Current Projects

Latest Research


Dr.’s Mauri Matsuda, Mark Leymon, Chris Campbell, and Brian Renauer were awarded a grant titled “Justice Reinvestment Return on Investment Project” from Oregon’s Criminal Justice Commission.   
Jan 2021

The project will analyze the state- and county-level impact of overall and program-specific JRI funding in Oregon’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative on prison use, recidivism rates, and other outcomes related to program goals, and develop/pilot a survey on victim perspectives on JRI.




Dr.’s Chris Campbell, Brian Renauer, and Kelsey Henderson presented to the Oregon Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights on November 12, 2020. 
November 2020
The focus of their presentation was titled, “Examining Pretrial Practices in Oregon”.   The report is part of a grant project funded by Oregon’s Criminal Justice Commission.  The project involved a survey and interviews with criminal justice practitioners representing all the judicial districts in the state to discussion their bail practices pre-covid and thoughts on pretrial reform for the state. 


Dr.’s Mark Leymon, Chris Campbell, and Kris Henning were awarded a grant titled  “Recidivism Phase II and STTL” from Oregon’s Criminal Justice Commission. 
July 2020
The grant entails a study examining the effectiveness of the Short-Term Transitional Leave (STTL) and alternative incarceration program for the State of Oregon.


Dr.’s Chris Campbell, Kelsey Henderson, and Brian Renauer were awarded a grant from Oregon’s Criminal Justice Commission to study pretrial practices throughout Oregon.  
January 2020




Dr.’s Brian Renauer, Mark Leymon, Chris Campbell, and Ann Leymon are wrapping up a two-year research project funded by the National Institute of Justice (DOJ), part of their FY17 W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Race and Crime.
November-December 2019

The project examines how the integration of a pre-adjudication risk assessment (PAA) has impacted sentencing outcomes in two Oregon counties. Particular attention is given to whether the us of a PAA creates disparate outcomes for persons of color.


Dr.’s, Mark Leymon, Chris Campbell, Kris Henning, and Brian Renauer presented findings from their report “Effect of Prison Length of Stay in Oregon” to the Senate and House Committees on Judiciary at the Oregon Legislature in Salem.
May 2019

The project was funded by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. 


Dr.’s, Chris Campbell and Ryan Labrecque presented findings from their report “Effect of Pretrial Detention in Oregon” to the Senate and House Committees on Judiciary at the Oregon Legislature in Salem.
May 2019

The project was funded by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.




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.
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 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.


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).
January 2018

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.