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NCJ Number: 218119 Find in a Library
Title: Interpreting "Percent Black:" An Analysis of Race and Violent Crime in Washington, DC
Journal: Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice  Volume:4  Issue:1/2  Dated:2006  Pages:29-63
Author(s): Joanne Savage
Date Published: 2006
Page Count: 35
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Time series analysis was used to assess the relationship between "percent Black" in the population and violent crime in Washington, DC over a 40-year period.
Abstract: The average violent crime rate in the District of Columbia from 1960 through 1999 was 1,722 violent crimes per 100,000 population. The average percentage of the District-of-Columbia population that was African-American during this period was 68.5 percent, ranging between a low of 54.8 percent in 1960 and a high of 77.5 percent in 1975. Although increases in "percent Black" paralleled increases in violent crime in the District in the 1960s, and decreases in "percent Black" have paralleled decreases in violent crime to a small degree in recent years, the smooth and declining trend in the African-American population since 1975 contrasts with dramatic peaks and valleys in the District's violent crime during that time. The findings suggest that year-to-year changes in "percent Black" are not related to year-to-year changes in violent crime except in a model that includes all the relevant variables simultaneously. Any positive relationship between violent crime and "percent Black" over time is not robust when disaggregated by race and crime type; and it may be limited to Black robbery offending. Further, apparently "percent Black" may be acting as a proxy for other social problems. An exploration of possible correlates of racial disparity in arrests for violent crime suggests they are associated with a variety of factors, including social problems and their varying characteristics. The study used a longitudinal analysis of annual, time series data in order to examine the relationship between changes in the percentage of the population composed of African-Americans and the violent crime rate. 6 tables, 4 figures, and 96 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; District of Columbia; Race-crime relationships; Social conditions; Violent crimes
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