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Research Division

The Institute seeks to advance evidence-based correctional programs, policies, and practices at the local, state, and federal level through an active research agenda. Through the Institute, correctional agencies are able to consult with faculty from Sam Houston State University to address their research and evaluation needs. Faculty expertise includes grant writing, program evaluation, statistical analysis, survey methodology, and knowledge of substantive areas of corrections. The majority of ongoing research evaluations are supported through external grants and contracts.

The Research Division of CMIT engages in program evaluation and related research in cooperation with local and state correctional agencies and organizations. The goals of the division are to:

  • Conduct research that advances evidence based practices in corrections and related areas;
  • Engage in program evaluation of existing programs at the local, regional and national level to inform policies and practices;
  • Disseminate research knowledge through professional publication, public presentations and information sharing networks to aid in development of effective policy;
  • Act as a liaison between CJ faculty, CJ graduate students, and the research units of CJ agencies in Texas;
  • Provide educational programs to the CJ student body on corrections issues by hosting guest speakers, organizing seminars with corrections officials, and arranging tours of correctional facilities.
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Affiliated Faculty and Recent Projects

Research Director, Erin Orrick, Ph.D.

  • Criminal Attitudes and Reentry: A Within-Individual Analysis of Recidivism Post-Release from Prison
  • Estimating the Influence of Self-Efficacy and Readiness to Change on Time to Re-Arrest
  • Re-assessing the Effects of Sentencing and Offense Type on Recidivism Using Survival Group Mixture Modeling
  • The Cost of Incarceration in Texas: Estimating the Benefits of Reducing the Prison Population
  • Assessing the Impact of Mexican Nativity on Sentence Length

Research Associate, LaQuana Askew, M.A.

  • Evaluation of Brazoria County Drug Court
  • TDCJ Reentry and Integration Halfway House Project
  • Texas Specialty Court Resource Center funding by the Criminal Justice Division of the Governor's Office
  • Publication: Bouffard, Jeffrey A. & Askew, LaQuana. 2017. Time-Series Analyses of the Impact of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Law Implementation and Subsequent Modifications on Rates of Sexual Offenses. Crime and Delinquency.

Travis Franklin, Ph.D.

  • Sentencing outcomes in U.S. District Courts: Can an offender's educational attainment guard against prevalent criminal stereotypes? (Using all felony offenders sentencing in U.S. District courts from 2006-2008, this project examines the extent to which an offenders educational accomplishments (i.e., graduating high school, completing some level of college, etc.) can buffer against the potential effects of various extralegal factors, (including race, ethnicity, age, and gender) on sentence outcomes.)
  • Examining patterns of racial and ethnic disparity in federal sentencing: A focus on understudied Asian nationalities (This study examines sentencing patterns associated with a highly understudied group, Asian offenders, in the federal courts to determine whether they are treated similarly to offenders of other racial/ethnic backgrounds.)
  • Race and ethnicity effects in federal sentencing: A propensity score analysis (This project re-examines the effects of race and ethnicity on sentence outcomes in the federal courts using an alternative, and potentially more accurate, statistical technique. It demonstrates that while race and ethnicity do appear to influence sentence outcomes, their effects may be smaller than previously believed.)

Melinda Tasca, Ph.D.

  • Measuring the effects of correctional officer stress on the well-being of the officer and the prison workplace and developing a practical index of officer stress for use by correctional agencies (funded by the National Institute of Justice).
  • Examining race and gender disparities in restricted housing placements (funded by the National Institute of Justice).
  • Understanding gender, racial, and ethnic differences in the relationship between prison visitation and recidivism (funded by the National Science Foundation).
  • The Arizona Children of Incarcerated Parents (COIP) project.

CMIT Research in Action

The CMIT Research Division presents these briefs to provide facilitators, staff, administration, and others an overview of literature as well as provide helpful tools and information to assist those in the field.

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George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center
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| A Member of The Texas State University System