HBCU Criminal Justice Research Hub

Project Duration: October 2022 - December 2024

Mission

Our mission is to reduce both violent crime and mass incarceration in Houston and beyond by bringing together researchers, local organizations, and community members with lived experience to collaboratively form culturally-responsive, data-driven solutions. In doing so, we aim to reduce racial, ethnic, gender, and class-based disparities within the criminal legal system.

Project Objectives

  • Strengthen existing partnerships with Houston-based community organizations.
  • Strengthen existing Form a workgroup consisting of community-based organizations, HBCU partners, and community members with lived experience of violent crime and mass incarceration to conduct a pilot public safety needs assessment in Houston. partnerships with Houston-based community organizations.
  • Use the Houston needs assessment as a model to prepare written plans for community-informed needs assessments in researchers’ respective cities.

Key Activities/Workstreams

  • Strengthen existing partnerships with Houston-based community organizations.
  • Strengthen existing Form a workgroup consisting of community-based organizations, HBCU partners, and community members with lived experience of violent crime and mass incarceration to conduct a pilot public safety needs assessment in Houston. partnerships with Houston-based community organizations.
  • Use the Houston needs assessment as a model to prepare written plans for community-informed needs assessments in researchers’ respective cities.

Outcomes

  • Short-Term Outcomes: Establishing a working group, having needs assessment findings for Houston and plans for needs assessments in other cities, and imparting knowledge and experience upon HBCU researchers through our  research collaborative.
  • Long-Term Outcomes: Forming sustainable partnerships between HBCUs, other research institutions, community organizations, and community members from multiple cities to address violent crime, mass incarceration, and racial and class-based disparities; Developing a cohort of criminal justice researchers with practical experience and publishing a final report on the workings of the hub itself as a blueprint for other HBCUs; Conducting needs assessments in other cities.

Potential Impact

  • Local Impact: By addressing the social determinants of health, including economic factors, behavioral patterns, and historical trauma, our initiative aims to reduce violent crime and incarceration rates in high-crime areas like the Scott Street Corridor. This comprehensive approach will not only enhance safety but also improve the overall quality of life for residents, promoting greater well-being and equitable opportunities.
  • Broader Impact: Our community-led model seeks to inspire systemic change in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, extending beyond our local area. By addressing the root causes of crime and incarceration, we aim to serve as a national example, empowering other communities to implement similar strategies. Additionally, our efforts will strengthen the capacity of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to address crime and incarceration problems nationwide while fostering a deeper historical appreciation of the factors that contribute to these issues.