DURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has been chosen as one of six partners to work with the Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice in New York to examine the impact police enforcement of lower-level criminal offenses.
NCCU will gather and analyze data from the Durham area regarding arrests and eventual disposition of offenses such as shoplifting, fraud, petty theft, forgery and possession of small amounts of drugs. That information will be used to examine the degree to which law enforcement trends impact perception of public safety, law enforcement budgets, community/police relations and other issues.
“For Durham to be selected as one of six sites from around the country for this research network is quite an honor,” said Lorraine Taylor, Ph.D., executive director for the Juvenile Justice Institute at NCCU. “This opportunity highlights our strong community partnerships and underscores the high quality research that is now underway in the Behavioral and Social Sciences here.”
Based on a project by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at The City University of New York, the network is funded by a $3.25 million, three-year grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. The five additional sites chosen from a total of 39 applicants are University of California, Los Angeles; University of Toledo; Seattle University; the University of Maryland; and the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
"Joining the Research Network is an opportunity for Durham to contribute to the national discourse on how the justice system processes lower-level offenses and offenders," said Robert A. Brown, Ph.D., chair of NCCU's Department of Criminal Justice. "One of our goals is to eventually expand this work throughout North Carolina."
Principal investigator Preeti Chauhan, Ph.D, of John Jay College, previously published a series of reports on disposition of misdemeanor offenses in New York City. Those reports have played a significant role in criminal justice reform efforts now underway there.
“To see the work of the Misdemeanor Justice Project expand from New York City to six other jurisdictions is very exciting,” said Chauhan. "We are looking forward to replicating the New York model to these sites and believe the results will guide smarter criminal justice reform.”