A Job Well Done:
Criminal Justice Professor Completes U.N. Crime-Stopper Network

Graeme Newman

Graeme Newman of the School of Criminal Justice did his job of parenting a system that will facilitate access to crime and criminal justice information worldwide. Still, he said, it is not easy to see one's efforts leave the nest.

"We established a worldwide criminal justice information network a long time before the World Wide Web was even talked about," says Newman of the five-year project he conducted with graduate students. In the five years it has received more than $200,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Since 1990 Newman has spearheaded the justice school's effort to develop what it known as the United Nations Criminal Justice Information Network (UNCJIN). UNCJIN has now been moved to the U.N.'s Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice branch in Vienna, Austria.

"Frankly, even though it may be more strategically located at this time for the U.N.'s purposes, I'm sorry to see it go," said Newman. "We were still in the process of building it up."

UNCJIN was instigated by the Department of Justice under a United Nation's request for assistance to respond to a 1986 UN General Assembly resolution. That resolution recognized the need — among such member groups as criminologists, criminal justice professionals, government officials, researchers, police officers, judges, educators, and students — for quick and easy communication worldwide concerning crime and criminal justice.

"We started with only seven members four or five years ago, and now the network has blossomed to something quite huge — over 700 members on the Internet bulletin board from more than 40 countries, with access on a web site to 40 million people," said Newman.

His UNCJIN design consists of a discussion list where members can seek information on all aspects of crime and criminal justice from fellow practicioners, and a World Wide Web page that contains documents on UN member countries, international organizations, treaties, and various criminal justice topics of international concern.

The University has not lost complete connection with the project, however. One of Newman's former Ph.D. students, Adam Bouloukos, has received a position with the U.N.'s Vienna offices, specifically to maintain and enhance the network he had worked on at Albany.

"That of course is very satisfying," said Newman, who has been a member of the criminal justice school at Albany since 1972. He currently manages, along with two graduate students, an electronic publication, the Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture. It includes studies and refereed articles on crime and the criminal justice system as dealt with by movies and other pop culture, and has more than 900 subscribers on the Internet.

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