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Faculty / Ralph B. Taylor

I find little of my undergraduate career memorable, save for one semester teaching in the Model Cities program at newly integrated Senn High School on Chicago’s north side, and tutoring delinquents at a halfway house in the evenings. After graduation and firmly convinced that behavior modification could solve just about any social problem, I worked for 15 months at a residential treatment facility for “pre” delinquents. I wondered why they were “pre” since they burned down schools and stole cars. My questions about the effectiveness and insight of behavior modification for all social problems grew. I went to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University where I was fortunate to learn about applied research from Sidney Brower (University of Maryland) and Roger Stough (George Mason University), and survey research from Lois Verbrugge (University of Michigan). After a year in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech and six years in Johns Hopkins’ urban research center, The Center for Metropolitan Planning and Research, I chose Temple in 1984. I served as the associate dean for graduate studies and research in Temple’s College of Arts and Sciences from 1989 – 1992 and was a visiting fellow at the National Institute of Justice in 1997. Areas of interest include: reactions to crime; communities and crime; the incivilities or “broken windows” thesis; person environment interactions such as human territorial functioning, especially as they pertain to issues of crime, fear and disorder; environmental justice; and community and crime impacts on health related outcomes  Since 1978, I have been awarded more than two million dollars in external funds for research from NSF, NIMH, NIJ and others.

My contributions to the field include having served as an associate editor for Justice Quarterly, co-editor of Population and Environment, and previously or currently serving on the editorial boards of Criminology and Public Policy, Environment & Behavior, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Justice Quarterly,  and Social Psychology Quarterly,  Beyond my research activities, I have contributed to teaching at Temple, most recently by developing a new course “Doing Justice in Philadelphia 1925-2025” for General Education at Temple, and by serving in academic years 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 as a General Education Area Coordinator. My contributions to teaching were recognized with a 2000 College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teacher Award. 

Doctoral students who have completed dissertations under my supervision since 2000 include Lillian Dote (National Center for Community Service), R. Marie Garcia (National Institute of Justice), Matt Hickman (University of Seattle), Ellen Kurtz (Director of Research, Parole and Probation, Philadelphia Municipal Courts), and Brian Lawton (Sam Houston State University).

Taylor, R. B.  (2001). Breaking Away From Broken Windows: Baltimore Neighborhoods and the Nationwide Fight Against Crime, Grime, Fear and Decline, Boulder: Westview Press.  [Reviewed in: American Journal of  Sociology 2001 (September) v. 107 (no. 2) 501-502; Contemporary Sociology 2002 (March) v. 31 (no. 2) 220-221.]

Taylor, R. B.  (1988) Human Territorial Functioning: An Empirical Evolutionary Perspective on Individual and Small Group Territorial Cognitions, Behaviors, and Consequences.  New York: Cambridge University Press.  [Reviewed in:  British Journal of Criminology, 1990, V. 30 No. 2; Contemporary Psychology, July, 1990; Contemporary Sociology, May, 1990; Environment and Behavior, September, 1989; Man, V. 24, p. 693, 1989.]

Edited Books

LaFree, G., Bursik, R. Jr., Short, J.F., and Taylor, R. B. (Editorial Board)  (2000) Crime and Justice 2000 Volume 1: Continuities and Change. Washington: National Institute of Justice.

Taylor, R. B. (Ed.) (1986) Urban Neighborhoods: Research and Policy.  New York: Praeger.        


Taylor, R. B. (1994) Research Methods in Criminal Justice. New York: McGraw Hill.

Articles in Refereed Journals

In press

Taylor, R. B. (in press) Communities, crime, and reaction to crime multilevel models: Accomplishments and meta-challenges. Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Jennings,  J.M., Taylor,  R.B., Iannacchione,  V.G., Rogers, S.M., Chung, S., Huettner,  S., Ellen,  J.M. (in press).  The available pool of sex partners and risk for a current bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). Annals of Epidemiology.

Taylor, R.B. Communities and crime theories: Construct validation deficits, a paucity of comparisons, and a Boudon-Coleman metamodel resolution. In MacDonald, J. (ed) Measuring Crime and Criminality (Advances in Criminology Theory, Volume 18/19). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

Taylor, R.B., Harris, P. W., Jones, P. R., Garcia, R. M., and McCord, E.S. (in press). Ecological origins of shared perceptions of troublesome teen groups: Implications for the basic systemic model of crime, the incivilities thesis, and political economy. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.

Taylor, R. B. (in press). The Incivilities thesis: Family members, Close Cousins, and implications for fear, crime, neighborhood change and the current mortgage crisis. In Montserrat Pareja Eastaway (section editor) International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home. New York: Elsevier. 

Taylor, R. B. (in press). The Incivilities thesis: Implications for prevention and policy. In B. Fisher and S. Lab (eds.) Encyclopedia of Victimology and Crime Prevention. Thousand Oaks: Sage. 

Taniguchi,  T.A., Ratcliffe, J.H., and Taylor, R. B. (in press) Gang set space, drug markets, and crime: Violent and property crimes around drug corners in Camden. (in press). Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. 

Taylor, R.B., Harris, P. W., Jones, P. R., Garcia, R. M., and McCord, E.S. (in press). Ecological origins of shared perceptions of troublesome teen groups: Implications for the basic systemic model of crime, the incivilities thesis, and political economy. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.


Taylor, R.B., Kelly,   C.E., and Salvatore,  C. “Where Are Police Perceived As More Responsive to Troublesome Teen Groups?:  Theoretical Relevance of Community-Level Ecological Variation.” Policing & Society, 20(2): 143-171.

Taylor, R. B. (2009). Hot spots do not exist, and other fundamental concerns about hot spots policing. In N Frost, J. Freilich and T. Clear (Eds.) Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice Policy: Policy Proposals from the American Society of Criminology Conference. (pp 271-278). Belmont, CA: Cengage/Wadsworth.

Taylor, Ralph B., Philip W. Harris, Peter R. Jones, Doris Weiland, R. Marie Garcia, and Eric S. McCord. 2009. "Short-term changes in adult arrest rates influence later short-term changes in serious male delinquency prevalence: A Time-dependent relationship." Criminology 47:201-241.


Taylor, R. B., Goldkamp, J.S., Weiland, D.S., Breen, C., Garcia, R.M., Presley, L.A., Wyant, B.R. (2007). Revise policies mandating offender DNA collection. Criminology and Public Policy 6(4) 2301-2312.

Garcia, (+)  R. M., Taylor, R. B., and Lawton, B.A.  (2007) Impacts of violent crime and neighborhood structure on trusting your neighbors. Justice Quarterly 24 (4) 679-704.

McCord,(+) E.S., Ratcliffe, J.H., Garcia,(+) R.M., and Taylor, R. B. (2007). Nonresidential Crime Attractors and Generators Elevate Perceived Neighborhood Crime and Incivilities. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 44: 295-320.

Wyant,(+) B., and Taylor, R. B. (2007). Size of household gun collections: Implications for gender and subcultures. Criminology 45 (3) 519-546.

Walsh, J., and Taylor, R. B. (2007) Community structural predictors of spatially aggregated motor vehicle theft rates: Do they replicate? Journal of Criminal Justice 35: 297-311.

Taylor, R. B., Ratcliffe, J.H., Dote, L., and Lawton, B. (2007). Roles of neighborhood race and status in the middle stages of juror selection. Journal of Criminal Justice 35 (4) 391-403.

Walsh, J., and Taylor, R. B. (2007) Predicting decade-long changes in community motor vehicle theft rates: Impacts of structure and surround. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 44 (1) 64-90.