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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221059 Find in a Library
Title: Rock Rentals: The Social Organization and Interpersonal Dynamics of Crack-for-Cars Transactions in Louisiana, USA
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:47  Issue:6  Dated:November 2007  Pages:885-899
Author(s): Heith Copes; Craig J. Forsyth; Rod K. Brunson
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study used interviews with 19 inmates and 27 active crack cocaine users in Louisiana in order to examine the social organization and interpersonal dynamics of the innovative practice of "rock rentals," which involve obtaining crack cocaine in exchange for giving the drug dealer the temporary use of the "buyer's" vehicle.
Abstract: Crack users in this study reported that many street-level drug dealers were eager to exchange crack for the use of their vehicles. Many drug addicts considered this arrangement a practical solution to their worsening financial situations due to their crack addiction. Thus, "rock rentals" provide a way to support their addiction without depleting their financial resources. Crack users also indicated that "rock rentals" enabled them to avoid the legal risks associated with committing crimes to obtain money for their crack addiction as well as the negative social responses from friends and family members from whom they had obtained loans or stolen money. On the other side of the "rock rental" transaction, crack dealers are able to impress their friends in the street culture by driving impressive cars without having to pay to own one. The study found that the majority of "rock rentals" were completed according to the verbal agreement. Crack users typically do not call police or try to get their vehicles back earlier than the agreed-upon date. Also, the dealer/borrower usually returns the car according to the time specified with no damage. A breach by either party would disrupt the ongoing business relationship. Data for this study were obtained from semistructured interviews with two groups of incarcerated offenders and active crack cocaine users. The majority of the respondents were heavily engaged in street-level drug dealing in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Of the 30 incarcerated respondents, 19 indicated they had engaged in "rock rentals," primarily as borrowers of vehicles. 28 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crack; Criminal methods; Drug abuse; Drug purchases; Louisiana
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