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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Law and Justice
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Roundtable on Understanding Crime Trends in the United States
Meeting Agenda
Meeting #5
November 18, 2015

The National Academies’ Keck Center Building
Room 125
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20418

The goal of the fifth meeting of the Roundtable on Understanding Crime Trends is to understand the potential role of social institutions and mechanisms of social control in influencing crime trends. Discussions at the meeting will address trends in the lethality of criminal attacks, “target hardening” and changes in the physical environment, labor markets, psychopharmacological treatment, school disciplinary systems, and violence against women.

 9:00 – 9:20 am              Welcome and Introductions 

                                    Richard Rosenfeld (Chair), University of Missouri – St. Louis
 9:20 – 10:20 am            Panel #1: Crime Trends and Social Constraints, Opportunities and 

                                          1) Douglas Eckberg
, Winthrop University
trends in the lethality of criminal attacks

                                          2) Ron Clarke
, Rutgers University 
                                                ♦ “target hardening” and changes in the physical environment
                                                   ► Presentation

                                          3) Robert Crutchfield, University of Washington
                                                ♦ labor market structure and the role of the economy
                                                   ► Presentation
10:20 – 12:00 pm           General Discussion: Crime Trends and Social Constraints, 
and Motivation

For which types of crime have target hardening and environmental changes been most effective? Why these offenses and not others?

Do reductions in criminal opportunities, through target hardening or other means, have any influence on criminal motivations?

How can we explain crime decreases during economic downturns, such as the 2008-09 Great Recession?

Has the crime drop over the past two decades coincided with labor market improvements for youth and minority groups?
12:00 – 1:00 pm            LUNCH
 1:00 – 2:00 pm            Panel #2: Crime Trends and Social Regulatory Systems

                                          1) David Finkelhor
, University of New Hampshire
                                                ♦ child abuse, child neglect, and psychopharmacological treatment

                                          2) Aaron Kupchik
, University of Delaware
                                                ♦ school disciplinary systems
                                                   ► Presentation

                                          3) Karen Heimer, University of Iowa [by videoconference]
                                                ♦ trends in violence against women
                                                   ► Presentation
2:00 – 4:00 pm           General Discussion: Crime Trends and Social Regulatory Systems

What is the state of the evidence concerning the effects of psychopharmacological treatment on delinquent and criminal behavior?

Are data available to measure the impact of growth in such treatments on aggregate crime trends?

Have trends in school crime paralleled those in crime more generally?

What is the state of the evidence concerning effects of school disciplinary systems on crime in schools?

Are the factors associated with trends in male violence the same as those associated with trends in violence against women?

How have changes in the status of woment affected trends in violence agains women?  Has the increased presence of women in public life reduced men's crime rates?
4:00 – 5:00 pm            General Discussion: Crime Trends and Social Institutions/ 
                                                                  Mechanisms of Social Control

Today's presentations have touched only a few institutions.  What do we know about how changes in the media, religion, and political systems may have influenced crime trends?

What are the implications of today's discussions for criminal justice and broader social policies?

What are research implications of today's discussions?  What are the most important data needs?  Have we exhauseted existing data sources?

Are we any closer to developing a theory of crime rate changes than we were when the Roundtable began?
5:00 p.m.                      Adjourn

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