August 2007: Crime-Related Secondary Effects of Sexually-Oriented Businesses: Report to the County Attorney, Palm Beach County, Florida
Crime-Related Secondary Effects of Sexually-Oriented Businesses: Report to the County Attorney, Palm Beach County, Florida
Valerie Jenness, Ph.D., Richard McCleary, Ph.D., James W. Meeker, JD, Ph.D. 08.15.2007
The Palm Beach County Attorney has retained us to formulate and express opinions on the crime-related secondary effects questions raised in Palm Beach County v. Casablanca East.
Based on our expertise in the areas of criminology, law, and statistics and on our prior research,we have three general opinions:
- The criminological theory of secondary effects predicts that sexually oriented businesses (SOBs) will have large, significant crime-related secondary effects. This occurs because SOBs draw customers from wide catchment areas. Because these customers are disproportionately male, open to vice overtures, and reluctant to report victimization to the police, offender see them as “soft” targets. The high density of “soft” targets near SOBs attracts offenders of two types: vice purveyors who dabble in crime and criminals who promise vice in order to lure or lull potential victims.
- Crime-related secondary effect studies, using a range of designs and and variables, demonstrate that SOBs have large crime-related secondary effects.
- In light of the strong theoretical expectation and extensive empirical corroboration, it is a scientific fact that SOBs pose ambient crime risks.
In addition to the three general opinions, we have several opinions specific to the County and to this lawsuit.