Misdemeanor Crime Rates in the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Race and Gender in Alachua County, Florida


  • Sharon Amanda Shenderovskiy University of Florida




COVID-19, Crime, Misdemeanor Crime, Race, Gender, Inequality


Declared a national emergency on March 1, 2020, the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has caused a major change in everyday life and crime statistics across the United States (U.S.). The research in this study aims to assess changes in reported misdemeanor crimes in Alachua County, Florida in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as changes in the rate of misdemeanor crimes committed by certain genders and race demographics. Data was collected from the Alachua County Clerk of Circuit Court’s On-Line Court Records and Document Images Access Page from January 2019 to December 2020. The results of this study were consistent with the researcher’s hypothesis that the number of overall misdemeanor cases filed would substantially increase regardless of race or gender, likely as a result of social disorganization and community unrest. However, the original hypotheses that women and Black people would be seen committing higher rates of misdemeanor crimes in 2020 due to gender inequality and racial biases were rejected, with the data showing no statistical significance in the change in the number of cases filed for these populations. A potential explanatory factor for these findings is an overcommitment of responsibilities put upon women and girls, and a fear of racial prejudice and lack of social unity amongst Black people. These findings are important to highlight latent functions of state ordinances enacted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and to spotlight necessary crime control and reduction techniques that must be implemented simultaneously to adapt to the “new normal.”


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Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education