Racial Residential Segregation and Crime



Racial residential segregation is a pervasive and persistent feature of life in urban America. The consequences of segregation are numerous and are generally deleterious for minority populations. One consequence of segregation is inflated rates of crime in segregated areas. However, the study of segregation and crime is limited to a handful of studies and many questions remain unanswered. These include: (i) Does the criminogenic effect of segregation remain when research employs a unit of analysis other than cities (e.g., neighborhoods, regions)? (ii) What is the primary theoretical mechanism by which racial segregation produces crime? (iii) What types of mediating processes can attenuate the criminogenic effect of segregation? The current article will summarize the interdisciplinary literature on segregation and crime and discuss avenues for future research.