State/National Policy Analysis

At the state and federal levels, criminal justice and crime prevention policies often intersect with broader issues of national security and civil liberties. CEBCP conducts research on a number of issues of national concern, including firearms, immigration, airport security, and counterterrorism policy.

Analyzing the Progress and Prospects of the 1967 Crime Commission in Today’s Criminal Justice Environment

Cynthia Lum and Ted Gest (PIs)

Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, $47,000

Fifty years ago, the President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice issued its final report and recommendations, considered to be a criminal justice landmark report in the United States. Since then, criminal justice research and practice has grown and evolved. New findings, research methodologies, and also developments in society have challenged aspects of the original crime commission report as well as created new issues not covered by the original report. Because of these developments, several members of Congress, a task force on 21st Century policing appointed by former President Barack Obama, and groups such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police have recommended that a new commission be named to assess the current state of criminal justice in the United States and to suggest improvements.

This project brings together America’s top criminologists to comment on the state of research and knowledge about criminal justice since the commission’s recommendations. Through a special issue of Criminology and Public Policy, a CEBCP congressional briefing, and other national policy presentations and deliberations, these scholars will discuss the research findings over the last half century in criminal justice; the major changes that have occurred since; and what more is needed if a new commission is formed. More information can be found here.

An Evidence-Assessment of the Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper (PIs), Charlotte Gill (co-PI), Julie Hibdon, Cody Telep and Laurie Robinson (Faculty Researchers)

Laura and John Arnold Foundation (via International Association of Chiefs of Police), $168,821

The Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing is one of the most significant documents for law enforcement in modern history. The Task Force was charged by President Obama in 2014 to “examine ways of fostering strong, collaborative relationships between local law enforcement and the communities they protect and to make recommendations to the President on the ways policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust” (Final Report, p. 5). But where should law enforcement agencies begin in implementing these recommendations? Which recommendations should be prioritized for action, for policy implementation, or for more research? With a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Institute for Community-Police Relations of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has collaborated with researchers from George Mason University’s (GMU) Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy to create an evidence-based Blueprint for 21st Century Policing. The research team was charged with reviewing existing research knowledge about those Task Force recommendations relevant to state and local law enforcement, highlighting promising efforts based on research knowledge, and identifying issues that need more research and testing.

REPORT: An Evidence-Assessment of the Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (by C. Lum, C.S. Koper, C. Gill, J. Hibdon, C. Telep, and L. Robinson)

Recent Contributions to the National Gun Policy Issue

December 31, 2013: Read Koper’s testimony in Case Number 1:13-cv-00291-WMS for the United States District Court, Western District New York.

January 14-15, 2013: Professor Christopher Koper spoke on his National Institute of Justice Assault Weapons Ban Study and participated in the 2013 report on gun crime at the Johns Hopkins Gun Policy Summit.

Immigration: Enforcement and Neighborhood Effects

Professor Christopher Koper, with colleagues from the Police Executive Research Forum, the University of Virginia, and James Madison University, evaluated Prince William County’s (VA) illegal immigration enforcement policy. See the Final Report(Guterbock, Koper, Vickerman, Taylor, Walker, and Carter, 2010). See also Koper, Guterbock, Woods, Taylor, and Carter (In press). “The Effects of Local Immigration Enforcement on Crime and Disorder: A Case Study of Prince William County, Virginia.” Criminology and Public Policy 12(2).

Dr. Charlotte Gill co-authored a paper with John MacDonald (University of Pennsylvania) and John Hipp (University of California, Irvine) on the effects of immigrant concentration on changes in neighborhood crime rates. See Journal of Quantitative Criminology(MacDonald, Hipp, and Gill, 2012).

Evaluation of the Transportation Security Administration’s Comprehensive Strategy to Security at Airports

David Weisburd (PI), Cynthia Lum (PI), Charlotte Gill, Devon Johnson, Linda Merola, Julie Willis Hibdon, Heather Vovak, Jaspreet Chahal and Breanne Cave

The security of transportation facilities is of national concern and carries significant costs. Yet, very little evidence exists on what types or processes, programs, and interagency strategies yield the most effective cost-beneficial security structures. Through funding from the Department of Homeland Security, this project examines crime prevention and security in our nation’s airports in a multi-stage evaluation.

  • Phase I Report (Evidence-assessment of the Playbook, redacted* version)
  • Phase IIa Report (National Survey of Category X, I, and II Airports, redacted* version)
  • Phase III Report (Playbook implementation at ten U.S. Airports) NOT YET AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC DISSEMINATION
  • Phase IV Report (Final report and executive summary) NOT YET AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC DISSEMINATION

* Note: The redaction on these reports were implemented at the full discretion of TSA, and not by the researchers involved in this project.

Counterterrorism Policy