Well water, lead, and the link to juvenile delinquency

Research from Penn and other universities found that, compared to children with municipal water, those relying on private wells in the U.S. had a 21% higher risk of being reported for any delinquency and a 38% increased risk of being reported for serious delinquency after age 14.

Michele W. Berger

The story of immigration enforcement

In an award-winning paper, criminologist Aaron Chalfin examines the public safety implications of labor market-based immigration enforcement.


COVID-19, protests, and crime

During a summer internship with the Law School’s David Abrams, rising sophomores Caroline Li and David Feng looked at how the COVID-19 pandemic and last summer’s racial justice protests affected America’s crime rate. 

Kristen de Groot

Annenberg researchers use data science skills for social justice

Data scientists at the Annenberg School for Communication are working with the Amistad Law Project to create an open access dashboard of data that can aid efforts to help the incarcerated communiy.

From Annenberg School for Communication, Ashton Yount

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In the News

How we tracked the pay of 24,000 cops

Aaron Chalfin of the School of Arts & Sciences said a new project documenting police pay in New Jersey contains “some pretty incredible data.”


The Washington Post

The white DA, the Black ex-mayor and a harsh debate on crime

Aaron Chalfin of the School of Arts & Sciences said the pandemic created conditions that may have exacerbated violent crime rates. “It’s like a perfect storm — schools close, community centers close, there’s all this hardship and stress and uncertainty,” he said.


Can green spaces help curb Philly's gun violence problem?

John MacDonald of the School of Arts & Sciences was interviewed about curbing gun violence in Philadelphia by cleaning up neighborhoods and planting trees. “The built environment of places shapes crime. When areas are clean, where there’s less trash, where there’s less physical disorder, residents are more likely to engage with each other,” he said.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Almost 500 people dead: Philadelphia is about to set a grim record for homicides

Aaron Chalfin of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about the rise in gun violence that accompanied the pandemic. “So many things changed at the same time, and that means that it’s very hard to disentangle what the drivers are,” he said. “I don’t know that we ever fully will.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

Portland among US cities adding funds to police departments

Aaron Chalfin of the School of Arts & Sciences said crime rates can fluctuate based on police department budgets and officer numbers, as well as shifts in the economy, infrastructure, and community programming. There are “a million things that drive crime up and down,” he said.


The New York Times

‘Re-fund the police’? Why it might not reduce crime

Research by Aaron Chalfin of the School of Arts & Sciences found that 54% of the time, hiring more police officers accompanied a drop in homicides. However, increased hires are also linked to more arrests for low-level offenses and more costs to cities due to increased police violence, legal settlements, and protests.