Skelley, a sociology major and criminal justice studies and human services studies doublee minor, presented a study titled “Predicting Attitudes towards the Defund The Police Movement vs. Police Budget Reallocation Reform: An Exploratory Study."
Jessica Skelley ’23 presented a study titled “Predicting Attitudes towards the Defund The Police Movement vs. Police Budget Reallocation Reform: An Exploratory Study” at the Southern Sociological Society annual meeting in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on March 30. This research was mentored by Rena Zito, Associate Professor of Sociology.
Skelley, an Elon College Fellow and sociology major, collected nationally representative survey data to explore the individual-level predictors of attitudes towards the language of #DefundThePolice and the police budget reallocation reforms it embodies.
Results from OLS regression models provided support for Skelley’s hypotheses. Specifically, she found (1) significantly more support for police budget reallocation than the DTP movement, (2) there is a large Black-White racial gap in attitudes towards the DTP movement but not towards police budget reallocation, (3) there are strong connections between perceptions of law enforcement and support for the DTP movement and budget reallocation reforms, and (4) the impact of perceptions of police on support for budget reallocation is conditioned by one’s level of concern about crime. Her study provides insight into the ongoing police legitimacy crisis, and it suggests that accomplishing meaningful reform will require a shift in messaging rather than a shift in attitudes.
Skelley will be attending the University of St.Thomas School of Law starting in fall 2023.