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Statement of the American Society of Criminology Executive Board Concerning the Trump Administration’s Policies Relevant to Crime and Justice

8 May

Thanks for Prof Ciaran McCullagh for sending this on. It is very unusual for the ASC to issue a statement of this nature. Here they use evidence to take Trump and his administration to task on their ‘alternative facts’ concerning  crime and justice.

Statement of the American Society of Criminology Executive Board Concerning the Trump Administration’s Policies Relevant to Crime and Justice

The Trump administration has signaled its crime policy intentions through a series of Executive Orders signed in the President’s first several months in office.i These executive orders demonstrate an incongruity between administrative policy efforts and well-established science about the causes and consequences of crime. Four general areas are especially emblematic of this problem.

Immigrants do not commit the majority of crime in the United States. First, a century’s worth of findings on immigration and crime in the U.S. show that immigrant concentration decreases crime at the neighborhood and city levels – also known as the revitalization thesis.ii That immigration is a protective factor against crime also holds true for individuals; immigrants as a whole are far less likely to commit crimes than non-immigrants.iii Recent examples of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants are not representative of national, state, neighborhood, or even individual-level violent crime trends,iv yet the President and his administration present them as the norm. This erroneous view underlies executive orders that see immigrants as criminogenic, and that threaten cities receptive to immigrants (i.e., sanctuary cities) to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement or face the withdrawal of federal funding, and also is reflected in development of the new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office.

The proposed travel ban is not empirically justified and targets the wrong countries.

Second, there is no empirical evidence to support President Trump’s decision to ban citizens of six majority-Muslim countries from travel to the U.S. in the name of preventing terrorist infiltration. No terrorist perpetrator from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen – whose nationals would be halted from U.S. travel under Trump’s Executive Order of March 2017 – has been involved in a fatal terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001.v Every jihadist who conducted a lethal attack in the United States since 9/11 was a United States citizen or legal resident, while the three countries from which the deadliest terrorists have come to the U.S. are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt – none of which are included in the travel ban.

The U.S. is not in the midst of a national crime wave. Third, rates of violent and property crime have been declining in the U.S. for at least a quarter Many criminologists have referred to this post-1990s period as “the great crime decline.” It is true that some cities experienced large increases in homicide in 2015, but this is not indicative of a national pattern as homicide rates overall remain significantly below 1990s peaks.vii As for violent crime generally, recent projections anticipate that violent crime rates in America’s 30 largest cities will increase slightly next year, but will still remain near 30-year lows.viii That our nation and cities are safer now than at least the 1990s has been disregarded by an executive order that would empower the federal government to make fighting a non-existent crime wave a top priority.

The U.S. government plays an important role in police reform. Finally, the federal government has played a critical role in recent decades in the reform of U.S. police departments. Most recently, former President Obama convened a task force on policing in the wake of police

violence against African Americans. The report generated by this task force advances a number of empirically-based solutions aimed at improving policing, rebuilding community trust in the police, and ensuring officer safety and wellness.ix In addition, the federal government has intervened in the form of consent decrees in U.S. cities that have well-established patterns of police discrimination and abuse. These consent decrees are designed to create long-term and system-wide pathways for police reform, including funds to do so. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ call for sweeping review of these consent decrees can signal both to law enforcement and to citizens that such problems are not systemic but instead simply the result of “a few bad apples.”x Research indicates that this is not necessarily the case.xi Pulling back on the use of consent decrees could undermine police reform efforts and dial back hard-won progress that many police leaders support.

Recent Presidential executive orders and other administrative decisions are at odds with established evidence in criminology and criminal justice.xii Crime-control policies should be built on science, and elected officials at all levels of government have a responsibility to endorse public policies that are evidence-based and that promote fairness, equality, and justice. The Executive Board of the American Society of Criminology is concerned by the actions of the Trump administration in its dissemination of misinformation and development of uninformed policy initiatives. Not only are these initiatives unscientific, they are likely to engender further cynicism about and discontent with the criminal justice system that is harmful to citizens, to members of law enforcement, and to other sources of social control.xiii Rather than keeping Americans safer, these initiatives stand to exacerbate existing crime problems by increasing risk of victimization while decreasing likelihood of reporting, and by worsening marginalization and discrimination in the U.S.

We urge the Trump administration to draw upon scientific evidencexiv and the research expertisexv of scholars who study crime and justice issues to help shape its crime policy agenda, and we stand ready to assist. Specifically, we caution the Trump administration against the resuscitation of Drug War era “get tough” policies and other “law and order” crackdowns that stand to worsen already strained relations between police and communities, especially communities of color, and policies that disparately arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate members of these communities. Evidence has shown such policies to create many unintended problems for families, children, law enforcement personnel, and other institutions across our nation. Furthermore, we advocate for a justice system that recognizes the adverse impact of draconian punishments and that seeks to prioritize beneficial reentry and social integration programsxvi that hold offenders accountable while still allowing them to maintain bonds with their families and communities. Our discipline has learned muchxvii about reducing crime, policing smarter, and punishing more effectively over the years, and we urge the Trump administration to draw from these lessons learned in order to advance policies that preserve and protect due process rights for all, and that promote justice at home and abroad.

James Lynch, University of Maryland; President, American Society of Criminology (ASC) Karen Heimer, University of Iowa; ASC President-Elect
Ruth D. Peterson, The Ohio State University; ASC Past-President
Jody Miller, Rutgers University; ASC Vice President

Christina DeJong, Michigan State University; ASC Vice President-Elect
Gaylene Armstrong, University of Nebraska; ASC Executive Counselor
Delores Jones-Brown, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; ASC Executive Counselor Natasha Frost, Northeastern University; ASC Executive Counselor
Charis Kubrin, University of California-Irvine; ASC Executive Counselor
Cynthia Lum, George Mason University; ASC Executive Counselor
Ineke Marshall, Northeastern University; ASC Executive Counselor
Hillary Potter, University of Colorado; ASC Executive Counselor
Claire Renzetti, University of Kentucky; ASC Executive Counselor
María B. Vélez, University of New Mexico; ASC Executive Counselor

Chris Eskridge, University of Nebraska; ASC Executive Director
Bonnie Fisher, University of Cincinnati; ASC Treasurer
Amanda Burgess-Proctor, Oakland University; Member, Ad-hoc Committee on the ASC’s

Statement on the Presidential Administration’s Policies Relevant to Crime and Justice
Gary LaFree, University of Maryland; Member, Ad-hoc Committee on the ASC’s Statement on

the Presidential Administration’s Policies Relevant to Crime and Justice
Sheldon X. Zhang, University of Massachusetts-Lowell; Member, Ad-hoc Committee on the

ASC’s Statement on the Presidential Administration’s Policies Relevant to Crime and Justice


ii Gonzalez-O’Brien, B., L. Collingwood, and S. Omar El-Khatib. Forthcoming. “The Politics of Refuge: Sanctuary Cities, Crime, and Undocumented Immigration.” Urban Affairs Review.

Lyons, C.J., M.B. Vélez, and W.A. Santoro. 2013. “Neighborhood Immigration, Violence, and City-Level Immigrant Political Opportunities.” American Sociological Review. 78: 604-632.

Martinez, R., J.I. Stowell, and M.T. Lee. 2010. “Immigration and Crime in an Era of Transformation: A Longitudinal Analysis of Homicides in San Diego Neighborhoods, 1980–2000.” Criminology. 48: 797– 829.

Oussey, G.C. and C.E. Kubrin. 2009. “Exploring the Connection between Immigration and Violent Crime Rates in U.S. Cities, 1980-2000. Social Problems. 56: 447-473.

Stowell, J.I., S.F. Messner, K.F. McGeever, and L.E. Raffalovich. 2009. “Immigration and the Recent Violent Crime Drop in the United States: A Pooled, Cross-Sectional Time-Series Analysis of Metropolitan Areas.” Criminology. 47: 889–928.

Wadsworth, T. 2010. “Is Immigration Responsible for the Crime Drop? An Assessment of the Influence of Immigration on Changes in Violent Crime between 1990 and 2000.” Social Science Quarterly. 91: 531-553.

Zatz, M.S., and H. Smith. 2014. “Immigration, Crime, and Victimization: Rhetoric and Reality.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science. 8: 141-159.

iii Vaughn, M.G., C.P. Salas-Wright, M. DeLisi, and B.R. Maynard. 2014. “The Immigrant Paradox: Immigrants are Less Antisocial than Native-Born Americans.” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 49: 1129-1137.


Baumer E.P. and K.T. Wolff. 2014. “Evaluating Contemporary Crime Drops in America, New York City,

and Many Other Places.” Justice Quarterly. 31:5-38
Blumstein A. and J. Wallman. 2006. The Crime Drop in America. Cambridge University Press.

vii Rosenfeld, R. 2016. Documenting and Explaining the 2015 Homicide Rise: Research Directions. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice (

viii ix

x xi

xiii New_Administration.pdf

xvi xvii

v attacks-post-911-countri/

National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. 2004. Fairness and Effectiveness in

Policing: The Evidence. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

xii Stowell, J.I., S.F. Messner, M.S. Barton, and L.E. Raffalovich. 2013. “Addition by Subtraction? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Impact of Deportation Efforts on Violent Crime.” Law & Society Review. 47: 909–942.


Irish Postgraduate Conference – Call for Papers

19 Oct


Irish Postgraduate Criminology Conference 2017


Cork Road Campus, Waterford City
Waterford Institute of Technology
Thursday 23rd February 2017


Building on the success of the past two years in Dublin and Belfast, the Irish Postgraduate Criminology Conference will return in 2017 for its third annual conference. This year the conference will be held in Waterford Institute of Technology on Thursday, the 23rd February 2017. The theme of the conference is open and proposals for papers covering all areas of criminological research are welcome. The main aim of this conference is to provide masters and doctoral students with the opportunity to share their research in a friendly and supportive environment. With this in mind, two presentation formats are available.

  1. Conference paper: these will be allocated to thematic sessions and each presenter will be given 15 minutes to present.
  1. “Works in Progress” paper: we will hold a session entitled “Works in Progress” where students in the early stages of their research, or those who are experiencing challenges with one particular aspect of it, can present a 3 minute presentation and receive feedback on their work from an expert panel. Among others, areas that might be covered in this panel include:

– The focus of your research question
– Your theoretical framework
– What methodology you plan to use
– How you plan to analyse your data

Submission of Proposals
If you would like your paper to be considered for the conference, please complete the conference application form [click here] by the 30thNovember 2016.

You can register for the conference here [click here]. This conference is FREE and has kindly been sponsored by the School of Humanities at Waterford institute of Technology.

Book of Proceedings
The conference organisers are interested in publishing a book of proceedings from this conference. You will be asked to indicate your interest in contributing to the book in the conference application. Please keep an eye on the website for further updates.

Further Information:
If you require further information or have any queries regarding the Irish Postgraduate Criminology Conference 2017, please see the conference website: or email

#Blog: Attitudes towards Domestic Violence

21 Sep

This guest blog comes from Deborah O’Connell:

A number of years ago a friend of mine left a relationship because it had become abusive.   She developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she became completely different to the bubbly, adventurous and life loving friend I knew.   She was nervous, on edge and fearful.   I could not really understand why until the terror attacks of the last few years.

I wrote the below article for my local paper and I was commended by a domestic violence resource group for describing it so succinctly and accurately that the ordinary person could understand.  I am now considering using this topic as the basis for my thesis, and I would appreciate any opinions. Contact:

A the launch of Ireland’s Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, in January 2016 Frances Fitzgerald, T.D. stated that

Attitudes towards domestic violence

“…there lies much work, difficult work, to be done in changing society’s attitudes”

For the person who has never experienced domestic violence I can only describe it as akin to the fears society has over the terrorist attacks in the West at the moment. Is it safe to travel, (Brussels Airport, March 2016) will the plane explode / crash into something (America, September 2001), will it be safe to go to the beach – (Nice July 2016)?   Will the restaurant be attacked? (Bangladesh July 2016)

Fear, uncertainty, panic, on edge, anxious, terrified are just some of the words which can be used to describe the emotions of people caught up in terrorist attacks. For the bystanders, we watch in disbelief. I remember watching the news on September 11th 2001 and I thought i had accidentally switched over to a movie when the planes hit the towers. Terrorist attacks make us afraid and unsure. They attack the fundamental feeling of safety we have as we go about our daily lives.

This is the life of a domestic abuse victim. They cannot believe this is happening, they cannot understand it, and they live with the constant fear that it may happen again. Domestic Violence makes a person so unsure and so afraid they do not trust the world around them. People ask why they stay and its simple, how can they be certain the outside world is safer? How can they trust people, or indeed their own judgement? how will they cope? Similar fears to those victims of terrorism.

According to the world health organisation (WHO) almost 1/3 of women worldwide that is about 1.1 billion women will be affected by domestic violence. For every 3 women you know on average 1 is a victim of domestic violence.

Society doesn’t dismiss the feelings of victims of terrorist attacks or the fears of the general population about it, but victims of domestic violence are treated differently, for many they aren’t believed. A friend of mine was told they had mental health issues, told he can’t be that bad. Someone told her he was too good looking to be abusive! She wasn’t believed. Frances Fitzgerald has asked that society stop dismissing the feelings and fears of those who live with domestic abuse. I, for one, agree with her.

Narrowing the Disconnect – The Ethics of Supporting Desistance from Crime

25 Jul

Register now for this conference run by the Cork Alliance Centre with speakers:

Allan Weaver

Shadd Maruna

Deirdre Healy

Joanna Shapland

Vivian Geiran

Michael Donnellan


Conference Dates: Thursday 15th & Friday 16th of September 2016
Venue: Firkin Crane, John Redmond Street, Cork
A light lunch will be served on both days.
Conference dinner and networking event: Thursday 15th September at 7:00pm
Venue: Club Brasserie, City Quarter, Lapp’s Quay, Cork
Conference Contact details: 021-4557878 / 087-6890210
CPD Certificates will be provided. Please indicate below if you require one.

Autumn Criminology School

17 Jun

Ireland’s first ever residential Autumn Criminology School for Doctoral Researchers will be held at the stunning location of Blackwater Castle in Co. Cork on the 25th to the 30th of September 2016.

The residential Criminology School will be led by highly esteemed Irish and international criminologists with input from key policy makers and NGOs.

Funded by the Irish Research Council the School aims to:

  • Create a space in which criminologists at all career stages can engage in knowledge exchange, theory testing and methodological debates;
  • Create an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional network of criminological researchers that connects PhD students, with early career and advanced researchers;
  • Better articulate the importance of innovative, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to research;
  • Foster an understanding of the importance of creating and sustaining links between criminological research and social policy by providing a forum for researchers and policy makers to meet and discuss common priorities.

Activities on each day will be related to one of five key themes including: (a) Theoretical frameworks and Literature; (b) Methodology; (c) Publication and Career development; (d) Interdisciplinary, Multidisciplinary and Comparative Approaches and (e) Policy Implications. The School will also feature a number of themed Roundtable Discussions on topics including: Public Criminology, White Collar Crime; Intersections of Policy and Research.

Keynote Speakers

Prof Kristel Beyens, Vrije Universiteit Brussels

Prof Pat Carlen, University of Leicester

Prof Fergus McNeill, University of Glasgow

Prof Shadd Maruna, University of Manchester

Prof Ian O’Donnell, University College Dublin

Prof Phil Scraton, Queen’s University Belfast


Further Confirmed Speakers:

Dr Lorraine Bowman-Grieve, WIT

Dr Michelle Butler, QUB

Dr Nicola Carr, QUB

Dr Geraldine Cleere, WIT

Dr Vicky Conway, DCU

Dr Clare Dwyer, QUB

Dr Diarmuid Griffin, NUIG

Dr Claire Hamilton, NUIM

Dr Deirdre Healy, UCD

Prof Shane Kilcommins, UL

Prof Ursula Kilkelly, UCC

Dr Siobhán McAlister, QUB

Dr Niamh Maguire, WIT

Dr Aogán Mulcahy, UCD

Dr Mary Rogan, TCD

Dr Mairead Seymour, DIT

Dr Jennifer Yaeger, WIT


Places are limited: For further details and information on how to apply visit: 

Study for a Masters in Youth Justice

24 May


The Masters in Youth Justice has been designed for those who want to advance their understanding of youth issues, youth offending and social and criminal justice responses to young people. It is focused on developing critical analytical skills and enhancing the ability to assess policy and practice against international standards and benchmarks.
Targeted at practitioners, policy-makers and those interested in further academic study, it provides the opportunity to apply academic knowledge and critical analytical skills to practice. It aims to enhance understanding of young people’s lives, the criminal justice system and the discourse of children’s rights.


The Improving Children’s Lives initiative is offering a part fees-bursary of £1,500. The deadline for submission of application is 29 July 2016. Further details can be found here. Further details on fees and university-based scholarships can be found here.


Additional information about entry requirements and course content is available on our Course Finder or alternatively you can contact:

Dr Siobhán McAlister
T: +44(0)28 90975918

Dr Nicola Carr
T: +44(0)28 90975965

Criminology Scholarship Opportunity

18 Apr

FitzPatrick Family Foundation Doctoral Scholarship 2016

 UCD Institute of Criminology

 Closing Date: Friday the 20th of May 2016

The UCD Institute of Criminology, part of UCD Sutherland School of Law, is pleased to offer one doctoral scholarship in the area of criminology/ criminal justice /penology.  See

Applications are sought from exceptional graduates for a scholarship to undertake on a full-time basis a four year funded PhD programme of research in thefields of criminology, criminal justice, or penology. The scholarship is being generously funded by the FitzPatrick Family Foundation. It is available to full time candidates commencing their studies in September 2016 and is tenable for a maximum of four years, renewable each year subject to satisfactory progress.

The scholarship will provide tuition fees at the EU rate only and an annual stipend of €18,000 per annum and it is open to Irish, EU and International applicants. In thecase of non EU applicants any offer is conditional on the applicant demonstrating at the time of accepting the offer that s/he has sufficient funds to supplementthe living allowance to cover the cost of living in Dublin.

How to apply: Please complete an on-line University Postgraduate application available at by the deadline. In addition, please send a covering letter explaining why you wish to undertake a PhD, and in particular, why you would be a suitable recipient for the scholarship.

This letter should be no more than 2 sides of A4 single-spaced and can be sent either as an email attachment to or in hard copy to Ms. Niamh McCabe, Graduate Programme Manager, Sutherland School of Law, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

In addition to the cover letter you must submit the following documents:

  1. A research proposal which includes: a statement of the research question the candidate proposes to examine; an outline of the proposed methodology (in other words, an outline of how the applicant proposes to go about their research); and a brief literature review. (The idea of this is to place the research within the current state of knowledge in the field in question. It should include a short, indicative, bibliography of works in the field).  There is no maximum length for a research proposal. Normally, it would be at least three or four pages long.
  2. Academic references: Please note that it is your responsibility to contact your referees to ensure that references are received before the closing date for this scholarship.
  3. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit satisfactory evidence of competence in written and spoken English, i.e. overall IELTS 6.5 (including a minimum of 6.5 in the reading and writing parts and no part below 6.0) or 90 in the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum of 22 (reading) and 24 (writing) and no part below 20.) The test results must be less than 2 years old.
  4. All academic transcripts.

Please direct any queries regarding the application process to Niamh McCabe at the above email address or by telephone on + 353 1 716 4111.

Late applications will not be accepted. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the decision of the scholarship committee.  No correspondence will be entered intoabout the committee’s decision. Applicants not awarded a scholarship may be offered a place on the PhD programme.

Candidates may be called for interview and should be available to start from September 2016.