Explaining Spatial Patterns of Drug Crime in Portland, Oregon From 1990-1998

Jennifer B. Robinson, University ofT Ottawa

ABSTRACT
Crime and crime-related activities affect the quality of life of neighborhoods and can detrimentally interrupt the social contacts between residents of an area that are crucial to the maintenance of social control and growth. Drug crimes in particular are associated with the deterioration of a community or neighborood, and are often related to higher levels of reported violent crime in the same place. Drug markets impact negatively on the lives of law abiding citizens and pose serious threats to the health and safety of those same citizens. Using street address level arrest data and demographic and site level characteristics of block groups, this research describes the variation in spatial drug crime patterns in the city of Portland, Oregon over a nine-year period, from 1990 through 1998. Controlling for block level characteristics and police drug interdiction activities, the effects of Portland's Drug Free Zones, as an example of a situational crime prevention measure, upon rates and locations of concentrations of drug sales are examined using a combination of techniques including a longitudinal growth curve multi-level model and local quotients.

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Updated 05/20/2006