From the Director’s Desk

Dana HaynieHi everyone. I would like to welcome everyone back as we jump into the start of our Autumn Semester. After a very busy and successful summer hosting the Summer Research Institute (SRI) and the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network (RDCJN), we are at the very beginning of what is sizing up to be a very invigorating semester.

Since our last newsletter, we have had a number of events and developments that are worth mentioning.  On April 17, 2015 the CJRC hosted its final event of the year, the Reckless-Dinitz Lecture which featured Dr. Samuel Gross, the Thomas and Mabel Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Gross’s engaging lecture focused on the occurrence, rate, and implications of false convictions being used to prosecute individuals accused of crime.  As you will see in our story written by our new undergraduate student intern, Moriah Lieberman, the findings from his research are both compelling and disturbing, especially when considering the rate of wrongful convictions in capital cases.

This summer, the CJRC, once again, with funding from the National Science Foundation, welcomed an exceptionally talented group of young scholars from around the country to participate in our Summer Research Institute (SRI), a three-week institute specifically designed to provide research guidance and mentorship to young faculty from underrepresented groups (see the related feature article in this newsletter for details).  The SRI culminated with the summer fellows presenting their papers and projects at the 13th annual Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network (RDCJN) Workshop held at OSU on July 23 and 24th.  Over 100 scholars from across the country participated in this conference. The two days were filled with thematic panels discussing topics ranging from policing and racism to the growing importance of social media in protest movements.  Additionally, several sessions focused on the history, development and future plans of the RDCJN since the network will be leaving Ohio State and moving to Rutgers University next summer. Please see the related feature article on the 13th Annual RDCJN workshop as well as my farewell note in this edition.

Turning to future events, we are excited to announce that CJRC will be co-sponsoring with Sociology, a presentation from Dr. Alexis Harris. Alexis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. On Friday, Sept. 25th, 12:30-1:45pm (248 Townshend) she will present a talk titled “A Permanent Punishment for the Poor” based on her research investigating the impact of monetary sanctions on criminal offenders.  A discussion of this research can also be found in an Op-Ed piece she wrote for the Los Angeles Times.

Following this, our next speaker will be  Dr. Brenda V. Smith from the American University, Washington College of Law  who will present a talk titled  “Boys, Rape, and Masculinity: Reclaiming Boys Narratives of Sexual Violence in Custody.”  This talk will take place on Thursday, October 1, 2015 from noon to 1:30 in Journalism 217.  This presentation will focus on the study of the sexual abuse of boys in custody by female staff. 

Finally, as we look towards our events in the coming year, it is with great excitement to announce that DrNancy Rodriquez, Director, National Institute of Justice will be our Reckless Dinitz speaker for the spring semester.  Further information will be forthcoming as we set the date and location for this exciting event.  Please look for save the date information in the next newsletter and on our website.

There have also been several staff changes at the CJRC over the last few months.  It is with great pleasure to announce that Dr. Ryan King, Associate Professor of Sociology at the Ohio State University has accepted the appointment of Associate Director of the Criminal Justice Research Center.  His primary interests are in the areas of criminology, law and society, criminal punishment, and intergroup conflict.  I’m very excited to work with Ryan as we continue to build and direct the Criminal Justice Research Center. 

Christopher Yanai has also joined the CJRC staff as our new Program Manager.  Prior to joining the CJRC this summer, Chris spent the last two years on the faculty of Ohio Northern University teaching corrections, prison management and executive leadership while serving as Program Director of the Saudi Arabia Prison Management Program (a program in which executive level military officers from Saudi Arabia come to the US for intensive training in English, corrections and leadership).  Chris is retired from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction where he served 23 years in the prisons section in various roles including warden, deputy warden, and social services director.  He spent seven years at the ODRC headquarters as Deputy Superintendent of the Adult Parole Authority, Investigations Chief and Senior Administrator in the Office of Offender Reentry. We are very fortunate to have him at CJRC.

Also joining the CJRC as the Newsletter Intern is Moriah Lieberman.  Moriah is a senior in the honors college studying political science and minoring in economics. She previously conducted research on electronic cigarettes, and tobacco policy with the Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science (CERTS) through OSU's College of Public Health.  She also completed an internship with the Ohio Department of Education, researching how different states evaluate their educational innovation programs.  She has an interest in a variety of research topics including criminal justice, health disparity, poverty and race.

We also want to highlight two exceptional graudate studetns who are highly active in CJRC Trent Steidley (Tate) and Emily Shrider and currently both are on the job market searching for academic positions.

Trent's research is motivated by the fundamental question of how social movements, politics, and the criminal justice system interact to affect policy and criminal justice outcomes in the United States, particularly with regard to firearms. He has been building a database of state firearm laws from 1970 to 2010 that will be archived with the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. His dissertation is an extension of this work, and examines how political and criminal justice factors influenced the proliferation of concealed carry weapons laws. Trent has worked on a number of projects that examine firearm sales, guns shops in neighborhoods, and news coverage of the gun control debate.  Trent's vitae can be found here:  Trent Steidley CV [pdf].

Emily is interested in neighborhood and metropolitan outcomes, particularly those related to revitalization efforts, policing practices, and crime rates.  Her dissertation research explores immigrant-driven revitalization efforts in the Rust Belt and the role of local law enforcement in those attempts.  Other current research examines the effects of a neighborhood improvement project in Seattle on private lending and crime rates.  In the future, she intends to continue studying the relationship between revitalization strategies and crime.  Emily's vitae can be viewed here:   Emily Shrider CV [pdf]

The Criminal Justice Research Center would like to announce its 2015 Graduate Student ASC Travel Grant Awards competition. This competition is open to any OSU graduate student who has submitted an abstract and is presenting their work at the 2015 American Society of Criminology’s Annual Meeting to be held November 18 - 21, 2015 in Washington, DC at the Washington Hilton.   Selected applicants will receive $ 500 dollars for conference and travel-related costs. In addition, selected applicants will present their ASC conference papers at the CJRC Graduate Student Research Symposium to be held on November 12, 2015.

The deadline for submission for these travel grants is Wednesday, September 30, 2015. To be considered for the award, please submit the title and abstract of your conference paper, as well as a one-paragraph statement detailing how the grant will assist you in furthering your graduate work. Email submissions to Christopher Yanai  at  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Last, I would like to announce that our call for faculty seed grant proposals is now open.  The CJRC invites proposals relating to research on issues of Crime and Criminal Justice.  We will consider faculty research proposals for internal funds (up to $10,000) to support research that has a high likelihood of resulting in grant applications for external funds.  Rather than having deadlines for submission we are going to keep the call active throughout the year and give priority to work that has strong potential to compete for external awards from agencies such as NIH, NSF, NIJ, or other entities which embody CJRC’s fostering of research on crime/delinquency and justice issues.  The announcement, application, and associated materials are available on our website: Faculty Seed Grant Information and Application 

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and I wish everyone a wonderful and productive Autumn Semester!  If you are interested in learning more about or becoming involved with CJRC please see other locations throughout our website.


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