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Enhancing Knowledge of Dispute-Related Violence

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $99,727)

This research project is funded under NIJ's FY 2013 W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship for Research on Race, Gender, Culture, and Crime 2013 Program, that provides awards to talented researchers with an opportunity, early in their career, to elevate independently generated research and ideas to the level of national discussion.

The purpose of this research is to enhance understanding of violent disputes. Dispute-related violence involves the use of aggression to rectify a perceived wrong and though criminologists have long documented the role of disputes in shaping violence, important questions remain. This study has five specific aims. In collaboration with the Rochester Police Department (RPD), the study aims to develop a database on violent disputes in the City of Rochester, NY. This will be accomplished by adding non-gun aggravated assault data to the Rochester Shooting Database'a collaborative project currently being developed by the applicant, analysts at the Monroe Crime Analysis Center (MCAC), and researchers at RIT's Center for Public Safety Initiatives. The completed dataset will consist of approximately 600 shooting assault cases and 600 non-shooting aggravated-assault cases that occurred in Rochester, NY in the years 2010, 2011, and 2012. Data will be collected on the location of the assault, the circumstances preceding the assault, as well as other important factors, and will allow for both qualitative and quantitative examination of disputes, address some of the limitations associated with other sources of data, and serve as a model for other jurisdictions seeking to reduce dispute-related violence. Upon completion of the database, aims two through five of this proposal will be addressed. The second aim of this proposal seeks to examine qualitative differences across disputes. Third, this proposal seeks to identify the factors that determine if retaliatory violence occurs within disputes. Fourth, this proposal seeks to understand how long retaliatory disputes last and what factors lead to the termination of such disputes. Fifth, this proposal seeks to identify those factors that influence whether a dispute turns lethal. Addressing these objectives will expand knowledge of dispute-related violence and will aid in the development of strategies to reduce inner-city violence. These aims will be addressed using a mixed-method approach. Qualitative analysis of crime reports, field information forms, investigative action reports, crime bulletins, calls for service, shot spotter data and street intelligence will be bolstered by quantitative analysis of the violence database. Multivariate regression analysis and hierarchical linear modeling will be used to understand the causes and correlates of dispute-related violence and isolate the effects of dispute characteristics from characteristics of the victim and offender. Project deliverables will include: (1) a violent dispute database; (2) a framework for decreasing dispute-related violence; and (3) a final technical report that enhances understanding of the dispute-related violence and other deliverables including but not limited to a research in brief, a presentation at a professional meeting, and other deliverables as required by NIJ. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 11, 2013