Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research

Current Projects

Exploratory Study of Elder Financial Exploitation – The Center and Merrill Lynch will investigate elderly financial exploitation in The Florida Villages with the cooperation of the Seniors vs. Crime Project. The study’s focus will be upon identifying some of the salient risk and/or protective factors associated with elder financial exploitation, including the potential prevention role of financial advisers.

An Evaluation of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Risk Assessment Instruments
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (FDJJ) has contracted with Florida State University’s (FSU) College of Criminology and Criminal Justice to conduct an evaluation study of two of their risk assessment instruments: (1) the Community Positive Achievement Change Tool (C-PACT) and (2) the Residential Positive Achievement Change Tool (R-PACT). The C-PACT and the R-PACT are used to assess the criminogenic risks and needs, as well as appropriate treatments and services, for all youth referred to non-residential community sanctions and residential placement, respectively.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Related Deaths Demonstration Project – To address the emotional, psychological, physical and financial aftermath associated with DUI/Impaired Driving Related Deaths, this project builds upon existing community resources to develop a comprehensive response that addresses the often unmet and complex needs of survivors and family members. A multidisciplinary team in Palm Beach County is tasked with mapping the current service delivery system and creating an enhanced response wherein survivors and family members are immediately linked to evidence-based, trauma-informed services by well-trained first responders.

Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) Validation
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (FDJJ) has contracted with Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, to conduct a six-month validation study of FDJJ’s Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP). The SPEP is a tool used by FDJJ to assess the quality of treatment programming that youth receive during their residential placement. The SPEP captures such things as whether the treatment is classified as an evidence-based practice, whether it is administered in the recommended dosage, and whether it is used for the appropriate class of offenders.

Evaluation and Consulting Services for the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission – The MacArthur Foundation awarded the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) a Safety and Justice Challenge Grant to participate in the planning phase of the Challenge. Palm Beach County was one of twenty sites selected from across the country to participate in the planning phase of the Challenge. The goals of the Justice Challenge include a focus on reducing the jail population and addressing racial disparity in pre-trial release, while improving public safety in Palm Beach County.

Examining Race and Gender Disparities in Restricted Housing Placements –This study, conducted in partnership with Sam Houston State University, will analyze administrative records on all inmates released from prison in a southwestern state between 2011 and 2014. Specifically, this study will assess whether there are racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in: 1) prisoners’ placements into restrictive housing; 2) placements into particular types of restrictive housing (administrative segregation, disciplinary segregation, protective custody, mental health segregation, and medical segregation); 3) the reasons provided for these placements; and 4) length of time spent there.

Disproportionate Minority Contact: A Statewide Assessment Study – The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has partnered with the Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, to conduct a 12-month study to address the overrepresentation of minority youth in Florida’s juvenile justice system. The purpose of this project is to examine the influence of community context as well as legal factors on the disparate treatment of racial and ethnic youth in the Florida juvenile justice system.

Assessing the Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) Sourcebook of Delinquency Interventions
The goal of the project is to provide the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and its program providers with an up-to-date list of evidence-based delinquency interventions that have been empirically evaluated to reduce juvenile offending and/or recidivism and other risk factors associated with criminal behavior.

Understanding Differences in the Relationship Between Prison Visitation and Recidivism – This two year study will examine the effects of prison visitation on recidivism, and how this relationship varies by gender and across racial and ethnic groups.

The Impacts of Restrictive Housing on Inmate Behavior, Mental Health, and Recidivism, and Prison Systems and Personnel  The purpose of this project is to inform scholarship and policy on restrictive housing, and the specific goal is to contribute to efforts to understand the impacts of restrictive housing on inmates and prison systems and their personnel. Data will include information from over 250,000 cases from the Florida Department of Corrections on inmate characteristics, prior criminal record and instant offense, and in-prison and post-release outcomes, as well as information from focus groups with and surveys of prison administrators and personnel.

Friendship Networks and Substance Use in Adolescence – In a five-year multi-site project partnering FSU, Penn State University, and Duke University, Dr. Sonja Siennick is investigating family and peer network influences on the development of comorbid behavioral and mental health problems in adolescence.

Research Partner Project with the Florida Department of Corrections – The Florida Department of Corrections (DOC), in partnership with the Center, is conducting a three year study that will provide empirical evidence documenting the post-release impact of: prison-based drug treatment, work release, and re-imprisonment, as well as the cost benefits of these programs.

FSU and Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Research Partnership Project – Through this collaboration, three research agendas will be conducted including (1) an evaluation of Florida’s civil citation program, (2) an assessment of family visitation in juvenile residential facilities on recidivism, and (3) an assessment of individual and school-level factors on school-based referrals to the DJJ.

Individual, Institutional, and Community Sources of School Violence: A Meta-Analysis  – This project examines what existing literature deems the important individual, institutional (i.e. school), and community sources of violence at school. This project will subject the body of empirical literature on school violence to a meta-analysis to determine the key individual-, school-, and community-level factors that substantially influence violence in school.

Translational Criminology: Research and Public Policy – The purpose of this study is to better understand how research is translated into criminal justice policy. In this study, researchers conduct a theory-driven case study to test and describe the knowledge translation process in the field of criminal justice, specifically examining the translation of knowledge and use of research evidence by Florida’s state-level decision makers in the field of juvenile and adult corrections.

Research Partner Project with NIJ and School Board of Palm Beach County to Research Expansion of School-Based Intervention – A three-year project will research the expansion of a school-based intervention to increase school safety while reducing delinquency referrals and improving student outcomes.