My work on crime and place has convinced me that no safety or violence problems can be addressed in isolation. Approaches to crime prevention and intervention in areas hit hard by violence must be comprehensive, and address an array of local factors related to crime. And, the residents of these neighborhoods cannot be forgotten; individual well-being drives community well-being. Residents are often best situated to provide the impetus and push to effect change in their neighborhoods.
Meagan Cahill is a senior research associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where she leads research and evaluation efforts focused on crime and place, community crime prevention, gang violence, and the social networks of at-risk and delinquent youth. She has particular skill and interest in spatial analysis methodologies and social network data collection and analysis, and she frequently applies her advanced technical skills in mapping and data visualization in communicating research findings.
Cahill has directed comprehensive evaluations of gang reduction efforts in a number of cities, including current research in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. She has also lead a number of research efforts to further understand social networks among gang members and at-risk youth in Washington, DC, and the role of social networks in gang desistance. Her recent neighborhood-focused work addressed such issues as the benefits and challenges of conducting regional, multi-jurisdictional analyses of crime and public safety. She has also investigated the effects of concentrated foreclosures on neighborhood safety and the relationship of public housing redevelopment to neighborhood crime and violence.
Before joining Urban, Cahill was a program associate at the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona, where she assisted with a federally funded evaluation of tribal safety efforts. She holds a PhD in geography from the University of Arizona.