisonment for someone who had not already been to prison or who was not on parole. These results demonstrate that the revolving door of prison is in part an effect of the nature of postprison supervision.

Concepts: Causality, Sentence, Experiment, Crime, Criminal law, Felony, Misdemeanor, Revolving door


In the past decade, more than 300,000 people in the United States have died from firearm injuries. Our goal was to assess the effectiveness of two particular prevention strategies, restrictive licensing of firearms and concealed carry laws, on firearm-related injuries in the U.S. Restrictive licensing was defined to include denials of ownership for various offenses, such as performing background checks for domestic violence and felony convictions. Concealed carry laws allow licensed individuals to carry concealed weapons.

Concepts: Domestic violence, United States, Law of the United States, Firearm, Felony, Concealed carry in the United States, Vermont, Licenses


Approximately 13% of African American men are disqualified from voting because of a felony conviction. I used ecosocial theory to identify how institutionalized racism helps perpetuate health disparities and to explore pathways through which felon disenfranchisement laws may contribute to racial health disparities in the United States. From a literature review, I identified 2 potential pathways: (1) inability to alter inequitable public policies that differentially allocate resources for health; and (2) inability to reintegrate into society by voting, which contributes to allostatic load. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 15, 2012: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300933).

Concepts: Health disparities, United States, Race, African American, Racism, Law of the United States, Felony, Felony disenfranchisement


Research on occupational safety of law enforcement officers (LEOs) has primarily focused on fatal assaults. Nonfatal assaults, however, have received little attention. The goal of this study was to describe the situational contexts in which LEOs are assaulted, and compare these contexts and risks between fatal and nonfatal assaults in the U.S. Analyzing both types of assaults provides a more complete understanding of occupational safety and opportunities for intervention.

Concepts: Law, American football, Law of the United States, Common law, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Felony, Assault, ConTeXt


Objective: Family-based treatment models that have shown effectiveness with juvenile offenders may also lead to reduced criminality in siblings of those offenders. However, the lasting effects of such treatments on siblings have not been evaluated. In the present study, the authors examined criminal outcomes for siblings of serious and violent juvenile offenders who had participated on average 25.0 years earlier in a clinical trial of multisystemic therapy (MST; Borduin et al., 1995). Method: Participants were 129 closest-in-age siblings of individuals who were originally randomized to MST or individual therapy (IT) during adolescence. Arrest and incarceration data were obtained in middle adulthood when siblings were on average 38.4 years old. Results: Intent-to-treat analyses showed that arrest rates were significantly lower for siblings in the MST condition than in the IT condition (43.3% vs. 72.0%, respectively). In addition, siblings in the IT condition were about 3 times as likely to be convicted of a felony and more than twice as likely to be sentenced to incarceration and probation. Conclusion: The present study represents the longest follow-up to date of sibling participants in an MST clinical trial and demonstrates that the positive impact of an evidence-based treatment for serious and violent juvenile offenders can extend to other family members. Implications of the authors' findings for policymakers and service providers are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Evidence-based medicine, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Crime, Criminal law, Felony, Misdemeanor


The article reports empirical evaluation of RESTORE, a restorative justice (RJ) conferencing program adapted to prosecutor-referred adult misdemeanor and felony sexual assaults. RESTORE conferences included voluntary enrollment, preparation, and a face-to-face meeting where primary and secondary victims voice impacts, and responsible persons acknowledge their acts and together develop a re-dress plan that is supervised for 1 year. Process data included referral and consent rates, participant characteristics, observational ratings of conferences compared with program design, services delivered, and safety monitoring. Outcome evaluation used 22 cases to assess (a) pre-post reasons for choosing RESTORE, (b) preparation and conference experiences, © overall program and justice satisfaction, and (d) completion rates. This is the first peer-reviewed quantitative evaluation of RJ conferencing for adult sexual assault. Although the data have limitations, the results support cautious optimism regarding feasibility, safety, and satisfactory outcomes. They help envision how conferencing could expand and individualize justice options for sexual assault.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sexual intercourse, Crime, Human sexual behavior, Rape, Felony, Assault, Misdemeanor


Little is known about occupational fatalities among tactical officers. A greater understanding of such injuries is needed to improve officer safety. The purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive analysis of line-of-duty deaths secondary to felonious assault during tactical incidents.

Concepts: Law, Battery, Law of the United States, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Felony, Assault, Misdemeanor, Officer


A study was previously conducted and published describing the magnitude of the under-reporting of drugs in driving under the influence (DUI) cases by using a blood drug screen (BDS) case management protocol and to determine whether not reporting those drugs would have a meaningful impact on the DUI cases. A follow-up study presented herein was conducted to generate a larger dataset for evaluation and to compare the results to the original study. For this follow-up study of 576 cases, the laboratory BDS protocol was modified so that a BDS was performed for all felony cases and all misdemeanor cases with a BAC < 0.15 g/dL, regardless of the officer's request. A cost analysis estimate was also conducted using purchasing and statistical data for calendar year 2014. It was estimated that on average a BDS had a materials cost 30 times greater than a BAC and required over six times as much analyst time. To perform a BDS on every case as has been recommended, the estimated analysis materials cost and analyst time were 218 and 193% of the old protocol, respectively. The results of this follow-up study futher support the insufficiency of presenting drug positivity as a justification for completing drug analysis on every DUI case. For the vast majority of cases with a BAC > 0.08 g/dL, the drugs detected are not significant for supporting a DUI and do not warrant the substantial increase in analysis cost and time required.

Concepts: Statistics, Mathematics, Evaluation methods, Cost, Estimation, Cost-benefit analysis, Felony, Optimism bias