Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Criminology of place and deterrence strategy evaluations share separate yet similar paths towards incorporating microgeographic units of analysis within deterrence strategies. These transitions have been underway since Weisburd’s 2015 criminology of place work and Kennedy’s 1997 Ceasefire publication for deterrence strategy evaluation. Rather than purely theoretical or practical challenges serving as agents of change, scale appropriateness can arguably be pinpointed as the foundation for change in both areas. Microplace offers improved insight into the study of crime and place dominated by areal designs. This status quo has hampered evaluation but has not slowed the flow of resources to support strategy development. Costs of insufficient deterrence strategies are not just financial, but social and political which can be detrimental to the people and places strategies were designed to serve.

This research effort utilizes a simulation-based approach for microgeographic exploration of crime deterrence through simulation of the vast environments in which strategies operate. Simulation outcomes are compared with study area crime patterns to gauge model performance and efficacy. The City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish provide the backdrop of this dissertation. The study simulates 10 common and atypical crime environments, which could influence crime clusters and distributions as strategy stakeholders work to deter crime through various objectives. Simulated environments are designed to test the crime and place inspired models like opportunity, disorganization, and deterrence theories. All scenarios are successfully adapted to the microplace level with most results consistent with associated theories. A Monte Carlo based statistical test reveals no statistically significant displacement, but significant diffusion of benefits.

The study demonstrates the value of simulation designs not just for testing crime theories, but also as an alternative to explore deterrence effectiveness. The microgeographic unit, namely street segment, used in this study, provides an appropriate unit for not only simulating the interaction between crime environments and crime occurrence, thus testing crime theories, but also evaluating possible impacts of deterrence strategies. While it is far from groundbreaking to conclude crime clusters along street segments and microplaces, such concentrations and changes to the patterns warrant attention as strategy implementation can monolithically represent place.



Committee Chair

Wang, Fahui



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