Specifying Crime as an Opportunity Structure for Police Misconduct

Robert J. Kane, The American University

In a previous study, we linked the antecedents of social disorganization to police midconduct by New York City Police precincts. Drawing on elements of social disorganization and opportunity theories, the present study expands our prior work by specifying crime categories as mediating influences on police misconduct in the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Using U.S. Census data, and data from NYPD official records, the present longitudinal study tests whether communities that are characterized by differential crime patterns (e.g., combinations of drug, property, vice, and/or violent crimes) create opportunity structures favoring differential types of police misdonduct.

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Updated 05/20/2006