Criminological Explanations, Race, and Biological Attributions of Crime as Predictors of Philadelphia Area Residents’ Support for Criminal Justice Policies

Alexander H. Updegrove, Danielle L. Boisvert, Maisha N. Cooper, Shaun L. Gabbidon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study used telephone surveys from 350 randomly sampled Philadelphians to examine whether attributing crime to individual and environmental causes predicted support for punitive and progressive policies, respectively. This study also investigated whether Blacks and Whites differed in their preferred crime responses, and whether race interacted with crime attributions to predict preferred policies. Finally, this study explored whether biological attributions predicted support for policies. Linear regression analyses revealed: (1) individual crime attributions predicted support for punitive response policies; (2) environmental crime attributions predicted support for progressive policies; (3) Blacks more strongly supported progressive policies; (4) race significantly interacted with crime attributions to predict support for progressive policies; and (5) attributing crime to biological causes was unrelated to either policy type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-343
Number of pages25
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Volume67
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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