Dr. Michael Barton

Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director


  • Ph.D., University at Albany, State University of New York, Sociology (Emphases in Criminology and Urban Sociology)
  • M.A., Northern Illinois University, Sociology (Emphasis in Criminology)
  • B.A., Northern Illinois University, Sociology (Emphasis in Criminology) and Political Science (Emphasis in Public Law)

Research Areas

  • Neighborhood Change and Crime
  • Community Correlates of Crime
  • Crime in Small and Medium Size Cities
  • Crime Mapping and Spatial Data Analysis


My research examines the importance of spatial and temporal correlates of crime at the neighborhood level. Or put more simply, I am interested in space, time and crime. I am primarily a quantitative scholar, but I have co-authored theoretical research as well. The primary thrust of my research has focused on interrogating the relationship of gentrification with crime, but I have also examined the importance of neighborhood and community correlates for crime on college campuses and in New Orleans neighborhoods pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina. My current research engages with urban bias in criminology by examining the neighborhood correlates of crime in smaller and medium-sized U.S. cities.

Selected Publications

Bellick, Tyler, Michael S. Barton, Samantha Friedman and Matthew Douglas. (2023). “Guyanese Immigration, Homeownership, and Crime in Schenectady, NY: 2000-2017.” City & Community 22: 105-125.

Watchese, Joy Ngelor, Michael S. Barton, Frederick Weil and Timothy T. Reling. (2023).  “A Socio-spatial Analysis of Race and Crime in New Orleans.” Deviant Behavior 44: 1163-1178.

LaRose, Jennifer, Jose Torres, and Michael S. Barton. (2022). “Changing Media Framings of School Shootings: A Case Study of the Parkland School Shooting.” Journal of Mass Violence Research 1: 44-61. Doi: 10.53076/JMVR11874

Barton, Michael S., Mathew A Valasik and Elizabeth Brault. (2021). “Disorder or Disadvantage: Investigating the tension between neighborhood social structure and the physical environment on local violence.”  Criminal Justice Review 46: 134-155.

Weil, Frederick, Michael S. Barton, Heather Rackin, Matthew A. Valasik and David Maddox. (2021). “Collective Resources and Violent Crime: New Orleans Before and After Katrina.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 36: 7045-7069.

Barton, Michael S., Tracey Rizzuto and Matthew A. Valasik. (2020). “Painting a Way Out of a Corner: An Assessment of the Relationship of Public Art with Neighborhood Violence.”  Accepted for publication in Journal of Planning Education and Research October 2020.

Barton, Michael S., Frederick Weil, Matthew A. Valasik, Heather Rackin and Lynnette Coto. (2020). “What was Washed Away and What Remained: An Assessment of the Influence of Hurricane Katrina on Crime in New Orleans.”  Journal of Crime and Justice 43: 640-658.

Barton, Michael S., Matthew A. Valasik, Elizabeth Brault and George Tita. (2020).  “’Gentefication’ in the Barrio: Examining the Relationship of Gentrification and Gang Homicide in East Los Angeles.” Crime & Delinquency 66: 1888-1913.