Religious Institutions and Urban Homicide: An Analysis of Cleveland Neighborhoods

Eric S. Jefferis, Kent State University - ISPV
Robert J. Kaminski, National Institute of Justice
Margaret A. Zahn, North Carolina State University

There has been substantial interest in the role local institutions play in controlling neighborhood violence (e.g., Krivo and Peterson, 1996; Peterson et al., 2000). Few studies, however, have investigated the impact of religious institutions on violent crime. Research by Zahn et al. (2002) and Lee and Bartkowski (2002) suggests greater availability of religious institutions suppressed homicde in Philadelphia neighborhoods and in counties nationally, but additional research is called for. The current study continues this line of inquiry by testing whether religious institution density is associated with lower levels of homicide across neighborhoods (census tracts) in Cleveland. Controls for social, demographic, and economic factors, as well as measures of the concentration of other establishments (e.g., bars, public housing units, schools) will be included.

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Updated 05/20/2006