It is fair to say that a good deal of criminal justice thought is far removed from statistical assumptions about ideas such as multiple regression, chi-squares or normality.  What exactly is “normal” about the application of quantitative methods that are far removed from the lived, visceral experiences of those who sometimes interact with the justice system? 

A move toward “public criminology” can be an important first step.  Public criminology aims to make criminological research accessible to broader audiences such as CJ practitioners and the general public (a tip to move forward: much of academia’s research resides behind paywalls).   

What is the best way to make public criminology a reality?  To me, it is investigative journalism in its many forms.  This top-tier journalism (e.g., New York Times, The Marshall Project, Frontline, The New Yorker), documentaries (too many to count, but certainly include, eg, making a Murderer and OJ: Made in America) plus newer outlets such as podcasts (Serial).  

And then you have journalistic works that receive extraordinary acclaim within their category of “long form.” 

In this assignment, to build on the goals of Senior Synthesis, please choose ONE long form article that you will read deeply for the assignment and be ready to provide an overview of your article (critiquing the article) and to also discuss whether you feel there are gaps in the article that could be filled with stronger attention to the CCJ literature. And if there are, how would you go about integrating in the CJ empirical literature in an “accessible” way for the general public? 

Be sure to pick a long form article dealing with crime (preferably within your specialization *Criminology specialization*).  The best long form articles can be found at or also the “Sidney Awards”.  Write 1,000-1,300 words. 


Specialization in Criminology

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