The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice has had a longstanding commitment to improving justice system agencies, including private security. The School actively engages external partners in a continuing conversation about research, community service, and salient policy questions. Part of this dialogue is supported by an ongoing program of applied social science research.
Much of this research focuses on evaluation of existing government crime control programs and policies to determine whether they work, as well as inquiries about the etiology and prevention of crime. In addition, much of our research examines the unintended consequences of policy: institutionalized racism, disparate sentencing and incarceration, and factors that impede a community’s ability to build social capital. In every case, we approach the research with ethical sensitivity and scientific rigor.
Theory and Practice
Just as Northeastern University is committed to academic excellence through the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience in the Cooperative Education Program, the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is dedicated to fostering a reciprocal relationship between criminal justice theory and practice.
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice recognizes that criminal justice, at its foundation, is about dealing with individuals and communities with humanity. Throughout history, communities have grappled with how to ethically and equitably treat individuals who break society’s laws. “Sound bite” criminal justice has simply failed to produce the desired results for communities. To reduce crime and protect communities, criminal justice professionals need to understand what affects human behavior, and what is most likely to make communities safe. This means broadening the agencies involved in the community of justice to include not only police, probation, and corrections, but alternative programs and social services aimed at positively changing human behavior through education, mentoring and humanitarian support.