Using Space–Time Analysis to Evaluate Criminal Justice Programs: An Application to Stop-Question-Frisk Practices

Alese Wooditch*, David Weisburd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objectives: Effects of place-based criminal justice interventions extend across both space and time, yet methodological approaches for evaluating these programs often do not accommodate the spatiotemporal dimension of the data. This paper presents an example of a bivariate spatiotemporal Ripley’s K-function, which is increasingly employed in the field of epidemiology to analyze spatiotemporal event data. Advantages of this technique over the adapted Knox test are discussed. Methods: The study relies on x–y coordinates of the exact locations of stop-question-frisk (SQF) and crime incident events in New York City to assess the deterrent effect of SQFs on crime across space at a daily level. Results: The findings suggest that SQFs produce a modest reduction in crime, which extends over a three-day period. Diffusion of benefits is observed within 300 feet from the location of the SQF, but these effects decay as distance from the SQF increases. Conclusions: A bivariate spatiotemporal Ripley’s K-function is a promising approach to evaluating place-based crime prevention interventions, and may serve as a useful tool to guide program development and implementation in criminology.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)191-213
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Quantitative Criminology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Adapted Knox test
  • Bivariate spatial point patterns
  • Crime hot spots
  • New York City
  • Police
  • Space–time
  • Spatiotemporal Ripley’s K function
  • Stop, question, and frisk


Dive into the research topics of 'Using Space–Time Analysis to Evaluate Criminal Justice Programs: An Application to Stop-Question-Frisk Practices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this