Areas of Research and Projects

Research Temple’s Department of Criminal Justice consists of an eclectic body of scholars committed to deepening our understanding of crime, governance and social justice. We emphasize inter-disciplinary and multi-method inquiries that make a difference to policy and practice. We pursue cutting-edge research and innovation that draws from and extends many strands of social science, including criminology and criminal justice, geography, history, experimental psychology, social psychology, social work, sociology, and social ecology. We explore critical issues in Philadelphia and across the United States in the context of global developments and concerns.

Our following areas of research and projects are as follows:

  • Rehabilitation and Behavior Change Department faculty has expertise in the area of rehabilitation and behavior change pertaining to high risk and criminal behaviors that include criminal and violent offending and recidivism, delinquency, substance use and HIV risk behaviors.

  • Systems of Criminal Justice, Law, and Procedural Justice Faculty research has focused on efforts to analyze key developments and contribute to theory related to the operation of systems of criminal justice, the interlocking nature of such systems, as well as aspects of law and case processing and the strengthening of judicial processes.

  • Intersection of Public Health, Crime and Justice Faculty conducting research in this area recognize that many of the determinants of health are more or less the same as the determinants of criminal justice system involvement, and furthermore, crime and reactions to it and criminal justice system involvement negatively impact the overall health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Faculty research includes projects that seek to develop, generate, and analyze reliable data that can provide a rigorous understanding of risk factors across multiple domains, as well as projects that evaluate collaborative multi-system prevention programs beyond the sole realm of the police and the criminal justice system. Many of these programs focus on changing environments and norms within communities.

  • Geography of Crime and Justice Faculty has published extensively in the area of the geography of crime and justice and has developed methodological techniques that have become widely used in the field. Faculty have examined the intersection of the location of crimes and the location of criminals, taking into account aspects of the immediate geographic area such as the street segment or block, as well as the physical and social aspects of the neighborhood.

  • Policing, Security and Crime Prevention The department has had particular strengths in research dealing with local policing, police organization, evidence-based policing and aspects of police-community relations.

  • Youth Crime, Delinquency Prevention and Juvenile Justice The faculty has expertise in a variety of theoretical and policy-relevant aspects of youth crime, delinquency prevention and juvenile justice.

  • Criminal Behavior and Community Crime Rates (traditional criminology/nature of crime, types of crime, cybercrime, terrorism) A range of faculty has published theoretically driven works in the area of traditional criminology, and more recently in the area of cybercrime and terrorism. This is an area of critical need currently.

  • Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation Department faculty has an active, ongoing record of involvement with public officials and justice agencies and programs locally and nationally, applying research to enhance knowledge andtheoretical understanding of policies adopted or proposed and their impact on systems. This area also includes work on organizational change and implementation science.


The College of Liberal Arts 2018-19 Community Engagement Efforts


Chicago Police Department
Analyzes data from investigatory stop reports generated by the Chicago Police Department, along with census and crime data, to monitor police department investigatory stops. They write reports that become part of the input considered by Judge Keys when he writes his reports. Of particular interest are questions of racial or ethnic disparities. The results of these reports are shared not only with Judge Keys, but also with other stake-holders including the Department of Law of the City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department and ACLU-Illinois.

The mutual benefit is to provide an evidence-based assessment of current police department investigatory stop practices.

Community-Oriented Policing and Problem-Solving
Policing expertise is put to use to assist the Philadelphia Police in solving community-based problems to enhance the quality of life within the 3rd Police District and the Police Services Area.

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services, Network of Neighbors Outcome Work
Temple University and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services have been working together for two years to develop and implement an outcomes program to evaluate current practices and protocols surrounding responses to community violence, as part of a system-wide collaborative effort to create a trauma-informed network of providers and first responders across the city of Philadelphia. Temple University Department of Criminal Justice researchers are working to launch two surveys as part of a wider data-collection effort, with the goal of implementing a comprehensive outcomes collection program to understand gaps and duplication in services and address inefficiencies in current, non-synchronized violence response protocol.

Emerging Adult Justice Learning Community (EAJLC)
EAJLC is a carefully organized collaborative learning environment that brings together researchers, practitioners, policymakers and advocates twice a year over a three-year period to create more developmentally appropriate, effective and fairer criminal justice responses for youths ages 18–25. Participants of the Learning Community are all engaged in some aspect of this work in their professional pursuits.

Despite the fact that emerging adults have some of the worst criminal justice outcomes in our justice system, little attention has been paid to the research that would support new and improved justice system responses. The Learning Community’s goals are to provide researchers and policymakers access to one another in order to increase learning, practice and policy innovations by translating academic research into effective policies and developing opportunities to research burgeoning practices that contribute to a more equitable treatment of this population.

HACE Livability Academy
This a mutually beneficial opportunity where Temple students gain a hands-on learning experience about community organizing and community-driven efforts to address quality-of-life issues and crime. Students who participate will also use their participation in the Academy as the basis for their final paper. Participating students will complete a project and engage in real-life issues to compare to classroom discussions and assigned readings. This project will develop networks between Temple and the community.

Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
Inside-Out provides undergraduate students the opportunity to study together and work on collaborative projects with men and women who are incarcerated over the course of a semester. The class is dialogue-based, held inside prison, offering both inside and outside students the chance to delve into and explore topics related to social justice in an in-depth manner.

Inside-Out classes are college courses in disciplines that span the social sciences, the arts and humanities, social work, and the law. The entire process is one of mutual benefit to all involved—it is not a situation where the outside students are doing work for or studying those on the inside. The particular activities are focused on large group and small group discussions and projects that fully engage and benefit the learning of everyone involved. College-level courses are provided to men and women incarcerated in area prisons and jails, and stereotypes are challenged.

Performance Measurement and Outcome Support for the Philadelphia CARES Strategy
The project develops and monitors performance measures and conducts an objective implementation evaluation of the Philadelphia CARES strategy. The CARES strategy is designed to provide co-victims of homicide with trauma-informed support from the moment the homicide occurs and for 45 days afterward. The strategy is an innovative project that will fill gaps in trauma-informed victim services for Philadelphia as well as help reduce the likelihood of retaliation. Through the monitoring of performance measures and other data collection activities designed to more specifically examine program processes, an implementation evaluation allows for regular feedback to the program agency that can be used to continually improve program operations to help ensure program goals are met. The work is of mutual benefit to researcher and community in that performance monitoring and implementation evaluation are essential to understanding whether and how stated programs’ goals are being met, which, for this project, will ultimately benefit the victim population and the providers of victim services.

Implementation evaluations can help program staff make better management decisions, support new or innovative or evidence-based approaches and emerging practices, continuously improve existing activities, and in turn, improve the well-being of individuals and communities. For the CARES project, the implementation evaluation will be able to reflect on all activities, short-term successes and any challenges encountered providing the program staff with real-time opportunities to innovate and/or overcome challenges. The implementation evaluation may also assist the victim population through sharing the results with victim service administrators at the state and regional level.

Prisoner Reentry Coalition (PRC) Stakeholder Survey
The PRC developed and administered a Qualtrics survey to understand more about PRC members and reentry services in Philadelphia. The survey is designed to align with PRC goals, which include using data to strategize about how to improve reentry for returning citizens and improve the health of the community. The scope includes development, administration, data analysis and reporting. The survey allows us to better understand organizational needs and available resources and to track the collaborative impact. Gaining detailed information about existing services is a critical step in understanding combined strengths and weaknesses, identifying underutilized resources and analyzing gaps. By creating a more complete picture of reentry services across Philadelphia, the information from the provider survey will enable the Reentry Coalition to support challenged agencies, mobilize around priority areas and work collectively to more effectively provide resources that truly meet the needs identified by returning citizens.

Reducing Gaps in Services for Victims of Street Crime
A collaboration to understand how victims of violent street crimes fall through the cracks of the victim services system. One hundreds victims of street crimes are being interviewed while focus groups with victim service agency leads and first responders are being coordinated and practice briefs to share with community practitioners and city agencies working to improve victim services in the City of Philadelphia are being developed. The project includes a variety of research tasks but will yield two community-focused practice briefs and a number of presentations to victim services agencies and associations around the city and state. This will result in a thorough understanding of gaps in services for this vulnerable population, a set of recommendations to improve police and hospital response after street victimization and a set of recommendations for victim services agencies at local and state level.


Center for Security and Crime Science

CSCS The Center for Security and Crime Science (housed in the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University) is the first center in the United States devoted to Crime Science. In the 21st Century, thinking about crime has expanded in scope to move beyond domestic concerns and security has become more broadly construed as dealing with issues of public safety and social harm. Crime is now the business of private as well as public agencies, formal as well as informal entities, all seeking to address multiple levels of security concerns.

The following list contains the centers’ full projects, research and results: