Title

Evaluating Exposure To Coastal Hazards In the Supervised Offender Population Using Social Disorganization Theory

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2020

Department

Geography and Geology

School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Abstract

© 2020, University of North Carolina Press. All rights reserved. A central component of hazards research involves the examination of how specific groups are affected by damaging events and how their unique sociodemographic characteristics contribute to broader variations in resilience and recovery. Supervised offenders are uniquely disadvantaged regarding demographics, housing, and economic opportunity; all of which contribute to heightened vulnerability and reduced resilience. This research sought to understand whether supervised offenders tend to live in areas most at risk from coastal hazards. The primary objectives were to model offender residential patterns in coastal Mississippi using a statistical proxy of social disorganization and examine whether these areas are dis-proportionately exposed to coastal hazard events. Principal component analysis (PCA) consolidated explanatory socioeconomic and demographic measures into the Social Disorganization Index (SDI). The SDI shows those block groups with the highest levels of social disorganization are not at signifi-cantly increased risk from flooding. Development trends explain much of the variation in hazard exposure while the presence of military facilities and higher education institutions likely influence the socioeconomic conditions. This research provides a novel understanding of vulnerability in the offender population and demonstrates that traditional measures of social disorganization may not fully capture the unique contextual characteristics of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Publication Title

Southeastern Geographer

Volume

60

Issue

3

First Page

215

Last Page

234

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