• 242 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • 16 tables, 23 figures
  • Price: $34.95
  • EAN: 9781439920374
  • Publication: May 2022
  • Price: $104.50
  • EAN: 9781439920367
  • Publication: May 2022
  • Price: $34.95
  • EAN: 9781439920381
  • Publication: May 2022

School Zone

A Problem Analysis of Student Offending and Victimization

Pamela Wilcox, Graham C. Ousey, and Marie Skubak Tillyer

Schools should be safe—but they are not always safe for everybody. Authors Pamela Wilcox, Graham Ousey, and Marie Skubak Tillyer studied crime among students located across diverse middle- and high-school settings to investigate why some students engage in delinquency—but others do not—and why some students are more prone to victimization. School Zone focuses on the three key interactional elements—context, victims, and offenders—to understand and explain the impact of common crimes such as theft, weapon carrying, drug possession and the verbal, physical, and sexual harassment of classmates.

The authors also consider how individual students and schools respond to crime and threats. They analyze the variables that schools can control in planning and practice that explain why some schools have higher crime rates. School Zone uses empirical studies to provide a comprehensive understanding of the patterns and causes of variation in individual- and aggregate-level school-based offending and victimization experiences while also addressing the adequacy of wide-ranging criminological explanations and crime prevention policies.

In their conclusion, the authors assess the extent to which currently popular strategies of school crime prevention align with what they have discovered through their problem-analysis framework and scientific understandings of student offending and victimization.


“It is absolutely time for a new book that covers school crime alone. The problem analysis triangle and routine activities perspective used by the authors are valuable lenses through which to frame the entire synthesis. Moreover, their application of criminological theory to schools, along with the in-depth risk factors discussion and prevention-centered conclusion, is rich and constructive.”
Allison Ann Payne, Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Villanova University

School Zone offers an important problem analysis approach to understand and address school crime by focusing on the situational convergence of offender motivation, vulnerable targets, and place. Wilcox, Ousey, and Tillyer’s situational problem analysis framework toward understanding and addressing school crime is accessible and applicable for those who are in the pursuit of ensuring safe schools. Considering the social and media fears surrounding school crime, the authors’ argument for an evidence-based method toward addressing school crime is convincing. Impressive for its comprehensive breadth and depth, School Zone is a must-read for students, scholars, practitioners, administrators, stakeholders, and policymakers alike.”
Anthony A. Peguero, Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Arizona State University

"(A)s School Zone makes clear, those horrific incidents that symbolize the issue of school violence represent only a small component of that issue.... What the authors do with this book, therefore, is shine a light on the full scope of that issue to illuminate what does and does not go on in school, attempt to answer the important question of 'why?', and distill some important lessons from this information about what can be done in response. As such, this book is both timely and needed, and it serves an important role in translating sociological knowledge for broader use.... (T)his book offers the opportunity to step back and figure out what we have learned, which is the key to figuring out what to do now and where to go next."
Social Forces

“(The authors) meticulously examine the correlations between offending and victimization behaviors among students and their relationships to the characteristics of a given school environment. This intentionally curated and evidence-based text echoes the significance of the current issue of school violence, which unfortunately has become a reality of the education system. This book will serve readers across all sectors as a valuable contribution to the effort to change the education landscape for future generations…. Summing Up: Recommended.”

About the Author(s)

Pamela Wilcox is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Pennsylvania State University. She is the coauthor of Criminal Circumstance: A Dynamic, Multicontextual Criminal Opportunity Theory and Communities and Crime: An Enduring American Challenge (Temple), and the coeditor of Challenging Criminological Theory: The Legacy of Ruth Rosner Kornhauser.

Graham C. Ousey is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at William & Mary.

Marie Skubak Tillyer is a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Texas at San Antonio.