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The School recognizes that criminal justice, at its foundation, is about dealing with individuals and communities with humanity. We evaluate existing crime control policies, 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.

Promoting Justice

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. Our research involves not only police, probation, and corrections, but also alternative programs and social services aimed at positively changing human behavior through education, mentoring and humanitarian support.

Combining Theory and Practice

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is dedicated to bridging the gap between theory and practice. We encourage students to get involved with research opportunities that build on the theories they learn in the classroom. Our students co-author publications with faculty, join research projects through fellowships, and drive research forward through grants.

Featured Research Projects

  • Disrupting Human Trafficking in U.S. Agriculture

    Studies of human trafficking tend to focus on its products and services—including food, clothes, and sex. But three Northeastern researchers are taking a different approach by focusing on the human supply chain and those who are victimized by it.

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  • Correctional Officer Well-being and Suicide

    Correctional officers in the state of Massachusetts take their own lives at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country. By working with the Massachusetts Department of Correction, our research team wants to get to the bottom of the problem.

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  • Developing New Tools to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

    We work directly with federal, state, and local enforcement government agencies to design and implement the research that will be necessary to develop new enforcement strategies on the opioid crisis. In all cases, these strategies are focused on reducing harm.

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SCCJ doctoral students present research on correctional officer well-being.
SCCJ doctoral students share research projects on human trafficking during Graduate Welcome Day.
Criminal justice experts and community members discuss urban youth violence during a panel.