Schools, Neighborhood Risk Factors, and Crime
Prior research has identified a link between schools (particularly high schools) and neighborhood crime rates. However, it remains unclear whether the relationship between schools and crime is a reflection of other criminogenic dynamics at the neighborhood level or whether schools influence neighborhood crime patterns independently of other established structural predictors. We address this question by investigating the relationship between schools and serious crime at the block group level while controlling for the potentially criminogenic effects of neighborhood instability and structural disadvantage. We find that, net of other structural correlates, neighborhoods with high schools and middle schools experience more violent, property, and narcotics crimes than those without middle or high schools. Conversely, neighborhoods with elementary schools exhibit less property crime than those not containing elementary schools. These results, which are consistent with prior research and with explanations derived from the routine activities and social disorganization perspectives, suggest some strategies for police deployment and community involvement to control crime.