Neighborhood – Corsaro et al. (2012)

Study Reference:

Corsaro, N., Hunt, E. D., Hipple, N. K. & McGarrell, E. F. (2012). The Impact of Drug Market Pulling Levers Policing on Neighborhood Violence. Criminology & Public Policy, 11: 167–199.

See also

Saunders, J., Lundberg, R., Braga, A.A., Ridgeway, G., & Miles, J. (2015). A synthetic control approach to evaluating place-based crime interventions. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 31(3), 413–434.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Neighborhood; Focused; Proactive; Rigorous; Effective

What police practice or strategy was examined?

The study examined the effect of a series of pulling lever strategies implemented across different targeted neighborhoods in High Point (North Carolina) and their impact on the violent crime trends. The intervention consisted of three phases: (1) the identification phase in which researcher identified four high violent crime areas and narcotics investigators, probation officers, and parole officers identified key offenders within each site; (2) the notification phase in which agencies and community groups worked together to either arrest felony offenders or “call-in” and notify other offenders that violence will be no longer tolerated and about sanctions available against any violence; and (3) the resource delivery phase in which community officials provide resources to offenders based on their needs to help them escape the criminal lifestyle. The intervention was implemented between 2004 and 2007.

How was the intervention evaluated?

The impact of the intervention on violent crime was evaluated using a place-based approach and a difference-on-difference panel regression estimation. The authors relied on official incident data between 1998 and 2008, and used census blocks as the unit of analysis. The average rates of change in violent incidents were compared between intervention areas and non-intervention areas and also the matched non-intervention areas. It was also examined to what extent the intervention may have altered trajectories of chronic, moderate, and low violent crime places using group-based trajectory analysis.

What were the key findings?

Overall findings were mixed. Violent crime significantly declined in targeted areas after the intervention relative to the remainder of the overall city. There was a modest and statistically significant impact on violent crime within the chronic group, yet not for the moderate stable group or the low violent group. Finally, trend analyses indicated the strategy had different levels of violent crime impact throughout different geographic contexts.

What were the implications for law enforcement?

The authors suggest that pulling levers strategies are promising. However, the inconsistent findings presented in the study should raise caution. The varying nature of the drug markets, offenders, and overall neighborhood contexts are important considerations when evaluating program impact.

Where can I find more information about this intervention, similar types of intervention, or related studies?