George Pesta is the Co-Director of the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research. At the Center, he manages funded research projects, supervises GRAs and collaborates with faculty on project deliverables, research reports, and presentations. He has extensive experience in conducting program evaluations and field research, including designing and administering surveys, conducting qualitative observations, and conducting interviews and focus groups. He has primarily worked in the field of juvenile justice and correctional education for the past 22 years. His publications have been focused on the effectiveness and outcomes of juvenile justice programs.

George Pesta also serves as the Veterans’ Liaison for the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the Faculty Advisor for the Student Leadership Council, and the Faculty Liaison for the College Development Council.

Research Interests

Translational Criminology | Correctional Education | Juvenile Justice | Delinquency & Education

Education

PhD. 2012, Florida State University, Education Leadership & Policy Studies

M.A. 1996, DePaul University, English Composition

B.A. 1992, Florida State University, English Literature

Grants

Principal Investigator, Translational Criminology: Research and Public Policy. $58,545 funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice.

Principal Investigator, Assessing the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Sourcebook of Delinquency Interventions. $25,000 funded by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

Principal Investigator, Phase II, An Evaluation of the Educational Services in the Polk County Jail. $15,000 funded by the Polk County School Board.

Principal Investigator, An Evaluation of the Educational Services in the Polk County Jail. $10,000 funded by the Polk County School Board.

Project Director, Research Partner Project with the School Board of Palm Beach County to evaluate a School-Based Delinquency Intervention $981,481 funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice.

Project Director, “Building and Enhancing Criminal Justice Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships,” a three year $495,329 project with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, January 1, 2014.

Recent Publications

Pesta, George B., Thomas G. Blomberg, Javier Ramos, J.W. Andrew Ranson. 2018. “Translational Criminology: Toward Best Practice.” American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Blomberg, T. and Pesta, G. . 2014. “Delinquency and Education” The Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice.

George B. Pesta, Trinetia Respress, Aline K. Major, Christine Arazan, Terry Coxe. 2013. “A Model and Test of Policy Making as Process” Evaluation Review.

Thomas G. Blomberg, Janine Blomberg, Gordon P. Waldo, George Pesta, Jon Bellows. 2006. “National Collaboration on No Child Left Behind in Juvenile Justice Education” Corrections Today.

George Pesta, Trinetia Respress, Aline K. Major, Christine Arazan and Terry Coxe. 2002. “Evaluation Research and Quality Assurance” Evaluation Review.

Selected Publications

Pesta, George B., Thomas G. Blomberg, Javier Ramos, J.W. Andrew Ranson (2018). “Translational Criminology: Toward Best Practice.” American Journal of Criminal Justice. Available online (https://doi.org/10.1007/s12103-018-9467-1)

Nadel, M.R., George B. Pesta, Thomas G. Blomberg, William D. Bales, and Mark Greenwald (2018). “Civil citation: Diversion or net widening?” Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency. Available online (https://doi.org/10.1177/0022427817751571)

Pesta, George and Thomas Blomberg. 2016. “Education and Delinquency”, in. Blomberg, Thomas G., Julie Mestre Brancale, Kevin Beaver, William D. Bales, eds. 2016. Advancing Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy. London: Routledge.

Mears, Daniel P., Andrea N. Montes, Nicole L. Collier, Sonja E. Siennick, George B. Pesta, Samantha J. Ladwig, and Thomas G. Blomberg. 2018. “The Benefits, Risks, and Challenges of Get-Tough and Support-Oriented Approaches to Increasing School Safety.” Criminal Justice Policy Review 30(9):1342-1367.

Mears, Daniel P., Vivian Hughes, George B. Pesta, William D. Bales, Jennifer M. Brown, Joshua C. Cochran, and John Wooldredge. 2019. “The New Solitary Confinement? A Conceptual Framework for Guiding and Assessing Research and Policy on ‘Restrictive Housing.’” Criminal Justice and Behavior 46(10):1427-1444.