Criminal Justice Research Center Graduate Student Seminar

October 22, 2018
Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 11:30am to 1:30pm
Townshend Room 245

The Criminal Justice Research Center has awarded its 2018 Graduate Student Travel Grants. This competition is open to any OSU graduate student who has submitted an abstract and will present their work at the 2018 American Society of Criminology’s Annual Meeting, to be held on November 13-17, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.  

In order to prepare for the conference, the below selected grant winners will be presenting their ASC conference papers at the annual CJRC Graduate Student Research Symposium to be held on November 8, 2018 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm in Townshend Hall, Room 245.  


Graduate Student Symposium  2018


Presenters: Eric LaPlant and Lesley Schneider                        Time:  11:30-11:50am

Title: On the Computer, You’re a Monster”: Formerly Convicted Persons’ Self-Presentation DuGrant2018ring the Job Application Process

Abstract: Scholars have documented the detrimental effects of a criminal record on employment. While much is known about employers’ reluctance to hiring applicants with criminal records, little research has focused on the experiences of persons with records as they navigate the hiring process. Through 50 in-depth interview with recently restored citizens, we examine how they manage their identities in order to counter stigma and optimize their chances of obtaining employment. We find that face-to-face interaction with employers is seen as a crucial first step in the self-presentation process. Then, applicants are able to selectively disclose distant or less serious offenses, explain the circumstances surrounding these offenses, and can tailor their responses to their interviewer. We also discuss applicants’ aversion towards background check statements, which are thought to reduce the ability to manage one’s identity, creating the fear that applicants will be judged solely on a comprehensive overview of their criminal histories. Further, we explicate the concept of the “candor trap,” whereby applicants fear that even minor discrepancies between responses and employer-conducted background checks may cause employers to view applicants as dishonest, and in turn, reduce the odds of employment. We situate our results in current policy debates surrounding Ban-the-Box policies.


Presenter: Scott Duxbury                                                         Time:   11:50-12:10 pm

Title:  Fear or Loathing in the US? Fear of Crime, Prejudice, and Racial Disparity in Mass Incarceration, 1978 -2015

Abstract: Although a large body of literature identifies glaring racial disparities at all stages of criminal justice processing, little empirical research has examined how public sentiments may have contributed to racial disparity in incarceration rates throughout mass incarceration. This article tests the influence of racial animus and traces a portion of the rise in racial disparity in incarceration rates to historically high levels of fear of crime. It analyzes data on incarceration at the state and national level, leveraging analytic methods developed in political science to construct robust measures of public opinion from the General Social Survey and the Gallup poll. Results from time series and fixed effects analyses indicate that public fear of crime played a larger role in rising racial disparity in incarceration rates than racial animus or racial threat. Fixed effects analyses also indicate that fear of crime mediates a sizable portion of the effect of racial gaps in violent offending. These findings reveal unexplored processes through which fear of crime contributes to racial inequality in the criminal justice system. As such, they hold implications for research on racial disparity in criminal justice processing, the politics of punishment, and historical legacies of racial subjugation.


Presenters: Sadé Lindsay and with Laura C. Frizzell           Time:   12:10-12:30pm

Title: “When Muslimhood is Protective: Black Women and Police in the U.S.”

Abstract: There is a long and contentious history between police and Black communities in the United States. Research conducted on police violence largely focuses on excessive use of force and the ways it disproportionately affects Black men. Although Black women play key historical and contemporary roles in Black communities and social movements, we know little about the impact of police violence on Black women. We address this gap by conducting in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a diverse group of Black women in Columbus, Ohio. We use inductive, qualitative coding techniques to identify salient themes. In this talk, we take an intersectional approach and focus on the experiences of Black Muslim women. We find that, contrary to expectations, Black Muslim women who wear hijabs find their heightened visibility protective compared to non-Muslim Black women when interacting with police. We highlight lack of Black Muslim women’s media representation and unique stereotypes about African Americans as potential explanations for this finding.


Presenter:  Amelia Li                                                              Time:  12:30-12:50pm

Title: Born Disadvantaged: Community Incarceration and Birth Outcomes in Ohio Counties

Abstract:  Despite a developing literature on the health consequences of incarceration, scholars have not explored its impact at the county level extensively. This research project addresses this gap by investigating the association between incarceration rates and birth outcomes in 88 Ohio counties. Using longitudinal data from the Ohio Department of Health, the Vera Institute of Justice, and the American Community Survey, we ask specifically whether residence in counties with higher incarceration rates is correlated with elevated probabilities of preterm and low-birthweight infants. Our multilevel logistic analyses indicate a significant relationship between county incarceration rates and unhealthy birth outcomes. These findings not only contribute to an interdisciplinary scholarship on the collateral consequences of mass incarceration in the contemporary United States, but also offer important policy implications for criminal justice, community care, and public health.

Presenter:  Charles A. LoFasa                                              Time:  12:50-1:10pm

Title:  Neighborhood, Victim, and Incident Characteristics: What Matters Most in Solving Homicides?

Homicide clearance studies typically focus on the effects of victim and incident variables. Comparatively few studies incorporate neighborhood characteristics. This omission is surprising given the empirical association between neighborhood social-structural characteristics and violence. Recent studies incorporating neighborhood variables have indeed found an association between concentrated disadvantage and homicide clearance.  Thus, racially segregated neighborhoods with high levels of disadvantage may consequential not only for the production of violence but also for the outcome of the homicide investigation. Utilizing a rich data set of 587 homicides occurring in Rochester, New York from 2000 to 2014, I incorporate victim, incident and neighborhood characteristics to determine their individual and joint influence on homicide clearance. Unlike other studies, which typically use a proxy measure, I also add a direct workload measure, i.e., the number of each investigator's open cases at the time they are assigned their next homicide, to determine how workload impacts the odds of clearance. I find that workload negatively affects the odds of clearance and that higher clearance rates occurred in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods. The implication of these findings is that both workload and case characteristics are significantly associated with the odds of clearance.