Criminal justice reform initiatives put economists, criminal justice researchers together

Leaders+behind+the+entire+criminal+justice+initiative.

Leaders behind the entire criminal justice initiative.

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From left to right: Professors Howard Wall, Andrea Boyles and Jeanie Thies
Photo modified by Tony Forcelledo

Tony Forcelledo| Reporter
June 22, 2016; 9:30 a.m.

A new criminal justice reform on campus aims to bring together economists and criminal justice researchers.

The effort is being coordinated by Jeanie Thies, who works in Lindenwood’s Department of Criminal Justice and is the new Senior Research Fellow of the Hammond Institute.

A preliminary budget of $20,000 is in place for course expenses and to bring on Lindenwood faculty.

The following research efforts are being made through the initiative:

  • Treatment courts project
  • How do blacks police themselves
  • Criminal justice data repository
  • Missouri criminal justice for dummies

Treatment courts project has been pursuing alternatives to prison since the early 2000’s. They have also had a special treatment court for drug and alcohol convictions. Efforts from Lindenwood faculty have evaluated the process of these outcomes that have been proven successful. Three projects have been recorded in a report and submitted to the county for the academic journal.

The how do blacks police themselves is a research grant awarded to Andrea Boyles and she will run interviews with residential African American’s from the City of St. Louis to better understand what needs to be done to prevent crime. The amount of the grant is $5,000, which will cover interviews, transcription and conference presentations.

The project criminal justice data repository is a partnership with the District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri. They hope for the whole project to be a continuous one, will begin to produce data results this summer.

The Missouri criminal justice for dummies commissioned a paper to survey the criminal justice activity to help policymakers prioritize their efforts in recreating the state’s criminal justice system. The three individuals who are contributing to write this paper are Lindenwood professors: Saint Rice, Jeanie Thies and Joseph Zlatic

Howard Wall, the director in charge of the Hammond Institute, said: “We have students that have been working with data sets here during the summer to gain information and putting it towards our goal.”

“We hope to have solid research in hand so we can use that towards affirmative action.”