In this article, we seek to identify whether the relationship between health disparities and crime occurs at a micro-geographic level. Do hot spot streets evidence much higher levels of mental and physical illness than streets with little crime? Are residents of crime hot spots more likely to have health problems that interfere with their normal daily activities? To answer these questions, we draw upon a large National Institutes of Health study of a sample of hot spots and non-hot spots in Baltimore, Maryland. This is the first study we know of to report on this relationship, and accordingly, we present unique descriptive data. Our findings show that both physical and mental health problems are much more likely to be found on hot spot streets than streets with little crime. This suggests that crime hot spots are not simply places with high levels of crime, but also places that evidence more general disadvantage. We argue that these findings have important policy implications for the targeting of health services and for developing proactive prevention programs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
University, and Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has had a career interest in crime at place, and was one of the developers (with Lawrence Sherman) of hot spots policing. He is the 2010 recipient of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology and the 2018 Vollmer Award from the American Society of Criminology.
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant number 5R01DA032639-03, 2012).
© The Author(s) 2019.
- crime concentration
- crime hot spots
- health problems
- mental health