The Institute for the Study of Crime and Justice


ISCJ Faculty Release the Evaluation of the Judicial Branch's Family Violence Programs

The Institute for the Study of Crime and Justice (ISCJ) resides within the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Central Connecticut State University and is operated by Department faculty.  One of the purposes of the ISCJ is to provide professionals and practitioners with scientific information that will enhance professional practice across a variety of criminal justice areas. 

Current Faculty Projects

Dr. Stephen Cox, Dr. Raymond Chip Tafrate, and Dr. Damon Mitchell partnered with the Connecticut Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division and received a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to conduct a pilot training program for Connecticut probation officers. This program, Forensic CBT, provides training and feedback to probation officers in helping them better interact with offenders to reduce probationer recidivism.


Dr. Julie Schnobrich-Davis is working with Dr. Craig Uchida, President and Founder of Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. as research partners to the Cambridge, Everett, and Somerville Police Departments in Massachusetts. They received a Smart Policing Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance to implement and evaluate a predictive policing approach to prevent cross-jurisdictional violent crime.


Dr. William Watkins is using state-level data to look at the effect, if any, that firearm legislation has on firearm-related crimes after implementation. This examination will look at crimes by severity and by firearm type in an attempt to compare and contrast efficacy of state-by-state legislation regarding firearms as it relates to public safety.


Dr. William Watkins is examining the misuse of prescription drugs among college students using multiple theoretical contexts in an attempt to further understand this behavior. A multi-site, multi-region sample of students will be used in this effort. Results are disaggregated to examine differences between and characteristics of users based on college type and location.


Dr. Steven Block and Ms. Lyndsay Ruffolo are utilizing an internet-based sample to explore the concerns and fears of people entering correctional systems. The qualitative study is one of the first to utilize this methodology in the study of experiences of criminal justice populations.


Recent Faculty Publications

In Press

Richards, T.N., Kirkland - Gillespie, L., & Givens, E.M. (in press). Reporting femicide-suicide in the news: The current utilization of suicide reporting guidelines and recommendations for the future. Journal of Family Violence.

Simmons, R. & Grimaldi, N. (in press). Juvenile Delinquency. In T.P. Gullotta & M. Bloom. (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion (2nd Ed.). New York: Springer.


Block, S., Brown, C.A., Barretti, L.M., Walker, E., Yudt, M., & Fretz, R. (2014). A mixed-method assessment of a parenting program for incarcerated fathers. Journal of Correctional Education, 65(1), 50-67.


Bantley, K. & Koski, S. (2013). The Dark Knight rises: An examination of the insanity plea and the James Holmes case. Journal of Law and Social Deviance, 6, 154-184.

Block, S. & Fujita, S. (2013). Patterns of near repeat temporary and permanent motor vehicle thefts. Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal. 15(2), 151-167.

Constantine, R.J., Andel, R., Robst, J., & Givens, E.M. (2013). The impact of emotional disturbances on the arrest trajectories of youth as they transition into young adulthood. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 1286-1298.

Constantine, R.J., Robst, J., Andel, R., Jones, M.B., McPherson, M. A., & Givens, E.M. (2013). Service and medication use and their effects on arrest rates among children with emotional disturbances before disenrollment from Medicaid. Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Grommon, E., Cox, S.M., Davidson, W.S., & Bynum, T.S. (2013). Alternative Models of Instant Drug Testing: Evidence from an Experimental Trial. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 9(2), 145-168.

Kirkland - Gillespie, L., Richards, T.N., Givens, E.M., & Smith, M.D. (2013). Framing intimate partner violence: Why the media’s spin matters in coverage of femicide. Violence Against Women, 19(2), 222-245.

Koski, S.V. & Bantley, K.A. (2013). Coping with reentry barriers: Strategies used by women offenders. InSight: Rivier Academic Journal, 9(1), 1-17.

Mitchell, D., Tafrate, R.C., Hogan, T., & Olver, M.E. (2013). An exploration of the association between criminal thinking and community program attrition. Journal of Criminal Justice, 41(2), 81-89.

Roberts, A. & Block, S. (2013). Explaining permanent and temporary motor vehicle thefts in the United States: A crime-specific approach. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 50(3), 445-471.



Angelone, D. J., Mitchell, D., & Lucente, L. (2012). Predicting perceptions of date rape: An examination of perpetrator motivation, relationship length, and gender role beliefs. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(13), 2582-2602.

Block, S. (2012). Characteristics of internationally trafficked stolen vehicles along the U.S.-Mexico border. Western Criminology Review, 13(3), 1-14.

Delude, B., Mitchell, D., & Barber, C. (2012). From the probationer's perspective: The probation officer-probationer relationship and satisfaction with probation. Federal Probation, 76(1), 35-39.

Ford, J.A. & Watkins, W.C. (2012). Adolescent Non-medical Prescription Drug Use. The Prevention Researcher, 19(1): 3-6.

Mitchell, D., & Tafrate, R.C. (2012). Conceptualization and measurement of criminal thinking: Initial validation of the Criminogenic Thinking Profile. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 56(7), 1080-1102.

Rivolta, P.M. (2012). Drinking and Crime. In W. Miller & J. G. Golson (Eds.), The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America (forthcoming). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rivolta, P.M. (2012). Drug Trade: Source, Destination, and Transit Countries. In M. Beare & J. G. Golson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Transnational Crime and Justice (pp. 114-117). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.



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