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The Dark Side of Oil Boomtowns: A Discussion on Reddit

Join us next Monday, June 8th for an AMA with University of Regina professor Dr. Rick Ruddell to discuss why resource-rich areas are hotbeds for the abuse of Native American women, and other crimes.
(Photo: tarsandsaction/Flickr)

(Photo: tarsandaction/Flickr)

A few weeks ago we published an eye-opening story on a sobering situation in oil country. In "The Human Cost of Keystone XL," writer A.C. Shilton reported that rates of rape, sex trafficking, and domestic violence have spiked along the routes of North Dakota's oil pipelines:

[Oil rig workers] were saying, ‘Oh yeah, North Dakota is the fucking best; in North Dakota you can take whatever pretty little Indian girl that you like and you can do whatever you want and police don’t give a fuck about it.’

Shilton's thorough reporting started an important conversation, but with Keystone XL pipeline legislation still at a standstill, and the projected path of the pipeline heading straight for Native territories, it's far from a closed story.

Next Monday, June 8th, we'll be following up with one of our story's most important sources. Dr. Rick Ruddell, a professor of justice studies at the University of Regina in Canada, will be hosting a Reddit AMA from 2 to 4 p.m. EST on /r/IAmA. Ruddell provided key research in Shilton's story on the relationship between oil booms and crime. On Monday, he'll be chatting about his work on the dark side of oil booms, as well as any number of other focal points of his research—rural crime, prison gangs, and how police can use social media. (We're particularly hoping he'll discuss his paper on the role of the sheriff’s wife in 20th-century prison jails.) In addition to an impressive body of academic work, Ruddell is the author of several books, including Corrections and the Justice SystemUnderstanding Correctional Violence; and American Behind Bars.

Have a question for Ruddell? How about personal experience with crime in boomtowns? Join us Monday to share. We're looking forward to hearing from you.