Methods: This secondary data analysis examined cross-sectional data from the 2006 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS). The original study utilized stratified sampling to obtain its sample; data was then collected through questionnaires for school personnel. The subsample for the current study consisted of public schools and public charter schools (N=1,872), including middle schools (n=948) and high schools (n=924). In the current study, the independent variable of correctional school crime policies was represented by eight variables (such as, practicing dog sniffs for drugs, security camera monitoring, and using guards armed with firearms). The dependent variable of criminal involvement was represented by six types of crime (such as, incidents of robbery without a weapon, the total number of incidents of vandalism, and the number of gang-related crimes) in the sampled schools. The current study also controlled for sociodemographic factors, such as school size. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 27 was the data tool utilized for the descriptive and inferential procedures found in the current study.
Results: Overall, the current study found mixed results; specific school crime policies were either positively associated, negatively associated, or had no effect on criminal involvement among secondary school students. Passive correctional practices tended to lower the involvement in criminal behaviors of students. For instance, the practices of locked grounds and security cameras to monitor schools were associated with a decrease in vandalism. Additionally, the use of security cameras also predicted a decrease in the number of gang-related crimes. Nonetheless, the policy/practice of using guards armed with firearms predicted an increase in criminal involvement among the students in the sampled schools.
Conclusions and Implications: These results implicate that specific policies and practices are more effective in reducing school crime than others. Notably, the results also implicate that certain policies and practices are associated with increased school crime. These findings contribute to the existing literature by determining the efficacy of specific policies and practices. Future studies should continue to analyze concurrent school policies/practices for the grander public school system and school social work field.