Oakland is a thriving city by many measures, yet some neighborhoods experience conditions of violence that have become so commonplace as to seem unpreventable – even expected. While many areas of Oakland enjoy prosperity and rarely see violence, some neighborhoods are in despair, besieged by those risk factors that have well acquainted them to violence. As part of our work to prevent and reduce violence across Oakland, and to help support more data-driven decision making, we recently developed a 2014 Stressor Model for Oakland.
Developed under contract with the City of Oakland, our stressor model ranked police beats according to measures of violence-related conditions, from crime incidence to major risk factors for violence. Data on crime incidence (juvenile and adult arrests, domestic violence reports, shootings and homicides, other violent crime, and burglaries), adult probationers, chronic absence from school, suspensions from school for violent incidents, and a proxy for poverty, are all included in this model. These data come from a variety of sources, including snapshots from 2013 and mid-2014 .
For each component of the model, we calculate a score and then normalize those measures related to population size- converting the number of juvenile probationers and chronic absences into rates per 1,000 people. Form there we calculate a z-score (a statistical measure) using the final indicators and this gives us a value we can then rank across the beats citywide.
The lowest rankings (e.g., 50-57 on the map below) indicate the lowest concentration of stressors, while the higher rankings indicate greater concentrations; the map reflects deep disparities in violence-related factors across Oakland’s neighborhoods, with neighborhoods in East Oakland and West Oakland experiencing the highest concentrations of high-stress police beats.
The rankings and stressor measures help us understand the relative levels of violence prevention needed across Oakland’s community police beats and are meant to guide investment to the places that need it most. Our analysis reinforces the need to pursue neighborhood-level strategies to build a safer Oakland. We expect that this model will help guide the funds disbursed under Measure Z and, ultimately, promote decisions backed by good data.
View the fullscreen, interactive map of the stressors here
One important caveat: these scores are not intended for comparison over time and we caution against the comparison of new stressor scores and old scores. All beats are ranked based on their stressor scores relative to other beats’ scores, and these scores do not tell us whether violence has been increasing or decreasing over time. (variation in levels of violence-related factors between beats will persist irrespective of citywide trends in violence.) And, while some neighborhoods experience low levels of stress, our city is negatively affected overall by violence anywhere.
If you’re a data wonk you might prefer this version which shows the actual Z scores used to generate the Stressor Rankings: Z Score map
You can access the complete Stressor Model in this Excel file: Stressor Table 2014 – PUBLIC or grab the summary list from below:
|Beat||Rank by Z-Score||Z-Score||Top Ten Measures|