Crime, Safety & Justice

Fall 2020

The rate of violent crime in the United States has fallen dramatically in the past two decades. From 1991 through 2018, the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people nearly halved, dropping to 381 incidents from 758, according to data from the FBI’s 2018 Uniform Crime Reporting Program. And yet, due in part to police body cams, witness video and the ubiquitous nature of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, safety and justice concerns continue to dominate headlines and drive academic investigation. University of South Florida researchers from the Sarasota-Manatee campus are addressing safety and justice issues on many fronts by performing active research evaluation of programs and services provided by a Sarasota-based national anti-sex trafficking organization, studying our fear and worry about terrorism, teaching entrepreneurship skills to inmates, examining best practices for making neighborhoods safer through the location of street lighting, assessing the need for a black criminology and exploring the relationship between music and hate crimes.


Research: USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus

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Articles in this Section

Feature Story

Photo of a woman in sunlight

Freedom from Human Trafficking

In its 2019 Trafficking in Persons report, the U.S. Department of State estimated that 24.9 million people worldwide — roughly three times the population of New York City — were victims of human trafficking.

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Jean Kabongo gives a lecture on entrepreneurship at the Hardee Correctional Institution

Preventing Prison Recidivism Through Entrepreneurship

When officials at the Sarasota County Correctional Facility approached Jessica Grosholz and Jean Kabongo about adapting their successful prison entrepreneurship program to a jail population, the USF researchers immediately saw value in the opportunity.

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Photo of James Unnever, PhD

Building the Case for a Black Criminology

If James Unnever’s academic career ever came down to a defining moment, it might have happened in November during the 75th annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology in San Francisco.

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Photo of a burned car and damaged building

Terrorism: Fear vs. Worry

Murat Haner and Melissa Sloan recognized that the body of research into issues related to terrorism was vast when they launched a study of their own.

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Person playing guitar on stage

Music of Hate Crime

The gunman drove to the front door of the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, entered the building and fired indiscriminately for about five minutes during afternoon prayers, killing 41 people.

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An illuminated street at night

Illuminating Safety

While plenty of quantitative research exists to establish the relationship between crime rates and poorly lit areas, few studies have offered the promise of helping direct precisely where streetlights should be located to curb criminal activity.

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