Criminology & Criminal Justice Research

In addition to our teaching commitments and university service, faculty members in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice (CCJ) conduct and disseminate research on theoretical and policy-relevant topics through the Criminal Justice Policy and Research Institute (CJPRI). This includes collaborating with a wide variety of justice-related organizations to assess, evaluate, and improve their operating policies and practices. Through these efforts we seek to promote effectiveness, efficiency, and equity in local, national, and international crime control efforts.

The research and consulting activities of our faculty also benefit CCJ students. Graduate students in our Masters of Science degree program, as well as some advanced undergraduate students, participate in designing studies, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting the results. Faculty members also share their research findings in classes—helping students to see the important connection between academic scholarship and applied practice in the criminal justice field.

Latest Research


Dr. Ryan Labrecque did a presentation entitled "Security Threat Management Re-Alignment Initiative" at the Oregon Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General Annual CORE Retreat and Training in Woodburn, OR.

August 2018


Dr. Joel Garner, CJPRI Senior Research Fellow, co-wrote a journal article with with Ronald Malega (Missouri State University) entitled "Sworn Volunteers in American Policing, 1999 - 2013" published in the journal Police Quarterly.

July 31, 2018

This study describes changes in the use of sworn volunteers among the nation’s local law enforcement agencies and identifies those state-level certification, community, and agency characteristics associated with agencies using such volunteers in 2013. Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics data from 1999 through 2013 were analyzed to document trends in both the number of sworn volunteers and the prevalence of agencies using sworn volunteers. While there has been a modest decline in the use of sworn volunteers since 1999, in 2013, about 36% of all local law enforcement agencies used sworn volunteers; furthermore, these volunteers comprised 7% of all local sworn personnel having arrest authority nationwide in 2013. A survey of peace officer standards and training agencies found that approximately two thirds of states required state-level certification of sworn volunteers. Multivariate analyses of state-level certification standards, census data, and agency characteristics found that agencies were more likely to use sworn volunteers if they (a) are a sheriff’s office, (b) serve jurisdictions with larger populations, (c) have greater levels of social disadvantage, (d) do not require recruits to have more than a high school education, or (e) are located within states offering graduated levels of sworn volunteer certifications. Agencies were less likely to use volunteer officers if they (a) hire part-time sworn officers, (b) have a greater entry-level salary, or (c) are accredited.


Dr. Kris Henning gave an invited presentation at the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys' Safety & Justice Challenge Leadership Institute in Portland, OR.

June 18, 2018

The presentation detailed how actuarial risk assessment scales are created and used in a variety of criminal justice settings.


Dr. Mauri Matsuda did a poster presentation with Karen Chan Osilla and David Kennedy (both at RAND Corporation) at the Research Society on Alcoholism conference in San Diego, CA.

June 18, 2018

This poster presented initial results from a research study examining the social network characteristics of a subsample of participants in Project Rethinking Avenues for Change (REACH), a study comparing effects of cognitive behavioral therapy with usual care for individuals convicted of a first-time DUI and screened for alcohol use disorders. The main objectives of this study were to describe the overall social network characteristics of the sample at baseline, assess whether social network characteristics differ by participant gender, age, and race/ethnicity, and to examine whether social network characteristics change between baseline and follow-up.


Greg Stewart (Portland Police Bureau; CCJ adjunct faculty) helped organize and run the second annual American Society of Evidence-Based Policing Conference, held at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

May 2018


Dr. Kelsey Henderson’s article entitled “Investigating Predictors of True and False Guilty Pleas”, co-authored with Dr. Lora Levett (University of Florida), has been accepted for publication by the journal Law and Human Behavior.

June 6, 2018

Attorney recommendations affected innocent and guilty individuals’ plea decisions, however the effect was stronger for innocent individuals. Main findings indicate that innocent individuals were less likely to falsely plead guilty if the advocate recommended to go to trial compared to if the advocate made other recommendations (recommended accepting the guilty plea; gave neutral, educational information) or was absent.


Dr. Mark Leymon was part of a team that was awarded the 2018 Bruce Baer Award for their series entitled, “Unequal Justice”. The Bruce Baer Award, now in its 41th year, is Oregon's most prestigious prize for investigative reporting (http://journalism.uoregon.edu/brucebaer/).

June 2018

The investigative series documented and analyzed racial and ethnic disparities in justice outcomes in Oregon. The series assessed 8.4 million court records from 2005 to 2015. The findings show people of color remain unfairly treated in the criminal justice system. This series introduces the statistics that define the problem, examines life inside those numbers, and explores the policies and practices that perpetuate them. Unequal Justice is a joint project of InvestigateWest and the Pamplin Media Group, made possible in part by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism. The journalists included Lee Van Der Voo, Nick Budnick, and Kate Wilson. Professor Mark Leymon (Harmon) from the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Portland State University provided statistical review and analysis. The series produced over 30 separate news articles investigating multiple areas of the justice system. The articles can be found at http://www.invw.org/series/unequal-justice/. The Bruce Baer Award has been presented annually and honors the late Bruce Baer, a political reporter for the Portland Reporter and worked for 13 years with Portland’s KATU (2). The award focuses on in-depth coverage of Oregon politics and public affairs. Articles are judged on the quality of investigative reporting of political and public affairs topics related to Oregon, the effort and enterprise of the nominee, and the courage reflected in the work.


Dr. Mauri Matsuda received the PSU Faculty Enhancement Grant for her project “An exploration of correlates and trajectories of delinquency involvement and justice-system contact among sexual minority youth”.

May, 2018

The goal of this project is to examine trajectories of delinquency involvement and justice system contact experienced by sexual minority youth, as well as risk and protective factors that are associated with these outcomes, using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.


Dr. Kris Henning gave a community presentation to the Portland Pearl Rotary Club entitled "Crime in Portland: Patterns, trends, and community perceptions."

May 18, 2018


Dr. Kris Henning took part in a discussion panel on gun violence and gun control at The Northwest Academy, a high school in Portland, Oregon.

April, 2018


Dr. Christopher Carey gave a presentation for the Multnomah County Sex Trafficking Network entitled "The Intersections between Foster Care and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children".

April, 2018


Dr. Christopher Campbell gave an invited presentation on the importance of client satisfaction and procedural justice at the Mississippi Spring Public Defenders Seminar in Biloxi, MS.

April 26, 2018

This presentation emphasized the importance and utility of client-centered representation for public defenders. Specifically, I discussed how focusing on the client can increase perceptions of procedural justice, strengthen the legitimacy of public defenders and the system, as well as improve the quality of representation provided to indigent clients. The presentation had two parts - one focusing on adult criminal defense, and the other focusing on juveniles.


Dr. Christopher Carey testified in front of the Oregon Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding sex trafficking in Oregon.

April, 2018


Kelli Russell, Criminology and Criminal Justice adjunct instructor and graduate of the CCJ Masters degree program, received the Randy Nunnecamp Award from the Child Abuse and Family Violence Summit.

April 19, 2018

This award recognizes those who go above and beyond in the fight against family violence and child abuse. Kelli is the Operations Manager for Safety Compass, a culturally specific, community-based, confidential advocacy agency serving Marion and Clackamas Counties that offers support for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex-trafficking.


Dr. Ryan Labrecque wrote an article for the The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) United States Politics and Policy (USAPP) Blog entitled "How a new inmate triage system could reduce the use of solitary confinement and improve prison safety"

April 17, 2018

Across the political spectrum in the United States, there are growing concerns regarding the effectiveness and utility of solitary confinement – a practice also referred to as restrictive housing. However, for a country that has grown reliant on the use of solitary confinement in its prisons, there are still more questions than answers about how to reduce its use while also ensuring institutional safety and security. Ryan M. Labrecque created a new tool for use by corrections staff to triage inmates by risk. He argues that this tool can be effective in reducing the use of restrictive housing and increasing prison safety by proactively targeting high-risk inmates for treatment services upon their entry into the prison system.

Read the full article here.


Dr. Ryan Labrecque was interviewed for an Associated Press article entitled "Inmate death shines light on cellmate pairings at US prisons". 

March 15, 2018


Dr. Kelsey Henderson and Lora M. Levett (Univ. of Florida gave a presentation at the American Psychology-Law Society (APLS) annual conference in Memphis, TN entitled "Evaluating the Totality of Confession Evidence."

March 8, 2018

The authors examined if jurors were sensitive to the source (i.e., interrogation or suspect) and consistency of information in evaluating confession evidence. Confession evidence is a product of the interrogation; the accuracy of a confession partially depends on the interrogation methods used and the content of that confession. Research suggests confronting suspects up-front with evidence (a common interrogation tactic) gives suspects knowledge of non-public details, increasing the likelihood of a false confession (Gudjonsson & Pearse, 2011; Leo, 2009). By sharing information during the interrogation, it's possible to taint a suspect's confession, making it harder to judge as more or less accurate. Overall, results suggest jurors weigh a confession that is consistent with crime details more heavily than a confession that is inconsistent with crime details when rendering a verdict. However, the type of interrogation method used (i.e., best practices versus traditional practices) did not influence juror decisions.


Dr. Ryan Labrecque published a journal article entitled "Taking Stock: A Meta-Analysis of the Predictors of Restrictive Housing" in the Victims & Offenders, An International Journal of Evidence-based Research, Policy, and Practice.

March 2018

Two competing views on the use of restrictive housing have emerged in the literature. The first position has argued that restrictive housing helps make correctional institutions safer and more secure environments, largely by incapacitating violent and dangerous inmates. In contrast, a second perspective has maintained that restrictive housing not only causes serious psychological damage and increases criminal coping, but also that it has served as a mechanism for officials to punish certain groups of inmates unfairly. This study tests these competing hypotheses by meta-analyzing the literature on the predictors of placement in restrictive housing. The results of this investigation provide support for both perspectives. The implications of the study's findings are discussed.


Dr. Mark Leymon (publishes under Harmon) testified at an informational hearing at the Oregon Senate Committee on the Judiciary about the impacts of Measure 11 on youth.

March 2, 2018

Between 1995 and 2012 nearly 4000 Oregon 15, 16, and 17-year-olds were referred to adult court under Measure 11. According to Pew Charitable Trust Oregon has the second highest rate of youth transferred to adult court after Florida. Though youth of color and white youth received about the same average sentence, youth of color are significantly more likely to receive a measure 11 referral. Black youth make up about 16% of all measure 11 referrals, yet account for only about 2% of the total population of Oregon. Across all 21 measure 11 offenses, black youth were 13.6 times more likely than a white youth to be referred.


Ron Louie, CCJ adjunct instructor and retired Chief of Hillsboro Police Department, co-presented at the Oregon Law & Mental Health Conference with retired Chief of Eugene PD Pete Kerns.

March 2, 2018

In this session, two veteran police chiefs identified those factors that contribute and influence police officer impairment such as: misuse of force, domestic violence, suicide, citizen complaints, career self-sabotage, absenteeism and failed relationships. They also discussed what they view as the best strategies to impact and reduce these impairment factors.


Dr. Joel Garner, CJPRI Senior Research Fellow, co-authored an article with Matthew Hickman (Seattle University), Ronald Malega (Missouri State University) and Christopher Maxwell (Michigan State University) that was published in the journal PLOS One.

February, 2018

This research builds on three decades of effort to produce national estimates of the amount and rate of force used by law enforcement officers in the United States. Prior efforts to produce national estimates have suffered from poor and inconsistent measurements of force, small and unrepresentative samples, low survey and/or item response rates, and disparate reporting of rates of force. The present study employs data from a nationally representative survey of state and local law enforcement agencies that has a high survey response rate as well as a relatively high rate of reporting uses of force. Using data on arrests for violent offenses and the number of sworn officers to impute missing data on uses of force, we estimate a total of 337,590 use of physical force incidents among State and local law enforcement agencies during 2012 with a 95 percent confidence interval of +/- 10,470 incidents or +/- 3.1 percent. This article reports the extent to which the number and rate of force incidents vary by the type and size of law enforcement agencies. Our findings demonstrate the willingness of a large proportion of law enforcement agencies to voluntarily report the amount of force used by their officers and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) program to produce nationally representative information about police behavior.


Dr. Christopher M. Campbell had an article entitled "Rethinking conditional release as an assumption-based test of offender readiness" published in Criminal Justice Review Journal.

February, 2018

While many great strides have been made in supervision generally toward more evidence-based practices, the primary tenets of conditional release have remained unchanged, untested, and assumption based. This essay examines the fundamental tenets of conditional release and how they have been widely overlooked in spite of the evidence-based movement. By laying out the problems in practice, recording, and definition, as well as gaps in the literature, this essay displays several areas where future research can progress both knowledge and policy. The author argues that the crux of issues surrounding conditional release is the notion that it is a test of readiness and should be regarded as such. By viewing the practice from this perspective, the inadequacies of state systems to address criminogenic needs become glaringly apparent. Following this explication, it is consequently clear as to why the released person may not be ready and how successful reentry may have less to do with individual accountability and more to do with a rehabilitative ideal.


Dr. Debra Lindberg presented "Allowing for Internship Experiences in an Online Degree Program" at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences annual conference in New Orleans, LA.

February 17, 2018

The criminology and criminal justice department at Portland State University offers four-year degrees both through the traditional on-campus, face-to-face mode and through an entirely on-line mode (i.e., students may live anywhere and complete their degrees online, without ever setting foot on campus). Students have several options for completing the eight credit hour internship requirement: through internships with field agencies in their local vicinities; through an online alternative for those who may not need "real world" experiences (e.g., a person who has worked in law enforcement for many years, desires to earn a degree, and intends to remain in the same field); or a combination of both. Regardless of the scenario a student chooses, he/she will fulfill the requirement through “real” work, as well as reading and writing activities


Molly Harvis, graduate student in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Masters of Science degree program, presented on the preliminary findings from a study entitled "Fairness and Respect in Institutional Corrections: Examining the Role of Procedural Justice in Reducing Harm and Disorder in Prison" conducted by Drs. Christopher Campbell, Ryan Labrecque, Roger Schaefer (Central Washington University), and a group of CCJ graduate students (Leah Reddy, Kayla LaBranche, Karma Rose Macias) at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences annual conference in New Orleans, LA.

February 16, 2018

Recent scholarship suggests that disciplinary protocols and humanistic approaches of correctional officers may be important factors in influencing inmate behavior and prison order. These factors nod to the possibility such influence might be rooted in inmate perceptions of procedural justice, however, extant research has not yet examined this. To fill this gap, surveys of over 140 minimum and medium security inmates in Maine were coupled with administrative data to answer the question: To what extent does procedural justice perceptions correlate and potentially influence patterns of misconduct? Findings are discussed in the context of institutional policy involving officers and disciplinary procedure.


Dr. Brian Renauer presented "Impact of Pre-Adjudication Risk Assessment on Court Outcomes and Racial/Ethnic Disparity" at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences annual conference in New Orleans, LA.

February 15, 2018

The use of risk assessment instruments has received increasing attention as a potential tool to reduce incarceration without harming public safety. However, the use of risk assessment in the pre-adjudication or sentencing phase of the court process brings with it controversy regarding social justice costs, particularly disparate racial/ethnic sentencing outcomes. This paper examines the impact of utilizing a pre-adjudication risk assessment (PAA) in a judicial conference on court sentencing outcomes over time. Propensity score matching is used to compare samples from pre and post implementation of the PAA in an Oregon county that only differ regarding defendant’s race.


Drs. Mark Leymon (publishes under Harmon), Brian Renauer, and Christopher Campbell presented "I Can Measure That: Recommendations for the Measurement of Disparities in the Age of the RRI" at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences annual conference in New Orleans, LA.

February 15, 2018

In recent years, the use of the Relative Rate Index (RRI), as a measure of disparity, has grown exponentially, especially among policymakers and program evaluators. Typically, the RRI is used to compare the rates of justice contact experienced by people of color to whites. While the RRI has utility and relative ease of interpretation, it does have limitations that are often overlooked, misunderstood, or downplayed. We discuss the RRI’s evolution, make recommendations for applying it, discuss other measures, propose modified RRIs, and illustrate that multimeasure approaches will likely lead to more robust and nuanced understandings of racial and ethnic disparities.


Drs. Ryan Labrecque and Paula Smith (Univ. of Cincinnati) presented "Creation and Validation of the Inmate Risk Assessment for Segregation Placement (RASP)" at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences annual conference in New Orleans, LA.

February 15, 2018

Administrative segregation is one of the most severe punishments that can be imposed upon inmates. Recently, however, this practice has been the subject of increased legal, ethical, and academic scrutiny. In response, several justice officials have called upon the academic community to help aid correctional systems in reforming its use. One area in need of more research involves the development of strategies to identify inmates at risk for being placed in segregation. This study addresses this need by constructing and validating a risk scale that predicts segregation placement in a five-year admission cohort of inmates in a large Midwestern state.


Dr. Kathryn Wuschke co-authored a journal article entitled "Variations in Mental Health Act calls to police: an analysis of hourly and intra-week patterns" published in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies.

February, 2018

Investigating the day of week and hour of day temporal patterns of crime typically show that (late) nights and weekends are the prime time for criminal activity. Though instructive, mental-health-related calls for service are a significant component of police service to the community that have not been a part of this research. The purpose of this paper is to analyze calls for police service that relate to mental health, using intimate partner/domestic related calls for police service for context. Approximately 20,000 mental health related and 20,000 intimate partner/domestic related calls for police service are analyzed in this study. Intra-week and intra-day temporal patterns are analyzed using circular statistics. The findings show that mental-health-related calls for police service have a distinct temporal pattern for both days of the week and hours of the day. Specifically, these calls for police service peak during the middle of the week and in the mid-afternoon. This is the first analysis regarding the temporal patterns of police calls for service for mental health-related calls. The results have implications for police resourcing and scheduling, especially in the context of special teams for addressing mental health-related calls for police service.


Dr. Mark Leymon (publishes under Harmon) and Tanika Siscoe, graduate student in the CCJ Masters of Science program, contributed to the "Youth and Measure 11" report recently published by the Oregon Council on Civil Rights in collaboration with the Oregon Justice Resource Center.

February, 2018

The report outlines the impact or Oregon's ballot Measure 11, which was enacted in Oregon in 1994. It created lengthier, mandatory minimum prison sentences for many person-on-person crimes, for which youth 15 years or older are tried in adult court and subject to the same penalties as adults. Dr. Leymon supplied data analysis, which included cleaning, analyzing, and generating tables and figures for the report. Tanika Siscoe assisted in research, youth interviews and transcription. The report finds that youth of color are substantially more likely to be charged and convicted of a Measure 11 offense.


Drs. Kathryn Wuschke and J. Bryan Kinney (Simon Fraser Univ.) co-authored a book chapter entitled "Built Environment, Land Use, and Crime" published in the Oxford Handbook of Environmental Criminology

February, 2018

Grounded within environmental criminology, several theoretical frameworks have emphasized the important connection between land use and concentrations of urban crime. Guided by these approaches, this chapter provides an overview of existing research, exploring the varied connections between urban land use and crime. These concepts are illustrated through the use of a multiscale research example centered on Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. The results highlight the importance of locally based studies, and emphasize that the relationship between land use and crime varies according to both crime type and scale of analysis. Among the findings is that both property crimes and crimes against persons occur in highest numbers on residential properties; but in disproportionately highest rates on addresses classified as commercial and civic, institutional, and recreational.


Drs. Mark Leymon (publishes under Harmon), Brian Renauer, Christopher Campbell and Kris Henning were awarded a $181,164 grant from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.

February, 2018

This project is a replication of a quasi-experimental study examining the connection between length of stay and recidivism. In 2011, Snodgrass et al. published a study examining how length of prison stay impacts recidivism, accounting for criminal history, criminal trajectory, severity of current crime, and relevant demographics. They found no consistent and significant relationship between time served and offending. We cannot assume that the results apply to Oregon, however, since this examined Netherlands data. The Snodgrass study is one of a few rigorous research studies on this topic, with varying and conflicting results. The relationship between imprisonment and recidivism is clearly complex, and it is likely that the overall influence depends on the specific context of the criminal justice system in question. Because of this, we must replicate this study in Oregon to get an answer. Replicating this method in a different context provides an important contribution to the small but important collection of studies of the relationship between length of prison and recidivism. It will provide useful information for Oregon on the effectiveness and efficiency of our criminal justice system.


Drs. Brian Renauer and Lisa Bates (Urban Studies and Planning) were interviewed for a recent KATU piece on real estate development and its effect on Portland's neighborhoods. Watch the interview here.

February 2, 2018


Ron Louie, CCJ adjunct instructor and retired Chief of Hillsboro PD, was interviewed for The Skanner's article on a new bill to be introduced in the Oregon legislature targeting police mental health. Read the article here.

January 25, 2018


Drs. Ryan M. Labrecque and Paula Smith (Univ. of Cincinnati) trained a group of case managers and clinicians from the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (NDDOCR) in Bismarck on their two new Free Your Mind cognitive-behavioral treatment curricula: (1) a prevention program (Free Your Mind in Prison), and (2) a segregation intervention (Free Your Mind in Segregation). The segregation program is being implemented in the North Dakota State Penitentiary’s (NDSP) Behavioral Intervention Unit (BIU), and the prevention program is being implemented in three separate state facilities.

January 2018


Dr. Katie Wuschke and co-authors Martin A. Andresen, Paul J. Brantingham, Christopher Rattenbury, and Andrew Richards had a journal article entitled "What do police do and where do they do it?" published in the International Journal of Police Science and Management.

December 27, 2017

Recent research in the economics of policing has been concerned with what the police do and how much time they spend on those activities. Some of this research has highlighted that, based on the number of incidents, “crime” comprises only 20% of the police workload with much of the remaining 80% addressing public safety concerns. In this article, we deconstruct the nature of police incidents within a suburban city. We show that police expenditures, relative to the entire municipal budget, have been relatively constant over 30 years and that the volume of police activity has also remained relatively constant, although with a slight increasing trend. We show that the most of the decrease in crime can be attributed to population growth in this suburban city and that the places in which the police undertake different activities vary.


Dr. Kris Henning gave a presentation at the 3rd Annual Oregon Problem-Oriented Policing Conference in Salem, OR entitled “Analyzing crime data with Excel for police”.

December 6, 2017

Most law enforcement agencies in Oregon have detailed data collection protocols and records management systems (RMS) for documenting criminal incidents, calls for service, motor vehicle accidents, etc. These data are of great value for Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) initiatives. This includes use of the data for identifying recurring problems, conducting in-depth analysis (e.g., who, what, when, where, why, and how), and evaluating the impact of crime prevention efforts. Unfortunately, many agencies in Oregon lack analytic capacity to do this kind of work. In a recent survey of 125 agencies, 48% reported they do not have any employees to analyze and interpret data for administrative, strategic, or tactical purposes. Only 24% of agencies said they conduct analyses for Problem-Oriented Policing. The current presentation seeks to address this issue by offering police officers a brief crime analysis tutorial using MS Excel. The first half of the workshop introduced participants to basic MS Excel functions and PivotTables. The second half of the session provided participants with hands-on experience analyzing criminal incident data for a POP project.


Drs. Ryan M. Labrecque and Paula Smith (University of Cincinnati) published a journal article entitled “Reducing Institutional Disorder: Using the Inmate Risk Assessment for Segregation Placement (RASP) to Triage Treatment Services at the Front-End of Prison Sentences” in the journal Crime and Delinquency.

December 2017

Most correctional scholars and policy-makers agree that prison authorities should use restrictive housing less, yet few studies exist to provide guidance on how to do so while also ensuring institutional order. This study advances the idea that proactively providing rehabilitative programming to inmates at the front-end of prison sentences will help reduce institutional disorder. In so doing, we create and validate a risk assessment instrument to predict inmate likelihood for placement in restrictive housing during one’s commitment. The findings of this study support the predictive validity of the tool. We argue authorities can use this assessment to make more informed and targeted programming decisions during the intake process that will help reduce institutional misconduct and the need for restrictive housing.


Drs. Ryan Labrecque and Christopher Campbell gave a two-part presentation at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled "Panacea or Poison: Can Propensity Score Modeling Replicate the Results from Randomized Control Trials?".

November 18, 2017

Regardless of institutional focus (e.g., law enforcement, corrections), identifying the practices that will best reduce crime and victimization requires ample research with strong methodology. Understood as the “gold standard” in research design, the randomized control trial (RCT) has been shown to provide reliable and valid findings. However, RCTs are often not feasible in many criminal justice settings because of ethical and practical considerations. As a substitute for RCTs, researchers have increasingly had to rely on other quasi-experimental designs and statistical techniques. One of the more popular techniques is propensity score modeling (PSM), which is designed to simulate the effects of an RCT. With the growing popularity and technological ease of using PSM, this research project funded by the National Institute of Justice addresses the critical question: Can PSM methods replicate the results from RCTs? Using a selection of RCT databases available in the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), this study tests commonly used PSM techniques to examine how close related effect sizes actually are to that of an RCT in criminal justice settings. As Part I of this two-part presentation, we explain the process of testing such techniques and discuss the findings from one of the tests.


Drs. Mauri Matsuda, Terence Thornberry (University of Maryland), and Marvin Krohn (University of Florida) gave a presentation at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled “Identifying Late-Bloomers and Examining Early Characteristics That Account for Why They Delay the Onset of Offending”.

November 17, 2017

Developmental, life-course studies have demonstrated a substantial degree of heterogeneity in delinquent careers with respect to the major parameters of the criminal career perspective. For example, while the population age crime curve indicates that the onset of delinquency is most common in early to middle adolescence, many delinquent careers begin “off-time”, either early (during childhood), or late (during late adolescence and beyond). The present study is concerned with the latter phenomenon, offenders whose delinquent careers emerge and expand after the age-normative period of middle adolescence. We refer to them as “late bloomers”. In particular, we present a conceptual definition of late-bloomers and a discussion of how semi-parametric group based modeling techniques can identify them, if they exist. We also examine how they differ from other types of offenders, especially non- and very low-level offenders on the one hand, as well as chronic, persistent offenders, on the other hand, in terms of earlier individual, family, school, peer, and neighborhood characteristics. A fuller understanding of late-bloomers is important theoretically, as their existence is a point of divergence between life-course and typological theories, as well as practically, as previous studies suggest that their adult careers are both serious and prolonged.


Dr. Mark Leymon (publishes under Harmon) gave a presentation with Breanna Boppre (University of Nevada Las Vegas) at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled "Cleaning the Dirty Pool: Methodological Considerations in Assessing the Impacts of Policies on State Imprisonment Over Time".

November 17, 2017

The impact of policies on substantive outcomes like imprisonment rates are some of the most pursued questions in the field of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The policy choices we make can have a profound impact on who and how many people are impacted by the justice system. From a research perspective, our ability to accurately reflect these policy impacts is highly influenced by the modeling choices we make. This paper specifically assesses different modeling techniques, variable construction, and interpretive approaches in regression based modeling of the impact of polices on state level imprisonment rates over time. We use sentencing reforms passed over the last 40 years to illustrate how the modeling choices we make greatly impact the results produced. Based on a series of evaluations we make recommendations and highlight important considerations when assessing imprisonment rates.

Presentation (PDF)


Drs. Brian Renauer, Mark Leymon (publishes under Harmon), and Christopher Campbell gave a presentation at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled "Pretrial Risk Assessments and Bail Disparities in Criminal Court".

November 16, 2017

Concern over mass incarceration has opened debate and discussion on mechanisms that can scale back incarceration while balancing public safety. In order to stabilize or reduce incarceration a number of States have embarked on “Justice Reinvestment Initiatives” (JRI). The use of risk assessment instruments has received increasing attention as a potential tool for JRI’s to reduce incarceration without harming public safety. However, the use of risk assessment in the pre-adjudication or sentencing phase of the court process brings with it controversy regarding social justice costs, particularly disparate racial/ethnic sentencing outcomes. This paper examines the impact of utilizing a pre-adjudication risk assessment (PAA) on court sentencing outcomes overtime in a JRI setting. The experiences of two counties in Oregon that have been utilizing different PAA tools and at different decision-points in the court process since 2014 are compared. Propensity score matching is used to find samples of like cases both pre and post implementation of the PAA that only differ in terms of defendant’s race. The key research question explored is which PAA tool and process is the most promising for reducing incarceration without exasperating racial and ethnic disparities.


Dr. Danielle McGurrin and KJ Kresin (student in CCJ’s Masters of Science degree program) gave a presentation at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled "The Globalization of White Collar Crime Scholarship".

November 16, 2017

In their paper the authors undertook a meta-analysis of the sub-field of white collar crime, revealing trends in journal publication, author characteristics, white collar crime typologies and content attributes, as well as methodological trends and geographical foci of this scholarship. Their findings suggest under-representation is still an issue, but that the sub-field is becoming increasingly globalized. Through a content analysis of 17 top CCJ peer-reviewed journals, 2011-2015, they endeavor to shed light on these important questions regarding the place of white collar crime studies in the criminology and criminal justice discipline and the nature of this essential sub-field.


Johanna Shreve, student in Criminology and Criminal Justice Masters of Science degree program, gave a poster presentation at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled "Anti-LGB Hate Crimes: Political Threat or Political Legitimization?".

November 15, 2017

Following the 2016 presidential election, organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center reported an apparent spike in hate crimes, some of which implicated the election result explicitly (Miller & Werner-Winslow, 2016). While activists have often argued that the legitimization of biased attitudes and stereotypes by political leaders foments violence against minority groups (e.g. Rao, 2016), criminological research in the U.S, has focused more on “threat” hypotheses that view hate crime as a retaliatory response to perceived gains or encroachment of targeted groups. This poster compares the effect on anti-LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual) crimes of events representing political threat (a court decision legalizing same-sex marriage) and political legitimization of bias (passage of a ban on same-sex marriage). The analysis found a spike in anti-LGB hate crimes after the ban on same sex marriage (outside two standard deviations). There was no change in rates after the decision legalizing same sex marriage.


Drs. Kelsey Henderson and Christopher Campbell gave a presentation with Janet Moore (University of Cincinnati) and Marla Sandys (Indiana University Bloomington) at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled "Bridging the gap between clients and attorneys: Examining public defender communication".

November 15, 2017

They presented preliminary findings from a project examining factors that contribute to effective attorney-client communication (specifically focusing on communication between public defenders and their clients).


Sgt. Greg Stewart (Portland Police Bureau; CCJ adjunct faculty) gave a presentation with Cpt. Ryan Keck (Oregon DPSST-Center for policing Excellence) and Sgt. Ryan Eaton (Corvallis Police Department) at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled "Bridging the Gap: Bringing “What Works” to Policing Agencies".

November 15, 2017

Their presentation was part of a round table discussing the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training efforts at introducing evidence-based practices into Oregon policing. Some of these efforts ranging from public safety leadership training, ethics and police legitimacy/procedural justice training to re-imagining curriculum and delivery within the Basic Academies.


Drs. Kathryn Wuschke, Kris Henning, Sgt. Greg Stewart (Portland Police Bureau; CCJ adjunct faculty) and Katelyn Bonn (alumna of CCJ Masters of Science degree program) gave a presentation at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled "Public Perceptions of Crime Maps".

November 15, 2017

Accountability and transparency play an important role in fostering public trust in police agencies. At present, a renewed effort to build trust between police and communities coincides with greater data availability; as a result, police agencies are increasingly able to provide the public with better access to up-to- date crime maps. However, along with availability comes debate regarding the appropriate level of detail of such maps, with specific concern for victim privacy. With address-level precision, dot maps provide the public with detailed crime information, but lack a consistent method to respect the anonymity and security of those involved. In contrast, hotspot maps anonymize individual data by aggregating nearby event locations, but lack a standard development procedure, resulting in considerable variation in the appearance, clarity and accuracy of the output. Further, there is a lack of research exploring how public viewers interpret either type of map. This paper extends upon research presented in an earlier study by exploring user perception and interpretation of several common types of public crime maps. Results from these combined studies help to inform police agencies by highlighting how mapping choices impact citizen perception of public safety.

Presentation Slides (PDF)


Drs. Laura Hickman and Jennifer Wong (Simon Fraser University) had a paper presented at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA entitled "What Have We Learned about Immigration and Crime at the Individual-Level Unit of Analysis?".

November 15, 2017

Over the last 15 years, there has been a tremendous growth in studies looking at the relationship between immigration and crime at the macro-level. Comparatively little study however has been undertaken that examines immigration and crime at the individual-level. This is most likely due to a lack of access to data that can be used for this unit of analysis. The paper examines the current state of knowledge around immigration and crime at the individual-level. It also describes and draws lessons from analyses of the Los Angeles County Foreign Born Jail Study data. This study examined a one-month release cohort of foreign born jail inmates and their post-jail release recidivism. With the cooperation of federal immigration, legal versus authorized status was determined for each individual in the release cohort. The series of studies resulting from this data set has allowed the examination of both short- and long-term recidivism patterns for those immigrants with and without current legal status. It has also afforded a comparison of sub-groups of immigrants on recidivism outcomes and rearrest after removal for those who were deported from the country.


Dr. Kris Henning and Sgt. Greg Stewart (Portland Police Bureau; CCJ Adjunct faculty) organized a campus presentation by Dr. Michael D. White (Arizona State University) entitled “What We Know and Don’t Know About Police Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs): The Latest in Research, Policy, and Resources”.

November 6, 2017

The event featured Dr. Michael White (Arizona State University), Co-Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the U.S. Department of Justice Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program. Dr. White presented the latest research on the impact of body-worn cameras on officers’ use of force, citizen complaints, and community attitudes toward the police. The session was attended by 20-30 members of local law enforcement agencies and Portland city government, as well as graduate students from CCJ’s Masters of Science degree program. 

Presentation Slides (PDF)
Video


Drs. Kris Henning and Brian Renauer along with colleagues Dr. Kimberly Kahn (Psychology), Dr. Yves Labissiere (Community Health), Sgt. Renee Mitchell (Sacramento PD), Sgt. Greg Stewart, Christian Peterson, and Sean Sothern (Portland Police Bureau) submitted the final report for their 2014-17 U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance Smart Policing Initiative grant.

November 1, 2017 

The report summarizes findings from a randomized field experiment, called the Neighborhood Involvement Locations (NI-Loc) program. The police bureau’s Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system was used to front-load 16,200 dispatch calls directing street officers to conduct community engagement patrols (CEPs) in high crime areas. The goal of the program was to improve police-community relations while also deterring crime via additional police presence. Ninety high crime areas were randomly assigned to receive none, two, or four 15- minute supplemental CEPs a day for a three month period. More than 13,000 CEP patrols were successfully delivered. Offense reports, CAD data, resident surveys, officer focus groups, and officer surveys were used to conduct process and outcome evaluations of the NI-Loc program. Results indicate that the NI-Loc intervention did not affect crime or calls for service in treatment areas compared to controls. And, while the CEPs increased positive contacts with residents in the targeted areas, they did not impact residents’ overall attitudes toward police. There was also little difference across outcomes based on the dosage of CEPs (2 vs. 4 per day). A process evaluation highlighted key aspects about the implementation of the program, including the success of using the CAD system to direct patrols and measure the patrol dosages delivered during the study. Key lessons learned for policing in high crime areas and promoting community engagement are discussed in the report.

Report (PDF)


Dr. Chris Carey, Karma Rose Macias (student in the CCJ Masters of Science program) and research associate Lena Teplinsky, MPH gave a conference presentation entitled “Rules without Relationships = Rebellion. Interviews with Foster Parents of CSEC Survivors” at the National Conference on Juvenile Sex Trafficking in New Orleans, LA.

October 25, 2017

Limited research exists on the experience of foster parents caring for CSEC survivors. Yet national estimates show that 50-90% of CSEC survivors have been in foster care at some point. Indeed, research in Oregon indicates that CSEC survivors have three times the foster care placement rates of non-CSEC populations. Presenters reported on the findings of a Children’s Justice Act funded research grant which interviewed and surveyed foster parents in Oregon who cared for children, youth and young adult survivors. The findings of the research infuse a critical perspective, that of the foster parent, into the discourse around how to best support survivors in foster care, and where improvements can be made. This presentation shared lessons learned and provided recommendations for how to improve the system at multiple entry points: from foster parents, to child welfare workers, social service providers, judges, police, policy makers, researchers, and advocacy groups.


Dr. Chris Carey, Karma Rose Macias* (student in the CCJ Masters of Science program) and Sgt. Molly McDade Hood (Multnomah County Sheriff’s office) gave a conference presentation entitled “Powerful Ink: How Tattoos and Branding Shape the World of Human Trafficking” at the National Conference on Juvenile Sex Trafficking in New Orleans, LA.

October 25, 2017

This study explores the relationship between tattoos and commercial sexual exploitation for both survivors and traffickers. Working with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, the presenters provided information to help practitioners, law enforcement personnel, advocates, and other stakeholders understand the significance of tattoos and the tattooing in the world of human trafficking. T his study analyzes the extent to which certain categories, locations on the body, size, and quantities of tattoos are related to human sex trafficking. Through interviews with law enforcement personnel, survivors, traffickers, and database photographs the authors explored how understanding the meanings and placement of tattoos can aid in developing therapeutic as well as legal and investigative tools for all stakeholders.


Sgt. Greg Stewart (Portland Police Bureau; CCJ adjunct faculty) attended the International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP) conference in Philadelphia, PA as part of the NIJ LEADS scholar program, and participated in the annual Research Advisory Committee meeting. This group advises the IACP on research needs in policing.

October 21-24, 2017


Drs. Ryan Labrecque and Daniel Mears (Florida State Univ.) had a paper entitled “Prison system vs. critics’ views on the use of restrictive housing: Objective risk classification or ascriptive assignment?” accepted for publication in The Prison Journal.

October 2017

Despite the widespread use of restrictive housing in correctional institutions, little is known about the factors associated with placement in this setting. This study advances two theoretical arguments about the use of this practice. The prison system view argues this housing is essential for institutional order and thus only inmates who pose an objective risk to safety get placed in such housing. By contrast, the critics’ view argues this housing causes adverse effects and disproportionately targets certain inmates based on their ascriptive characteristics, such as their mental health status or race. The results indicate support for both perspectives.


Dr. Kathryn Wuschke was an invited speaker within the PSU School of the Environment Fall Speaker Series focused on Emerging Tools for Investigating Natural and Social Systems. She gave a presentation about her ongoing research with Dr. Kris Henning and Sgt. Greg Stewart entitled “Considering the Impact of Crime Maps on Public Perceptions of Safety”.

October 2017


Dr. Danielle McGurrin wrote a blog post entitled “Why White Collar Crime Studies are Essential for the Criminology and Criminal Justice Major” for the Criminology and Criminal Justice Online website.

October 2017

In the blog post Dr. McGurrin discusses the costs and consequences of white collar crime and explains how criminology and criminal justice majors can structure their studies and skills acquisition for a white collar crime investigation and regulatory career.


Sgt. Greg Stewart (Portland Police Bureau; CCJ adjunct faculty) co-authored a book chapter entitled “Advanced Statistics for Crime Analysis” in the upcoming book Exploring Crime Analysis: Readings on Essential Skills (3rd edition) which he also co-edited with K. Gallagher, J. Wartell, S. Gwinn, and G. Jones.

October 2017

The textbook provides prospective crime analysts an introduction to the fundamental skills necessary for their profession. This chapter introduces crime analysts to the use of inferential statistics as well as statistical tests which are commonly used in crime analysis.


Dr. Mark Leymon (publishes under Harmon) joined Kate Gonsalves and Bobbin Singh from the Oregon Justice Resource Center on XRAY.FM’s Group Therapy radio show to discuss the concept of mass incarceration. 

September 25, 2017

Broadcast recording


Dr. Ryan Labrecque published an invited book chapter entitled “Probation in the United States: A Historical and Modern Perspective” in the Handbook of Corrections in the United States, which is edited by Drs. O. Hayden Griffin and Vanessa Woodward.

September 2017

This chapter reviews the historical development of probation in the United States, and highlights how the practice is used in the 21st century. Probation has many advantages over imprisonment, including lower operational costs, increased opportunities for rehabilitation, and reduced risk of criminal socialization. However, there is increasing evidence to suggest probation strategies that focus on compliance monitoring and other law enforcement aspects of supervision are not effective in reducing recidivism, and under some circumstances may even increase it. Finally, this chapter concludes with a review of the status of the emerging efforts to redefine the function of probation in the modern era.


Dr. Ryan M. Labrecque was awarded a National Institute of Justice New Investigator Grant to conduct a study entitled “Interpersonal Violence and Institutional Misconduct in Jails: An Empirical Analysis of Adverse Events in the Los Angeles County Jail System.”

September 2017

The award for $184,000 will support a study of interpersonal violence and institutional misconduct in the Los Angeles County Jail System in order to better understand and prevent them from occurring in the future. Particular attention will be paid to identifying inmates at-risk for violence and violent victimization. Dr. Labrecque will analyze 16 years of administrative data to identify trends in adverse events, conduct interviews and focus groups from correctional administrators and staff on past adverse events and any changes in policy or practice to address them.


Dr. Chris Carey, Karma Rose Macias (student in CCJ’s Masters of Science degree program), and Lena Teplinsky, MPH gave a presentation entitled "Too Acute for Sub-Acute: Caregiver Perspectives on CSEC in Oregon" at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking.

September 9, 2017 

The research they presented on was funded in part by the Children’s Justice Act. Their presentation addressed the significant findings of three consecutive studies that focused on (1) quantifying the scope of CSEC in the Portland Metro Area, (2) identifying the individual- and macro-level social determinants and pathways that exacerbate risk for, and protect against, sexual exploitation, and (3) investigating opportunities for systems-level intervention based on emerging trends in the data.

Presentation Slides (PDF)
2013 report on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Portland (PDF)


Dr. Chris Carey co-presented with Dr. Rowanna Carpenter (University Studies) at the International Association of Service Learning and Civic Engagement's conference in Galway, Ireland. 

September 14th, 2017 

Their presentation, entitled "Letting Knowledge Serve the City: Examining the Impact of Service Learning and Community Engagement in First-Year Learning Living Communities at Portland State University", reported on the impact of service-learning and community engagement in first-year living learning communities in Portland, Oregon. 


Dr. Ryan M. Labrecque trained a group of correctional intake counselors at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. 

September 2017 

The training covered the Risk Assessment for Segregation Placement (RASP), which is a tool Dr. Labrecque created to predict the probability of an inmate being placed in restrictive housing during their commitment. As part of a broader research project funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, intake staff from Oregon Department of Corrections are now screening inmates with the RASP as part of the admission process to identify which inmates to place in a prevention program at the front-end of their prison stay.


Drs. Brian Renauer, Mark Leymon (Harmon), and Christopher Campbell were awarded The W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars in Race and Crime Research FY17 grant from the National Institute of Justice for their project “Assessing the Impact of Pre-Adjudication Assessment Approaches on Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Oregon”.

September 2017 

The award for $360,620 will support a two-year examination of the impact of using risk-assessment tools at the pre-trial stages on racial/ethnic disparity in court case outcomes in select Oregon counties. The goal of the study is to improve criminal court capabilities that support judicial decision-making for more reliable and impartial case and public safety outcomes. Since 2014 there are two counties in Oregon (Multnomah and Yamhill) wherein a pre-adjudication assessment (PAA) using a common risk-screening tool (LS/CMI) is being utilized. A study of these two counties provides a unique opportunity for understanding the use of a PAA and its impact on judicial processing and racial/ethnic disparity in sentencing outcomes because both counties have been using the tool for up to two years already, use the same assessment tool, but apply the assessment in different ways. The principal research question is whether the introduction of a PAA into the court-decision-making process has impacted racial and ethnic disparities in sentencing outcomes over time in each county.