Student Involvement

Students play a major role in the current and future success of the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety. Over the past six years, the Center has employed over 80 undergraduate students as part of sponsored projects. For example, these students have interviewed registered sex offenders in their homes, surveyed recently booked arrestees in jails, and worked with police agencies to collect official data. These undergraduate students develop an appreciation of the research process, as well as become familiar with and understand the advantages of public agencies and universities collaborating together. Many of our students go on to work with local criminal justice agencies and collaborate with us on sponsored projects of mutual interest. We measure our success related to this goal by the number of undergraduate students funded by the Center.

At the Center we also seek to train graduate student to engage in use-inspired research that takes place outside the confines of the university and in collaboration with local, federal, and international agencies. Additionally, we seek to train them to speak to a broader audience, including policymakers, practitioners, academicians, students, and the public, to concentrate their studies toward solutions to violence and associated crime, and to work alongside academics and policymakers from multiple disciplines including psychology, geography, medicine, and city planning. To date, the Center has chaired or served as a member on more than 40% of all master’s theses completed within the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. These theses are provided below.

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Student Contributions

A perceived link between illegal immigration and crime continues to exist. Citizens continue to believe that immigration creates crime and fear that as the immigrant population grows, their safety is jeopardized. 

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Student Contributions

Frederic Thrasher's early work with youth gangs in Chicago continues to influence contemporary gang research. Thrasher's basic premise, that conflict with outside groups facilitates strong interpersonal ties between adolescents, has yet to undergo quantitative analysis.

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Student Contributions

Though police-involved homicides have generated controversy and caused community disruptions and riots for many years, few efforts to systematically capture and study these events exist. The lack of research on arrest-related deaths (ARDs) is particularly troubling not only because of the consequences of these events, but also because the nature of how these deaths occur may also be changing. In particular, recent attention has shifted away from incidents where police use firearms to incidents where other less-lethal tools are used but death still occurs (e.g., TASERs).

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Student Contributions

The purpose of the present study was to conduct an evaluation of the Kino Weed and Seed Coalition, using both qualitative and quantitative data to conduct process and impact evaluations. The process evaluation relied on official documents detailing site activities and focus group interviews with key stakeholders.

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Student Contributions

In the mid-1990s Congress enacted legislation designed to protect the public from sex offenders who were released from corrections into the community. The depraved nature of the crimes committed by these types of offenders, and the subsequent public demand that something be done, evoked a legislative response. The new laws required sex offenders to register with law enforcement, and mandated that law enforcement, in tum, notify communities when sex offenders were being released into their neighborhoods.

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Student Contributions

The 2006 Trinidad and Tobago Youth Survey was administered between March and June 2006. The survey contained questions that measured 16 risk factors, 13 protective factors, and involvement in delinquency, drug use, and other youth focused concerns.

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