Research in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Research activity within the School focuses on a wide variety of current issues in criminology and criminal justice ranging from tests of criminological theory and research on juvenile delinquency to program evaluations and policy analyses for criminal justice agencies. It is characterized by theoretical and methodological diversity with an emphasis on both quantitative and qualitative techniques as well as mixed methodologies. Research within the School is also characterized by traditional scholarly work as well as applied research involving collaborative partnerships with community agencies.
Faculty Research Concentration Areas
For additional information about faculty research interests, select one of the concentration areas below:
Criminology Theory and Juvenile Delinquency
Amy L. Anderson
Theories of crime and delinquency, particularly routine activity theory
Theories of crime and violence
Health, psychology, and delinquency
Street gangs; theories of crime and delinquency
Postmodern perspectives on social science theory
Robert F. Meier
Theories of crime and delinquency
Life-course theories of crime and delinquency
Symbolic interactionism, gangs, and delinquency
Marc L. Swatt
Theories of crime
Methods and Statistics
Amy L. Anderson
Multilevel modeling, advanced quantitative techniques
Stata and social network analysis, advanced quantitative techniques
Excel techniques and SPSS
Mixed methods and qualitative research
Geospatial analysis, social network analysis, advanced quantitative techniques
Policy and Applied Research
Corrections, female offenders, effectiveness of correctional programs, community-based programs
(e.g., day reporting, halfway houses)
Substance abuse prevention evaluation
Implicit bias in investigations; racial and ethnic inequality in the courts; refugee experiences with the U.S. legal system
Community-based interventions; juvenile and adult justice programs
Drug control policy; sex offender legislation; prisoner re-entry
Drug control policy; federal probation
Criminal Justice Issues
Court processing; correctional issues; disparity and discrimination
Sexual assault; self-defense; human organ transplant
Extremist movements and political violence
Prison culture; violence
International Criminology and Criminal Justice Issues
Cross-national criminal justice, including teaching a criminal justice class with an international trip to London
Terrorism and counter-terrorism
Developing criminology degree programs and criminology societies; terrorism
Cross-national comparisons of crime and delinquency
Cross-national criminal justice
Historical examinations of violence and crime
Criminal justice in film
Social networking for problem populations (e.g., re-entry population)
Alcohol and violence; homicide
The UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice houses two research units: the Juvenile Justice Institute (JJI) and the Consortium for Crime and Justice Research (CCJR). Directed by Anne Hobbs, JJI works with local and state agencies on issues pertaining to juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice, and juvenile services in Nebraska. CCJR is directed by Dr. Hank Robinson and focuses more broadly on research related to crime and justice at the local, state, and national levels. Both JJI and CCJR are frequently engaged in externally funded, collaborative research with community partners. A sample of JJI and CCJR projects are listed below. For more information on JJI and CCJR: link to their page.
Douglas County Adult Drug Court
Dr. William Wakefield is leading an evaluation of an alcohol screening instrument for the Douglas County Adult Drug Court. This research is sponsored by an award from the Bureau of Justice Assistance Enhancement Grant Program.
Douglas County Day Reporting Center
Dr. Pauline Brennan is currently working on an outcome and process evaluation of the Douglas County Day Reporting Center (DRC) with funding provided by the Douglas County Department of Corrections. The outcome evaluation will be based on data gleaned from a new data management system.
Evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Program
An inter-disciplinary team of researchers from UNO evaluated the Nebraska Department of Correction’s Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI). Headed by Dr. Lisa Sample, the UNO research team conducted a process and outcome evaluation of the program to examine the accuracy with which the reentry program identifies and selects the target population; the extent to which the program builds effective partnerships between criminal justice, behavioral health, and social service agencies; and the degree to which the various components of the program are implemented as intended. For additional information on this program: more >>
Juvenile Justice Institute
Under the direction of Anne Hobbs, JJI is working on two statewide initiatives funded by the Nebraska Crime Commission. The Web-Enabled Juvenile Diversion Case Management System encourages all juvenile diversion programs to enter data, and to develop common policies, regarding youth who enroll in diversion in Nebraska. JJI has helped develop the policy, process and application of this system. JJI has also been instrumental in helping counties develop meaningful long range plans pertaining to juvenile justice that impact communities across the state. At the local level, Hobbs is currently evaluating an early assessment and referral program implemented by the Lancaster County Attorney to determine the effect of offering youth multiple levels of juvenile diversion. For additional information on JJI research projects: more >>
LiveWise Drug Free Community Partnership
The Drug Free Community Partnership program is geared toward addressing the use and abuse of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs by juveniles. An evaluation of the implementation of the project and its outcomes is being led by Dr. Lisa Sample.
Dr. Lisa Sample led the evaluation of the Methamphetamine Treatment initiative sponsored by the Omaha Police Department. The initiative was geared toward increasing arrests and successful prosecutions of methamphetamine crimes and other drug-related crimes.
Moral Reconation Therapy Program - U.S. Probation
Dr. William Wakefield is conducting an evaluation of the Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) Program in place at the U.S. Probation Office in Omaha since 2005. Nine probation officers are certified facilitators in MRT Programming and there is one certified trainer in the office. The evaluation is ongoing and in Phase II with additional phases to follow over an 18 month period.
Nebraska Correctional Center for Women
Dr. Pauline Brennan and Dr. Marc Swatt are leading an evaluation of the parenting program at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women. The parenting program allows extended day visits and overnight visitation for inmate mothers and their children. In addition, one aspect of the program includes a prison nursery, where some inmates may live with their infants.