Thiel College Learns About Race and Neighborhood Crime

By Samantha Walker

Photo by Samantha Walker

“My goal is to share with you some of the insights my colleagues and I have learned,” Ruth D. Peterson said on Jan. 21, while sharing her studies on race and neighborhood violence with Thiel.

Peterson is a Professor Emeritis of Sociology at Ohio State University and former director of the Criminal Justice Research Center.  She discussed the findings of their National Neighborhood Crime Study (NNCS).

“Keep in mind this is a work in progress. NNCS2 is still ongoing,” Peterson said.

The first National Neighborhood Crime Study covers violent and property crime data from 1999 to 2001.

The violent crimes the NNCS focused on were homicide and robbery.

Peterson and her colleagues also tracked poverty, joblessness, low wage jobs, and other factors while studying neighborhoods across the country.

“We wanted to have enough data to look at a neighborhood of the same social class but also of the same ethnicity.”

Peterson suggested that racial segregation effects crime rates.

“Violence is five times more likely in black neighborhoods compared to white neighborhoods and two times more likely in Latino or integrated neighborhoods compared to white neighborhoods.”

Peterson had multiple graphs to display the study’s findings.

The same study was done years later which investigated the crime rates from 2010 to 2013.

“We had so much fun spending tons of hours and writing our book. We thought about how interesting it’d be to document change.”

The group wanted to know if events like the 2008 recession changed crime patterns in neighborhoods.

While this study is still going, they have seen a rise in integrated neighborhoods and a connection between living conditions and violent crime rate.

President Traverso suggested that Thiel is hoping to make criminal justice common hours an annual event with scholarly presenters to talk about different pressing matters.

Categories: Academics, Student Life

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