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Wo Publishes Article Investigating Places of Worship as Crime Generators


James Wo, research fellow in the Crime and Justice Policy Research Program, authored a study examining how places of worship (POW) might unintentionally operate as crime generators in neighborhoods. The study was published in the journal PLOS One and featured in an article by Tech Explorist.

While POW have traditionally been argued to have crime-reducing effects in neighborhoods because of their ability to produce social capital, Wo's study investigates them as potentially generating crime due to the fact they induce foot traffic and undermine social control capabilities and guardianship. These competing propositions are examined through a block group analysis of crime, places of worship, well-established criminogenic facilities, and sociodemographic characteristics in Washington, D.C. The implications of the findings for criminology, urban studies, and public policy are discussed in this article.

Read the full study here.