Research / Themes / Innovation
As social problems emerge and evolve, sometimes in response to existing policies and practices, new solutions are needed. Similarly, researchers are often discovering limitations to the methods of scientific inquiry that are employed on behalf of theory testing, policy and program evaluation, and knowledge building. Innovation is central to our work, both in terms of participating in the creative process and in terms of evaluating innovations created by others. Studies undertaken by our faculty that involve innovation include the application of dynamic systems simulation modeling to evaluate criminal justice policy reform; improving methods for coordinating crime information and criminal intelligence; developing methods for analyzing multiple levels of analysis, including (but not limited to) individuals, programs, and neighborhoods; using agent-based simulation research to test routine activity theory; development of a decision support tool to diagnose jail crowding problems, and redefining the nature and structure of organized crime.