Examining the Environmental Characteristics of Drug Dealing Locations

Jeremy D. Barnum, Walter L. Campbell, Sarah Trocchio, Joel M. Caplan, Leslie W. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Illicit drug dealers who operate in open-air markets must access customers in the face of risks posed by law enforcement, customers, and competitors. However, researchers purport that the environmental characteristics of certain locations may allow dealers to balance these competing demands. This research utilizes risk terrain modeling to identify the environmental characteristics of drug dealing locations in Chicago, Illinois, and compares these characteristics across different types of drugs. Results show that a number of place features increase the risk of drug dealing. Although many of these features are common to locations for all types of drug dealing, there are some variations. The findings provide insight into the environmental context of drug market locations, which has implications for researchers and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1731-1756
Number of pages26
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number13
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


  • RTMDx
  • drug dealing
  • risk terrain modeling
  • spatial influence


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