Please enjoy the following article from the Journal of Urban Affairs, available online.
Neighborhood churches and their relationship to neighborhood processes important for crime prevention, by Barbara D. Warner & Rebecca Headley Konkel
Neighborhood organizations are important aspects of the urban landscape that are increasingly being studied in relationship to crime. However, the neighborhood mechanisms through which organizations are hypothesized to affect crime have rarely been examined. Rooted in social disorganization theory, this study examines the effects of churches—a common and important neighborhood organization—on neighborhood social processes related to crime prevention (i.e., informal social control, social ties, conventional values). These processes are measured with survey data from approximately 2,300 residents in 66 neighborhoods. Several measures for churches are examined in relation to these social processes using multilevel modeling. Data come from several sources, including survey data previously collected for a National Institute of Justice–funded study, the U.S. Census Bureau, and Polk City Directories. Findings show that churches have significant effects on the processes examined; however, the type of church measure used impacts these findings. The total number of churches in the neighborhood and within a buffer zone around the neighborhood, Mainline Protestant, community-oriented (“Bridging”), and Evangelical Protestant churches had significant (or marginally significant) effects on at least one processes examined, although some of these effects were only in disadvantaged neighborhoods.