Dr. Robert (Bob) Lytle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He joined the department in the Fall of 2016. Dr. Lytle earned his Ph.D in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. For his dissertation, he analyzed change in the content of Sex Offender Registration and Notification laws in all 50 states over time. During his last 18 months 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.
Before entering the PhD program in Nebraska, Dr. Lytle’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 the master’s program, he spent nine months as a staff supervisor in a residential treatment facility for juveniles with behavioral and justice-related issues.
Dr. Lytle’s research generally focuses on the ways societies define and respond to crime. Of particular interest are 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, Dr. Lytle’s longterm 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, his interest is in promoting success in our responses to crime as well as identifying areas in which we may improve. 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 his recent work has been applied in nature, stemming from collaborative and evaluative research efforts requested by local and state agencies. More specifically, Dr. Lytle recently 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.
Since working at UA Little Rock, Dr. Lytle has been involved in several applied research projects, many of which focus specifically on local- and state-level justice responses, including a multi-year study of disproportionate contact between youth of color and the justice systems in Arkansas, as well as community attitudes surveys and victim support programming in the City of Little Rock.
His research has been published in scholarly such as Criminology, American Journal of Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Policy Review and the Journal of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law and Society. His is also currently the treasurer and a charter member of the Sex Offense Policy Research Workgroup, as well as a member of several professional organizations (American Society of Criminology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Political Science Association).