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2023 Publication in Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy

Police Station Design and Intrusive Police Encounters: Untangling Variations in Emotions and Behaviourally-Relevant Perceptions Across Racial Groups. 

Cultivating positive human interactions is at the core of many strategies used to strengthen the relationship between police and community members, with the use of criminal justice architecture being an emergent strategy. This study employs an survey experiment to examine police station design as a strategy to improve police-community relationships and the interactive effect of an individual’s previous encounters with police officers. Study results show that the impact of welcoming police station designs on emotions and behaviourally-relevant perceptions are moderated by intrusive encounters with police officers. Specifically, analyses reveal that people with previous arrest experiences respond more positively when confronted with a welcoming police station design compared to persons without an arrest history. Subgroup analyses further yields variation across Black and White racial groups based on previous encounters with police. Together, the symbol of a welcoming police station may foster more pleasant emotional reactions and behaviourally-relevant perceptions for persons with criminal records, however, it elicits less pleasant emotional reactions and behaviourally-relevant perceptions for persons without a criminal history. Theoretical and practical implications in the pursuit of police architecture that foster positive police-community relationships are discussed.

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2023 Publication in the Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology

Blood on the Walls:The Influence of Place Management on Jail and Prison Victimization

This study examines the influence of place management on victimization within jail and prison settings. The author conducts content and thematic analysis of narratives deriving from 87 individuals who were formerly incarcerated in Newark, New Jersey, and Cleveland, Ohio. Qualitative findings illustrate that place management may set the stage for victimization by exposing persons in custody to coercive interactions, inadequately surveilled places, deplorable physical conditions, and limited access to quality health services. Such treatment fosters poor relationships among occupants within the correctional setting. I conclude that mismanaged prisons and jails influence the perpetuation of violent victimization. Correctional administrations may foster positive relationships between persons in custody and other occupants as well as minimize the occurrence of violent victimization by ensuring that persons in custody: (a) receive access to quality health services; (b) are exposed to physical and sensory conditions that do not corrode an individual’s sense of humanity; (c) live in facilities where drug distribution is properly managed; and (d) live in facilities where blind spots are limited.

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2023 Publication in Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology

The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Design (Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology) 1st ed. 2023 Edition

This handbook brings together expertise from a range of disciplinary perspectives and geographical contexts to address a key question facing prison policymakers, architects and designers – what kind of carceral environments foster wellbeing, i.e. deliver a rehabilitative, therapeutic environment, or other ‘positive’ outcomes?

The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Design offers insights into the construction of custodial facilities, alongside consideration of the critical questions any policymaker should ask in commissioning the building of a site for human containment. Chapters present experience from Australia, Chile, Estonia, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – jurisdictions which vary widely in terms of the history and development of their prison systems, their punitive philosophies, and the nature of their public discourse about the role and purpose of imprisonment, to offer readers theories, frameworks, historical accounts, design approaches, methodological strategies, empirical research, and practical approaches.

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2022 Publication in the Journal of Crime and Justice

Regions of Discrimination: Felony Records, Race, and Expressed College Admissions Policies

Criminal records can have consequences for higher education attainment despite the benefits of college degrees for formerly incarcerated people. Using stratified random sampling of colleges and universities across the 50 states, this study examines how higher education institutions claim to use felony history in admission decisions, and the impact of race, geography, and institutional factors associated with these decisions. Findings indicate that admissions departments are more likely to tell an interested applicant with a stereotypical Black name and a non-violent felony record that their criminal histories will be considered in the application process compared to another prospective applicant with a stereotypical White name and non-violent felony record. Admissions departments in public institutions and institutions with higher racial diversity are less likely to consider felony history. Lastly, institutions in the former Confederate states are more likely to indicate using stringent reviews of applicants who disclose a felony compared to institutions in the former Union states. Institutions in the former border states and unincorporated states claim to be less likely to consider criminal history in the applicant review process compared to Union states. Recommendations for addressing these barriers to higher education are presented.

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2022 Lupia-Mutz Outstanding Publication Award, Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences 

The Psychology of Justice Buildings: A Survey Experiment on Police Architecture, Public Sentiment, and Race

Empirical investigations examining how the architectural design of justice buildings impacts the public is scant and heavily skewed toward the design of penal institutions. Applying theories of hostile and welcoming building design, this study uses a survey experiment to investigate the impact that welcoming and hostile police station designs have on public affect and behaviorally relevant perceptions. Findings reveal main and interactive effects of architectural design on positive affect. Specifically, building design becomes a significant predictor of perceptions depending on an individual’s self-identified racial or ethnic group, where Black and Latino respondents report greater positive emotional responses when presented with hostile as compared to welcoming building designs. However, there was no impact of building design on negative affect or behaviorally relevant perceptions to report crime. The results of this study have potential implications for impacting public perceptions about policing and improving service delivery experiences.

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2022 Publication in the Journal of Correctional Health Care

Safe by Design: An Exploration of Jail-based Injury Across New York City

Research studies on injuries within the jail setting are few and far between. Perhaps the assumption that violent offending and violent victimization precede injury explains the limited attention. We suggest that there is a need for more empirical investigations that distinctly focus on jail-based injury. Using monthly correctional health metrics for New York City jail facilities between January 2017 and June 2019, we performed negative binomial regression modeling to explore the facility-level predictors of injury evaluation reports (IERs). Findings showed that youth-centric jails reduced the likelihood of IERs by 89% and health care-centric jails reduced the likelihood of IERs by 91%. Findings support the use of specialized facilities to mitigate injuries in jail. However, further examinations into the underlying mechanisms of specialized facilities that reduce injury are still required to meet the immediate needs of people who are incarcerated in jails.

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2022 Publication in Race and Justice

In Their Experience: A Review of Racial and Sexual Minority Experience in Academe and Proposals for Building an Inclusive Criminology

Feminist criminologists were pioneers in highlighting that academics’ standpoints (i.e., their social and societal positionalities) influence which “objective” truth they tell. Testimonies, the sharing of one’s story, can provide important angles to our understandings of social phenomenon, including of life in the academic sphere. In the present work, we introduce our conceptualization of “inclusive criminology” as a framework for integrating criminological inquiry into a cohesive whole which asserts societies’ rights to valid and complete knowledge as requiring inclusion of previously marginalized identities. In response to this requisite, we conduct a review of published testimonial narratives within criminology and criminal justice (CCJ) as well as a sample of works from other social sciences to inform recommendations on how to meet this inclusive aim.

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