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Geography of Drug Market Activities and Child Maltreatment

NCJ Number
Child Maltreatment Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2012 Pages: 144-152
Bridget Freisthler; Nancy J. Kepple; Megan R. Holmes
Date Published
December 2012
9 pages
This study examined how drug market activities place children at risk of maltreatment.
This study examines how drug market activities place children at risk of maltreatment over space and time. Data were collected for 95 Census tracts in Sacramento, CA, over 7 years and were analyzed using Bayesian space-time models. Referrals for child maltreatment investigations were less likely to occur in places where current drug market activity was present. However, past-year local and spatially lagged drugs sales were positively related to referrals. After the investigative phase, Census tracts with more drug sales had higher numbers of substantiations, and those with more possessions also had more entries into foster care. The temporal delay between drug sales and child maltreatment referrals may indicate that the surveillance systems designed to protect children may not be responsive to changing neighborhood conditions or be indicative of the time it takes for the detrimental effects of the drug use to appear. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.