Dr. Robert Lytle (“Dr. Bob”) is an Assistant Professor and the Graduate Coordinator in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology (SCJC) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He joined SCJC in 2016.
Bob earned his PhD in Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. For his dissertation, Bob analyzed change in the content of Sex Offender Registration and Notification laws in all 50 states over time. During his last 18 months he spent in Nebraska, he worked for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) as an intern in the Research, Planning and Accreditation division. While interning with the NDCS, Bob completed numerous analyses relating to institutional and community correctional operations that were used by both the Department and the Nebraska State Legislature. Additionally, he worked closely with several outside research agencies, including the Council of State Governments Justice Reinvestment Center. Prior to entering the PhD program in Nebraska, Bob’s scholarly training was in Psychology. He earned a M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Radford University in 2010 and a B.S. in Psychology (Minor in Criminal Justice) from James Madison University in 2007. Before starting his Masters program, Bob spent 9 months as a staff supervisor in a Residential Treatment Facility for juveniles with behavioral and justice-related issues.
His research generally focuses on the ways societies define and respond to crime. He is particularly interested in the processes and factors by which criminal justice policy is created, implemented, changed, and terminated, along with the outcomes of such policies. His recent work has focused on sex offense laws and correctional procedures (restrictive housing, misconduct hearings, parole board decisions, parole outcomes, etc.). Ultimately, Bob’s long-term goal for this line of research is to assess and generate theoretical explanations for criminal justice policy processes and punishment more broadly. In the short-term, however, Dr. Lytle’s interest is in promoting success in our responses to crime as well as identifying areas in which we may improve such responses. Relatedly, his work in each of these substantive areas has led to several research and policy briefs at the request of state legislatures. Dr. Lytle also enjoys collaborating with local, state, and national agencies in efforts to develop and evaluate crime responses beyond corrections and policy. Much of Bob’s recent work has been applied in nature, stemming from collaborative and evaluative research efforts requested by local and state agencies. More specifically, Dr. Lytle helped evaluate CIT training in a North Carolina prison as well as an assessment of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Needs in a rural county in Nebraska.
Recently, Dr. Lytle is or has been involved in an assortment of research contracts through the SCJC, including a study of disproportionate minority contact with the Juvenile and Adult Criminal Justice Systems in Arkansas, programming to support victim services, surveys of community attitudes in Little Rock, and Muslim experiences with crime and criminal justice in Arkansas. He is a co-PI in the Criminal Justice Summer Research Program and offers “brown bag” training sessions for data analysis within the department.
His research has been published in scholarly journals such as Criminology, Criminal Justice and Behavior, American Journal of Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and the Journal of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law and Society. His is also the Treasurer and a charter member of the newly founded Sex Offense Policy Research Workgroup, the Deputy Director of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Assessment Committee, as well as a member of several other professional organizations (American Society of Criminology, American Political Science Association, etc.).