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  1. 1. Are Community Service Programs Correlates of Crime Rates in South Carolina? Carman Fowler1 & Nikki R. Wooten, PhD, LISW-CP2 University of South Carolina Department of Psychology1, College of Social Work2 Community service programs are associated with several correlates of crime, such as household income, educational level, neighborhood context, residential mobility, and health status. They can provide financial aid, afterschool mentorship, neighborhood restoration, and health screenings. These programs also build relationships within communities; develop neighborhoods at institutional, structural, and economic levels; and engage citizens to work towards sustainable change. Prior research suggests neighborhood context is associated with criminal behavior, but little research has examined the association between community service programs and crime rates. • This was a cross-sectional study using secondary data from multiple sources. • Crime data on the number of property, violent, and crimes against society occurring in each county was obtained from the 2012 National Incident Based-Reporting System (NIBRS), an annual report distributed by the FBI. • Community service program data were obtained from the online databases of the United Way of South Carolina and the South Carolina Information Highway. These databases are self-reporting in that the programs included report their own data. • Regional and county-level socio-demographic and geographical data were obtained from Census 2010. • Data were analyzed by South Carolina regions (n = 4; Lowcountry, PeeDee, Midlands, Upstate) and counties (n = 46). • Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted run to determine the correlations between the total crime rate for South Carolina regions and counties, as well as the crime rates for crimes against persons, property, or society, and the number of CS programs located in the county or region. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Miss Fowler and Dr. Wooten acknowledge the support of the TRIO McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program and the Magellan Guarantee from the University of South Carolina Office of Undergraduate Research. Contact Information: C. Fowler:; N. R. Wooten: Crimes against Persons Crimes against Property Crimes against Society Crimes against persons include assault offenses, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, homicide offenses, murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, kidnapping/abduction, sex offenses, rape, sexual assault, sodomy incest, and statutory rape. Crimes against property include arson, bribery, burglary, counterfeiting/forgery, embezzlement, extortion/blackmail, fraud, swindling, ATM fraud, impersonation, welfare fraud, wire fraud, larceny, theft, pocket-picking, purse-snatching, shoplifting, theft from a building, motor vehicle, motor vehicle theft, robbery. Crimes against society include drug offenses, drug equipment violations, gambling offenses, betting, weapon violations, operating/promoting/assisting gambling, gambling equipment violations, sports tampering, pornography/obscene material, prostitution, assisting or promoting prostitution. RESULTS BACKGROUND METHODS CONCLUSIONS COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAMS & CRIMINAL OFFENSES BY SOUTH CAROLINA REGIONS AND COUNTIES Community Service Programs & Total Criminal Offenses • Community service programs are social correlates to criminal behavior in South Carolina. • For the Upstate and the Midlands, there was a significant correlation between the number of community service programs and high crime rates. • In the Lowcountry, there was a low, moderate correlation, and for the PeeDee region there was no correlation between community service program and crime rates. • More community service programs are present in counties and regions with higher rates of crime • Correlations between CS programs and crime rates could be due to the possibility that in regions with higher crime rates there is a more recognized need for programs focused on the root causes of criminal behavior. • The presence and location of CS programs can potentially impact criminal behavior, community well-being, and sustainable neighborhood resources. • Future research should focus on the multilevel factors (individual, neighborhood, and environmental) associated with criminal behaviors in specific geographical regions. DISCUSSION & IMPLICATIONS • Determine the location of community service (CS) programs relative to total criminal offenses in South Carolina by county and region. • Determine the property and violent crime rates of different counties. • Determine if CS programs are social correlates with crime rates in South Carolina regions and counties. PURPOSE LEGEND LEGEND LEGEND LOWCOUNTRY UPSTATE MIDLANDS PEEDEE LEGEND **Significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). *Significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).