Title

Section 8 Vouchers and Crime: A Comparison of Six Neighborhoods in Stockton, California

Lead Author Major

Political Science

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Keith Smith

Faculty Mentor Department

Political Science

Abstract/Artist Statement

Is there a relationship between crime and Section 8 housing? In 2008, Atlantic Monthly journalist Hanna Rosin published an article investigating the relationship between high crime rates in the Memphis area and newly formed clusters of Section 8 recipients. Using research done by criminologist Richard Janickowski and his wife, sociologist Phyllis Betts, she concludes that the Section 8 program is responsible for the rise in crime rates for Memphis, Tennessee. She extends this conclusion to the rest of the United States, implicating a whole host of housing programs. Housing advocates and policy makers were quick to respond to these allegations, arguing that Rosin had established no causal link between Section 8 and crime, and that her findings could not be verified for the country as a whole. This paper seeks to test the hypothesis that the presence of Section 8 housing increases crime rates in an area. To do this I use a controlled comparison of crime rates in six Stockton neighborhoods in 2009, using three pairs of neighborhoods matched by similar demographic characteristics. Drawing from crime statistics from the Stockton Police Department, I then examine their crime rates in comparison to their matches, before finally drawing a conclusion. The results reveal that there is insufficient evidence to state that there is a relationship between Section 8 and crime. This presentation will cover relevant theories of crime, as well as the methods, research design and results of my study.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211A/B

Start Date

21-4-2011 5:00 PM

End Date

21-4-2011 8:00 PM

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Apr 21st, 5:00 PM Apr 21st, 8:00 PM

Section 8 Vouchers and Crime: A Comparison of Six Neighborhoods in Stockton, California

DeRosa University Center, Room 211A/B

Is there a relationship between crime and Section 8 housing? In 2008, Atlantic Monthly journalist Hanna Rosin published an article investigating the relationship between high crime rates in the Memphis area and newly formed clusters of Section 8 recipients. Using research done by criminologist Richard Janickowski and his wife, sociologist Phyllis Betts, she concludes that the Section 8 program is responsible for the rise in crime rates for Memphis, Tennessee. She extends this conclusion to the rest of the United States, implicating a whole host of housing programs. Housing advocates and policy makers were quick to respond to these allegations, arguing that Rosin had established no causal link between Section 8 and crime, and that her findings could not be verified for the country as a whole. This paper seeks to test the hypothesis that the presence of Section 8 housing increases crime rates in an area. To do this I use a controlled comparison of crime rates in six Stockton neighborhoods in 2009, using three pairs of neighborhoods matched by similar demographic characteristics. Drawing from crime statistics from the Stockton Police Department, I then examine their crime rates in comparison to their matches, before finally drawing a conclusion. The results reveal that there is insufficient evidence to state that there is a relationship between Section 8 and crime. This presentation will cover relevant theories of crime, as well as the methods, research design and results of my study.