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School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

News and Events

Hughes finds evidence of higher levels of violence among less cohesive street gangs.

Anderson and Hughes identified as prolific female scholars

Walker’s testimony cited in Floyd v. City of New York

M.S. student Quinn Guilds selected for an internship with START

Ph.D. Alum Chris Gibson named Research Foundation Professor

Wright finds that the cycle of violence may be contextualized by neighborhood conditions

Steiner named Distinguished New Scholar

Ph.D. student Timbre Wulf-Ludden wins student paper award

Simi receives Guggenheim Foundation Award


Hughes finds evidence of higher levels of violence among less cohesive street gangs.

It is well established that membership in a gang increases the likelihood of criminal behavior beyond the effects of social selection. An important theoretical development concerning this relationship is the group process perspective, which explains gang member behavior as a function of ongoing relations and interactions within the context of the gang. Professor Lorine Hughes used data from Short and Strodtbeck's (1965) study of gangs in Chicago, 1959–1962, to examine the association between intragang friendship networks and violent and delinquent behaviors among 248 boys from 11 different gangs. Contrary to expectations of tightly connected gangs being the most dangerous, she found increased levels of violence among gangs with relatively low group cohesion. No relationship was observed between delinquency and gang cohesiveness. Further, popular boys were at a significantly increased risk for both delinquency and violence, suggesting a link between prestigious positions within the structure of gang friendship networks and conformity with group processes. The full results of this study recently appeared in Criminology (2013, Volume 51, Issue 4).

Anderson and Hughes identified as prolific female scholars

A study published in the Journal of Criminal Justice Education in 2013 identified Professors Amy Anderson and Lorine Hughes as two of the most prolific female scholars in the field of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The study conducted by Henrikka Weir and Erin Orrick examined the number of lead authored articles published by females in “elite” Criminology and Criminal Justice journals between the years 2000 and 2010. Anderson and Hughes were two of 58 women who published at least three lead authored articles in the eight elite Criminology and Criminal Justice journals during the years under study.  

Walker’s testimony cited in Floyd v. City of New York

On August 12, a Federal District Court rejected the New York Police Department’s stop and frisk policy. The Court found that the New York City Police Department had engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional stops and frisks in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The testimony of Professor Emeritus Samuel Walker, who testified as an expert witness in the case, was referenced extensively in Judge Shira A. Scheindlin’s decision. The judge ordered sweeping reforms to end the unconstitutional practices, including changes to the training, supervising, and monitoring of officers with the New York Police Department. The Judge also ordered the creation of a court-appointed Monitor to oversee the reforms she ordered. The appointment of the monitor was recommended by Professor Walker.

M.S. student Quinn Guilds selected for an internship with START

Quinn Guilds, a student in the Master of Science program, was recently named the recipient of an internship with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Responses to Terrorism (START). As a part of his internship, which will occur in Fall of 2013, Quinn will conduct research that involves analyzing information from the Global Terrorism Database for the U.S. Department of State. Quinn was one of six applicants selected from hundreds nationwide.

Ph.D. Alum Chris Gibson named Research Foundation Professor

Chris Gibson, a graduate of the doctoral program in Criminology and Criminal Justice was named a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor for 2013-2016. The recognition is bestowed on University of Florida faculty members who have a distinguished record of research and a strong research agenda that is likely to lead to continuing distinction in their fields. Professor Gibson is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Criminology and Law at the University of Florida. He has published extensively on issues related to individuals’ involvement in deviant and antisocial behavior during particular developmental periods and across their life course.  

Wright finds that the cycle of violence may be contextualized by neighborhood conditions

Although the cycle of violence theory has received empirical support (Widom, 1989a, 1989b), in reality, not all victims of child physical abuse become involved in violence. Therefore, little is known regarding factors that may moderate the relationship between abuse and subsequent violence, particularly contextual circumstances. Professor Emily Wright and Abigail Fagan (University of Florida) used longitudinal data from 1,372 youth living in 79 Chicago neighborhoods and employed a multivariate, multilevel Rasch model to explore the degree to which neighborhood disadvantage and cultural norms attenuate or strengthen the abuse–violence relationship. Their results indicated that the effect of child physical abuse on violence was weaker in more disadvantaged communities. Neighborhood cultural norms regarding tolerance for youth delinquency and fighting among family and friends did not moderate the child abuse–violence relationship, but each had a direct effect on violence, such that residence in neighborhoods more tolerant of delinquency and fighting increased the propensity for violence. These results suggest that the cycle of violence may be contextualized by neighborhood structural and cultural conditions. The full results of this study recently appeared in Criminology (2013, Volume 51, Issue 2).

Steiner named Distinguished New Scholar

Professor Benjamin Steiner received the 2012 Distinguished New Scholar award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Corrections and Sentencing. The award, which recognizes early career achievement in corrections and sentencing research, was presented to Professor Steiner and the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology in November.

Ph.D. student Timbre Wulf-Ludden wins student paper award

Doctoral student Timbre Wulf-Ludden was named in the winner of the 2012 Midwest Criminal Justice Association Graduate Student Paper Competition. Ms. Wulf-Ludden’s paper "Interpersonal Relationships among Inmates and Interpersonal Violence" will be published in the Journal of Crime and Justice in 2013.

Simi receives Guggenheim Foundation Award

Professor Pete Simiwas named the recipient of a 2012 Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Award. The award will be used to support Professor Simi's ongoing research on right-wing extremism