Helms School of Government
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)
covid-19, booking restrictions, arrest authority, crime rate
Law | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration
Jendrick, Nathan A., "The Impact on Crime Rate During a Period of Covid-19 Induced Jail Booking Restrictions" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3377.
COVID-19 has become a catalyst for profound changes not just in public health but in criminal justice as well. To reduce the close-quarters populations of correctional facilities in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus, law enforcement administrators in the Pacific Northwest have significantly limited the opportunity to make custodial arrests of criminal suspects. The effect on crime rate by not booking suspected criminals for misdemeanor and felony crimes alike remained largely unstudied. To assess this intervention, a paired samples t-test was used after acquiring call volume data for 13 crime types from the dispatch communications center of a large Pacific Northwest county. Results determined statistically significant changes in crime rate in 12 of 13 crime types, with increases exhibited in 11 of 13, as determined by 911 calls for service after introducing COVID- booking restrictions. These results may influence future decision-making when considering public health interventions related to criminal justice and law enforcement.