Professor of Criminology, Law & Society and Planning, Policy & Design

Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University
(949) 824-4927
2307 SEII



criminology, community context of violence, urban youth gangs, homicide studies

Curriculum Vitae: 

George Tita is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California - Irvine. His education includes a BA from the University of Pittsburgh (1986), a Master's of Science in Economic Development (1993) and Ph.D. (1999) from the H.J. Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon. His interests include the study of inter-personal violence with a focus of homicide, urban street gangs, and the community context of crime. His methodological toolkit includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches, with a strong interest in mapping and spatial analysis. Dr. Tita is involved with an interdisciplinary group of scholars working to promote the use of spatial statistics and analysis throughout the social sciences.

Dr. Tita is also a member of the National Consortium on Violence Research (NCOVR), a research and training center specializing in violence research. The Consortium's mission is to advance basic scientific knowledge about the causes or factors contributing to inter-personal violence, to train the next generation of violence researchers, and to disseminate its research findings to participants, policy-makers, and practitioners.

A brief statement mentioning any recent work he's done that he would like mentioned as representative of the work he does:

Prior to joining UC-Irvine, Dr. Tita spent two years at the RAND Corporation as a Policy Analyst. There he directed an NIJ funded gun-violence reduction program in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles. The goal of this project is to work with all invested stakeholders to devise and test strategies for reducing gun violence. Partners in this effort include representatives from the criminal justice agencies (LAPD, City Attorney, District Attorney, U.S. Attorney and Los Angles County Probation Department) and well as the community at large (Homeboy Industries/Jobs For a Future, the local Catholic Dioceses, White Memorial Hospital, and the Association of Street Gang Workers.) This work continues at UCI.

Dr. Tita is Principle Investigator on a project investigating homicide over a twenty-year period in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts. Of particular interest is the role that ethnic/racial succession played in shaping the changing patterns of homicide over time as Watts has gone from approximately 80% Black, 20% Latino in 1980, to 40% Black, 60% Latino in 2000.

Additionally, Dr. Tita is continuing his work on modeling the epidemics/spatial diffusion of violence over space and time and is examining the causal relationship between homicide and the economic decisions made by firms, such as firm births and deaths and employment decisions.

Selected Publications

  • John Hipp, George Tita, and Lyndsay Boggess. 2009. "Inter- and Intra-Group Violence: Is Violent Crime an Expression of Group Conflict or Social Disorganization?" Criminology, Vol 47:2, pp. 521-564.
  • Neil F. Johnson, Chen Xu, Zhenyuan Zhao, Nicolas Ducheneaut, Nicholas Yee, George Tita and Mak Ming Hui . 2009. "Human Group Formation in Online Guilds and Offline Gangs Driven by a Common Team Dynamic." Physical Review E. 79, 066117, pp. 1-11. (Reprinted in Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research, July 1, 2009.)
  • Elizabeth Griffiths and George Tita. 2009. "Homicide in and Around Public Housing: Is Public Housing a Hotbed, a Magnet, or a Generator of Violence for the Surrounding Community?" Social Problems, Vol. 56:3, pp.474-493.
  • Martin Short, Maria R. D'Orsongna, Jeffrey Brantingham and George Tita. 2009. "Measuring and Modeling Repeat and Near-repeat Burglary Effects." Journal of Quantitative Criminology. Forthcoming
  • John Hipp, George Tita, and Robert Greenbaum. 2009. "Drive-bys and Trade-ups:  Examining the Directionality of the Crime and Residential Instability Relationship" Social Forces. Forthcoming
  • George Tita, Anthony Braga, Greg Ridgeway and Glenn Peirce. 2006. "Criminal Purchase of Ammunition." Injury Prevention Vol 12, No. 5, Pp. 308 - 311.
  • George Tita and Greg Ridgeway. "The Impact of Gang Formation on Local Patterns of Crime."Journal of Research on Crime and Delinquency. Vol 44:2, pp 208-237.
  • George Tita, Trica Petras, and Robert Greenbaum 2006 "Crime and Residential Choice: A Neighborhood Level Analysis of the Impact of Crime on Housing Prices." Journal of Quantitative Criminology Vol 22, No 4, Pp 299-317.
  • George Tita and Elizabeth Griffiths 2005 "Traveling to Violence: The Case for a Mobility-Based Spatial Typology of Homicide." Journal of Research on Crime and Delinquency Vol. 42, No. 2, Pp. 275-308.
  • Robert Greenbaum and George Tita 2004 "The Impact of Violence Surges on Neighborhood Business Activity." Urban Studies. Vol. 41, No. 13, Pp. 2495-2514. (Awarded the Donald Robertson Prize Essay Award for 2004 by the editors of Urban Studies.)
  • George Tita, J. K. Riley, Greg Ridgeway, Allan F. Abrahamse and Peter Greenwood. 2004. "Reducing Gun Violence: Resuts from an Intervention in East Los Angeles." RAND Press: Santa Monica, CA
  • George Tita and Allan Abrahamse 2004 'California Homicide: The Impact of Los Angeles and Gangs. At the Local Level: Perspectives on Violence Prevention. California Department of Justice/California Health and Human Services Agency: Sacramento, CA
  • George Tita and Jacqueline Cohen. 2004 Measuring Spatial Diffusion of Shots Fired Activity Across City Neighborhoods. In Spatially Integrated Social Science. Eds. Michael F. Goodchild and Donald G. Janelle. Oxford Press: New York
  • George Tita, J. K. Riley and Peter Greenwood. 2002. "From Boston to Boyle Heights: The Process and Prospects of a "Pulling Levers" Strategy in a Los Angeles Barrio" in Gangs, Youth Violence and Community Policing. Editor Scott Decker. Wadsworth Press: Belmont, MA.
  • Luc Anselin, Jacqueline Cohen, Wilpen Gorr and George Tita. 2000. "Spatial Analysis: Practice and Prospects." Crime 2000: Measurement and Data, Vol. 3. National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC.
  • Jacqueline Cohen and George Tita. 1999. "Spatial Diffusion in Homicide: Exploring a General Method of Detecting Spatial Diffusion Processes." Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Vol. 15, No. 4, Pp. 451-493.
  • Jacqueline Cohen and George Tita. 1999. "Editor's Introduction." Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Vol. 15, No. 4, Pp. 373-378.
Last updated: Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 9:01am