Director's Desk

Criminal Justice Research Center News

Volume 15: Issue 4 - November/December 2014

Hi everyone! We are pleased to have wrapped up a busy fall semester at CJRC. Over the course of the term, we had the privilege of hearing from some excellent speakers who visited our center. In September, Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network affiliate Dr. Charis Kubrin (University of California-Irvine) spoke about the use of rap lyrics as admissible evidence in criminal trials. October brought us a visit from Dr. Adam Jones (University of British Columbia-Okanagan), an expert in genocide research. Adam discussed how gender is a crucial factor in examining genocide, and how men and women are targeted in differing ways when these tragedies come to a head. Please see articles from our intern, Annie Curie, on both of these wonderful talks. Our own Professor of Sociology, Dr. Chris Browning, also spoke at CJRC in October, presenting his current Columbus study on adolescents’ negotiations of space and activity in their neighborhoods over time.

We have a great spring lineup starting on January 29th, 2015, when Dr. Richard Rosenfeld (University of Missouri-St. Louis) will discuss the larger social implications of the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri following the killing of Michael Brown (see below for more information). We will also have an Institute for Excellence in Justice seminar on February19th featuring Provost Todd Clear (Rutgers University-Newark), who will be accompanied by panelists Steve Van Dine of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and Dr. Townsand Price-Spratlen from OSU’ Department of Sociology.  In March we will welcome Law Professor Dr. Brenda V. Smith (American University), and our Reckless-Dinitz Memorial Lecture  in April will feature Law Professor Samuel Gross
(University of Michigan). We hope to see you at these upcoming engagements, and will share more information with you as it becomes available.

I’m also pleased to announce a robust year for the 2015 CJRC Faculty Seed Grants. The awards went to Paul Bellair (Sociology), Simone Drake (African American and African Studies), Jodi Ford (Nursing), Kate Calder (Statistics), Chris Browning (Sociology), Margaret Newell (History), and Jamie Yoder (Social Work). Congratulations to these well-deserved recipients. We are glad to sponsor their important research, and we look forward to the progress of their emerging projects.

Our internship program recently saw the creation of four new positions with the Ohio Public Defender in their Expert Witness Testimony Working Group. Amanda is currently interviewing candidates for these positions.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone that our application deadline for our July 2015 Crime and Justice Summer Research Institute is fast approaching (see more information below). Please have all materials in by February 13, 2015.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

--- Dana



Hi, everyone. Spring semester 2014 has been busy thus far, and we are eager about the plans we have in store for the remainder of the term!

We kicked off our speaking events this semester with a presentation on January 9th by Assistant Professor of Social Work at OSU, Dr. René Olate. His presentation was entitled "Evidence-based Community Interventions for Tackling the Problems of Youth Gang Violence and Delinquency in Central America." Dr. Olate informed the audience about his survey data on gang-affiliated youths in El Salvador, and compared that data to previous findings from youths in Boston. He demonstrated that we need to find more viable solutions for addressing gang-related violence, including helping the youth involved by increasing their educational and employment opportunities. On January 17th, we co-sponsored a presentation with the OSU Department of Sociology by Dr. Andrew Papachristos, Associate Professor of Sociology at Yale. His talk was entitled "Connected in Crime: Using Network Analysis to Understand America's Violence Epidemic," wherein he explored the phenomenon of firearms violence through a social networks lens. Please see Alaina’s excellent articles on both events in this issue. Lastly, we hosted OSU Professor of Psychology and Communication, Dr. Brad Bushman, on February 6th. His presentation, "Blood, Gore, and Video Games: Effects of Violent Content on Players," explored his own research and the work of others regarding both negative and prosocial aspects of video games, including the measurable increase in aggression among players of violent video games. Please see Amanda’s feature article on her talk with Brad Bushman.


We look forward to hosting Dr. Evelyn Patterson, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt, on March 6th. Dr. Patterson will use a life-course perspective to explore incarceration, parole, and exoneration in altering one’s position in the social strata. We are also excitedly planning for our signature yearly event, the Walter C. Reckless-Simon Dinitz Memorial Lecture, which takes place on April 11th . This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the lecture series, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have Political Scientist Dr. Marie Gottschalk (University of Pennsylvania) as our keynote speaker. Dr. Gottschalk will explore avenues to effective change of the carceral state.

We are pleased to report the placement of three new interns in our CJRC Undergraduate Internship Program. Sadé Lindsay is working on a firearms research project with me and Sociology Ph.D. candidate Trent Steidley, and Javier Ibarra and John Kronander have both been placed at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Bureau of Research and Evaluation.

Last but not least, the applications deadline for our Crime and Justice Summer Research Institute was on February 14th, and I am pleased to report that we have the largest applicant pool since the inception of the program!