New York City, NY, United States

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
New York City, NY, United States

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a senior college of the City University of New York in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, and was founded as the only liberal arts college with a criminal justice and forensic focus in the United States. The college is known for its programs in criminal justice studies, forensic science, and forensic psychology programs. Wikipedia.

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Widom C.S.,John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Criminology | Year: 2014

There is an implicit assumption of homogeneity across violent behaviors and offenders in the criminology literature. Arguing against this assumption, I draw on three distinct literatures [child abuse and neglect (CAN) and violence, violence and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and CAN and PTSD] to provide a rationale for an examination of varieties of violent behaviors. I use data from my prospective cohort design study of the long-term consequences of CAN to define three varieties of violent offenders using age of documented cases of CAN, onset of PTSD, and first violent arrest in a temporally correct manner [CAN → to violence, CAN → PTSD → violence (PTSD first), and CAN → violence → PTSD (violence first)], and a fourth variety, violence only. The results illustrate meaningful heterogeneity in violent behavior and different developmental patterns and characteristics. There are three major implications: First, programs and policies that target violence need to recognize the heterogeneity and move away from a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Second, violence prevention policies and programs that target abused and neglected children are warranted, given the prominent role of CAN in the backgrounds of these violent offenders. Third, criminologists and others interested in violence need to attend to the role of PTSD, which is present in about one fifth (21 percent) of these violent offenders, and not relegate the study of these offenders to the psychiatric and psychological literatures. © 2014 American Society of Criminology.

Petrossian G.A.,John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a significant problem that affects the marine ecosystem and those who depend on it for survival. Research and theory in criminology can shed light on the problem and suggest policy instruments to reduce IUU fishing. Informed by rational choice theory and situational crime prevention framework, this study examines the relationship between local situational factors and illegal fishing in 53 countries. Results suggest that a country's risk of illegal fishing is positively related to the number of commercially significant species found within its territorial waters and its proximity to known ports of convenience. Countries that exercise effective fisheries management and have strong patrol surveillance capacity experience less illegal fishing activity within their territorial waters. The presence of legally fishing vessels does not deter illegal fishing activity. These findings demonstrate the utility of thinking about illegal fishing through the lens of criminology, which is equipped with practical tools to address the problem. Findings suggest a dialogue between criminologists and conservationists to work together to address similar problems affecting the environment. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Corthals A.P.,John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Quarterly Review of Biology | Year: 2011

Multiple sclerosis is a complex neurodegenerative disease, thought to arise through autoimmunity against antigens of the central nervous system. The autoimmunity hypothesis fails to explain why genetic and environmental risk factors linked to the disease in one population tend to be unimportant in other populations. Despite great advances in documenting the cell and molecular mechanisms underlying MS pathophysiology, the autoimmunity framework has also been unable to develop a comprehensive explanation of the etiology of the disease. I propose a new framework for understanding MS as a dysfunction of the metabolism of lipids. Specifically, the homeostasis of lipid metabolism collapses during acute-phase inflammatory response triggered by a pathogen, trauma, or stress, starting a feedback loop of increased oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and proliferation of cytoxic foam cells that cross the blood brain barrier and both catabolize myelin and prevent remyelination. Understanding MS as a chronic metabolic disorder illuminates four aspects of disease onset and progression: 1) its pathophysiology; 2) genetic susceptibility; 3) environmental and pathogen triggers; and 4) the skewed sex ratio of patients. It also suggests new avenues for treatment. © 2011 by The University of Chicago Press.

Nadal K.L.,John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Journal of Counseling Psychology | Year: 2011

Racial microaggressions are subtle statements and behaviors that unconsciously communicate denigrating messages to people of color. In recent years, a theoretical taxonomy and subsequent qualitative studies have introduced the types of microaggressions that people of color experience. In the present study, college- and Internet-based samples of African Americans, Latina/os, Asian Americans, and multiracial participants (N = 661) were used to develop and validate the Racial and Ethnic Microaggression Scale (REMS). In Study 1, an exploratory principal-components analyses (n = 443) yielded a 6-factor model: (a) Assumptions of Inferiority, (b) Second-Class Citizen and Assumptions of Criminality, (c) Microinvalidations, (d) Exoticization/Assumptions of Similarity, (e) Environmental Microaggressions, and (f) Workplace and School Microaggressions, with a Cronbach's alpha of .912 for the overall model and subscales ranging from .783 to .873. In Study 2, a confirmatory factor analysis (n = 218) supported the 6-factor model with a Cronbach's alpha of .892. Further analyses indicate that the REMS is a valid measure of racial microaggressions, as evidenced by high correlations with existing measures of racism and participants' feedback. Future research directions and implications for practice are discussed. © 2011 American Psychological Association.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 142.89K | Year: 2014

Juries are the bedrock of the American judicial system. Six or twelve people join together in a collaborative effort to arrive at a verdict. During deliberation, jurors must not only come to a verdict based on the evidence presented during the trial, but they must also remember the evidence. To a large extent, jurors must rely on their own memory. Here, the assumption of the Courts is that the collective memory of a jury is likely to lead to a better, more complete recollection than any individual effort. The difficulty with this position is that there is burgeoning psychological evidence indicating that groups often remember less than the sum of what individuals are capable of remembering. Moreover, extant research demonstrates that what one person says in a conversation can alter the memory of other participants - by imposing misleading information or inducing forgetting, for example. Although both types of conversational effects can affect subsequent decision-making, it is possible that, even more critically, both types can be mitigated in certain circumstances. To this end, the present research explores the way jury deliberation might reshape the memories jurors have of the evidence presented during the trial, the effect any change in memory might have on the verdict of the jury, and the means of mitigating these deliberation effects.

The research involves seven experiments employing a mock jury methodology. They will examine whether (1) research concerning collaborative remembering applies to jury deliberations; (2) the emergent consensus story of a jury reflects the conversational dynamics consistent with what is known about conversational remembering; (3) the verdict of a jury can be traced to these conversational influences on memory; (4) the conversational influences on memory are a function of the composition of the jury; and (5) ways exist to mitigate these potentially negative conversational effects through instruction or use of mnemonic technology.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: EARS | Award Amount: 499.99K | Year: 2014

The scientists identify fair resource sharing methods as a critical concern in the design of smart radio networks. The researchers note that fair sharing of resources is of fundamental importance in human communities, and propose to apply social network methods to the design of dynamic spectrum access systems. By applying the experience from a mature field, they plan to solve some of the more complex issues related to spectrum sharing in a constantly changing technical environment.

In drawing the connection from the problem of resource-sharing in Cognitive Radio (CR), to models of solutions found within human/animal societies, the proposed research evaluates the extent to which our models of patterns of co-use in biological systems can be profitably leveraged within the context of distributed uncoordinated CR societies to enable individuals and groups to maximize their utility. Of particular relevance to this endeavor is recent ethnographic research on foraging networks of indigenous peoples and human foragers, which has found social relations to be a critical context in which natural selection acts on resource use and co-use behaviors. These findings concerning human behavior lie at the forefront of anthropology, revealing the tensions between sharing networks and optimal strategies and altering our understanding of past human social evolution, and by extension, our vision of the future evolution of artificial CR societies.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: DATANET | Award Amount: 249.78K | Year: 2013

Social networks--that is, collections of individuals linked by inter-relationships--are by now well-known important factors in understanding social and behavioral phenomena. Missing from prior considerations is the fact that these relationships represent sequences of dynamic short-term interactions, where each interaction reflects the concerns of a particular environment. Present survey-based research methods are not able to capture accurate, detailed data on interactions within social networks over long timescales, and yet, such data would likely lead to significant new insights into the contextualized behavior of individuals, the way in which communities emerge, and the flow of information/transformation within human societies.

This project brings together a multi-disciplinary team from sociology, anthropology, criminology, psychology, public health, and education, to identify critical research problems whose resolution would be advanced by the availability of dynamic interaction data. The research requirements of these diverse disciplines will be synthesized by computer scientists, leading to the design of a new cellphone-based system which will be capable of revealing the form and evolution of dynamic interaction networks in a privacy-preserving manner. To evaluate the design, a small-scale prototype will be developed, and applied in a case study exploring the impact of dynamic student interactions on individual academic performance. Potential future iterations of this tool will ensure the confirmed willing participation of study participants by the inclusion of a component requirement to opt in in order to take part in the automated data-collection process.

By leveraging recent advances in proximity-based network technology and data science to yield the design of a general-purpose cellphone-based system that can provide much-needed access to dynamic interaction network data, this project furthers a deeper understanding of human societies by enhancing long-term research capabilities across a range of social, behavioral and economic sciences. The case study will validate the system design, while also providing new insights on patterns of interaction in social networks, and their potential impact on student achievement.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: I-Corps | Award Amount: 50.00K | Year: 2014

The main motivation and goal for the proposed research project is to provide new techniques that assist law enforcement address the rise in crimes involving mobile devices, particularly tackle the difficulty of tracking down a mobile device in a loosely controlled wireless environment. Previous research results have demonstrated good outcomes. With the support of I-Corps funding, the team believes that the proposed system will be examined and integrated by a large body of related government agencies, industrial institutions, and digital forensics companies, thereby having a great impact on improving public safety in general.

The goal of this project is to establish an infrastructure-free security monitoring and tracking system for wireless targets ( iSMoWT) that focuses on identifying the location of a target mobile device with pieces of information gathered by collaborative wireless monitoring devices in a WiFi network. The iSMoWT system differs from other existing mobile device localization systems in that iSMoWT provides a way to track a target mobile device rather than perform self-localization based on the GPS and location sensors built in a device itself. Further, iSMoWT does not rely on the data gathered at pre-deployed wireless infrastructure nodes such as WiFi Access Points and the Base-stations of cellphone carriers. In this I-Corps project, the team is also interested in exploring other potential application fields for iSMoWT, such as health care systems and wireless network performance management systems.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 348.75K | Year: 2014

This research addresses questions about racial and ethnic prejudice in criminal trials. Reviews of convictions and sentencing in actual cases, and findings from trial simulation experiments, provide evidence of discrimination against minorities. National polls and media stories reveal that prejudice remains prevalent in America. But research has provided little insight into how prejudice operates in the courtroom and has not identified critical factors that increase or decrease discrimination. Through a series of experiments involving trial simulations, the project seeks better theoretical understanding of how and when a defendants race/ethnicity influences jury decisions. It also aims to identify interventions that lessen courtroom bias, thereby providing policy and practice suggestions to the legal community. These are important undertakings in a diverse society that seeks equal justice for all.

Eight trial simulation experiments will be conducted in which Black, Hispanic, and White jury-eligible citizens serve as mock-jurors. They will provide verdict preferences and other impressions after reviewing a trial in which the defendant is a member of either their racial/ethnic group (an ingroup defendant) or one of the other groups (an outgroup defendant). In some experiments, mock-jurors will also deliberate. Social-psychological theory guides the research and offers a framework for integrating diverse findings from sociology, criminal justice, criminology, and psychology. Based on social-psychological theory, a sense of threat -- to social identity, cultural worldview, or security -- should increase discrimination in the form of greater perceived guilt and convictions of outgroup defendants. Prejudice is understood to exist at an unconscious or implicit level, even among many who consciously reject prejudice. To assess the impact of these factors, some experiments examine whether discrimination increases when participant-jurors experience these threats through information encountered prior to the trial. Additional experiments focus on ways to reduce discrimination, including judges instructions to guard against prejudice and the opportunity to deliberate. Results will inform decision making in the criminal justice system.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 632.17K | Year: 2014

The John Jay Forensic Science and Computer Science Scholarship supports academically talented students with demonstrated financial need in attaining baccalaureate degrees in Forensic Science and Computer Science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice within the City University of New York (CUNY). The project features culturally sensitive recruiting within diverse student audiences at CUNY and at New York City public schools, and builds on a prior successful S-STEM award during which retention rates have steadily risen. Cohort-building and academic-support activities for scholars include faculty and peer mentoring, opportunities to participate in undergraduate research, and a variety of social and community activities to increase both academic and social engagement. The intellectual merit of the project lies in its thorough and nuanced approach to support student recruitment and success by supplementing financial support with practices grounded in the literature on retention and engagement, particularly for students from groups underrepresented in STEM. The broader impacts include expanding and diversifying the local and regional workforce in high-needs areas of forensic and computer science, as well as providing a model approach for supporting diverse, academically talented students in these fields.

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