Violence is clustered within a relatively small percentage of locations, with about 60 percent of the violence occurring in 4 percent of the schools. This is about four times higher than would be expected based on national rates of crime. High schools are grouped by the nature and level of crimes occurring in the school. Four patterns emerge from this grouping: 1) No Crime, 2) Isolated Crime, 3) Moderate Crime and 4) Violent Crime.
High Schools in each group are described in terms if their student population characteristics, community characteristics, and school violence prevention efforts. The results indicate that the characteristics (size, location, socio-economic make-up) of high-violence schools differ markedly from the other schools. High schools with the highest levels of violence tended to be located in urban areas and have a high percentage of minority students, compares to high schools that reported no crime to the police.
They also tended to be located in areas with high social disadvantage and residential mobility. It should be noted, however, that a relatively large minority of the schools in the Violent Crime group were located in rural areas (36%), so that image if school violence is being solely restricted to central cities is not accurate. Proportion of High Schools has High Rates of Violence Analysis of the P-SDSSV revealed that about one in five high schools reported any serious violent crime (e. g. , fights with weapons, robbery) during the 1996-1997 school years.
While this statistic gives a global indication of the prevalence of these crimes, it is difficult to judge from these data whether certain schools are disproportionately more likely to have high levels of violence. As long as the rate of violence in schools is greater than zero, one would expect at least some schools to have some violence. There are important implications if violence is clustered within a small number of schools. There may be specific problems in these schools that lead to high levels of serious problem behavior.
Issues that arise in these environments may not resemble those in schools with lower rates of crimes. Similarly, there may be unique remedies needed to solve these problems. The types of prevention programs and/or activities that are needed to reduce the violent behavior might have to be tailored to these particular environments. Data provided in Table 1 provides estimates that measure the extent that violence is clustered within certain schools. These data compare the observed and expected number of high schools that reported a specified number of crimes to the police.
As this comparison reveals, if serious violent crime had been evenly distributed across all schools, one would expect that about 45 percent of schools (100%-55%=45%) would have reported having this type of crime. Instead, only about 20 percent (100%-80%=20%) of high schools included in the P-SDSSV reported this type of crime. In other words, less than half as many schools experienced serious violent crime as expected. About four times as many schools experienced five or more serious violent incidents as would be expected if crime were evenly distributed across all schools.
Similar disparities appear for the other two types of crimes. For attacks without a weapon, approximately 55 percent of the schools reported at least one incident. This was considerably lower than the 88 percent that would have been expected if these incidents were evenly distributed across all schools. for property crime, 67 percent of the schools reported at least one crime, while around 90 percent would have been expected to report this type of crime it were evenly distributed across schools. Table 2 displays an alternative way of looking at the distribution of crime incidents reported to police.
This comparison is limited to schools that reported at least one crime. About 60 percent of the violence reported on the P-SDSSV occurred within the small number of schools that reported at least five violent crimes, more than seven times higher than expected. Similarly, about 14 times more schools than expected reported 26 or more attacks without a weapon (43. 4% observed versus 2. 7% expected). And nearly 42 percent of schools reported 26 or more property crimes, almost 7 times as many as expected based on school size alone.
As can be seen from the crime rates for each group, the Violent Crime group has relatively high rates of all types of crimes. It has the most violence, with the highest rates of serious violence and attacks without weapon. It also has high rates of property crime. The Moderate Crime group is distinguished by relatively high rates of attacks without a weapon and property crime rates. The Isolated Crime group has relatively low rates of all three types of crimes. It does have a slightly higher rate of serious violence than the Moderate Crime group. However, the rate for both of these groups is extremely low relative to the Violent Crime Group.