Projects

Shawn D. Bushway
Title: State-Mandated Criminal Background Employment Screening: A High Stakes Window into the Desistance Process

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently used “redemption” research to revise their guidance to employers on the use of criminal history records. This line of research aims to identify the risk posed by an individual with a criminal record as compared to that of an individual without a criminal record, and when, if ever, these risks are the same. The proper measurement of risk in this context has high stakes, both from the employer’s perspective (making well-informed hiring decisions) and for prospective employees (since employment could facilitate the desistance process). The implications for prospective employees are particularly relevant for minority applicants, who are disproportionately more likely to have criminal records than whites.

In this project, funded by the National Institute of Justice, we will explore how the NY Department of Health (DOH) makes decisions about the suitability of individuals with criminal history records for employment in the long term care industry. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) does lifetime, nationwide, criminal history record checks on the approximately 75,000 new applicants each year who are provisionally hired into this industry. The result is an unpre- cedented data set that will allow us to study desistance by looking at both past histories of offending and new arrests over the life-course for a large sample of job-seekers. Using this dataset, which will be augmented with rapsheet data from the FBI and the NY Department of Criminal Justice Services, we will provide guidance to employers on the best use of criminal history record information in employment decisions. Shawn Bushway (PI) and Megan
Kurlychek (Co-PI)

Dr. Bushway's additional research includes a recidivism project subcontracted with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) through the Bureau of Justice Statistics; he is also Co-Project Director on a National Institute of Justice funded award on Bargaining in the Shadow of Trail--Exploring the Reach of Evidence Oustide the Jury Box with Dr. Allison D. Redlich.

Dana C. Peterson, Heather Larkin, Julia Hastings, David E. Duffee
The Residential Education project is addressing measurable outcomes of efforts to return institutionalized youth for reintegration into family, school, and community.

Kathleen Maguire - Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
This project compiles and maintains the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics website, a data resource that makes available to the public criminal justice-related data covering dozens of  topics including police, corrections, courts, arrests, crime rates, public opinion on crime-related topics, and many others. The website serves a wide scope of users including academics, the media, researchers, libraries, college students, planners, and practitioners.

Cynthia J. Najdowski
This project, sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation, builds on prior research which has shown that innocent African American individuals are concerned about being perceived unfairly by police due to stereotypes that depict members of their racial group as criminals and, further, that stereotype threat causes Blacks to appear objectively more nervous than Whites during encounters with police-type figures. Because police believe that nervous behavior is a nonverbal cue to deception, stereotype threat could ironically increase the likelihood that individuals will be perceived by police as suspicious and lead police to initiate investigatory contacts with Blacks disproportionately more often than Whites. The proposed research will test this hypothesis by having actual police officers view videos of "targets" who will be either Black or White men who are experiencing either high or low stereotype threat in the context of a staged encounter with a security officer. After viewing the videos, police officers will report how suspicious they perceived each target to be, and then make judgments regarding whether they would suspect the target of criminal activity or initiate contact with him. The results will contribute to a growing body of work that implicates stereotype threat as a factor contributing to racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Allison D. Redlich
Dr. Redlich's projects include a National institute of Justice award on Bargaining in the Shadow of Trial-Exploring the Reach of Evidence Outside the Jury Box; a National Science Foundation award on Creating and Transferring Knowledge on Guyilty Pleas; and a Federal Bureau of Investigation subcontract through the University of Texas at El Paso on Survey on Interrogative Practices/Efficacy Involving Interrogators Across U.S. Military and Federal Agencies.

Terence P. Thornberry (University of Maryland, College Park), Marvin D. Krohn (University of Florida, Gainsville), and Alan J. Lizotte - Rochester Youth Development Study (RYDS)
A number of related projects focusing on intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior are based upon a Rochester, New York sample of adolescents.

Completed Hindelang Center Projects:
Descriptions of many additional completed research projects are listed at the above link.

David H. Bayley
Dr. Bayley's research is a grant with U.S. Institute of Peace on Official Inquiries into Police Corruption; he is also Co-Project Director on a University of Texas-El Paso subcontract through the Federal Bureau of Investigation entitled Survey on Interrogative Practices/Efficacy Involving Interrogators Across U.S. Military and Federal Agencies.

William J. Bowers, James R. Acker - Capital Jury Project and Capital Punishment Research Initiative (CPRI)
CPRI is dedicated to conducting and/or supporting empirical and historical study of issues involving the ultimate penal sanction, using the two primary components of research (including
the federally funded Capital Jury Project) and education.