Professor and Director of Criminal Justice Research Center
202A Townshend Hall
1885 Neil Avenue Mall
Areas of Expertise
- Crime, Deviance, & Social Control
- Ph.D., State University of New York-Albany, 1995
Dr. Bellair focuses on crime in community context, race/ethnic differences in violence, life course criminology, hierarchical models. His current research examines the relationship between labor market conditions and parolee recidivism, measurement of and relationship between community organization and crime, and neighborhood effects on drug use and criminal behavior in the months preceding incarceration.
I began my career studying why some neighborhoods have higher crime rates than others and studying racial disparities in violence, with a focus on evaluating the claims of social disorganization and collective efficacy theory. While I maintain those interests and continue to conduct theory testing research, I never imagined I would become so interested in studying prison inmates and assessing the reasons why they might successfully re-enter society until I developed ties to research staff at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections and embarked on data collection projects with graduate students. My research examines important questions using data I have collected from prisoners: Are neighborhood characteristics such as labor market conditions associated with recidivism? What explains racial differences in recidivism? How reliable are prisoners’ self-reported drug use, arrests, and criminal behavior? What is the nature and structure of prisoner’s personal networks? How do romantic relationships and employment experiences influence offending patterns and recidivism? These are just a few of the questions that my research seeks to answer. Most recently, some of my colleagues and I initiated a new project evaluating developmental theories that specify the emergence of delinquency/violence in childhood.