Community Criminology, Reactions to Crime, Law Enforcement/Community Interface, Informal Social Control in the Urban Residential Environment


Over the last three plus decades I have investigated a range of topics in environmental psychology, urban sociology, law and human behavior, criminology, and criminal justice. Just some of the topics investigated have been: reactions to crime like fear of crime; informal resident-based control linked to local social and territorial dynamics; community perceptions of police; links between gentrification and crime; ecological variation in jury turnout; community corrections; spatial and temporal variation in intra-metropolitan crime patterns; juvenile delinquency; and the incivilities thesis or “broken windows” theory. My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Justice, and others. Most recent externally funded research activities investigate changing crime patterns across the Philadelphia metropolitan region in the first decade of the 21st Century; provide input to the Consultant overseeing the settlement agreement involving the Chicago Police Department, City of Chicago, and ACLU-Illinois; and examine impacts of different types of police interventions in predicted small-scale high-crime locations.


Selected Publications


  • Taylor, R. B. (2015). Community Criminology: Fundamentals of Spatial and Temporal Scaling, Ecological Indicators, and Selectivity Bias. New York: NYU Press. 
  • Taylor, R. B. (2001). Breaking Away From Broken Windows: Baltimore Neighborhoods and the Nationwide Fight Against Crime, Grime, Fear and Decline, Boulder: Westview Press. 
  • Taylor, R. B. (1988) Human Territorial Functioning: An Empirical Evolutionary Perspective on Individual and Small Group Territorial Cognitions, Behaviors, and Consequences. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Taylor, R. B. (1994) Research Methods in Criminal Justice. New York: McGraw Hill.

Articles Since 2012:

  • Ward, J. T., Link, N. W., & Taylor, R. B. (2017). New windows into a broken construct: A multilevel factor analysis and DIF assessment of perceived incivilities. Journal of Criminal Justice, 51, 74-88.
  • Askey, A. P., Taylor, R. B., Groff, E. R., & Fingerhut, A. (2017 Online First). Fast Food Restaurants and Convenience Stores: Using Sales Volume to Explain Crime Patterns in Seattle. Crime & DelinquencyOnline First June 23, 2017 : DOI: 10.1177/0011128717714792.
  • Link, N. W., Kelly, J. M., Pitts, J. R., Waltman-Spreha, K., & Taylor, R. B. (2017). Reversing Broken Windows: Evidence of Lagged, Multilevel Impacts of Risk Perceptions on Perceptions of Incivility. Crime & Delinquency, 63(6), 659-682.
  • Sherman, S. G., Brantley, M. R., Zelaya, C., Duong, Q., Taylor, R. B., & Ellen, J. (2017 Online First). The Development of an HIV risk environment scale of exotic dance clubs. Aids and Behavior, 21, 2147-2155.  Online First March 23, 2017: DOI: 2110.1007/s10461-10017-11749-y.
  • Taylor, R. B., Ratcliffe, J. H., & Perenzin, A. (2015). Can we predict long term community crime problems?: The estimation of ecological continuity to model risk heterogeneity. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 52 (5), 635-657.
  • Blasko, B. L., Roman, C. G., & Taylor, R. B. (2015). Local gangs and residents’ perceptions of unsupervised teen groups: Implications for the incivilities thesis and neighborhood effects. Journal of Criminal Justice, 43(1), 20-28. doi:
  • Johnson, L. T., Taylor, R. B., & Groff, E. R. (2015). Metropolitan local crime clusters: Structural concentration effects and the systemic model. Journal of Criminal Justice, 43(3 (May-June)), 186-194.
  • Groff, E. R., Ratcliffe, J. H., Haberman, C. P., Sorg, E. T., Joyce, N. M., & Taylor, R. B. (2015). Does what police do at hot spots matter? The Philadelphia policing tactics experiment. Criminology, 53(1), 23-53. doi: 10.1111/1745-9125.12055
  • Taylor, R.B., Lawton, Brian A., & Ellen, J. (2014). Neighborhood race and nearby race affects neighborhood changes in relative status and stability: Testing an ecological extension of the neighborhood projection thesis. World Journal of Social Science Research 1(2) [ONLINE: open access: ]
  • Taylor, R. B., Wyant, B.R., Lockwood, B. (2015). Variable links within perceived police legitimacy?: Fairness and effectiveness across races and places. Social Science Research 49: 234-248.
  •  Roberts, D., Taylor, R.B., Garcia, R.M., and Perenzin, A. (2014) Intra-streetblock spatial patterning of crime-related parochial control. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research 31 (2):143-162.
  • Groff, E.R., Taylor, R. B., Elesh, D., Johnson, L., & McGovern, J. (2014). Permeability across a metropolitan area: conceptualizing and operationalizing a macro level crime pattern theory. Environment and Planning A 46: 129-152
  •  Ratcliffe, J.H., Strang, S.J., & Taylor, R.B. (2014) Assessing the success factors of organized crime groups: Intelligence challenges for strategic thinking. Policing: an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management 37(1): 206-227
  • Haberman (+), C. P., Groff, E. R., & Taylor, R. B. (2013). The Variable Impacts of Public Housing Community Proximity on Nearby Street Robberies. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. 50(2), 163-188.
  • Taylor, Liana, Hiller, M., Taylor, R. B. (2013). Personal factors and substance abuse treatment program retention among felony probationers: Theoretical relevance of initial vs. shifting scores on impulsivity/self-control. Journal of Criminal Justice 41(3) 141-150.
  • Johnson, Lallen T., Taylor, R. B., & Ratcliffe, J.H. (2013). Need drugs, will travel?: The distances to crime of illegal drug buyers. Journal of Criminal Justice 41(3) 178-187
  •  Taylor, R. B. & Lawton, B. (2012). An Integrated contextual model of confidence in local police. Police Quarterly 15(4) 414-445.
  • Taylor, R. B., & Eidson, J. L. (2012). “The Wire,” William Julius Wilson, and the Three Sobotkas: Conceptually Integrating “Season 2: The Port” into a Macro-Level Undergraduate Communities and Crime Course. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 23(3) 257-282.
  • Jennings, J. M., Taylor, R. B., Salhi, R. A., Furr-Holden, C. D. M., & Ellen, J. M. (2012). Neighborhood drug markets: A risk environment for bacterial sexually transmitted infections among urban youth. Social Science & Medicine, 74(8), 1240-1250.
  •  Wyant, B.R., Taylor, R.B., Ratcliffe, J.H., and Wood, J. (2012). Deterrence, firearm arrests, and subsequent shootings: A Micro-level spatio-temporal analysis. Justice Quarterly 29(4) 524-545.

Courses Taught

Criminal Justice:

  • Guns, Crime, Justice, Public Safety and Harm
  • Advanced Graduate Statistics for Criminal Justice: Introduction to Hierarchical
  • Linear Models (Graduate)
  • Communities and Crime Prevention
  • Environmental Criminology
  • Environmental Justice (Graduate)
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introductory Graduate Statistics for Criminal Justice: Simple and Multiple
  • Regression in Criminal Justice (Graduate)
  • Practicum in Criminal Justice
  • Responses to Crime (Graduate)
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice (Graduate and Undergraduate)
  • Statistics in Criminal Justice
  • Theories of Crime (graduate)
  • Urban Crime Patterns
  • Victims in Society
  • Violence, Crime and Justice

General Education:

  • Criminal Behavior (co-taught with Jerry Ratcliffe)
  • Doing Justice
  • Doing Justice (Honors)