Examining the Association Between Massage Parlors and Neighborhood Crime

Jessica Huff, Danielle Wallace, Courtney Riggs, Charles Katz, David Choate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Although massage parlors have been associated with illicit activities including prostitution, less is known about their association with neighborhood crime. Employing the Computer Automated Dispatch/Record Management System (CAD/RMS), online user review, licensing, Census, and zoning data, we examine the impact of massage parlors on crime in their surrounding neighborhoods. Using spatial autoregressive models, our results indicate the total number of massage parlors was associated with increased social disorder. The presence of illicit massage parlors in adjacent neighborhoods was associated with crime and physical disorder in the focal neighborhoods. This study has consequences for how police address crime associated with massage parlors. Specifically, the use of online user review forums could be an effective way to identify illicit massage parlors. Recommendations for policing and code enforcement are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1537-1569
Number of pages33
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • massage parlors
  • neighborhood crime
  • online forums
  • policing
  • prostitution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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