Ph.D. Students On the Market

The School of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers the only Ph.D. in Criminal Justice in Arkansas. During their time in the Ph.D. program, our doctoral students engage in a variety of scholarly activities that help prepare them for work in academic positions, agency research, leadership positions, or private sector research jobs. In addition to developing their own research agenda, our doctoral students get experience teaching at the college level (often in both online and face-to-face modalities).

View the list of Ph.D. students who have both reached candidacy by completing their comprehensive exams and are seeking employment this academic year.

At present, this includes the following students (in alphabetical order):


Tabrina Bratton

Tabrina Bratton (2018)

Tabrina Bratton is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology at UA Little Rock. She received her Bachelors of Arts in History and Minor in Business Administration from the University of Central Arkansas in 2014. Tabrina is a member of Alpha Phi Sigma and the Sex Offense Policy Research (SOPR) Workgroup. Her research interests include policy processes, LGBTQ public opinions and attitudes, social media and criminal behavior, as well as community and institutional corrections. Tabrina’s dissertation will explore possible correlates of victimization amongst the transgender population. In particular, Tabrina is interested in evaluating the possible conditional relationship of efforts to conform to one’s self-identified gender with general correlates of victimization.

Tabrina recently accepted a position as the Quality Improvement and Program Evaluation Administrator for the Arkansas Department of Corrections, where she had previously worked as a doctoral resident. Tabrina has published three articles and one book chapter since starting her PhD. In 2018, she was a part of a research team that studied patterns in the ways that persons convicted of online child pornography offenses both began seeking online child pornography and how their behaviors changed throughout that criminal career (Steely, ten Bensel, Bratton, & Lytle, 2018). Her second article involved an examination of the role of religious affiliation and salience on personal beliefs about same-sex relationships and marriage (Bratton, Lytle, & ten Bensel, 2019). This work also expanded the literature on how religion influences public attitudes about sexuality by using a dataset that had a sample of Muslim and Jewish participants large enough to include in statistical analysis. Tabrina also co-authored a book chapter that reviewed the existing literature on bystander apathy and intervention in social media. This review also considered possible directions for future research and programming to address concerns with technology-facilitate violence and abuse. Most recently, Tabrina published an article that emerged from her Masters Thesis related to social media consumption and online harassment in a sample of adolescents (Bratton, Lytle, & Hudson, 2020). This work looked at potential interactions between adolescent social media usage and parental monitoring using a dyadic dataset (adolescent-parent dyads). She is also working on projects related to policy change and LGBTQ+ victimization (including her dissertation). Beyond her research activity, Tabrina has also taught a variety of online and face-to-face courses for UA Little Rock and the College of the Ouachitas (now Arkansas State University Three Rivers), ranging from Introduction to Criminal Justice, Judicial Process, Criminal Procedure, Police Organization and Management, and Survey of Corrections.

Tabrina can be reached at tmbratton@ualr.edu. Please view Tabrina’s Vita.

Recent Work

Bratton, T. M., Lytle, R. D., & Hudson, H. K. (2020). #FollowMe: An investigation into the relationship between social media behaviors and online harassment among adolescents. International Journal of Arts and Humanities, 1(1), 16-27.

Lytle, R. D., Bratton, T. M., & Hudson, H. (in press). Bystander apathy and intervention in the era of social media. Accepted for J. Bailey, A. Flynn, and N. Henry (Eds.), Technology-facilitated violence and abuse: International perspectives and experiences.

Bratton, T. M. , Lytle, R., & ten Bensel, T. (2019). Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Americans attitudes towards homosexuality and marriage equality: Moving beyond Christian public opinions. Sociological Inquiry, 90(4), 765-793.

Steely, M. K., ten Bensel, T., Bratton, T ., & Lytle, R. (2018). All apart of the process? A qualitative examination of change in online child pornography behaviors. Criminal Justice Studies, 31 (3), 279-296.

Mary Hannah Hughes

Mary Hannah Hughes (2018)

Mary Hannah Hughes received her B.A. (2015) from Western Carolina University and M.A. (2017) from East Tennessee State University. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Criminal Justice at UA Little Rock. Her areas of interest include health & crime, correctional healthcare, rural crime, prison re-entry programs, race, gender, and inmate inequality, and special populations. Mary Hannah’s dissertation will examine the consequences of victimization and trauma for various health outcomes, including physical health, diet, and sleep.

Mary Hannah is currently assigned to the Arkansas Department of Public Safety for her Ph.D. Residency. As a part of her residency, Mary Hannah has served in the project lead for multiple projects while also analyzing data, designing data collection efforts, and presenting findings to Department leadership. Since joining the PhD Program, Mary Hannah has published two articles relating to corrections. Her first article examined the financial literacy of female inmates to determine if incarcerated women have different levels of financial knowledge than women in the general population (Glidden, Brown, Smith, & Hughes, 2018). This work raises important questions regarding the need for training on financial responsibility and management for prisoner reentry. More recently, Mary Hannah published an article that explored differences in health care needs and programming across male and female inmates (Hughes, Smith, Brown, & Glidden, 2020). Her current work focuses on health impacts within crime and criminal justice, correctional staff (both community and institutional correctional officers), and program evaluation. Mary Hannah has also taught a variety of classes, both online and face-to-face, while at UA Little Rock and East Tennessee State University. Her teaching experiences have included Introduction to Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice, Crime and Behavior, and Human Relations (ETSU), along with a variety of courses wherein she worked as a teaching assistant.

Mary Hannah can be reached at mhhughes@ualr.edu. Please view Mary Hannah’s Vita.

Recent Work

Hughes, M. H., & ten Bensel, T. (in press). “Stuck in their ways”: Examining parole officers’ perceptions on guiding older offenders through the re-entry process. Accepted at American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Hughes, M. H., Smith, M., Brown, T. C., & Glidden, M. (2020). Gender Differences in Healthcare Needs and Treatment Attainment among Violent Offenders. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 26(1), 55-65.

Glidden, M., Brown, T. C., Smith, M., & Hughes, M. H. (2020). Prisoners with purses: The financial literacy and habits of incarcerated women. Corrections: Policy, Practice, and Research, 5(5), 377-400.

James Hurst

James Hurst is an Instructor in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology. He received his B.A. (2007) in Psychology, M.A. (2014) in Criminal Justice, and Ph.D. (2020) in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Jim successfully defended his dissertation on correlates of fear of crime at a college campus in July 2020.

His research interests include fear of crime, campus safety, crime prevention, crime mapping, and drug use. His primary research goal seeks to address the discrepancies between campus fear of crime, perceived risk of victimization, and actual risk of victimization. Findings from this research will help identify realities and misconceptions related to crime on campus. Jim has published two research articles over the past year. His first article assessed the spatial and temporal stability of property crime on campus (Hurst, 2020). He also has an article accepted at the Journal of Drug Issues that examines prescription drug use in college students (Hurst, Eassey, Baldwin, & ten Bensel, in press). Jim has been teaching both online and face-to-face in the SCJC since Spring 2014. During this time, he has taught 51 classes across eight different course topics, including Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, Police and Society, Legal Aspects of Policing, Criminal Evidence, Gangs, Crime and Behavior, and Crime Prevention. He has also served the university in a variety of capacities, which range from serving on college and university-level committees to holding positions in the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of the Provost.

James Hurst can be reached at jnhurst@ualr.edu. Please view his CV.

Recent Work

Hurst, J., Eassey, J., Baldwin, J., & ten Bensel, T. (2020). Medicate to graduate: Prescription stimulant misuse by college students. Accepted online publication at Journal of Drug Issues.

Hurst, J. (2020). Stability in unstable places: Property crime in a campus environment. Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 22, 110-133.

Natalie Snow

Natalie Snow (2018)

Natalie Snow is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She received her Bachelor of Social Science Criminal Justice (2015) from Humber College (Toronto, ON) and her Master of Science (2017) in Criminal Justice Administration from Niagara University (Lewiston, NY). She began the doctoral program in Criminal Justice at UALR in Fall 2017, with an expected graduation in May 2021. She is a member of the Canadian Sociological Association, American Society of Criminology, Canadian Criminal Justice Association, and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Her research interests include sexual violence, social media & crime, sex work, Indigenous victimization. Natalie’s dissertation will explore the framing and impact of the #MMIW movement across print and social media in both the United States and Canada.

Natalie is completing a doctoral residency with the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services in the Division of Youth Services (DYS) in October 2020. This residency is focused on a grant awarded to DYS to examine levels of disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system throughout the state. While in this residency, Natalie has assisted with data analysis, preparation of the technical report, and collection of county-level data on juvenile diversion throughout the state. Natalie has also worked at Indigenous Services Canada during the summers and following the completion of her doctoral residency. In this position, she works with the education directorate to examine post-secondary education in the Ontario region. Natalie conducts research on the post-secondary funding, including data analysis and preparation of reports to be used through provincial engagement sessions. Natalie has published one article since starting the PhD. This article reviewed the decision and consequences of a key court decision in Canada that challenged existing prostitution laws (Snow, Steely, & ten Bensel, 2020). She is also actively engaged in research on experiences with victimization in sex workers, Indigenous victimization, and the needs of victim services providers. In addition to her research work, Natalie has also taught a variety of online and face-to-face classes at UA Little Rock, including Introduction to Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice, Crime Prevention, and Psychology and Criminal Justice Processes. Natalie has also been heavily engaged in service for both the SCJC and UA Little Rock. She has been a Co-Chair for both Take Back the Night events coordinated by the SCJC as well as serving as the President of the Graduate Student Association since 2019. Natalie has also served in a variety of university-level service. She serves as the President of the Graduate Student Association and as an executive on the Student Government Association. Additionally, Natalie is a member on the university Graduate Council, Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee, and the Student Research & Creative Works Expo Committee. Finally, Natalie is a member of the Provost’s Academic Covid-19 Taskforce-Academic Student Support Services Committee.

Natalie can be reached at nmsnow@ualr.edu. Please view Natalie’s vita.

Recent Work

Snow, N. M., Steely, M. K., & ten Bensel, T. (2020). The right to life, liberty and security for prostitution: Canada v. Bedford. Accepted online publication at Journal of Women and Criminal Justice.

Mollee Steely

Mollee Steely (2018)

Mollee Steely is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology. She received her Bachelors of Arts (2016) and Master of Arts (2018) in Criminal Justice from UA Little Rock. Her research interests include sex offending, implementation science in correctional programming, and community-based participatory research. For her dissertation, Mollee intends to study the grooming behaviors of female sex offenders with an emphasis on changes to grooming strategies over time.

Mollee Steely recently accepted a position as the Research Project Coordinator for the Center for Health Services Research’s Health and the Legal System (HEALS) Lab in the Psychiatric Research Institute at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). In this position, Mollee coordinates projects related to assessing services provided to women who are pregnant while incarcerated and the implementation of therapy targeting traumatic stress sequelae among incarcerated people with a history of drug use. Before accepting this position, Mollee was assigned to the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) for a doctoral residency, wherein she provided research support and written contributions on various evaluative works in the research division. Presently, Mollee has published three research articles. Her first work examined the entry and change of online child pornography behaviors amongst persons convicted of online child pornography offenses (Steely, ten Bensel, Bratton, & Lytle, 2018). Mollee also published a study that detailed the strategies of female teachers who sexually assaulted students (Steely & ten Bensel, 2020). This work not only provided information about women convicted of sex crimes, which continues to be an understudied population, but it also challenged the notion that women convicted of sex crimes are not prone to predatory behaviors. Finally, Mollee co-authored a manuscript that reviewed a key court decision in Canada (Canada v. Bedford) which challenged the constitutionality of prostitution laws. This paper both described the legal arguments underlying the decision as well as provided the potential impacts of the decision for Canadian sex workers. While at UA Little Rock, Mollee has also taught both face-to-face and online for the SCJC, including Introduction to Criminal Justice, Crime Prevention, and Criminal Evidence.

Mollee can be reached at mksteely@ualr.edu. Please view Mollee’s vita.

Recent Work

Snow, N. M., Steely, M. K., & ten Bensel, T. (2020). The right to life, liberty and security for prostitution: Canada v. Bedford. Accepted online publication at Journal of Women and Criminal Justice.

Steely, M., & ten Bensel, T. (2020). Child sexual abuse within educational settings: A qualitative study on female teachers who sexually abuse their students. Deviant Behavior, 41(11), 1440-1453.

Steely, M. K., ten Bensel, T., Bratton, T ., & Lytle, R. (2018). All apart of the process? A qualitative examination of change in online child pornography behaviors. Criminal Justice Studies, 31 (3), 279-296.