Research Overview

framed faculty book covers hanging on a wallSubfields in Criminology and Criminal Justice include:

  • Courts and Corrections
  • Cyber and Transnational Crime
  • Policing
  • Sociology
  • Terrorism and Mass Violence
  • Underserved Communities and Crime

The page provides brief overviews of our faculty members’ research interests in these areas. For more detailed information, including lists of publications, browse our directory.

Courts and Corrections

This subfield focuses on the role the judiciary plays in meting out justice, how prisons and jails function, and the interactions between offenders and the justice system.

Dr. Stephen Clipper’s research interests focus on the pretrial stage of the criminal justice system specifically focusing on risk of failure to appear, the efficacy of release programs, and understanding the effects of policy changes. His other research interests include applications of forecasting and risk assessment in criminal justice decision-making, machine learning, and quantitative analysis.

Dr. Jane C. Daquin is a quantitative methodologist with a substantive focus on correctional experiences. Her main area of research is within the field of institutional corrections with a focus on the institutional experiences (e.g., prison victimization and misconduct) of persons who are under correctional purview and how their experiences affect reentry.

Dr. Matthew Dolliver’s research program includes studying juror’s perceptions of crime and justice, particularly with regards to race. His studies more closely examine the impact of race and gender on the bail process.

Dr. Ida Johnson’s research interests include domestic violence, barriers to women parolees’ reentry into society, the relationship between women’s traumatic experiences and the commission of violent crimes, and sexual victimization experienced by incarcerated women.  She employs both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Cyber and Transnational Crime

Cyber crimes are crimes where a computer has been used in the commission of a crime or as the target.  Transnational crimes are not just international, but are crimes that by their nature involve cross-border transference as an essential part of the criminal activity.

Dr. Diana Dolliver’s cyber-related research focuses on darknet-based criminality (e.g., drugs and weapons trafficking, malware, human trafficking) and network analysis. Her current projects involve a longitudinal study of illicit markets on the Tor Network, and analysis of cyber attacks launched against a large university’s networks.

Dr. Adam Ghazi-Tehrani’s cyber-related research focuses on nation-states, how they interact online, and “cyber war.”  He also studies white-collar crime, with a focus on Asia and state-sanctioned crimes.  His current projects also include work on Hate Crime.

Dr. Brittany Gilmer’s research examines the political geographies of maritime crime and criminal justice responses. She has conducted ethnographic work on Somali piracy and IUU fishing off the coast of East Africa and served as a transnational crime expert consultant for the UNODC and FAO Somali Fisheries Sector. Her two current research projects explore: 1) the experiences of Somali piracy hostages and 2) prosecutorial decision making in Somali piracy trials in East Africa.

Dr. Jihoon Kim’s research interests include developmental/life-course criminology, cyber criminology, juvenile delinquency, victimology, comparative criminology. He is also interested in applying advanced methods and rigorous statistical approaches to properly answer criminological research questions.


This subfield covers the role of traditional law enforcement in combating crime within their role as “professional crime fighters.”

Dr. Diana Dolliver’s policing-based research focuses on police use-of-force, community policing, active shooter preparedness, and police practices in the digital age. Together with Dr. Ryan Cook, she is currently conducting an experiment that examines police decision-making and application of force during citizen encounters using the firearms training simulator, VirTra.

Dr. Erin Kearns is interested in how police-community interactions impact both officer support for community engagement and public willingness to cooperate with police and report crime to them. She relies primarily on quantitative and experimental methods to address these topics.


Sociology is the study of social behavior, society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life in order to develop a body of knowledge about social order and social change.

Dr. Ariane Prohaska’s research interests include the social construction of gender, fat studies, race/gender/class inequality, and disaster sociology. She also works on research projects with CCJ students, focusing on gender-related topics such as gender bias in policing and sexual assault. She is currently examining the pageant contestants’ conceptions of beauty, health, and body size in different types of beauty pageants in the United States.

Terrorism and Mass Violence

This subfield covers mass violence and terrorism, the unlawful use of force against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government or the civilian population to further political or social objectives.

Dr. Erin Kearns focuses on the relationships among groups that use terrorism, media, and the public. Specifically, she is interested in how media represent (and misrepresent) terrorism and counterterrorism, how these media depictions influence public perceptions and policy, and how groups that use terrorism strategically communicate with each other, the public, and governments. She relies quantitative, qualitative, and experimental methods to address these topics.

Dr. Adam Lankford researches many types of social deviance and criminal behavior, including mass murder, mass shootings, and terrorism. In recent years, his research has examined perpetrators’ psychological tendencies, mental health problems, suicidal motives, fame-seeking tactics, copycat behavior, and weapons acquisition–along with the strategies that might be used to prevent their attacks.

Underserved Communities and Crime

Underserved communities include members of minority populations or individuals who have experienced health disparities, such as BIPOC populations, refugees, and individuals with limited English proficiency.

Dr. Matthew Dolliver’s research interests focus on the role of gender identity in the measurement and conceptualization of the gender-crime relationship. He examines the role gender plays in how the public forms perceptions of crime and justice.

Dr. Brittany Gilmer’s research explores the intersection of maritime crime, international development, and inequality in the Global South. Her current work examines and critiques the growth and expansion of criminal justice institutions in East Africa as a result of international-led efforts to combat piracy and violent extremism. She is particularly interested in the local impacts of these institutions as they converge with per-existing and traditional approaches to crime and justice.