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.

For Parents Only — the Dark Side of College and the Path Toward Healing

The first step for parents to help their children navigate the dark side of modern college life is to become better informed. The second step is to show unqualified compassion and empathy. The third step is to help guide our children onto a path toward healing and recovery. Together these steps can build emotional connection and offer buoyancy to young lives otherwise at significant risk of being lost at sea.