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Small towns have highest risk of intimate partner violence

Despite common perceptions that big cities have more violence, women living in small towns are most at risk of violence from current or former spouses and partners, according to a recent study by Washington State University criminologist Kathryn DuBois.

“In criminology, we often have this urban bias. We assume big cities are the worst and paint other places as idyllic,” said DuBois, associate professor at WSU Vancouver. “We tend to think in a continuum from urban to suburban to rural, but for intimate partner violence, it’s actually the suburban areas that are the safest, and small towns that have the highest risk.”

The National Crime Victimization Survey collects information through a large sample of interviews about a range of personal crimes committed every year. Part of the intent of the survey is to uncover the “dark figure” of crime, DuBois said, those crimes that may not be reported to police.

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Juvenile justice system can better serve children with autism

Amid ongoing discussions of criminal justice reform, a Washington State University professor argues in a new book that now is the time to focus on better serving children and teens on the autism spectrum who become entwined in the juvenile justice system.

Laurie Drapela.Youth on the spectrum need greater access to mental health support staff who can provide counseling and act as advocates, writes Laurie Drapela, an associate professor of criminal justice at WSU Vancouver, and author of “Law and Neurodiversity – Youth with autism and the juvenile justice systems in Canada and the United States.”

“There is a real opportunity to start broadening how individuals involved in the juvenile justice system work with people on the autism spectrum who come to the attention of law enforcement,” Drapela said.

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WSU Insider

Reform, don’t defund, Bellingham police say

Bellingham residents spoke out Sunday, June 28, at the “Stonewall was a Riot: March to Defund the Police” event, calling for partial defunding of police departments in order to pay for other community resources in the wake of police violence against Black and Indigenous people and people of color.

David Makin.
Makin

David Makin, research professor and associate professor of criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University, said improving law enforcement is about starting conversations.

“[I’m seeing this in] areas that are having honest conversations with their community,” Makin said. “Notice the emphasis. Their community. They’re having those conversations around, ‘What should police be tasked with in our community?’”

“It’s about being more purposeful in who is better to handle a specific type of incident or interaction,” Makin said. “What we’ve done over the past 50-plus years is made the police everything to everyone, and that’s unfair. They’re not trained for that, and they can’t be. So if there’s an expert who’s better at handling a particular type of incident, then let’s have that.”

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The Western Front

New criminal justice chair brings experience and energy to role

Melanie-Angela Neuilly
Neuilly

An expert in comparative criminal justice and criminological theory, Melanie-Angela Neuilly began on Aug. 1 a three-year term as chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University.

“My goal as chair is to coordinate, facilitate and catalyze faculty’s work and to build bridges between our unit and others for furthering the department and university’s land-grant mission,” Neuilly said. “Meeting the needs of our students and our communities through our research, teaching and service is all the more pressing in the midst of a pandemic and demands for social justice.”.

Neuilly brings a broad range of strengths, experience and energy to her new role, said Matthew Jockers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Her leadership will help propel the department’s growth and interdisciplinary success.”

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WSU Insider

No honor among cyber thieves

A backstabbing crime boss and thousands of people looking for free tutorials on hacking and identity theft were two of the more interesting findings of a study examining user activity on two online “carding forums,” illegal sites that specialize in stolen credit card information.

Alex Kigerl.
Kigerl

“The cybercrime marketplace, like most e-commerce, has continued to expand and carding forums are the most widespread formats in the West for exchanging illicit goods,” said Alex Kigerl, a Washington State University criminologist and lead author of the study published in the June edition of Social Science Computer Review.

Kigerl also discovered that the administrator of the two carding forums, the person who is typically in charge of vouching for reputable sellers and banning users who defraud other users, was perhaps the biggest thief of all.

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