Category Archives: Odd research

Proposal Example #1 (Environmental Factors and Crime)

Ying, Crystal Loh Wai (1996). The Relationship between Juvenile Delinquency and Environmental Variables in New Town, Tuen Mun.


This research proposal dealt with the different environments in which crime takes place. This is a proposed study that is going to be specifically looking at the new town of Tuen Mun in Hong Kong. This particular town has high crime rates compared to other urban towns in Hong Kong and Ying (1996) wants to find out why. Ying decided to analyze this area for information about the type of environment it is in order to see if there is anything relating the abnormally high crime rates to how the town is set up.

The literature review that Ying did found that there is more crime rates around areas that have a high amount of access to the public. Crime rates were also found to be correlated with things like  housing conditions, demographic stability and ethnic/social status.

In order to do this study, Ying proposed to hang out with a group juvenile delinquents and seeing what they do. The researcher seems to want to find one juvenile delinquent and get them to  snowball sample in order to get a few people to watch the behaviors of.

Ying also hopes to interview these juvenile delinquents to see why they make the decision to commit crimes in certain areas. In addition to getting interview information from the juvenile delinquents,  Ying hopes to interview police officers and security guards to see what areas they believe are high crime and why.

Ying has the proposed project to find out why the town of Tuen Mun in Hong Kong has high crime rates as compared to other Hong Kong cities. The researcher has a few ideas from past research, saying that environmental factors are often an issue correlated with crime rates. To figure out the exact reason why crime is so high in this particular city, Ying will observe and interview juvenile delinquents.  Ying also proposes to interview security guards and police officers to get a full picture on the areas where there is an abundance of crime.

How Risky is Marijuana Possession? Considering the Role of Age, Race, and Gender

Sarah J

Journal Exercise #2:

How Risky is Marijuana Possession?

Considering the Role of Age, Race, and Gender

Nguyen, Holly and Peter Reuter. 2012. “How Risky is Marijuana Possession? Considering the Role of Age, Race, and Gender.” Crime and Delinquency 58(6): 879-910.


Over the last 20 years, arrest rates for the possession of marijuana have increased, constituting the largest single arrest offense category. Despite the spike in arrest rates, the rates of usage of marijuana have remained stable. The article above explores the relationship between marijuana use and  arrest rates in relation to race, gender, and age., answering the research question, “How risky is marijuana possession?” This articles uses several different data sets, including the NSDUH, an annual survey that measures the prevalence and correlates of drug use int the United States, UCR, published annual statistics on persons arrested, and the Decennial Census, which provides dirt population counts in the United States. The researchers also used public records to attain arrest records to determine age, race, and gender of a person possessing marijuana. This information was used to figure whether there are patterns in the arrest rates in relation to age, race, and gender.

Through the article, findings suggest that race is an important reason for being arrested for the possession of marijuana. It was speculated that there are factors that can contribute to the discrepancy of the higher arrests rates of Blacks. One individual-factor could place Blacks in riskier positions than Whites. It was suggested that Blacks are involved in many more high-risk drug transitions that Whites. Secondly, certain neighborhood and community characteristics can contribute to the heightened arrest probabilities that Blacks face. It was stated that many more police officers patrol in high-crime areas and communities with higher populations. With higher police per capita, crimes are more likely to be found and punished. Another finding suggest that youth (15-19 years old) are more likely to be arrested for possession. Juveniles are especially easy to arrest, given that they most likely consume marijuana outdoors, as they do not have access to private residences without being monitored by their parents or guardians. Lastly, findings suggest that female and male arrest rates remained comparable. Males do have a more likely tendency to be arrested, but many factors can contribute to that. Such as, when males and females consume marijuana together, males might be the ones who purchase and carry around the marijuana, putting themselves at greater risk than females. All of these finding are a result of much research and analysis.

Jounal Exercise #1 (Volunteer Pollution Cleanup Project in Mexico)

The article, Voluntary Environmental Regulation in Developing Countries: Mexico’s Clean Industry Program, by Blackman, Lahiri, Planter, and Pina was about the voluntary pollution-control programs in developing countries. To figure this out they used the program in Mexico, their Clean Industry Program, as a case study to figure out if voluntary clean-up programs were effective in developing countries.

Basically the researchers wanted to know if the plants in Mexico that were fined for being polluters were the ones that went into this voluntary Clean Industry Program. They also wanted to know if it made any difference to go into this program. In other words, they wanted to know if the polluters that went through this got fined less (and thus polluted less) later after they got out of the program.

To figure out how the voluntary program in Mexico worked, the researchers basically asked two questions. The first was, do the companies that go through Mexico’s Clean Industry Program pollute less afterwards? Then they wanted to know, does Mexico’s Clean Industry Program attracted those who were fined in the past? In order to find out these questions they needed economic data about the companies that went into the program (to find out if they were fined before and after) and they needed a list of what companies went into the program. These they got through public and private records from the Mexican Ministry of Economics and the Federal Environmental Attorney General’s office.

This research question concluded what have been pretty conclusive with other research questions of this kind, that voluntary environmental programs in developing countries do not seem to work very well. The research was pretty simple and straightforward. They did have to get rid of a lot of data and just trimmed it down to data that was relevant and that they could handle, but it seems like it was a sound analysis. It seems as though there is not enough incentive for companies to keep cleaning up their act after they go through the program.

They did find that there was a correlation between companies that were fined and the participation in the program, but the program did not improve the environmental performance of the company in the long run. This is almost puzzling because it shows that maybe the company does want to clean up, at least in order to not get fined, but does not keep it up in the end, maybe because it costs too much or because of lack of other incentives.

This article analyzed what companies go into voluntary environmental programs as well as how they fared when they got out of the program. It used Mexico’s Clean Industry Program as a case study and found that the more fined organizations go into the programs, but they do not get any better when they go out. Thus, voluntary programs do not work very well in the developing world.