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Crime, Justice and Death

Criminal Justice Dean Pridemore has organized and will chair, once again, an important panel at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 6, 2017) — Crime, justice, and premature mortality — areas acknowledged to be in acute need of improved policies based on scientific evidence.

That is why the premier general scientific professional association in the U.S. will devote a key panel organized and chaired by William Alex Pridemore, dean of the School of Criminal Justice, to these subjects and their interrelationships at the Feb. 16-20 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Pridemore will also moderate and be one of three presenters for the panel “Crime, Justice, and Death” on Feb. 18 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Mass. The conference’s overall theme is Serving Society Through Science Policy, dealing with both how to advance scientific methods and mechanisms to elevate society and how to best provide this scientific evidence to policymakers, community leaders and citizens to effect policy change.

AAAS has chosen the panel to be among a select few in the meeting to be livestreamed.

“This is a prestigious and highly selective scientific venue and our panel has excellent scholars showcasing their latest research,” said Pridemore, who has served as the American Society of Criminology’s liaison to AAAS for the past eight years. “There is often substantial overlap and sometimes relationships between crime, justice, and health outcomes. These presentations highlight this and provide insight into how we might reduce harm to individuals and to the public.”

Pridemore will present “A Case-Control Study of the Impact of Recent Victimization on Premature Mortality,” published in the journal Aggressive Behavior, on which he is the lead researcher. It examines the risk of male premature mortality, especially from homicide, associated with recent criminal victimization.

“There are two key reasons an initial criminal victimization might be related to a subsequent victimization,” he said. “The first is simply that certain people are more likely to possess characteristics that put them at higher risk of victimization. The second is that the first victimization somehow partially causes the second victimization. Our results are not definitive, but they do suggest the second explanation, where the first victimization is somehow causally related to the second.”

Pridemore and his team found that, after controlling for indicators of risk heterogeneity, men who had been victims of violence — but not property or residential crime — within a past year were over three times more likely to become homicide victim than those who hadn’t been prior violence victims.

The presenters who will join the dean on Feb 18 are:

  • Linda Teplin of Northwestern University, addressing Death in Delinquents: A 16-Year Prospective Study of Risk of Premature Mortality, and
  • Heather Harris of University of California, Berkeley, on Health and Racial Disparities During the Transition to Adulthood After Incarceration.

Interdisciplinary and inclusive, the annual meeting of AAAS attracts thousands of leading scientists, engineers, educators, policymakers, and journalists. AAAS, the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, represents more than 120,000 individual and institutional members in more than 90 countries and publishes the well-known scientific journal Science.

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