I’m Dr. Rick Ruddell, a criminologist at the University of Regina (Canada). I research the dark side of resource booms—how things like Keystone XL change rates of crime and violence. Ask Me Anything
HI Reddit - I won't be answering any more questions in this AMA - THANKS for all your comments and insight! I enjoyed reading all of your comments! I plan on doing another one of these AMA in the near future (although with a different topic). Thanks again for your participation! Rick
Hi Reddit! I’m Rick Ruddell, Professor of Justice Studies at the University of Regina (Canada). http://www.uregina.ca/arts/justice-studies/faculty-staff/faculty/ruddell-rick.html
I am a criminologist who studies how justice systems operate and the co-author of Making Sense of Criminal Justice http://www.amazon.ca/Making-Sense-Criminal-Justice-Practices/dp/0199314136/ref=dp_ob_title_bk and Do the Crime, Do the Time: Juvenile Criminals and Adult Justice in the American Court System http://www.amazon.ca/Do-Crime-Time-Juvenile-Criminals/dp/0313392420/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433730383&sr=1-1&keywords=ruddell+mays+do+the+crime
My academic research focuses on policing, corrections and juvenile justice. Many of the issues I study are related to challenges I experienced working in correctional facilities. Prior to my career in the Ivory Tower I was a supervisor and manager in four different adult and youth facilities. I was also the Director of Operational Research with the Correctional Service of Canada where we did research on dangerous offenders, gangs, and ensuring safety in correctional facilities.
Over the past ten years I have really been interested in what happens in rural North America. Although a lot of us think that crime in rural areas is not a very big problem, rates of violent crime in some places can be higher than the suburbs or cities. Some crimes occur a lot more often in the countryside – including domestic violence and drunk driving. Some rural crime is unusual–there have been an increasing number of thefts of bees lately… (Who steals bees?)
One of the challenges for rural justice systems is that many counties are poor and the police are stretched thin. As a result, when someone calls the police for help they might not show up for an hour or much longer in bad weather. Are the police always the answer? Some isolated Canadian communities are pretty effective at regulating the behavior of their residents and the police might only visit them a few times a year.
In the past five years I have carried out a number of studies of resource-based boom towns. The oil companies move in and the population increases with young men who have a lot of disposable income. That can lead to trouble in some places. Crime increases and the quality of life decreases. Places affected by increases, such as North Dakota, have been called the “New Wild West” (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/10/inside-north-dakotas-crazy-oil-boom)] by the media.
My research, featured in a recent feature story in Pacific Standard Magazine, asks, are those media accounts very accurate?
- What is the impact a boom on the local justice system?
- Who is responsible for the crime increase? (Is it always the “outsiders”?)
- What kind of crimes increase?
- Are some groups (such as women) at higher risk in boomtowns?
- What about traffic in boomtowns? (Dangerous driving is a big problem!)
- How can we reduce crime and disorder in these places?
- Should the corporations that are profiting from the “boom” also pay a greater share when it comes to the social and environmental costs of the boom?
- Are media reports very accurate when it comes to reporting boomtown crime?
The purpose of asking all of these questions is that our answers will help us to develop some crime control strategies to reduce the negative impacts of these booms.
I’ll be here from 2 to 4 p.m. ET to answer your questions—I really look forward to chatting with all of you. Ask Me Anything!
Rick's website: http://www.rickruddell.com/
Here is my reddit pic! http://i.imgur.com/9rqlZC3.jpg