News, Updates, and Ongoing Projects

The Violence and Justice Research Laboratory is currently working on several projects, primarily focused on human trafficking, sexual exploitation, dating violence, and Latino/a bias victimization.




➤ Recently accepted articles form the VJRL team include: Sabina, C., Cuevas, C. A., & Ho, L. Y. (in press) Multiple dimensions of acculturation and the victimization of Latino adolescents. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. | Cuevas, C. A., Sabina, C., Cudmore, R. M.*, Picard, E. H.*, & Goggin, K.* (in press). Understanding the victimization-delinquency overlap among Latino adolescents: The role of cultural and mental health factors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. | Cuevas, C. A., Sabina, C., Kushner, M.*, Goggin, K.*, & Van Westendorp, J.* (in press). Is Dating aggression victimization a risk factor or a consequence of other forms of victimization? A Longitudinal assessment with Latino youth. Psychology of Violence.

➤ Dr. Amy Farrell will be a keynote speaker at the 2019 Beyond Discourse Conference “Critical and Empirical Approaches to Human Trafficking” hosted by Kansas University. Farrell’s research seeks to understand how the criminal justice system responds to newly recognized and prioritized crimes such as hate crimes and human trafficking, which ties in strongly with the conference’s theme. Learn more here.


Awards and Grants

➤ Criminology and Criminal Justice Professors Simon Singer, Carlos Cuevas, Megan Denver, and Shytierra Gaston, as well as Psychology Professor David DeSteno and Law Professor Daniel Medwed, were awarded a TIER 1 grant for their proposal entitled “Reentering Lives of Juvenile Lifers.” Read more here.

➤ One of our doctoral students, Ieke de Vries, was recently awarded with one of the 2018 National Institute of Justice Graduate Research Fellowships for her dissertation project entitled “Crime in Public Space and Online Domains: Commercial Sex and Sex Trafficking in Massage Businesses.

➤ Principal Investigators Carlos Cuevas and Amy Farrell received a grant from the National Institute of Justice in 2017 for the Longitudinal Examination of Victimization Experiences of Latinos (LEVEL): Extending the Bias Victimization Study. This project is a continuation of the “Understanding and Measuring Bias Victimization against Latinos” study, providing longitudinal data on the victimization experiences of Latino adults. The study will evaluate the role of cultural factors on victimization experiences. In addition to the quantitative data, this study will have a qualitative component that will allow us to better understand how these factors play a role in the victimization experiences of Latinos as well as decisions to disclose or report victimization.

➤ Principal Investigators Carlos Cuevas and Amy Farrell received  grant from the National Institute of Justice in 2016 for the Understanding and Measuring Bias Victimization against Latinos study. This project examines bias victimization among Latino adults by recruiting a sample 900 participants across three sites in the U.S. (Boston, Houston/Galveston, and San Diego). The focus will be on bias victimization as well as other forms of interpersonal victimization, disclosing and reporting of bias victimization, as well as culturally salient factors that may play a role in victimization risk.



➤ Dr. Amy Farrell was recently published in Criminology. The article is entitled “Role of Voice in the Legal Process.” Read it here.

➤ Ieke de Vries and Masters student Kelly Goggin were recently published in Trauma, Violence, & Abuse as co-authors of “The impact of childhood abuse on the sexual exploitation of youth: A systematic review and meta-analysis”. Read it here.

➤ Dr. Rebecca Pfeffer, Dr. Carlos Cuevas, and doctoral students Mackenzie Kushner and Sarah Lockwood were recently accepted for publication in the Routledge International Handbook of Violence Studies for their book chapter “Enhancing the quality of research on understudied populations”.

A brief description of the book chapter: This chapter begins with an exploration of some of these issues. The first section explores in more detail the challenges in prioritizing research involving hidden or marginalized populations, in recruiting these subpopulations to participate in research, in the measurement in studies utilizing non-traditional sampling techniques, and in the retention of these populations during the span of a study. The second section of this chapter then highlights promising strategies to address some of these issues based on current best practices.

➤ Dr. Carlos Cuevas recently published an article with Chiara Sabina, Anjuli Fahlberg, and Maria Espinola titled “The role of cultural factors on dating aggression and delinquency among Latino youth”. You can read it in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence here.

➤ Dr. Carlos Cuevas recently published an article in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence with former PhD candidate and current professor Rebecca Cudmore and Sabina Chiara. You can read it here:



➤ On September 21, 2018, Dr. Carlos Cuevas, co-director of the VJRL, was the keynote speaker at the Progreso Latino discussion of domestic violence in Warwick, Rhode Island. Read the article in the Providence Journal here.

➤ On November 5, 2018, the IRJ hosted a seminar on the topic of race, justice, and the upcoming midterm elections featuring Professor Kevin Drakulich, followed by an opportunity for intellectual dialogue on these important issues between faculty and staff, and students.


Violence and Justice Research Lab highlighted in Inside Higher Ed Read more >>