Faculty / Caterina Roman

Caterina Roman joined the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University in Fall 2008 after two decades with The Urban Institute, a leading non-partisan think tank in Washington, DC. Dr. Roman’s research interests include prisoner reentry; gang violence; the role of community organizations and institutions and other aspects of social capital in crime prevention and neighborhood well being; and the spatial and temporal relationship between neighborhood characteristics and violence. Her interest in communities, social capital and violence recently has extended into the area of active living research—a portfolio of research examining how environments and policies impact physical activity, especially among ethnic minorities and children living in low-income communities. In this vein, her multi-level ecological examination of the impact of crime and disorder on fear of walking was published in 2008 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (34(4):306-312), and her more recent work examining the pathways among perceptions of violence and disorder, fear, physical activity, health and obesity will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Public Health Policy.

Dr. Roman’s research on prisoner reentry includes studies evaluating housing models that support the community reintegration of individuals leaving jails and prisons. She has recently begun an NIJ-sponsored evaluation that employs a randomized design to test the hypothesis that homeless frequent users of jail with serious mental illness who are provided permanent supportive housing will be less likely to recidivate and use homeless shelters than a control group of jail releasees. Her work in the area of housing also includes an evaluation of the faith-based Ridge House residential program in Nevada, and a project focused on implementing and evaluating an innovative family-based case management program for disadvantaged families living in public housing in Chicago.

In the area of gangs, Dr. Roman is currently leading a study to understand the composition of Latino youth friendship and peer networks to derive the structural properties that influence the commission of crime. Through social network data collection and analysis, the OJJDP-sponsored study will elicit information on both individual and group dynamics that contribute to criminal behavior and group-related activity among Latino youth and young adults.

Dr. Roman has published numerous articles, book chapters, and op eds, and is the author of two books: “Schools, Neighborhoods, and Violence: Crime within the Daily Routines of Youth” (2004) and “Illicit Drug Policies, Trafficking, and Use the World Over” (2005). She holds a Ph.D. in Justice, Law and Society, from American University.

Faculty books, chapters and journal articles since 2005:



Pollack, K., Rossen, L., Roman, C., Whitt-Glover, M., & Leviton, L. 2013 (In Press). “The Role of Public Safety for Obesity Interventions within African American Communities.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.


Roman, C.G., Stodolska, M. Yahner, J., & Shinew, K.J. 2013. “Pathways to Outdoor Recreation, Physical Activity and Delinquency among Urban Latino Adolescents.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine. DOI 10.1007/s12160-012-9418-x.


Stodolska, Monika, Kimberly Shinew, Juan Carlos Acevedo and Caterina G. Roman. 2013. “I Was Born in the Hood: Fear of Crime, Outdoor Recreation and Physical Activity among Mexican American Urban Adolescents.” Leisure Sciences, 35:1-15.



Lachman, P., Caterina G. Roman and Meagan Cahill. 2012. “Assessing Youth Motivations for Joining a Peer Group as Risk Factors for Delinquent and Gang Behavior.” Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice. DOI: 10.1177/1541204012461510.


Frank C. Curriero, Nathan James, Tim Shields, Caterina G. Roman, Debra Furr-Holden and Michelle Cooley-Strickland, Keshia M. Pollack,. 2012 (In Press). “Exploring Walking Path Quality as a Factor for Urban Elementary School Children's Active Transport to School.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health. PMID:22820016.

Roman, Caterina G. and Shannon Reid. 2012 (October). “Assessing the Relationship between Alcohol Outlets and Domestic Violence: Routine Activities and the Neighborhood Environment.” Violence and Victims, 27(5): 811-828.


Roman, Caterina G., Jocelyn Fontaine, John Fallon, Jacquelyn Anderson and Corinne Rearer. 2012 (September). “Defending and Managing the Pipeline: Lessons for Running a Randomized Experiment in a Correctional Institution.” Journal of Experimental Criminology, 8(3):307-329.


Roman, Caterina G. and Jocelyn Fontaine. (2011). "Collaborative solutions for reentry housing." In R. Immarigeon and L. Fehr (Eds.) Pathways for Prisoner Reentry. American Correctional Association Press.


Roman, John, Jeffrey Butts and Caterina G. Roman. 2011. Evaluating systems change in a juvenile justice reform initiative. Children and Youth Services Review, 33: S41-S53.


Roman, C.,  Knight, C, Chalfin, A., Popkin. S. The relation of the perceived environment to fear, physical activity, and health in public housing developments: Evidence from Chicago. Journal of Public Health Policy.

Butts, J.A. and Roman, Caterina. A community youth development approach to gang control programs. In: Youth Gangs and Community Intervention: Research, Practice, and Evidence, edited by Robert Chaskin. New York: Columbia University Press.


Metraux, S. Roman, C. and Cho, R. “Incarceration and homelessness,” in Deborah Dennis, Gretchen Locke & Jill Khadduri, eds., Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Washington DC: US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Click here for full text.

Roman, C and Chalfin, A. Fear of walking outdoors: A multilevel ecologic analysis of crime and disorder.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 34(4):306-312.


Cahill, M. and Roman, C. GIS and mapping at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center. Cartography and Geographic Information Science. 34(2): 159-160.

Roman, C., Wolff, A., Correa, V. and Buck, J. Assessing intermediate outcomes of a faith-based residential prisoner reentry program. Research on Social Work Practice, 17: 199-215.


Roman, C., and Travis, J. Where will I sleep tomorrow: Housing, homelessness and the returning prisoner. Housing Policy Debate, 17(2): 389-418.

Mears, D., Roman, C. Buck, J, and Wolff, A. Faith-based efforts To improve prisoner reentry: Assessing the logic and evidence. Journal of Criminal Justice, 34(4).


Roman, C., Ahn-Redding, H., Simon, RJ. Global perspectives on social issues: Illicit drug policies, trafficking, and use the world over. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Roman, C. “The routine activities of youth and neighborhood violence: Spatial modeling of place, time and crime. In Fahui Wang (Ed.), Geographic Information Systems and Crime Analysis. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing.