Study on Crime & Poverty Report

In mid-January 2011, the Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies (NIU/CGS) completed its 2010 Quantitative Research Study on Crime and Poverty in Dubuque. The study was commissioned in spring 2010 by the City of Dubuque after being recommended to the Dubuque City Council by the Safe Community Task Force.

The study was designed to compare community perceptions of crime in Dubuque to actual crime data. The study included: 1) a public opinion survey 2) an analysis of Dubuque’s crime rates and trends over time compared to similarly sized communities in Iowa; 3) an analysis of Dubuque’s crime incidents over time, and the extent to which Section 8 housing recipients are connected to crime; 4) a review of research studies related to poverty, Section 8 housing assistance, crime, fear of crime, and crime prevention; and 5) a set of recommendations based on the research and evidence.

To explore these issues, the following general research questions were posed:
  • Do the perceptions of criminal activity and its causes in Dubuque match what is actually happening?
  • Within categories of crime with significant increases in arrests, what policies or strategies can effectively decrease crime?
  • If there are cases where there are community perceptions of increased criminal activity but no evidence to support the perception, what policies or strategies can effectively address the concerns?
The resulting 720-page study report is complex and the authors warn throughout of various limitations with the data and analysis. NIU also states that readers are “strongly cautioned to not take singular statements, findings, maps or graphs contained in the report and examine or present them as a stand-alone finding. Rather, the analysis and report must be viewed in the full context and breadth of the examination, the totality of the findings and the broader social factors that underlie the phenomenon under study.”

Click on the links below to view PDFs of documents related to the study:

Dubuque 2010 Study on Crime and Poverty Summary Report – 12.18MB PDF, 779 pages (full report) 

Executive Summary of Report – 1.46MB PDF, 69 pages (pages 3-71 of the full report) 

Summary Discussion of Findings & Implications for Strategies and Policies (NIU's Recommendations) – 213KB PDF, 8 pages (pages 321-324 of full report)

News Release on Completion of Study

Part I Crimes Trend: Calendar Years 2003-2010

NIU/CGS made a formal presentation of the study results at a public meeting of the Safe Community Task Force on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Click here to watch a video of the three-hour presentation.

Printed copies of the report are available for viewing at the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall at 50 West 13th Street, Human Rights Department in City Hall Annex at 1300 Main Street, Carnegie-Stout Public Library Reference Desk at 360 West 11th Street, and the Dubuque Police Department at 770 Iowa Street.
 
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