Category: Criminal Justice
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.
Lead facilitator of the Metropolitan College Master of Criminal Justice online program Mark Napier (MET ’04) has been elected sheriff of Arizona’s Pima County, which includes the city of Tucson.
Napier, who has attributed past law-enforcement promotions to be the “direct result” of the master’s degree in criminal justice he earned online at Boston University, was one of the program’s very first students, and after his completion he took on a role as coordinator, where he helped shepherd other online students to success in their coursework. Today, the program he helped to establish is rated to be 2016’s #1 Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Program by U.S. News & World Report.
Read more in the Arizona Daily Star.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Shea Cronin was quoted in a recent Christian Science Monitor article entitled “‘Reasonable suspicion’ defined: Black men who run from police can’t be assumed guilty.” The article outlines a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that takes aim at racial profiling and states that black males “when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity.”
According to Dr. Cronin, “The courts seem to be consistently sending signals to law enforcement agencies that they have to pay closer attention to the meaning of reasonable suspicion in their interactions with the public.”
Read the full article here.
Criminal Justice and Fair Educational Efforts Cross Paths as BU Joins in Obama Administration Pledge
Boston University has answered the Obama administration’s call for increased support towards those seeking to overcome troubled pasts through education. Alongside 14 other institutes of higher learning, BU is proud to join in the Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge, which seeks to reduce “barriers facing people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system and are trying to put their lives back on track,” through reforms to school admissions policies. The University, which has long offered opportunities to incarcerated individuals through the Metropolitan College Prison Education Program, made its commitment to the cause known in a statement issued through the White House, which explained, “Boston University has a tradition of inclusiveness and service to the community that goes back to its founding charter. We believe in the power of education to elevate, nurture, and transform.”
Read more about the Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge that BU has sworn in The Atlantic.
Solitary confinement for inmates may be a controversial practice, as the phrase can conjure images of borderline cruel and unusual isolation, but according to MET professor and incarceration authority Dr. Mary Ellen Mastrorilli, the way prisons actually utilize “solitary” is essential, and greatly misunderstood. “Restrictive housing is a necessity in correctional facilities,” she wrote in a recent BU Today op-ed, noting that it is often used to protect prisoners that would otherwise be endangered.
Mastrorilli, who also serves as faculty coordinator for MET’s online Master of Criminal Justice program—rated as the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report—added, “The problem occurs when it is the placement of first resort rather than last.”
Read the rest of Dr. Mastrorilli’s “POV” op-ed at BU Today.