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Context and Spatial Nuance Inside a Neighborhood's Drug Hotspot: Implications for the Crime-Health Nexus

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2016
18 pages
This article reports on a topical study of a neighborhood drug microspace, a phrase used to include the various stages of production, selling, acquiring, and taking, to show how geographic context matters in mapping crime hotspots.
New geographic approaches are required to analyze the underlying sociospatial complexity of neighborhood decline in targeting appropriate interventions. Typically, maps of crime hotspots are used with relatively little attention to geographic context. The current study overlaid an exploratory data analysis of three cohort spatial video geonarratives (SVGs) to contextualize the traditional crime-rate hotspot maps. Using two local area analyses of police, community, and ex-offender SVGs and then comparing these with police call for service data, the study identified spaces of commonality and difference across data types. The discussion changes the scale to consider revealed microspaces and the interaction of both “good” and “bad” places. The previous analysis was enhanced with a mapped spatial video assessment of the built environment and then returned to the narrative to extract additional detail around a crime-associated corner store next to a community center. The findings suggest that researchers should reevaluate how to improve typical hotspot approaches with more on-the-ground context. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: July 1, 2016