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Prediction of Recidivism - Neighborhood Effects

NCJ Number
S D Gottfredson; R B Taylor
Date Published
484 pages
This progress report presents the literature review, methodological procedures, and methodological problems of a study designed to determine whether an analysis of the socioenvironmental context (neighborhood) into which an offender is released after incarceration can improve recidivism predictions beyond those derived solely from offender characteristics.
The study has developed the following data bases: an offender data file, a neighborhood assessment data file, a criterion data file, information from the 1970 and 1980 censuses, and a neighborhood resident survey data file. In June and July of 1981, personal data were obtained on 1,033 offenders identified as having returned to 90 Baltimore neighborhoods. Of the 90 neighborhoods, 66 were studied in greater detail for a separate project dealing with community crime prevention. This provided complementary information on the neighborhoods' social dynamics. The 90 neighborhoods were assessed for physical characteristics, and a sample of residents from the 66 neighborhoods was surveyed to determine views of neighborhood social dynamics. Sample attrition reduced the survey information to 57 neighborhoods in which 487 offenders were residing. Analyses based on neighborhood physical assessments were limited to 67 neighborhoods having 619 offenders. Sampling attrition forced a reassessment of the initial goal of cross-validation. Appendixes contain the following annotated bibliographies: risk assessment, ecological/area studies of delinquency, and studies of neighborhood and community. Other appendixes discuss the accuracy of prediction models and neighborhood physical environment and stress.