Rethinking sports-based community crime prevention: A preliminary analysis of the relationship between midnight basketball and urban crime rates

Douglas Hartmann, Douglas Depro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors conducted a preliminary empirical test of the claim - dismissed by most scholars - that midnight basketball programs lower city-level crime rates. Results show cities that were early adopters of officially sanctioned midnight basketball leagues experienced sharper decreases in property crime rates than other American cities during a period in which there was broad support for midnight basketball programs. Although likely associated with a variety of confounding factors, these rather-surprising results suggest the need to reevaluate the deterrent effects of popular sports- and recreation-based prevention programs with a new emphasis on more diffuse, indirect mechanisms such as positive publicity and community trust. Further substantiation and refinement of these ideas could significantly reshape how these popular and well-established initiatives are implemented and evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-196
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sport and Social Issues
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006

Keywords

  • Crime prevention
  • Midnight basketball
  • Publicity effects
  • Sports
  • Urban crime rates

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