News and publications

Justice Policy Journal - Volume 16, Number 1 – Spring, 2019


Arrest Histories of Men Who Buy Sex

By: Melissa Farley and Jacqueline M. Golding

The purpose of this study was to compare sex buyers and non-sex-buyers' involvement in criminal activity. Sex buyers were more likely than non-sex buyers to commit felonies, misdemeanors, crimes associated with violence against women, substance abuse-related crimes, assaults, crimes with weapons, crimes against authority, to have been subject to a restraining order, and to have been charged with violence against women. Sex buyers who had more often bought sex had also been arrested more times, were more likely to have been charged with violence against women, and were more likely to have been subject to a restraining order than sex buyers who had less often bought sex. The findings are consistent with the Confluence Model of Sexual Aggression and with other studies of perpetrators of violence against women.


Moral panics and community member perceptions regarding reductions in sex offender recidivism

By: Jennifer L. Klein and Alexandra B. Mckissick

The occurrence of a moral panic traditionally flashes and fades away once the threat is perceived to be contained. As it relates to registered sex offenders, researchers suggest that the panic is more perpetual in nature rather than a temporary style of panic. This continuation of the panic leads community members to support legislative efforts, such as the expansion of sex offender registration and notification (SORN) laws, designed to contain the threat that sex offenders pose. This study uses a sample of 877 community members to examine whether the elements of a moral panic are able to predict participant perceptions of the sex offender registry’s promoted efficacy in reducing sex offender recidivism. Using an ordinary least squares regression analytical approach, the findings suggest that the elements of a moral panic, being used as theoretical predictors, significantly predict community member perceptions of the registry’s effectiveness in reducing sex offender recidivism. Policy implications of these findings will also be discussed.


Resilience Matters: Examining the School to Prison Pipeline through the Lens of School-Based Problem Behaviors

By: Jonathan W. Glenn

The school-to-prison pipeline is an expansive issue that impacts the educational and criminal justice systems in the United States. Traditionally, research has linked the prevalence of the pipeline to factors based within school systems. These systemic factors include the use of zero tolerance policies, exclusionary disciplinary practices, and the presence of school resource officers. The present study aims to explore the impact of school-based problem behaviors as a catalyst to the school- to-prison pipeline. A sample of 112 mental health professionals (MPHs) who specialize in working with youth at-risk for justice system involvement were surveyed to assess their perceptions of three theoretical predictors of problem behaviors including parental efficacy, child impulsivity, and child resilience. Results indicate that respondents perceive that child resilience predicts problem behaviors above and beyond any other theoretical predictor. The implications of this finding as well as recommendations are discussed.


Domestic Violence: Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Non-Reporting to the Police in Trinidad and Tobago

By: Wendell C. Wallace, Cherrie Gibson, Netty-Ann Gordon, Rennie Lakhan, Jinnalee Mahabir and Cassandra Seetahal

Globally, domestic violence (DV) is a common and serious problem that incurs significant costs to victims, their families and governments. DV involves violence between intimate partners as well as against vulnerable members of society, such as children and older people. In order to resolve issues of DV victimization, the police rely on victims to report their victimization; however, there is an on-going concern that incidents of DV between intimate partners tend to be unreported/underreported to the police in Trinidad and Tobago. The current exploratory effort draws on data from semi-structured interviews with individuals (N=130) in six diverse geographical locations in Trinidad and Tobago regarding their non-reporting of DV victimization to the police. The findings indicate that the main reason for DV victimization non-reporting by males on the island was fear of being viewed negatively by police officers and the public (32%), while for females the main reason was dependent economic status (21%)/protection of family (21%). For both males and females, the main barrier to reporting DV victimization to the police was embarrassment/shame. A key research finding was that males were nine times more likely than females to not report their DV victimization to the police.


Racial Disparities and Similarities in Risk Assessment among Adjudicated Juveniles

By: Taiping Ho and Jonathan Intravia

Risk assessment has become a practical tool to predict the likelihood of reoffending and to provide individualized intervention programs to needed juveniles. The main purpose of this study is intended to explore racial disparities or similarities in risk assessment among Caucasian and African American juveniles. This study is consisted of 1,325 Caucasian juveniles and 794 African American juveniles who have been adjudicated to Indiana juvenile correctional facilities during the period of January 1, 2012 to February, 2015. One of important findings from this study was that the effect of the juvenile’s race on the overall risk assessment among adjudicated juveniles was not statistically significant. All seven domains from IYAS- RES assessment instrument were relatively influential predictors to the juvenile’s overall risk assessment. In other words, the juvenile’s overall risk assessment was primarily determined by the results of risk assessment in each of seven (7) domains of the IYAS-RES risk assessment instrument. Meanwhile, racial disparities in some of the assessment domains of the IYAS-RES risk assessment instrument were significant and notable.


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