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Selected Publications

Despite renewed research interest in prison social organization, little is known about how relationships that constitute the prison social system develop and change. The current study aims to understand the processes that link friendship and power within a prison unit over time. It uses longitudinal data on friendship and attributions of power collected from 274 residents in a Pennsylvania medium-security prison unit and employs a stochastic actor-oriented model to evaluate selection mechanisms that influence these relations and ascertain their temporal association.

The processes driving gang entry and disengagement are central to classic and contemporary criminological research on gang involvement. Yet, the role of delinquent peer friendship networks in contouring gang membership has driven much criminological research. The study uses the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to examine the transmission of gang membership among similar-aged siblings. These data offer the opportunity to use siblings’ self-report of gang involvement as a determinant of focal youths’ self-report of gang involvement.

In this study, we investigate how a police officer’s exposure to peers accused of misconduct shapes his or her involvement in excessive use of force. By drawing from 8,642 Chicago police officers named in multiple complaints, we reconstruct police misconduct ego networks using complaint records. Our results show that officer involvement in excessive use of force complaints is predicted by having a greater proportion of co-accused with a history of such behaviors.

Criminal groups have long been central to explanations of crime and deviance. Yet, challenges in measuring their dynamic and transient nature meant that group-level explanations were often displaced in favor of individual-level ones. This chapter outlines how network methods provide a powerful tool for modeling the dynamic nature of criminal groups

Target prioritization is routinely done among law enforcement agencies, but the criteria to establish which targets will lead to the most crime reduction are neither systematic, nor do they take into account the networks in which offenders are embedded. The purpose of this paper is to propose network capital as a guide for prioritization exercises.