***** Handbook of Crime Correlates. By Lee Ellis et al; published by Elsevier/Academic Press, www.elsevier.com (Web); 252 pages; $74.95.
Many security professionals like to teach college or university courses, both to supplement their salaries or consulting incomes and to give back to the profession with their knowledge of cutting-edge techniques and best practices. If you teach security management courses, criminal justice, or criminology classes this title will prove a useful and fact-filled book for you.
The authors refer to it as “a study of studies,” and they are correct. It is a compendium of more than 400 statistical tables based on more than 5,200 studies that consider factors in crime causation.
Ten chapters divide tables into variables such as pervasiveness; victim-offender relationships; demographic correlates; “ecological” (geographic, demographic, and social-status information) and economic factors; family, peer, and institutional factors; personality, behavioral, cognitive, and biological factors; and victimology.
For example, even people who are not in the security business should know that crime is a “young man’s game.” The text confirms that males are responsible for most violent crimes, which they commit most often between their 20s and 30s.
In another example, the chapter on biological factors shows that the presence of the hormone cortisol, which is thought to be triggered by emotional and physical pain, may be significantly lower with people who are unusually antisocial, aggressive, and impulsive. In other words, doing bad things doesn’t seem to bother them as much.
The text doesn’t use statistics to explain away crime, it simply gives readers and researchers who are trying to verify certain factors a place to start.
Each table provides the names and dates of the related research studies. The one drawback to this approach is obvious when reviewing the tables: because only the author and the year are given, the reader will have to do more research (although the Internet will certainly help) to learn the actual full titles of the articles and the magazines or journals where they were published.
A major benefit to dedicated users of this text is the inclusion of a companion CD. This makes it easier to search, review, and print out the stats and tables.
Reviewer: Steve Albrecht, DBA (Doctor of Business Administration), CPP, is a San Diego-based author and security consultant on workplace violence prevention. His books include Ticking Bombs, Tough Training Topics, and Tactical Perfection for Street Cops.