August 4, 2008
Prof. Steve Zeidman and two colleagues from John Jay College of Criminal Justice have been awarded a $38,000 CUNY Collaborative Research Grant. The team will research the classification, treatment and recidivism of sex offenders in the criminal justice and mental health systems in New Jersey.
The team’s project is titled: “Sex Offender Management, Treatment, and Civil Commitment: An Evidence-Based Analysis Aimed at Improving Policy.” Work will commence Sept. 1 and run through Aug. 31, 2009.
The John Jay colleagues are Professors Elizabeth Jeglic and Cynthia Calkins Mercado.
New Jersey was one of the first states to pass sex offender laws, so it has a number of policies and a vast array of data to examine, Zeidman said. The study team has garnered the cooperation of the New Jersey Department of Corrections and the New Jersey Department of Human Services.
“The nationwide frenetic pace of sex offender legislation has not been matched by a corresponding amount of careful research into the efficacy of the legislation,” Zeidman said. “Before more states pass controversial, and dubiously constitutional, sex offender registration, community notification and indefinite civil commitment laws, it is imperative that the current laws and systems be critically evaluated. It is my hope that a research project such as this will serve to inform rational national legal and policy decision-making in this volatile and sensitive area.”
The purpose of the CUNY Collaborative Incentive Research Grants Program is to enhance, through multi-campus collaborations, the prestige and prominence of CUNY to a national and international audience. The program is administered by a review committee chaired by the University Dean for Research and faculty chosen from among the Executive Officers of the University’s doctoral programs and Senior Faculty at the campuses. Since its inception in 1994, 14 rounds of funding have taken place.