A Spatial Analysis of Alcohol Outlet Density and Abandoned Properties on Violent Crime in Paterson New Jersey

  • David T. LardierJr.Email author
  • Robert J. Reid
  • Danlin YuEmail author
  • Pauline Garcia-Reid
Original Paper


Alcohol outlet density (AOD) and abandoned or vacant properties in under-served urban communities has received increased attention and has been linked to community violence. While previous research has examined the AOD and violent crime association, less research has investigated the relationship between abandoned properties and violent crime. Those studies that are present examining the AOD-abandoned properties-violent crime link have been plagued by flaws that include statistical weaknesses and aggregated datasets that investigated larger units such as states or countries. The present study, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, spatial analysis techniques, and a regression-based approach examines the association between AOD and abandoned properties on violent crime, controlling for demographic characteristics, in Paterson, New Jersey. Results provide some evidence on the association between AOD and abandoned properties on violent crime, drawing conclusions for policy and practice.


Alcohol outlet density Abandoned or vacant properties Violent crime GIS mapping Spatial filtering techniques 



Drug Free Communities Grant (DFC) Initiative (Grant #SPO22019-01). Funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Kondo, M. C., Andreyeva, E., South, E. C., MacDonald, J. M., & Branas, C. C. (2018). Neighborhood interventions to reduce violence. Annual Review of Public Health, 39, 253–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gorman, D. M., Ponicki, W. R., Zheng, Q., Han, D., Gruenewald, P. J., & Gaidus, A. J. (2018). Violent crime redistribution in a city following a substantial increase in the number of off-sale alcohol outlets: A Bayesian analysis. Drug and Alcohol Review, 37(3), 348–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Reid, R. J., Hughey, J., & Peterson, N. A. (2003). Generalizing the alcohol outlet–assaultive violence link: Evidence from a U.S. midwestern city. Substance Use & Misuse, 38(14), 1971–1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Campbell, C. A., Hahn, R. A., Elder, R., et al. (2009). The effectiveness of limiting alcohol outlet density as a means of reducing excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms. American Journal of Prevention Medicine, 37(6), 556–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jennings, J. M., Milam, A. J., Greiner, A., Furr-Holden, C. D., Curriero, F. C., & Thornton, R. J. (2014). Neighborhood alcohol outlets and the association with violent crime in one mid-Atlantic City: The implications for zoning policy. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 91(1), 62–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Furr-Holden, C. D. M., Nesoff, E. D., Nelson, V., et al. (2019). Understanding the relationship between alcohol outlet density and life expectancy in Baltimore City: The role of community violence and community disadvantage. Journal of Community Psychology, 47(1), 63–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Branas, C. C., Rubin, D., & Guo, W. (2012). Vacant properties and violence in neighborhoods. ISRN Public Health. Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kondo, M. C., Morrison, C., Jacoby, S. F., et al. (2018). Blight abatement of vacant land and crime in New Orleans. Public Health Reports, 133(6), 650–657.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gmel, G., Holmes, J., & Studer, J. (2016). Are alcohol outlet densities strongly associated with alcohol-related outcomes? A critical review of recent evidence. Drug and Alcohol Review, 35(1), 40–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gorman, D. M., Zhu, L., & Horel, S. (2005). Drug ‘hot-spots’, alcohol availability and violence. Drug and Alcohol Review, 24(6), 507–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gorman-Smith, D., Henry, D., & Tolan, P. H. (2004). Exposure to community violence and violence perpetration: The protective effects of family functioning. Journal Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33(3), 439–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Speer, P. W., Gorman, D. M., Labouvie, E. W., & Ontkush, M. (1998). Violent crime and alcohol availability: Relationships in an urban community. Journal of Public Health Policy, 19(3), 303–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cederbaum, J. A., Petering, R., Hutchinson, M. K., et al. (2015). Alcohol outlet density and related use in an urban Black population in Philadelphia public housing communities. Health & Place, 31, 31–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zhang, X., Hatcher, B., Clarkson, L., et al. (2015). Changes in density of on-premises alcohol outlets and impact on violent crime, Atlanta, Georgia, 1997–2007. Preventing Chronic Disease, 12, E84.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Branas, C. C., South, E., Kondo, M. C., et al. (2018). Citywide cluster randomized trial to restore blighted vacant land and its effects on violence, crime, and fear. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences United States of America, 115(12), 2946–2951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Larson, M., Xu, Y., Ouellet, L., & Klahm, C. F., IV. (2019). Exploring the impact of 9398 demolitions on neighborhood-level crime in Detroit, Michigan. Journal of Criminal Justice, 60, 57–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Trangenstein, P. J., Curriero, F. C., Jennings, J. M., et al. (2019). Methods for evaluating the association between alcohol outlet density and violent crime. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kuntsche, E., Kuendig, H., & Gmel, G. (2008). Alcohol outlet density, perceived availability and adolescent alcohol use: A multilevel structural equation model. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62(9), 811–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kypri, K., Bell, M. L., Hay, G. C., & Baxter, J. (2008). Alcohol outlet density and university student drinking: A national study. Addiction, 103(7), 1131–1138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mendoza, N. S., Conrow, L., Baldwin, A., & Booth, J. (2013). Using GIS to describe risk and neighborhood-level factors associated with substance abuse treatment outcomes. Journal of Community Psychology, 41(7), 799–810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Shaw, C. R., & McKay, H. D. (1969). Juvenile delinquency and urban areas: A study of rates of delinquency in relation to differential characteristics of local communities in American cities. Classics in environmental criminology (pp. 103–140). Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    MacDonald, J. (2015). Community design and crime: The impact of housing and the built environment. Crime and Justice, 44(1), 333–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Boessen, A., & Hipp, J. R. (2015). Close-ups and the scale of ecology: Land uses and the geography of social context and crime. Criminology, 53(3), 399–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jones, R. W., & Pridemore, W. A. (2016). A longitudinal study of the impact of home vacancy on robbery and burglary rates during the US housing crisis, 2005–2009. Crime & Delinquency, 62(9), 1159–1179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yu, D., Peterson, N. A., Sheffer, M. A., Reid, R. J., & Schnieder, J. E. (2010). Tobacco outlet density and demographics: Analysing the relationships with a spatial regression approach. Public Health, 124(7), 412–416.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Yu, D. L., Peterson, N. A., & Reid, R. J. (2009). Exploring the impact of non-normality on spatial non-stationarity in geographically weighted regression analyses: Tobacco outlet density in New Jersey. Giscience & Remote Sensing, 46, 329–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Peterson, N. A., Yu, D., Morton, C. M., Reid, R. J., Sheffer, M. A., & Schneider, J. E. (2010). Tobacco outlet density and demographics at the tract level of analysis in New Jersey: A statewide analysis. Drugs Education, Prevention and Policy, 18(1), 47–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    United States Census Bureau. (2015). Quick Facts: United States. Retrieved June 2, 2016, from,36,34.
  29. 29.
    New Jersey Department of Human Services. (2014). County and municipal statistics: Paterson residents at diagnosis. Trenton, NJ: New Jersey Department of Human Services.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Uniform Crime Report. (2019). New Jersey State Police. Retrieved October 14, 2019, from
  31. 31.
    Yu, D., & Wu, C. (2004). Understanding population segregation from Landsat ETM + imagery: A geographically weighted regression approach. GIScience & Remote Sensing, 41(3), 187–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Anselin, L. (1988). Lagrange multiplier test diagnostics for spatial dependence and spatial heterogeneity. Geographical Analysis, 20(1), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tiefelsdorf, M., & Griffith, D. A. (2007). Semiparametric filtering of spatial autocorrelation: The eigenvector approach. Environment and Planning A, 39(5), 1193–1221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Griffith, D. A. (2006). Assessing spatial dependence in count data: Winsorized and spatial filter specification alternatives to the auto-Poisson model. Geographical Analysis, 38(2), 160–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Griffith, D. A. (2003). Spatial autocorrelation and spatial filtering: Gaining understanding through theory and scientific visualization. Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Morton, C. M., Simmel, C., & Peterson, N. A. (2014). Neighborhood alcohol outlet density and rates of child abuse and neglect: Moderating effects of access to substance abuse services. Child Abuse and Neglect, 38(5), 952–961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Schofield, T. P., & Denson, T. F. (2013). Alcohol outlet business hours and violent crime in New York State. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 48(3), 363–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Sampson, R. J., & Groves, W. B. (1989). Community structure and crime: Testing social-disorganization theory. American Journal of Sociology, 94, 774–802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Fisher, C. B., Busch, N. A., Brown, J. L., & Jopp, D. S. (2012). Applied developmental science: Contributions and challenges for the 21st century. In I. B. Weiner (Ed.), Handbook of Psychology. Developmental Psychology (Vol. 6, pp. 516–546). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Brantingham, P. L., & Brantingham, P. J. (1999). A theoretical model of crime hot spot generation. Studies on Crime & Crime Prevention, 8(1), 7–26.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Giesbrecht, N., Wettlaufer, A., Simpson, S., et al. (2016). Strategies to reduce alcohol-related harms and costs in Canada: A comparison of provincial policies. The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 5(2), 33–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Cui, L., & Walsh, R. (2015). Foreclosure, vacancy and crime. Journal of Urban Economics, 87, 72–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Markowitz, S. (2005). Alcohol, drugs and violent crime. International Review of Law and Economics, 25(1), 20–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Gutierrez, C. M., & Kirk, D. S. (2017). Silence speaks: The relationship between immigration and the underreporting of crime. Crime & Delinquency, 63(8), 926–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Murphy, K., Cramer, R. J., Waymire, K. A., & Barkworth, J. (2018). Police bias, social identity, and minority groups: A social psychological understanding of cooperation with police. Justice Quarterly, 35(6), 1105–1130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Gruenewald, P. J., Freisthler, B., Remer, L., LaScala, E. A., & Treno, A. (2006). Ecological models of alcohol outlets and violent assaults: Crime potentials and geospatial analysis. Addiction, 101(5), 666–677.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Biemer, P., & Peytchev, A. (2013). Using geocoded census data for nonresponse bias correction: An assessment. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, 1(1), 24–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Hippensteel, C. L., Sadler, R. C., Milam, A. J., Nelson, V., & Furr-Holden, C. D. (2018). Using zoning as a public health tool to reduce oversaturation of alcohol outlets: An examination of the effects of the New “300 Foot Rule” on packaged goods stores in a Mid-Atlantic City. Prevention Science, 20, 833–843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Speer, P. W., Ontkush, M., Schmitt, B., et al. (2003). The intentional exercise of power: Community organizing in Camden, New Jersey. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 13(5), 399–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Kochel, T. R., & Weisburd, D. (2017). Assessing community consequences of implementing hot spots policing in residential areas: Findings from a randomized field trial. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 13(2), 143–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Individual, Family, and Community EducationThe University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of New Mexico School of MedicineThe University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family Science and Human DevelopmentMontclair State UniversityMontclairUSA
  4. 4.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesMontclair State UniversityMontclairUSA

Personalised recommendations