Dilapidation and Drug Arrests

Sameer Hinduja, Michigan State University
Justin W. Patchin, Michigan State University
Christopher D. Maxwell, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT
The level of neighborhood disorganization has been identified in research as being positively associated with the illicit activities that occur therein (Kornhauser, 1978; Shaw & McKay, 1942). As such, a community disorder resulting from social and structural characteristics may foster or contribute to an environment where crime and disorder are common. One measure of neighborhood disorganization is physical dilapidation, which in this piece is conceptualized as the amount of abandoned, unsafe, and substandard buildings in a particular area. This micro-level study seeks to elucidate the relationship between dilapidation and drug use. Specifically, it is hypothesized that areas with a higher percentage of abandoned, unsafe, and substandard buildings will attract a greater number of incidents of - and arrests for - drug use and abuse. "Hot Spot" spatial analyses and logistic regression techniques were employed to lend empirical support to this proposed relationship. Policy solutions derived from the findings are suggested in conclusion to provide a practical approach for police in addressing criminogenic elements of dilapidation in their jurisdiction.

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Updated 05/20/2006