Category: Criminal Justice
The social and personal benefits of a collegiate education on incarcerated men have long been academically proven, but a new paper authored by a MET Criminal Justice master’s program alum in conjunction with faculty brings new light to the positive impact an education can have on women serving prison time.
“Doing Time Wisely: The Social and Personal Benefits of Higher Education in Prison” was written by Jillian Baranger (MET’16) along with Dr. Mary Ellen Mastrorilli, associate chair and associate professor of the practice of Applied Social Sciences, and Dr. Danielle Rousseau, a MET assistant professor and expert on issues related to gender, mental health, and trauma among the incarcerated. The paper finds that providing imprisoned individuals with the chance to pursue an education can “help to facilitate resilience in taking on the systemic challenges of reentering communities” and build feelings of personal development, resilience, and empowerment. Published in The Prison Journal, their research also found evidence “that engagement in prison higher education can support the development of coping skills and foster transformative self-inquiry and personal development.”
Read the paper here.
Dr. Kyung-shick Choi, faculty coordinator for the Metropolitan College Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity master’s and graduate certificate criminal justice programs, was invited to speak with Colombian National Police Radio & Television to share his insights into the rising tide of online malfeasance.
“Cybercrime and information security breaches are growing transnational problems,” Dr. Choi explained during an interview. “Media reports of the increasingly frequent security breaches, ID theft, and internet fraud involving various businesses have made the business consumers more aware of, and concerned with, the security of their personal information,” he said.
Dr. Choi also discussed his aims for the treatise he wrote on the subject, Cybercriminology and Digital Investigation, which was recently translated into a Spanish-language edition with the help of coauthor and MET alum Major Toro Alvarez. “We hope this book is going to guide new researchers, scholarship, and investigators in Latin America and to improve the understanding of the cybercriminology disciplines,” Choi remarked, going on to say, “The additional hope is… to promote greater global cybersecurity and educate [the] global law enforcement community.”
Dr. Danielle Rousseau has long dedicated herself to the comprehensive rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals, with focus on issues related to gender, mental health, and trauma. To advance these aims, the assistant professor in the MET Criminal Justice master’s program will lead a new BU study dedicated to assessing the impact of trauma-informed yoga instruction on the detained, conducted in partnership with the nonprofit Yoga 4 Change.
Awarded a $50,000 grant by the Chartrand Family Foundation, the Yoga 4 Change study will compare three groups of incarcerated individuals—a set of volunteers who have opted into the yoga-based correctional program, a set that has been designated to participate via sentencing, and a control group that does not participate—and evaluate whether the intellectual and physical practices can aid in the emotional growth of participants and better prime them for healthy re-entry into society. The study will be based in Jacksonville, Florida, and the grant affords 50 days of study for Rousseau and a team of BU faculty and graduate students, to assess Yoga 4 Change’s viability and possible expansion.
“I have seen that embodied mindfulness programming can help to ameliorate mental health symptoms, improve physical well-being and create positive coping strategies,” said Dr. Rousseau, who is also a licensed therapist and certified yoga teacher. “Yoga can help with impulse control, bring greater awareness, and allow the practitioner to more effectively maintain sobriety and to manage trauma symptoms by staying present.”
Read more, including a Q&A with Dr. Rousseau, at Yoga 4 Change.
As the founder, chairman, and CEO of CyberArk, a leading information security firm, Udi Mokady (MET’09) has seen the growth of the cybersecurity industry in recent years. Mr. Mokady charted his company’s rise to prominence, and discussed the impact of his Metropolitan College education, as the keynote speaker of last month’s 2017 Boston University Metropolitan College Distinguished Lecture, The CyberArk Story: From Startup to IPO and Beyond.
Mr. Mokady described how his field has become more prominent since founding his company. “In the information security space at the time, the initial adopters and prospective customers were in the financial services—the banks,” Mokady said of his company’s clientele in its early days. “Fast-forward to 2017, it’s not the case. We see every single vertical that you can think of worry about information security. You’ll find health care, manufacturing, education, telecommunication, and the list goes on,” he explained.
MET provides multiple avenues to gain entry into the professional field of cybersecurity, including the Master of Criminal Justice with concentration in Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity, the Master of Science in Computer Science with concentration in Security, the Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with concentration in Security, and the Master of Science in Telecommunication with concentration in Security. The MS information security programs are certified by the Committee on National Security Systems.
Watch a video of Mr. Mokady’s lecture on our website.
Even when overall crime rates lower, law enforcement faces an uphill battle in combating urban violence, and according to a Metropolitan College authority on the matter, police are unlikely to ever completely eradicate the issue. Dr. Shea Cronin, an assistant professor in Metropolitan College’s Master of Criminal Justice program, recently spoke with the Boston Globe about the challenges facing police.
“I think [police] can always continue to expand on the things that they’re doing to try to prevent crime, but a certain level of crime is a fact of life in most places,” he explained.
Read more in the Boston Globe.
Kyung-shick Choi (MET’02) has spent 10 years studying and teaching in the field of cybercrime and cybersecurity. As an authority on the subject, the BU adjunct associate professor and Metropolitan College Cybercrime Investigation and Cybersecurity program coordinator was called to the Massachusetts State House to testify before officials to share his insights regarding pending legislation that aims to update the Commonwealth’s current cybersecurity laws.
Echoing lessons he has imparted on MET students enrolled in both the Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity Master of Criminal Justice concentration and graduate certificate programs, Professor Choi voiced his support for Bill No. H2814—which seeks to address the rising threat of cybercrime through enhanced criminal penalties, civil remedies, and transparency.
“The criminal justice system has not yet caught up with the rapidly evolving dynamics of current technology and its related issues,” Choi testified, in prepared remarks. “The proposed bill [addresses this] by increasing the level of sanction placed on data breaches.”
Read more about the bill here.
Boston police say they have tried to address the practices that lead to racial minorities being stopped by law enforcement at an outsized rate, but observers have found the evidence lacking.
MET Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Shea Cronin was quoted in an AP News article, “APNewsBreak: Boston police make little progress on race gap.” According to the story, a recent AP review of data on stops, searches, and frisks by police shows little progress in addressing racial disparities in street-level encounters. “My reading of the statistics is that there has not been much change in the racial composition,” Dr. Cronin is quoted as saying.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, who previously was awarded the Metropolitan College Roger Deveau Part-Time Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching for his work as an instructor in MET’s Criminal Justice program, delivered an address on the dangers of college drinking and the challenges it poses to law enforcement during a Boston Town & Gown Association meeting in early March.
See photos of the event at BU Today.
According to Dr. Mary Ellen Mastrorilli—MET professor, recognized incarceration authority, and faculty coordinator for MET’s online Master of Criminal Justice program—prisoner’s rights issues as they relate to sexual assault must be treated as human rights issues, and protecting them is a key tenet to ethical leadership.
In an essay featured in the March/April issue of American Jails magazine, Dr. Mastrorilli explores the ways leadership practices—like those taught in the MET’s Master of Criminal Justice with a concentration in Strategic Management program—can be best integrated into the corrections system.
Read more in American Jails magazine.
When it comes to criminal justice reform, women—who make up a relatively small but growing amount of the United States’ overall incarcerated population—get the short end of the stick. According to Boston University Prison Education Program Faculty Coordinator Danielle Rousseau, reform often overlooks the specific plight of female inmates. This is a glaring oversight, the professor in the Metropolitan College Criminal Justice program says, as “women’s experience in the criminal justice system has an immense effect on future generations of our society.”
Read more at The Independent Voter Network.