Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Valerie West

Committee Members

Candace McCoy

Delores Jones-Brown

Carmen Solis

Subject Categories

Criminology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Stop-Question-Frisk, Housing Trespass Enforcement, Black and Latinx Youth, New York City


Although much has been written about youths’ experiences with police encounters in general, little qualitative research has been conducted into the SQF and housing trespass enforcement experiences of Black and Latinx youth in NYC. Additionally, there is little research that uses the voice of Black and Latinx youth to envision interactions with NYPD that could improve police-community relations. The present study, using a purposively sampled sub-set of 20 transcripts from a larger focus group process, examined the lived experience of Black and Latinx youth between the ages of 13 – 25, with a focus on stop-question-frisk (SQF) and housing trespass enforcement within New York City Housing Authority developments. There were two goals of this study, the first was to extend the conversation of youth police encounters within the SQF literature, and to provide insight into trespass encounters in and around NYCHA developments. The second was the creation of a grounded framework of police engagement, also known as the TRACE model using the “expert” voice of youth. Some very important findings centered around participants expressed concerns about their interactions with officers, citing the lack of respect as a primary issue, frequent harassment, feeling overpowered, fear, and an overall experience of being dehumanized during encounters. These concerns were the most pronounced amongst the Black and Latinx youth who lived in and frequented NYCHA developments. These youth shared details of daily and frequent encounters with police officers and their resulting feelings of fearfulness, helplessness, and hopelessness, and as a way to avoid these encounters, youth would engage in avoidance behaviors like running from the police.

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Criminology Commons