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Dr. John Kramer to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at ASC

Justice Center for Research Faculty Affiliate and Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Criminology Dr. John Kramer has been selected as the recipient of the  American Society of Criminology Division on Corrections and Sentencing’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Lifetime Achievement award honors an individual’s distinguished scholarship in the area of corrections and/or sentencing over a lifetime. Dr. Kramer will be recognized at the ASC conference in November.

Nancy Rodriguez, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Justice, will be our guest speaker for the next Criminology Forum

Dr. Rodriguez’ presentation “Strengthening Justice in the U.S.: The Impact of Scientific Research” will emphasize the critical role scientific research plays in strengthening the criminal justice system. She will also discuss how evidence-based knowledge can directly solve challenges faced by hard-working criminal justice practitioners, whether in law enforcement, corrections or the judicial system.

Date: Thursday, November 10th

Place: 406 Oswald Tower

Time: Noon - 1:00 pm

Available via Adobe Connect:

Bio: Nancy Rodriguez is the Director of the National Institute of Justice. During 1998‒2015, Dr. Rodriguez was a professor at Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. In 2012‒2014, Dr. Rodriguez served as the Associate Dean for Student Engagement in the College of Public Programs at ASU. Her research interests include inequality (race/ethnicity, class, crime, and justice) and the collateral consequences of imprisonment. Throughout her career, she has engaged in use-inspired research and has been involved in many successful collaborations with law enforcement, courts, and correctional agencies. She is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and technical reports. Dr. Rodriguez received a BA from Sam Houston State University and a PhD from Washington State University.

Please join us for a reception with Director Rodriguez from 1 pm - 1:45 pm in 406 Oswald following her talk. Refreshments will be served.

 This lecture is co-sponsored by the Justice Center for Research, the Department of Sociology and Criminology, and the Population Research Institute.

Dr. Derek Kreager receives NIJ grant for Women’s Prison Inmate Networks Study

Congratulations to Dr. Derek Kreager and a team of researchers recently received a three-year National Institute of Justice grant for their project, “Understanding Incarceration and Re-Entry Experiences of Female Inmates and their Children: The Women’s Prison Inmate Networks Study (WO-PINS).”

This study will explore the prison and re-entry experiences of female inmates incarcerated in two Pennsylvania prisons. In Phase 1, investigators will reveal each units' informal organization and culture using innovative social network data that maps the unit's friendship network, status hierarchy, and romantic ties. Network analyses will test hypotheses for the sources of prison status and the associations between inmate social position and outcomes such as prison victimization, mental health, official misconduct, and family visitation. In Phase 2, parole-eligible inmate respondents will be administered semi-structured qualitative and network interviews to garner their future expectations, social capital, and preparations for community re-entry. Women's expected social networks provide a unique glimpse into the re-entry process that can later be compared to actual networks upon release. This phase of the project has clear implications for family reintegration, employment, post-release program participation, and relapse/recidivism. Contemporaneously, child and caregiver interviews will be conducted for inmate respondents who are mothers. These interviews will capture the well-being, fears, aspirations, and preparations of inmates' families and surrogate parents prior to prison release. During Phase 3, investigators will conduct two post-release community interviews of Phase 2 respondents to understand how the previously imprisoned women, their children, and caregivers have adjusted to life after prison and if their envisioned plans came to fruition. Additionally, analyses of longterm arrest and reincarceration will be conducted for all surveyed prison units. The goals of this phase will be to identify and drill down on the mechanisms underlying successful prison re-entry and criminal desistance.

Investigators include:

  • Derek Kreager (PSU Soc/Crim) - Principal Investigator
  • Gary Zajac (PSU Justice Center Director) – Co-Investigator
  • Dana Haynie (OSU) – Co-Principal Investigator
  • Sara Wakefield (Rutgers) – Co-Principal Investigator
  • Michaela Soyer (Hunter College) – Co-Investigator

Advisory Board – Bret Bucklen (PADOC), Jeffrey Beard (PSU Justice Center), Candace Kruttschnitt (Toronto), Rebecca Shafler (Minnesota) 

The project also involves the following Penn State Criminology graduate students and research associates:
Corey Whichard, Kim Davidson, Ted Greenfelder, Brianna Jackson, Elaine Arsenault, and Gerardo Cuevas

WO-PINS was recently featured in a Penn State News article, the article can be found here:

Justice Center Researchers Present on Rural Opiate Users

Justice Center Postdoctoral Scholar Glenn Sterner and Faculty Affiliates Shannon Monnat and Ashton Verdery participated in a panel presentation at the Penn State Mini-Conference on Social Networks, Infectious Disease, and Hidden Populations on "Brainstorming Discussion of Methods for Sampling Rural Opiate Users."

Evaluation of the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Demonstration Field Experiment (HOPE DFE) Summary

Summary results of the evaluation of the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Demonstration Field Experiment (HOPE DFE) available. This project has replicated the original Hawaii HOPE model of swift, certain and fair sanctioning in probation in four states (Arkansas, Massachusetts, Oregon and Texas).  Learn more about the project and view the results on our Research Page.

Justice Center Graduate Assistant Julia Laskorunsky and Faculty Affiliate Jeffery Ulmer Publish Paper

Justice Center for Research Graduate Student Assistant Julia Laskorunsky and Justice Center Faculty Affiliate Jeffery Ulmer have published a paper in the Journal of Crime and Justice. The paper explores the effect of juvenile adjudications on sentencing outcomes in criminal court proceedings. The article can be found here:

Students Present Posters on Racially Specific and Gender Related Cyberbulling on Twitter

Justice Center for Research Postdoctoral Scholar, Glenn Sterner and Faculty Affiliate Diane Felmlee and undergraduate students Tyler Stumm and Kaitlin Shartle and graduate student Paulina Rodis presented their research at the Undergraduate Exhibition and Graduate Exhibition.

Asian Cyberbullying on Twitter Networks

The Social Networks of Gender Related Cyberbullying on Twitter

The Social Networks of Racially Specific Cyberbullying on Twitter

Justice Center for Research Postdoctoral Scholar Glenn Sterner Presents Poster at the Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis

Glenn Sterner, Justice Center Postdoctoral Scholar and Diane Felmlee, Faculty Affiliate present poster on "The Social Networks of Cyberbullying on Twitter" at the Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis in Newport Beach, California.

The Social Networks of Cyberbullying on Twitter

Justice Center Faculty Affiliate Dr. Derek Kreager discusses the Prison Inmate Networks Study

Dr. Derek Kreager spoke with Penn State News about the Prison Inmate Networks Study (PINS) which looked at the social networks of inmates and how networks influence an inmate's health. The Reentry Prison Inmate Networks Study (R-PINS) study is currently following the participants from the PINS study, looking at ties with individuals upon reentry into society. An upcoming project is also highlighted that will look at social networks in therapeutic substance abuse treatment communities. Check out the story here:

Glenn Sterner, Ph.D., publishes paper on rural broadband access

Justice Center Postdoctoral Scholar Glenn Sterner recently published an article titled “Unequal Access: An Examination of the Barriers Rural Areas Continue to Face in Broadband Development” in the peer reviewed volume Management of Sustainable Development in Rural Areas: At Local and Regional Scales. The article can be found here: