Racial Disparities in the Arkansas Criminal Justice System Research Project
The Racial Disparities in the Arkansas Criminal Justice System Steering Committee is made up of more than 70 people from throughout the state with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. These stakeholders including those who work, have expertise, or a particular interest in the criminal justice system are working with the research team to help guide the project.
Project director Adjoa A. Aiyetoro and professor of criminal justice, Dr. David Montague are working together with the steering committee ensuring that all factors pertaining to the Arkansas criminal justice system are examined and that the community is involved. In addition to collecting information, the project researchers and committee will develop public education activities and practice, and policy initiatives that the research indicates are needed to minimize, if not eliminate racial disparities.
Research Design Committee
A research design committee was developed under the direction of Montague. This committee includes UALR professors Dr. Jeffery Walker, chair of the UALR Criminal Justice Department, Dr. James W. Golden, Shaun Thomas, Avenash Thrombe, Tara V. DeJohn, from the UALR School of Social Work; Dina Nash from the UALR Department of Sociology; and University of Albany Research Fellow Matthew Pate. This committee is designing the research and will oversee its implementation.
Questions of crime and punishment are often discussed in communities across Pulaski County. The Institute, therefore, decided to couple its first research project on the racial disparities in the Arkansas Criminal Justice System with the 10th Annual Racial Attitudes in Pulaski County Survey. The survey will ask white, black and Latino residents of Pulaski County to share their views on punishments for criminal behavior.
Cindy Bennett, director of the Survey Research Center at the UALR Institute of Government, will once again take the leadership in the design and implementation of the survey. A survey development committee consisting of UALR professors will work with Bennett. Members of this committee include UALR professors Dr. Jeffrey Nash, chair of the Sociology Department, Dr. Sarah Beth Estes, Dr. Adriana Ramirez-Lopez, and Dr. Mary Parker.