Research Spotlight: Police Officer Use of Force and Citizen Complaints

While competing narratives have taken shape in American society little is known as to how officers choose to use force in situations and if there is any racial or gender bias during police encounters that amount in heightened levels of force used. To study this subject more meticulously I analyze citizen complaint outcomes for police use of force from two cities: Indianapolis and New Orleans. Analyzing citizen complaint data from these two cities serves several purposes.

Social Science Scholar: Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts in the U.S.

After graduation, I hope to pursue a joint degree in law and public health with a focus on human trafficking. My summer experiences expanded my knowledge, reinforced my passion, and sharpened my technical skills. The development work I did at LCHT can be applied to other areas within the nonprofit field because all nonprofits need funding for their work. In addition, the leadership development program at LCHT provided me with tools for self-care to prevent burnout in a field with such a high turnover. In addition, my research skills and findings from Minnesota will not only strengthen my honors thesis but also contribute to anti-trafficking recommendations in Florida. I am grateful to the Social Science Scholars program for the funding and inspiration to undertake my summer projects.

Social Science Scholar: Off the Street Club

This summer was remarkable. Post-graduation, I plan on returning to Chicago to work for the company that I interned with as an Art Director and also working with Off the Street Club or a nonprofit that works with youth in the Chicago areas. I am forever indebted to the Social Science Scholar program and donors who made this summer a possibility. None of this would have been possible if it had not been for Dr. Tom Taylor and Dr. John Mayo and the entire College of Social Sciences & Public Policy for supporting the summer of a lifetime.

Are Gun Owners Cowards?

Many Americans are under the impression that gun owners are overcome by fear. This idea is everywhere, in news articles and editorials, scientific research, social media, blockbuster films, and other forms of popular culture.

Entrepreneurship Programs Can Help Ex-offenders Stay out of Prison

This piece first appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. Struggling to re-enter society with nothing but lost time and the additional burden of a criminal record, ex-offenders have a 76.6% chance of being rearrested within five years. This is dramatic evidence of the failure of the so-called “punishment” or “retributive” approach to criminal justice, which promises…

Occupational Licensing Reform Could Help Keep Ex-Offenders Out of Prison

This piece originally appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. The criminal justice system in the United States is often described as a revolving door –– with good cause. According to a report from the Florida Department of Corrections, more than 60 percent of prisoners released in Florida are re-arrested within three years of release. The offenses with…

What College Football Can Teach Us About Crime

It’s either an exciting or depressing time of the year for football fans. The college bowl season just wrapped up and the NFL Playoffs are in full swing. Wait, this is the Wicked Problems, Wicked Solutions blog, so why am I writing about football? It turns out that academics can learn a lot about the…

Lessons from the Lab: Police Corruption and Law Enforcement

The results of our study are rather intriguing. First, we saw that the presence of police, even when it is corrupt, was much better than anarchy. Second, corrupt police managed to enforce the law no worse than honest police, although, of course,citizens incurred significant costs due to wide-spread bribery.

Social Science Scholar: Research on Human Trafficking in France and Sweden

The information gleaned from these interviews will be used as I continue to write my Honors Thesis, informing my analysis of the impact of the model as it pertains to social norms, prostitution, and human trafficking. This research also serves as a springboard for my postgraduate studies and career in human rights and development. Following my pursuit of a master’s in development studies, I hope to analyze the economic and social incentives that perpetuate human rights violations, such as human trafficking, in order to implement effective development policies that ensure basic human rights.

Americans’ Support for Torture

Our findings are sobering and call into question the extent to which public opinion can serve as a bulwark in the protection of a fundamental, universally-recognized human right.  Indeed, that we were able to observe normatively negative effects with such a “mild” terror cue involving no fatalities or hard evidence of wrongdoing underscores how malleable public opinion can be when threat is raised.  Perhaps more troubling, our results suggest that citizens support for torture can be activated by appealing to an individual’s perception of threat.  Americans’ attitudes toward government torture are malleable precisely when governments are most likely to have an interest in engaging in abuse…under conditions of threat.  Our results suggest that democratic institutions, such as constitutional protections and independent courts are likely stronger safeguards against government torture than public opinion.