Examining the Neighborhood and School Context of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Arrest

David Kirk, University of Chicago

This study examines the role of social context in explaining racial and ethnic differences in arrest. In particular, this research examines just what it is about the distinct school and neighborhood contexts in which different racial and ethnic groups participate that explains differences in criminal outcomes. To do so, I use a multilevel, longitudinal research design that combines individual-level data on Chicago-area youth with contextual data from the U.S. census, the Chicago Public Schools, and the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. Given that the developmental paths between different racial and ethnic groups are often distinct, it is critical to consider how the effects of different social contexts accumulate throughout childhood and adolescence to ultimately produce differentials in arrest.

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Presented in Session 19: Demography and Life Course Studies