Easily Overstated

Policymakers, advocates, and even some researchers claim that youth confinement rates across the United States dropped in recent years due to changes in policy and practice. Such claims remain unproven, but voters and elected officials are inclined to accept them as factual because they are offered by reputable agencies and repeated in news media sources. Without reliable evidence, however, the notion that state-level youth confinement rates fall primarily in response to progressive policy reforms is merely appealing rhetoric.

Going Back to College? Criminal Stigma in Higher Education Admissions in Northeastern U.S.

Access to education is a constant theme in discussions germane to correctional reform, particularly to reduce rule breaking while incarcerated and re-offending after release from prison. Focusing on the latter, we examine the extent to which education is accessible for individuals who have felonious non-violent records in the United States (US). We generated a stratified random sample of 85 institutions of higher education (IHE) in the northeastern US and analyzed emails from admission departments in response to inquiries about how a felony record would affect admissions decisions. Results from multivariate models indicate that the institution type (public vs. private) significantly predicts how an IHE would use an individual’s criminal history in admissions decisions. Public IHEs are less likely to consider criminal history when reviewing an individual’s application and IHEs with higher proportions of minority students are associated with reduced consideration of an applicant’s criminal history in admissions decisions.

Full Disclosure: Experimental Analysis of Female Online Dating on Parole

The stigma of a criminal record is damaging for Blacks and Latinas who disclose parole in online dating bios, but for White females, disclosure of parole does not hinder and may even help their online dating match success. The stigma of being minority appears to compound criminal stigma in online dating. This has crucial implications for the relationships of formerly incarcerated because prosocial romantic relationships reduce recidivism.

Examining Housing Discrimination Across Race, Gender and Felony History

This study uses the audit method to examine the effects of race, gender, and criminal history on housing outcomes. Testers, exhibiting characteristics suggestive of race and gender and disclosing one of three offenses, placed phone calls to rental property owners across the Midwest to inquire about renting a property. We found powerful negative effects for those with a criminal record seeking apartments, regardless of whether the offense was sexual or drug-related.

Associations Between Mass Incarceration and Community Health in New York City

Incarceration has escalated over the past four decades in the United States, creating a number of negative consequences for individuals, families, and communities. This study seeks to identify the associations between mass incarceration and health behaviors/perceptions on a neighborhood level. Using the street intercept method, we collected in-person survey data from residents in two New York City neighborhoods (one in the South Bronx and the other in Northern Manhattan) with similar levels of social disadvantage but significantly different rates of jail admission. Respondents in both neighborhoods self-reported similar ratings of their physical health. Significant differences between neighborhoods include incidence of fast food consumption over the past week, alcohol use over the last 3 months, and perceptions of the occurrence of teen pregnancy in the neighborhood. This study hopes to inform future researchers and interventionists about associations between mass incarceration and health-related behaviors/perceptions to facilitate consideration of this increasingly common social factor as a determinant of community health in future research.

Critical Care: The Important Role of Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs

Douglas Evans and Anthony Vega In Denormalizing Violence: A Series of Reports From the John Jay College Evaluation of Cure Violence Programs in New York City Introduction Crime has been decreasing since the mid-1990s, but violence is still a serious concern in many neighborhoods throughout the United States. Victims of violence often suffer psychological trauma [...]

Sex Offender Stigma: An Exploration of Vigilantism against Sex Offenders

The current study compiles open-source news reports involving vigilantes who targeted individuals because of their status as a sex offender (SO) or their suspected involvement in a sex offense. The Sex Offender-Vigilante database includes 279 separate incidents of vigilantism against SOs, ranging from the dissemination of unsanctioned fliers to murder. Results indicate that the stigmatization that convicted SOs experience is so pervasive that it extends even to individuals suspected of having committed a sexual offense.

Street by Street: Cross-Site Evaluation of the OJJDP Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program

While one of the strengths of OJJDP's CBVP model was its emphasis on adaptation to local context and needs, the variation across program sites posed serious challenges for the evaluation and made it impossible to assess and compare outcomes in each city.

Reclaiming Futures and Organizing Justice for Drug-Using Youth

Reclaiming Futures assumes that positive youth outcomes are achieved when service delivery systems are closely coordinated and provide just the right amount of individualized help with the least possible amount of coercion.

An Exploration of Stigma in the Lives of Sex Offenders and Heroin Abusers

Furst, R. Terry and Douglas N. Evans (2014). An Exploration of Stigma in the Lives of Sex Offenders and Heroin Abusers. Deviant Behavior. Published online October 2014 (00:1–16). Research was conducted on variations and commonalities of sexual offenders and heroin abusers and how they manage stigma in their everyday lives. Interviews with 13 sex offenders [...]

Criminal History and Landlord Rental Decisions: A New York Quasi-experimental Study

Evans, Douglas N. and Jeremy R. Porter (2014). Criminal History and Landlord Rental Decisions: A New York Quasi-experimental Study. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 11(1): 21-42. To determine the effect of a criminal conviction on landlord decisions to consider prospective tenants and the extent to which landlord responses vary based on a prospective tenant’s offense type, [...]

The Debt Penalty

Depending on the jurisdiction, offenders are charged fees at nearly every phase of the criminal justice process. In addition to fines, interest, and penalties for late payments, offenders may be required to pay “user fees,” which differ from court-imposed fines. The sole purpose of user fees is to raise revenue for criminal justice systems, while court-imposed fines are intended to punish offenders or to provide financial compensation to victims.

YAP Assists Youth in Finding and Securing Employment

by Douglas Evans and Sheyla Delgado Research & Evaluation Center August 2014 Employment serves a number of positive functions in the lives of youth. Jobs promote hard work and time management, assist in the development of skills, offer job experience that can benefit future career options, and provide a source of income. Youth are at [...]

Putting the Freeze on Priming: The Role of Need for Cognitive Closure on the Prime-Norm Dynamic

Jia, Lile, Edward R. Hirt, and Douglas N. Evans (2014). Putting the Freeze on Priming: The Role of Need for Cognitive Closure on the Prime-Norm Dynamic. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 40(7): 931–942. Past research has indicated that individuals with a high need for cognitive closure (NFCC) are more susceptible to priming effects in [...]

Punishment Without End

Evans, Douglas N. (2014). Punishment Without End. New York, NY: Research & Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Criminal justice punishments are an investment that societies make to protect the safety and order of communities. Following decades of rising prison populations, however, U.S. policymakers are beginning to wonder [...]

Youth Realize Educational Gains Following Their Participation in YAP

by Douglas Evans and Sheyla Delgado Research & Evaluation Center July 2014 Justice-involved youth are at high risk for failing or dropping out of school. Behavioral problems and difficulties at home increase their likelihood of suspension and expulsion. Mandated court appearances and out-of-home placements require youth to miss extended periods of school. Substance abuse, bullying, [...]

Compensating Victims of Crime

Evans, Douglas N. (2014). Compensating Victims of Crime. New York, NY: Research & Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Victims of violent crime are often unable to access financial compensation to offset the costs of victimization (e.g., medical, lost wages, funeral expenses) despite the massive amounts of money [...]

YAP Helps to Keep Youth Out of Secure Facilities

by Douglas Evans and Sheyla Delgago Research & Evaluation Center June 2014 Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) seeks to provide community-based alternatives for high-risk youth and reduce the juvenile justice system’s over-reliance on expensive and ineffective out-of-home placements. A mission of YAP is to keep youth in their homes so that advocates can utilize family [...]

YAP’s Approach to Wrap-Around Services Appears Intensive and Flexible

  Evans, Douglas and Sheyla Delgado (May 2014). YAP’s Approach to Wrap-around Services Appears Intensive and Flexible. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) provides advocacy services driven by strengths- and empowerment-based wrap-around best practices. Services and supports are targeted [...]

Most High Risk Youth Referred to YAP, Inc. Remain Arrest Free

Evans, Douglas and Sheyla Delgado (April 2014). Most High Risk Youth Referred to Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. Remain Arrest Free and in their Communities During YAP Participation. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) has been committed to providing community-based [...]

The Second American Crime Drop

Are today’s violent crime rates different from the rates of 30 years ago? Do trends in serious and violent crime by juveniles (under age 18) differ from trends among older youth (i.e., young adults ages 18-24), and how much of the overall crime decline that began in the 1990s can be attributed to juvenies and older youth?