Projects

At the Forefront in Preventing Sexual Violence: Officer’s Views toward Sex Offender Legislation
Students: Michelle Rosselli, Aria Amrom, Ashley Johnson, Hannah Kaplenko, Kevin Jones, Megan Banford, and Rima Malkan
Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Jeglic
Status of project: Data analysis and manuscript preparation
Project Description: The purpose of this research study is to collect information from current parole and probation officers regarding sex offender policies and legislation. Participants were recruited from across the United States and were asked to complete an online survey. The results of this study may help shed light on the strengths and limitations of current sex offender policies and legislation. A sample of 559 officers have participated in this survey and preliminary results suggest that these laws may not be as effective as the general public perceives them to be. Analyses are expected to be completed by December of 2015.

 

Social Support & Case Management Intervention for Sexual Offenders: A Pilot Study
Students: John Vaccaro, Julia Campregher, Michelle Rosselli, Kyle Meditz
Faculty Mentors: Elizabeth Jeglic, Cynthia Calkins
Project description: The Social Support and Case Management Intervention for Sexual Offenders is an original SORL project based on the Circles of Support & Accountability model. This project aims to provide 5 sexual offenders with social support over the course of 24 once a week meetings, as well as disseminate informational packets to help with offenders’ pragmatic reintegration needs. The investigators have created a semi-structured interview to assess offenders’ primary and secondary needs (i.e., employment tips, support groups, housing opportunities), as well as informational packets that provide comprehensive information regarding resources and opportunities on 10 domains. The project has been approved by John Jay’s IRB and participant recruitment is underway, soon to be followed by the actual administration of the intervention. This pilot study hopes to lay the groundwork for a larger-scale RTC study using the same intervention model.

 

Preventing Sexual Violence: A Victim’s Perspective
Primary investigator: Niki Colombino
Students: Brenda Bennet, Niki Colombino, Carisa Collins, Christina Johnson, Leah Kaylor, Caitlin Kearns, Anniken Laake, Michelle Rosselli, Sarah Schaaf
Faculty Mentors: Elizabeth Jeglic, Cynthia Calkins
Status of project: Data collection is underway for Part I and Part II
Project description: This is a two-part study. Part I is an online survey, which examines differences in self-reported attachment and mattering with parents and caregivers among those who have experienced an unwanted sexual experience before age 18 and those who have not experiences an unwanted sexual experience before age 18.  Part I also serves as a screening for eligibility for Part II.  Part II is an in person semi-structured interview.  Part II examines a sample of sexual abuse victims to determine contextual factors related to victims’ sexual abuse experience, victims’ perceptions related to sex offender legislation, and victims’ suggestions for sexual abuse prevention strategies.  Interviews are audio-taped and transcribed for qualitative data analysis.

 

Harassment of Sex Offenders in Maximum-Security Prisons
Primary investigator: Anniken Laake
Faculty Mentors: Cynthia Calkins
Project description:  Sex offenders are highly stigmatized, not only in the community, but also in prison, both by other inmates and by correctional officers. As a result, inmates convicted of sex offenses are relegated to the very lowest positions in the inmate social hierarchy, and research indicates that they are more vulnerable to victimization than other prisoners. Although it is well established that stigmatization occurs, few studies have systematically assessed harassment of incarcerated sex offenders, and what consequences harassment in prison may lead to for those involved. Knowledge in this area is important in order to develop safety policies in prison and to assess the long-term consequences of harassment that may affect reintegration upon reentry into the community. The current study aimed at examining physical, psychological and sexual harassment against sex offenders in a male inmate population in a U.S. maximum-security prison, as well as psychological and physical consequences of being harassed. Participants filled out self-report questionnaires assessing harassment in prison, psychological symptoms, and psychological and physical wellbeing. Furthermore, participants’ experiences of harassment in prison were explored in interviews through open-ended questions. The responses of sex offenders were compared to those of non-sex offenders. It was hypothesized that sex offenders would experience more harassment from other inmates than participants without a history of sexual offending. It was also hypothesized that frequency and extent of harassment would be negatively related to physical and psychological wellbeing.

 

Criminal Trajectories of Sex Offenders
Investigative Aims
Onset of sex offending
Persistence of sex offending
Diversity of offenses
Funded by a John Jay College Collaborative Research Award

 

Predictive Validity of the Emotional Stroop Test
Investigative Aims
Applicability to sexual deviance
Funded by PSC CUNY

 

(Completed) Sex Offender Management, Treatment, and Civil Commitment: An Evidence-Based Analysis Aimed at Reducing Sexual Violence
Investigative Aims
Funded by the National Institute of Justice