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2018

Actionable Assessment of Effectiveness of Community versus Case Processor Models of County Prosecution in Addressing Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania and New Mexico
Drs. Darrell Steffensmeier (Sociology and Criminology), Jeffery T. Ulmer (Sociology and Criminology) and Noah Painter-Davis (University of New Mexico, Sociology) will document the epidemiology of opioid epidemic in rural and semi-rural counties in Pennsylvania and New Mexico using multiple markers of opioid abuse, identify models of county-prosecutor response/s to the Opioid Epidemic –including “community” versus “caseprocessing,” and assess the impact of variation in prosecutor responses on actionable outcomes.
Doing Time? A Life-Course Approach to the Prison Experience
Drs. Holly Nguyen and Tom Loughran (Sociology and Criminology) will examine the incarceration experience through a life-course approach and patterns of in-prison experiences are associated with post- release outcomes.
Improving Education Outcomes for Justice-Involved Individuals: Toward A Behavioral Outreach Campaign
Drs. Royel Johnson (Higher Education and African American Studies) and Kelly Rosinger (Higher Education) will assess the feasibility of designing, implementing, and evaluating an outreach campaign to improve educational outcomes for justice-involved individuals. The outreach will focus on reducing informational, behavioral, and psychological barriers that justice-involved individuals face in reentering their communities and pursuing education.
Moral Institutions and Judicial Sentencing
Drs. Eric Silver (Sociology and Criminology) and Jeffery T. Ulmer (Sociology and Criminology) will measure the influence of judges’ moral intuitions on sentencing outcomes and submit a proposal to NSF’s Law and Social Sciences Program aimed at extending the pilot study to include a larger sample of judges from across PA.
Pennsylvania Active Shooter Preparedness
Dr. Lacey N. Wallace (Department of Criminal Justice, Penn State Altoona) will address public perceptions of mass shootings, by collecting data from Pennsylvania residents. Topics to be examined include public awareness, public beliefs about policy effectiveness, media consumption, self-protective measures, and perceived risk, as well as variation by community context. The study will also investigate the degree to which views vary by subgroup, including differences between parents and non-parents, between rural and urban areas, and between students and non-students.
Read to Your Child/Grandchild: Family Literacy for Incarcerated Parents in Pennsylvania
Drs. Esther Prins (College of Education) and Anna Kaiper (College of Education) will examine experiences and perspectives of incarcerated fathers in the Read to Your Child/Grandchild (RYCG) program at an SCI. This study will help inform potential outcomes of a family literacy program such as RYCG and examine which of these outcomes are most salient for inmates and their families.
RiseUptown: A Comprehensive Community Collaboration to Reduce the Adverse Effect of Poverty on Urban Adolescents
Drs. Martha Wadsworth (Professor of Psychology and Criminal Justice Research Center Faculty Affiliate); Jonathan Lee & Siyu Liu (PSU-Harrisburg, School of Public Affairs); Jarl Ahlkvist (Sociology and Criminology) will evaluate the efficacy of the RISEUP program in reducing youth crime and violence in Harrisburg.
Understanding Patterns of Terrorism using Social Networks and AI- Machine Learning
Drs. Diane Felmlee (Sociology and Criminology) and Scott Sigmund Gartner (School of International Affairs) will merge social network analysis with artificial intelligence to develop new ways to analyze terrorism data in order to identify factors that drive terrorist-based, criminal violence.