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Criminal justice

Summer 2004

Racial profiling in Washington—policy and perception

The likelihood of being stopped by the Washington State Patrol on state roads and highways is not affected by a driver’s race or ethnicity, according to Washington State University researchers who analyzed two million WSP contacts between May 2000 and October 2002.

The WSU report was issued last summer by political scientists Nicholas Lovrich and Mitchell Pickerill, criminal justice professors Michael Gaffney and Michael R. Smith, and sociologist Clay Mosher. Unlike studies in other states, the report indicates no evidence of biased policing in the rate of driver stops.

Washington is one of at least 14 states that have passed legislation to help eliminate “the … » More …

Fall 2009

Curbing aggressive driving

There’s something about youth and speed and cars.

Criminal justice doctoral student Yu-Sheng Lin tapped into it in his study of risky and aggressive driving behaviors. Surveying Washington State University students, who averaged the age of 19, he joined up with marketing graduate student Mark Mulder and associate professor Jeffrey Joireman to look at the effects of impulsivity and thrill-seeking on dangerous driving. They also examined whether the drivers considered future consequences when making their choices on the road.

Aggressive driving is likely the last crime to be featured on a television drama, Lin admits. “But I wanted to focus on something that can apply … » More …

Summer 2009

Jacqueline van Wormer–Advocacy for juveniles

One morning this winter, the Benton County Juvenile Justice Center is quiet since most of the residents are in classrooms and only one teen waits in lock-up. A couple of the guards are having an early lunch at a table at the end of the long corridor.

Through the security doors and down a few hallways Jacqueline van Wormer (’90, MA ’92)and her team sit at their desks looking up at a dry erase board with words detailing steps to help these residents and other young people in their community steer away from more time in custody. At the top of the board the team … » More …