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Volume 4, Issue 3, July 2003

ISSN 1096-4886 http://www.westerncriminology.org/Western_Criminology_Review.htm
© 2003, The Western Criminology Review. All Rights Reserved.


Although we are somewhat biased in our opinion as co-editors of this journal, we feel very fortunate to have been a part in publishing the exceptionally good scholarly works that make up the contents of this current issue of Western Criminology Review. Each of the pieces that are contained in this issue exemplify a significant contribution to the literature. All of the studies in this issue focus on empirically testing theoretical propositions regarding a variety of topics, ranging from familial structure to victimization to deviant peer influences. We strongly believe that all of these studies will go a long way toward contributing to current criminological thought and future studies on the issues that they examine.

As mentioned above, all four of the feature articles contained in this issue test theoretical propositions from a variety of models and frameworks. Additionally, all of the four studies estimate multivariate regression equations in order to test these propositions.

In the first article, Kristen A. Bates, Christopher D. Bader, and F. Carson Mencken test the validity of Hagan's Power-control theory when applied to non-traditional types of households, such as those headed by single parents. The authors use improved measures of family structure and patriarchy that allow for greater flexibility needed to examine these non-traditional families.

The next paper uses data from the National Youth Survey to estimate the circumstances in which aspects of sanction threats mitigate the influence of peer associations on criminal offending. In this paper, Ruth X. Liu further specifies the dynamics between elements of deterrence and social learning perspectives, two models that likely complement each other but are rarely considered in the same study.

Hannah Scott presents results that help to explain the commonly observed paradox that young men are more likely to experience victimization, but females generally show higher levels of fear. Dr. Scott uses data from the Canadian Violence Against Women Survey to demonstrate that one of the keys to understanding this phenomena is the heightened awareness that women have of unknown men.

The final feature article examines county-level homicide and suicide rates in a study based on the Stream Analogy hypothesis (Unnithan et al., 1994), which is partially based on a Durkheimian framework. Using data from the Multiple Cause of Death study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Bohsiu Wu finds regional differences in the expression of violence.

In addition to the feature articles, this issue contains an exceptionally strong Commentary section — in terms of number and substance. Most notably, is Matthew B. Robinson's reaction piece regarding two papers previously published in Western Criminology Review, specifically those authored by Elliott Currie (Vol. 2, No. 1, 1999) and Richard Hil (Vol. 3, No. 2, 2002). Dr. Robinson summarizes and critiques many of the points made by these authors, while proposing a strong case for the role of critical criminology in the discipline.

The Commentary section also contains three reviews of recently published books on criminal justice topics. The first review, written by Erika Davis-Frenzel, critiques Women and the Criminal Justice System by Katherine Stuart Van Wormer and Clemens Bartollas (2000; Allyn & Bacon). Obviously a very important topic, Davis-Frenzel offers unique insight on the book given her research in the area of prosecutorial bias in sexual assault cases. The second review is of Michael Welch's Detained: Immigration Laws and the Expanding I.N.S. Jail Complex (2002; Temple University Press), which is reviewed by Kathleen Nadeau, who has extensive experience with international issues. The final book review is written by Dale Sechrest, who examines Jorge Antonio Renaud's Behind the Walls: A Guide for Families and Friends of Texas Prison Inmates (2002; The University of North Texas), which provides a very insightful look into life behind bars, as well as how such issues affect those on the outside of the prison walls.

Also included in this issue are the proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Western Society of Criminology, which took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, last February. In addition to the conference schedule and paper abstracts, a transcribed version of the keynote address by Chief Constable Jamie Graham of the Vancouver Police Department.

We would like to take a moment to thank Melanie Tennant for her support and contributions to this journal as Book Review Editor and her invaluable assistance with production. Ms. Tennant will be missed. Additionally, the we would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dominique Biven for offering to assume additional production related duties.

We hope you enjoy the issue!

Gisela Bichler, Ph.D.
Stephen Tibbetts, Ph.D.


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