TitleSituational factors in homicides in a violence-ridden Brazilian favela
NameDe Souza, Elenice (author), Clarke, Ronald Von (chair), Felson, Marcus (internal member), Kelling, George (internal member), Miller, Joel (internal member), Natarajan, Mangai (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
Belo Horizonte (Brazil)
DescriptionThis study examines how and why situational factors can create opportunities for young males, mostly those involved in local drug trafficking, to commit homicides with impunity in the Brazilian favela of Alto Vera Cruz (AVC). The study shows how these factors can make murder easy to get away with in certain places, by imposing obstacles that hinder formal and informal mechanisms of control and prevention. Primary data in this study are based on systematic observation of situational features of 100 addresses where homicides had previously been committed in the AVC favela, between 2000 and 2006, and of 100 corresponding addresses in the same favela where no homicides were committed. The data analysis is performed using a matched case-control study in which the traits of specific geographical locations are studied rather than people. The study is unusual in the field of Criminology, in that it exhaustively analyzes the social and geographical characteristics of places in which homicides were committed by using a range of exploratory statistical analysis techniques, and by incorporating the spatial autocorrelation component in a conditional logistic regression model. The results of the regression model show that homicides are more likely to occur in specific settings that both make it easier for criminals to get away with their crimes, and reduce the amount of effort they need to expend in order to evade capture. These settings are characterized by the sale of illegal drugs, proximity to bars, the preponderance of hiding places and escape-routes, and an irregular urban landscape that helps limit surveillance by residents and the public. The findings of this study help encourage alternative responses for the violence that is common in favelas, expanding and complementing existing crime prevention strategies by removing or reducing criminals' opportunities to commit crimes, a key facet of the specialty field of Environmental Criminology.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references, abstract, vita.
Noteby Elenice De Souza
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.