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Published onMay 29, 2020

In addition to my drug-related and methodological work, I've researched how, why, and to what effect people commit or victimized by cybercrime, robbery, carjacking, shoplifting, and crime or violence broadly. I've also done a couple fun papers about criminals' tattoos and police officers' theories of crime.

Public Wi-Fi Users’ Self-Protective Behaviors

David Maimon, C. Jordan Howell, Scott Jacques, and Robert Perkins. In press. Situational Awareness and Public Wi-Fi Users’ Self-Protective Behaviors. Security Journal.

Publisher version | Free version

Abstract: Accessing public Wi-Fi networks can be as dangerous as it is convenient. People who access a public Wi-Fi network should engage in self-protective behaviors to keep their data safe from malicious actors on the same network as well as persons looking over their shoulder, literally and proverbially. Using two independent research designs, we examined under what circumstances were people more likely to access an unsecured Wi-Fi network and engage in risky behavior on these networks. Findings from the first study, based on survey data, reveal that people who are more situationally aware are less likely to access personal accounts on public Wi-Fi, and more likely to cover their screen to prevent others from viewing personal information. Additionally, findings show that people with higher computer proficiencies are less likely to engage with public Wi-Fi. For the second study, our research team designed and deployed honeypot Wi-Fi networks. We found that people are more likely to access these unsecured, rogue networks in establishments with fewer on-duty employees and that do not offer legitimate public Wi-Fi. Additionally, the number of on-duty employees is associated with an increase in physical security behaviors, such as concealing a screen. We conclude by discussing how these findings can aid in reducing susceptibility to online victimization.

He Did that Because I was Black

Allen, Andrea, and Scott Jacques. 2020. “He Did that Because I was Black”: Black College Students Perceive Municipal Police, Not Campus Police, as Discriminating. Deviant Behavior 41:29-40.​

Publisher version | Free version

Abstract: This article examines qualitative data obtained from 66 Black college students about perceptions of their interactions with municipal police (MP) and campus police (CP). Participants described MP and CP as acting severely, but only attributed racial bias to MP. These findings are explored with respect to theories of procedural justice and legitimacy. They help to explain why participants viewed MP’s actions as racially biased, though it is less clear why CP’s actions were not perceived as such.

Crime in Motion

Wright, Richard, Volkan Topalli, and Scott Jacques. 2017. Crime in Motion: Predation, Retaliation, and the Spread of Urban Violence. Chapter 6 in On Retaliation: Toward an Interdisciplinary Understanding of a Basic Human Condition, eds. Bertram Turner and Günther Schlee. New York: Berghahn Books. 

Publisher version | Free version (uploaded on ResearchGate by Volkan)

Abstract: It has long been recognized that criminal violence is contagious; it has a tendency to spread beyond the instigating event, from person to person and from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, especially in urban areas characterized by high crime rates, poverty, social disorganization, ineffective formal social control and decaying infrastructure (Loftin 1986; Blumstein and Rosenfeld 1998; Fagan and Davies 2004; Fagan, Wilkinson and Davies 2007). Less well understood, however, are the precise mechanisms underpinning the diffusion of underworld violence.

What Criminals’ Tattoos Symbolize

Jacques, Scott. 2017. What Criminals’ Tattoos Symbolize: Drawing on Darwin, Durkheim, and Lombroso. Deviant Behavior 37:1303-1317. 

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Abstract: Criminals’ tattoos have many meanings. A limitation of prior research is that these meanings have not been organized into an elegant yet exhaustive typology that is theoretically informed. To address that gap, this article analyzes “Russian criminal tattoos” in light of classic conceptions of tattoos—namely those of Darwin, Durkheim, and Lombroso. The benefits of the analysis include (1) an expanded conception of what tattoos symbolize from Darwinian and Durkheimian perspectives and (2) the formation of a simple but comprehensive typology of what criminals’ tattoos represent. The article concludes by considering implications for future research.

Thinking Thief

Lasky, Nicole, Bonnie Fisher, and Scott Jacques. 2017. “Thinking Thief” in the Crime Prevention Arms Race: Lessons Learned from Shoplifters. Security Journal 30:772-792.​

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Abstract: Retailers invest considerable sums of money in security measures designed to prevent shoplifting. However, little is known about shoplifters’ perceptions of anti-shoplifting security measures or shoplifters’ techniques for outmaneuvering them. Building on Ekblom’s recommendation to ‘think thief’ to disengage from the crime prevention arms race, our data consist of in-depth interviews with active shoplifters who simulated shoplifting at two national retail stores while wearing an eye-tracking device. Shoplifters in the present study describe their perceptions of the deterrence potential of specific security measures and the various counter-moves employed to successfully steal merchandise. Implications for ‘thinking thief’ in the retail environment are discussed.

Victim Injury & Social Distance

Rennison, Callie, Scott Jacques, and Andrea Allen. 2016. Victim Injury and Social Distance: A National Test of a General Principle of Conflict. Violence & Victims 31:726-751.​

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Abstract: Our inquiry focuses on why some violent offenses but not others result in injury to the victim. Building on existing theory nested in the paradigm of pure sociology, we propose and test a general principle of conflict: Victim injury varies directly with social distance. This principle predicts that offenders are more likely to harm victims with whom they are less well acquainted and less similar culturally. We test three hypotheses derived from this principle with data from the National Crime Victimization Survey and find little support for the theory. Rather, findings suggest exactly the opposite of that predicted: As social distance between offender and victim increases, the odds of victim injury decreases. Recommendations of additional research are made.

It Takes Skills to Take a Car

Topalli, Volkan, Scott Jacques, and Richard Wright. 2015. “It Takes Skills to Take a Car”: Perceptual and Procedural Expertise in Carjacking. Aggression & Violent Behavior 20:19-25. 

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Abstract: This article explores the crucial role played by criminal expertise in carjacking, a violent street offense that exhibits characteristics of both car theft and robbery. Specifically, it describes the manner in which an offender's perceptual skills (aimed at discerning the suitability of a carjacking target) and procedural skills (aimed at enacting the carjacking offense itself) relate to one another in a process emanating from the interacting characteristics of the vehicle, driver, environment, and offender. The core assumption of this perspective is that carjacking requires considerable skill to identify an appropriate offense opportunity and carry out the same. This contradicts a prevailing notion within the criminological literature that offending is a largely unskilled enterprise. Drawing on ethnographic data both original and in previous research we demonstrate this not to be the case.

Victim Resistance During Robbery Events

Lindegaard, Marie Rosenkrantz, Wim Bernasco, and Scott Jacques. 2015. Consequences of Expected and Observed Victim Resistance for Offender Violence During Robbery Events. Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency 52:32-61.

Publisher version | Free version (uploaded on ResearchGate by Marie)

Abstract: Objectives: Drawing on the rational choice perspective, this study aims at explaining why some robberies take place with physical force while others occur only with threat. The focus is how expected and observed victim resistance impact physical force by robbers. Methods: We draw on quantitative and qualitative data obtained from 104 robbers who described 143 robbery events. Based on the coding of behavioral sequences between offenders and victims, we distinguish between the use of physical force at the onset from the use of physical force during the progression of the event. Results: At the onset of robberies, physical force of offenders is influenced by whether they judge the victim to be street credible. During the progression of robberies, offenders are more likely to use physical force against a resistant than against a compliant victim. Conclusions: At the onset of the robbery, offender violence is related to expected victim resistance; during the progression, it is related to observed victim resistance. Future research should focus on behavioral sequences within robbery events including the meaning of victim characteristics and victim behavior in different phases of the event.

Glossing Over Shoplifting

Lasky, Nicole, Scott Jacques, and Bonnie Fisher. 2015. Glossing Over Shoplifting: How Thieves Act Normal. Deviant Behavior 36:293-309.

Publisher version | Free version

Abstract: Although criminals are known to put on a façade of normalcy while offending, no study has categorized the various ways they do so in a theoretically informed manner. We address this gap in the literature by drawing on Goffman’s notion of body gloss to explore how shoplifters “act normal” as they enter a store, take possession of and conceal a target, and exit. Our data consist of in-depth descriptions and explanations of active shoplifters who simulated shoplifting at retail stores while wearing an eye-tracking device. We find shoplifters’ normalcy-generating actions reflect two of the three types of body gloss outlined by Goffman, and that the type used depends on the stage of shoplifting. Implications for theory and research are discussed.

Police Officers’ Theories of Crime

Allen, Andrea, and Scott Jacques. 2014. Police Officers’ Theories of Crime. American Journal of Criminal Justice 39:206-227.

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Abstract: What factors do police officers point to in explaining offending and victimization? A limited amount of prior research has addressed this question, despite the possibility that such theories impact police practice. Moreover, the findings that do exist are based solely on municipal police; yet a different socio-environmental context could lead officers to adopt different explanations. In the present paper, we draw on qualitative data obtained in interviews with campus police officers to explore how they explain common crimes on campus. They theorized petty larceny, underage drinking, and drug possession to result from a variety of factors, including opportunity, social learning, supervision, culture, peer pressure, the psychopharmacological effect of alcohol on crime, and deterrence; as a collective, these ideas form officers’ rational choice theories. After presenting our findings, we suggest how officers’ explanations of crime may be shaped by working in particular contexts and also affect how they police; implications for future research and police practice are discussed.

Agency as a Cause of Crime

Lindegaard, Marie Rosenkrantz, and Scott Jacques. 2014. Agency as a Cause of Crime. Deviant Behavior 35:85-100.

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Abstract: Laub and Sampson's age-graded theory of social control posits that the greater is a person's agency, the less that person commits crime. But agency has a dark side as well. Some people choose to offend in order to transform their life; when this happens, agency is a cause of crime. In the present article we draw on the life course and rational choice perspectives to explore this idea. Our study is based on qualitative data obtained through interviews with and observations of offenders from socially disadvantaged areas in Cape Town, South Africa. Participants cited their offending as motivated by and effective in obtaining three kinds of status: belonging in a group, respect from peers, and wealth. Further research is needed to develop understanding of this relationship, especially in terms of how it is affected by structural conditions and culture.

Reflexive Retaliation for Violent Victimization

Jacques, Scott, and Callie Rennison. 2013. Reflexive Retaliation for Violent Victimization: The Effect of Social Distance on Weapon Lethality. Violence & Victims 28:69-89. 

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Abstract: During the course of being victimized, why do people sometimes fight back with their fists; in other cases, with a knife or blunt object; and at other times, with a firearm? One theory is that the weapons involved in self-defense, also known as reflexive retaliation, become less lethal as offenders and victims become more intimate and alike culturally. Using National Crime Victimization Survey data, we test hypotheses derived from this theory and primarily find support. This article concludes by discussing implications for future work.

Immediate Informal Responses to Victimization

Jacques, Scott, and Callie Rennison. 2013. Social Distance and Immediate Informal Responses to Violent Victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 28:733-753.

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Abstract: There are a number of ways that victims of violence informally handle attacks as they unfold. Their responses range in severity from physical resistance, to talking it out with the offender, to running away, to cooperating. Why do victims respond in a more or less severe manner? Cooney (2009) suggests that social distance is part of the answer: the further the relational or cultural distance between offender and victim, the more severe the latter's response. Using National Crime Victimization Survey data, we test hypotheses derived from this theory and find oppositional findings. Specifically, results indicate that closer social distance predicts more severe responses. We conclude by discussing the implications of this finding for future work, especially as relates to the study of self-protective behavior.

Posterior Gains & Immediate Pains

Lindegaard, Marie Rosenkrantz, Wim Bernasco, Scott Jacques, and Babet Zevenbergen. 2013. Posterior Gains and Immediate Pains: Offender Emotions Before, During and After Robberies. Chapter 4 in Affect & Cognition in Criminal Decision Making, eds. Jean-Louis van Gelder, Henk Elffers, Daniel Nagin, and Danielle Reynald. New York: Routledge.

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Abstract: When addressing affect, studies of criminal decision making have tended to focus on a limited number of negatively valenced emotions, such as shame, regret and guilt (e.g. Grasmick and Bursik, 1990 ; Svensson et al . 2013 ; Wikström, 2010). As mentioned in this volume’s Introduction, these emotions regard anticipated affect: expectations of future emotional states, instead of feelings actually experienced at the time of the decision to engage in crime. Some authors, however, have hinted that positive emotions may also play a role in criminal acts (e.g. Jacobs and Wright, 2010 ; Katz, 1988 ; Wright and Decker, 1994 , 1997 ). In the present chapter, we examine both negatively and positively valenced emotions of robbers and address both anticipated and immediate affect. We do so using a multi-method approach that includes both in-depth interviews and survey material among a sample of incarcerated robbers.

Weapon Lethality & Social Distance

Rennison, Callie, Scott Jacques, and Mark Berg. 2010. Weapon Lethality and Social Distance: A National Test of a Social Structural Theory. Justice Quarterly 28:576-605.

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Abstract: Three paradigms can be used to explain weapon lethality: rational choice and deterrence theory; social learning and cultural theory; and opportunity and prevalence theory. Each makes distinct predictions regarding the economic, psychological, and environmental factors that affect the use of weapons. Despite their merits, the sum of knowledge about violence and weapons may be increased by exploring the influence of variables derived from another paradigm: pure sociology. Black’s theory of retaliation and Cooney’s principle of predation provide the underpinning for a social structural‐based theoretical principle of weapon lethality. Building on those ideas, we propose that the lethality of weapons involved in interpersonal violence increases as the offenders and victims become less intimate and less alike culturally. Using National Crime Victimization Survey data, we test two hypotheses derived from this principle and primarily find support of the proposed social structural principle.

25 Years of “Crime as Social Control”

Jacques, Scott. 2009. 25 Years of “Crime as Social Control.” Pp. 311-317 in Criminology Theory: Readings and Retrospectives, eds. Heith Copes and Volkan Topalli. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Publisher version (copyright appears orphaned so sharing freely)

Abstract: None for this paper.

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