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Director: Douglas Evans, PhD
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice

Center for Social and Criminal Justice

The Center for Social and Criminal Justice seeks to advance our understanding of social and criminal justice institutions and their relations to and effects on social live. The Center explores practical and policy issues in social and criminal justice - including crime and punishment, race and sexual orientation, power, education, human rights and distribution of wealth - through instructional programming, campus and community outreach, research and engagement with professionals within the criminal justice system and those whose lives have been altered through contact with the criminal justice system.

Center Mission

The Center for Social and Criminal Justice, connected to the Department of Criminal Justice and the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, engages students in academic projects, sponsors events open to all of Mercy College and surrounding communities, informs students about educational and career opportunities, and works with social and criminal justice agencies in the community and across New York State. The Center conducts research projects with student participation - with a focus on social justice, collaborates with justice-related and service-based agencies in the community and hosts events such as film showings, public presentations, field trips and panel discussions to expose students and members of the community to current social and criminal justice issues. Interdisciplinary learning opportunities enable students to gain broad and critical perspectives to help prepare them for future careers, inside or outside the field of criminal justice.

Challenges of Social and Criminal Justice


Among the difficult social issues we face in the United States are human rights issues that result from discrimination based on criminal history - as well as based on race, sex, sexual orientation, disability or religious affiliation. To address the disadvantaged status of some groups in society - including formerly incarcerated individuals - new policies and practices are shaped by legal developments, social interactions and community engagement. Education about social and criminal justice yields broader understanding and appreciation of human differences.


As the world becomes more connected, more than ever social and criminal justice represent pressing global concerns. Criminal networks - involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking and identity theft - currently operate beyond borders as immensely profitable international businesses, with devastating social effects that cross national boundaries.

Research Projects
  • Psycho-Social Evaluation of the Hudson Link Prison Education Program (pending approval)
  • Attitudes Towards Stop and Frisk: A Public Opinion Survey of NYC Residents (ongoing)
  • The Effect of a Criminal Conviction on Housing Outcomes (in press)
  • A Spatial and Statistical Analysis of Stop and Frisk
  • Neshoba documentary film showing with director Micki Dickoff (April 2014)
  • Civilian Complaint Review Board presentation (April 2014)
  • Hudson Link board member class speaking engagement (April 2013, October 2013, April 2014)
  • Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. program director class speaking engagement (April 2014)
  • Hudson Link Student Debate in Sing Sing Correctional Facility - class trip (October 2012)
  • Class Visit to Sing Sing Correctional Facility (December 2012, May 2013, December 2013)