"The Role of State Agencies in Translational Criminology" by Dr. Mark S. Davis

Dr. Mark S. Davis, a long standing affiliate and research scientist at the CJRC, has served in a variety of roles including: criminal justice practitioner, policy maker, and researcher. Over his career, his writings have appeared in Current Psychology, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, Journal of Criminal Justice, and other journals. Dr. Davis’ most recent publication, The Role of State Agencies in Translational Criminology (Springer Press, 2017), which was published a few months ago, discusses the role of state-level criminal justice organizations in the prevention and control of crime and delinquency.

In the book, he addressed the challenges associated with the application of criminology’s growing body of knowledge to criminal justice policy and practice. As data systems emerge and criminal justice policy become more complex, finding the best ways to translate the applications of research into practice present an immense challenge. In the event these translational issues are not effectively resolved, he questions the future relevancy of criminologists when interacting with criminal justice policymakers and practitioners. The agencies covered within the text include: state police agencies, attorney’s general, adult and juvenile corrections, and state criminal justice planning agencies. To a lesser extent, he also discusses issues with the translation of research to include: statewide organizations representing law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, probation and parole officers, crime prevention professionals, and victim advocates. Davis’s main point throughout the book is the importance of to bridging the gap between research and practice in the field. He concludes the book with several recommendations for change. These range from the need state agencies to take a proactive stance toward translational criminology to how states should consider a land-grant university extension model to facilitate translational criminology.