Criminal Justice Research Area

Dr. Erik Alda’s research examines the organizational performance of criminal justice organizations, program evaluation, and international criminology. In his research, he examines ways in which criminal justice organizations can maximize their performance and improve the quality of service. Recently, Dr. Alda has been invited to be an academic member of the Police Staffing Observatory led by Prof. Jeremy Wilson at Michigan State University. This is one of the largest police staffing projects financed by the National Institutes of Justice. Dr. Alda is currently working on several manuscripts where he assesses the impact of BWC on police efficiency, the evolution of police efficiency in the US; spatial decompositions of factors driving (in)efficiency in the US; and collaborating with other scholars in Spain and Brazil on efficiency analysis.

link to NIJ project:

Dr. Sarah Fischer researches discrimination against women and how discrimination affects women’s political involvement. Specifically, she examines discrimination Muslim women encounter in the Middle East and the United States. Most recently, she has examined media portrayals of Muslim women serving in the United States Congress. A separate line of her research investigates popular television crime dramas’ portrayal of police officers. Through content analyses, she examines how these shows portray officers’ gender, race, and their behavior at work–including whether the officers follow proper procedure, how they interact with suspects, and how the officers cope with job-related stress.

Dr. Brittany Ripper’s research focuses on reentry, as well as life sentences and death sentences. Her dissertation research explored how women coped with returning to society from jail and prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Ripper recently conducted a survey of individuals sentenced to life in prison who were later released. She is currently working on a manuscript about living under the threat of a death sentence. Her newest research project will examine the effects of getting a college education behind bars.