2010 Walter C. Reckless-Simon Dinitz Memorial Lecture
Abstract: Throughout urban areas of the United States, there is considerable inequality in levels of street crime across neighborhoods of different racial and ethnic compositions. In this lecture, Peterson describes this variation and reports on findings from research relying on data from the National Neighborhood Crime Study that show how inequality in various structural conditions of neighborhoods and cities account for these differences. In light of arguments that external investments in local communities affect crime levels therein, particular attention is given to whether and how mortgage lending matters for crime across distinct race-ethnic neighborhoods. The results demonstrate that this type of external investment may be an important starting point for reducing crime in racially and socioeconomically marginalized communities.
The Lecturer: Ruth Peterson, Ph.D. retired from the faculty of Ohio State University in 2011, where she held positions as Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Criminal Justice Research Center. Her research focuses on how and why patterns of neighborhood crime vary across communities of different race-ethnic compositions, and how residential and non-residential neighborhoods that individuals traverse during the course of their daily activities differentially influence their participation in crime, drug use, and other problem behaviors. In 2010, she coauthored with Lauren J. Krivo Divergent Social Worlds: Neighborhood Crime and the Racial-Spatial Divide (New York: Russell Sage Foundation). Among other honors, Peterson is the recipient of Ohio State's Joan N. Huber Faculty Fellowship (2002-2005). and the Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service (2010). In 2005, she received the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's Simon Dinitz Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Research (2005). She is also a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology, and a recipient of the society's Division on People of Color and Crime‛s Lifetime Achievement Award (2009), and its Edwin H. Sutherland Award for outstanding contributions to theory and research in criminology (2011)