Public Services and the Willingness to Enact Control: Expanding Our Understanding of Neighborhood Crime Rates

Ruth Triplett, Old Dominion University
Ivan Y. Sun, Old Dominion University
Randy R. Gainey, Old Dominion University

Though recent conceptualizations of social disorganization theory have begun to consider the role of the willingness to enact control (see Sampon et al., 1997), since its inception the emphasis in social disorganization has been on the variations that exist in neighborhoods' ability to control what goes on in the neighborhood (see for example, Shaw and McKay, 1942; Shaw et al., 1929; Bursik and Grasmick, 1993). As attention increases on the role of public control in understanding neighborhood rates of crime, the need to understand the willingness to enact public control becomes increasingly important. The purpose of the research presented in this paper is to develop a model of social disorganization that explores two neglected areas in social disorganization research - neighborhood variation in the willingness to enact public control, and the causes of neighborhood variations in the willingness to enact public control. Data from the Project on Policing Neighborhoods (POPN) are used to test the model

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Updated 05/20/2006