Drunk, Drugged and Disorderly: Examining the Non-Linear Effects of Neighborhood Racial Composition on Race-Specific Arrests

Alyssa W. Chamberlain, Lyndsay N. Boggess, Jason Walker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Neighborhood racial composition contributes to racial disparities in arrests, but prior research has almost exclusively focused on the magnitude of a minority population with somewhat mixed findings. We investigate whether racial disparities in arrests perpetuate when the racial composition reaches a particular threshold to assess whether the accumulation of race matters, and to what degree. To expand upon prior research, we include a range of part 2 crimes—public drunkenness, drug offenses, and disorderly conduct—“lower level” crimes which may allow for greater police discretion. We conduct negative binomial regression analyses using arrest data from a mid-sized city in the South between 2010 and 2015. Results show evidence of a threshold effect, but this pattern differs across race and crime type. This suggests that race-specific arrest rates may be driven by offense type and neighborhood racial composition.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1263-1286
    Number of pages24
    JournalJustice Quarterly
    Volume39
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2022

    Keywords

    • Neighborhood race
    • drugs arrests
    • non-serious crime
    • racial disparities

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Law

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