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Quick Facts

  • 6 - Number of graduate programs in the college ranked in the top 100 nationwide by U.S. News and World Report in March 2016
  • Fall 2015 - Launch of the Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice
  • Spring 2016 - Launch of the completely online Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program
  • 2015-16 - Academic year in which the college recognized 25 years since its founding in 1990-91
  • > 1,700 - Number of children and adults with speech, language and hearing problems served by the Communication Disorders Clinic

Department of Criminal Justice

• Overview
• Research Interests
• Current/Recent Grants


Gene Paoline - Use of ForceThe Department of Criminal Justice conducts quality research and pursues local, state and federal funding to advance knowledge in the discipline. Current funding agencies include the Seminole County Sheriffs Office and U.S. Department of State. By actively developing meaningful partnerships, the department provides exemplary service to the university and broader professional and academic community.

Research Interests

Kenneth Adams

Kenneth Adams, Ph.D.

  • police use of force
  • adjudication
  • juvenile justice
  • mentally ill inmates
  • corrections

Thomas Baker

Thomas Baker, Ph.D.

  • Perceptions of Correctional Populations
  • Public Opinion of Criminal Justice Policy
  • Life-Course Criminology

Kristina Childs

Kristina Childs, Ph.D.

  • juvenile justice
  • problem behavior syndrome
  • public health issues in juvenile corrections
  • disproportional minority contact in juvenile justice system

Jacinta Gau

Jacinta Gau, Ph.D.

  • police-community relations
  • procedural justice and police legitimacy
  • race and policing

Stephen Holmes

Stephen Holmes, Ph.D.

  • police use of force
  • policy
  • statistics
  • sex offenders
  • applied research methods
  • suicide and violent crime

Catherine Kaukinen

Catherine Kaukinen, Ph.D.

  • intimate partner violence
  • Family Violence
  • Violence Against Women
  • Campus Violence against Women Prevention
  • Dating Violence
  • Physical and Mental Health Consequences of Violent Victimization
  • Campus Violence

Sue Mahan

Sue Mahan

  • jails and prisons
  • victimology
  • women offenders
  • prison riots
  • community corrections
  • domestic violence

Matthew Matusiak

Matthew Matusiak, Ph.D.

  • program evaluation
  • police organizations
  • police executives
  • organizational planning
  • violent crime

William Moreto

William Moreto, Ph.D.

  • environmental criminology
  • policing
  • crime analysis
  • crime prevention
  • geographic information systems
  • crime science
  • wildlife crime
  • qualitative methods

Eugene Paoline III

Eugene Paoline III, Ph.D.

  • police culture
  • police use of force
  • criminal justice theory
  • occupational attitudes of criminal justice practitioners
  • systematic social observation (SSO) methods

Jennifer Peck

Jennifer Peck, Ph.D.

  • Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Court Processing
  • Treatment of Disadvantaged Groups in the Juvenile Justice System
  • Causes and Correlates of Delinquent Behavior

Roberto Potter

Roberto Potter, Ph.D.

  • justice system decision making
  • substances/mental health/harm reduction
  • justice system evaluation
  • discipline impacts on justice systems research and education
  • correctional health
  • social realities and justice systems

Lee Ross

Lee Ross, Ph.D., M.A., B.A.

  • crime theory
  • victimology
  • domestic violence
  • criminal justice systems
  • religion and crime
  • minorities and the criminal justice system
  • intimate partner homicide
  • scholarship of teaching and learning
  • critical race theory

Joseph Sanborn

Joseph Sanborn, Ph.D.

  • juvenile justice
  • sentencing
  • civil rights
  • human rights
  • criminal procedure
  • criminal courts and law

Raymond Surette

Raymond Surette, Ph.D.

  • media
  • crime and criminal justice
  • crime prevention
  • copycat crimes
  • evaluation
  • CCTV and public surveillance
  • survey research

Cory Watkins

Cory Watkins, Ph.D.

  • police and society
  • criminology
  • crime mapping and analysis
  • police technology

Mark Winton

Mark Winton, Ph.D.

  • Genocide
  • Torture
  • Mental Illness
  • Sex Crimes

Ross Wolf

Ross Wolf, Ed.D., M.P.A.

  • police use of force
  • police and society
  • police training
  • volunteer policing
  • international comparative policing
  • police administration and management
  • reserve and auxiliary policing

Current/Recent Grants

Studying the Impact of Video Analytics for Pre, Live and Post Event Analysis on Outcomes of Criminal Justice
Co-PI: Ray Surette, Ph.D. (withPI Mubarak Shah, Ph.D., UCF Center for Research in Computer Vision)
$1,300,000, 1/1/2016-12/31/2017
National Institute of Justice

Evaluation: Veterans Treatment Court Services
PI: Roberto Potter, Ph.D.
$42,813, 10/1/2014-9/30/2017
Seminole County, Florida

Comprehensive School Safety Initiative: Developing Knowledge About What Works to Make Schools Safe
PI: Kristina Fisher, Ph.D. (with Co-PIs Roberto Potter and Kimberley Gryglewicz)
$305,862, 1/1/2015-6/30/2017
National Institute of Justice (to Brevard Public Schools then to UCF)
[total NIJ award is $2,269,744]

Evaluation and Project Design for Seminole Behavioral Healthcare
PI: Roberto Potter, Ph.D.
$90,000, 7/1/2014-6/30/2017
Aspire Health Partners

Police Early Intervention Systems: The State of the Art
PI: Eugene A. Paoline III, Ph.D.
$94,747, 1/1/2014-6/30/2016
National Institute of Justice (to John Finn Institute for Public Safety then to UCF)
[total NIJ award is $486,485]

Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs: Policy Change, Law Enforcement Activity and Diversion Tactics
PI: Jacinta Gau, Ph.D.
$250,000, 1/1/2013-3/31/2016
National Institute of Justice

UCF Student Support for the Orange County Corrections Division
PI: Roberto Potter, Ph.D.
$14,612, 1/1/2015-12/31/2015
Orange County Board of Commissioners

2015 UCF Student Support for the Orange County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division
PI: William Moreto, Ph.D. 
$72,139, 11/1/2014-10/31/2015
Orange County Sheriff's Office

Meet the Judge Prevention Initiative - Year Three
PI: Kristina Childs Fisher, Ph.D.
$38,486, 10/1/2012-6/30/2015
Orange County Board of Commissioners

The health care informatics master's program at UCF really helped me connect with the industry, meet people at conferences and sit for the most-desired certification exams."
— Michael Neimann,  M.S. in health care informatics ('14)
My internship with the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I gained an excellent understanding of the medical examiner’s office and the criminal justice field in general."
— Adam Stubley,  B.S. in criminal justice, criminal profiling certificate ('11)
UCF provides its physical therapy students with an excellent education and prepares them to work in the most challenging of settings."
— Jamie Dyson,  Rehabilitation Supervisor, Orlando Regional Medical Center
UCF's program provided me the opportunity to expedite my student experience while attaining practical experience working within local health systems."
— Daniel Barr,  V.P. at National Children's Hospital; M.S. in health sciences, health services administration track ('04)
My master's education helped me see the big picture of the nonprofit industry. UCF showed me how to see the different fundraising tools within the Central Florida area."
— Krysti Griffith,  Executive Director of Growth from Grief; Master of Nonprofit Management ('12)
The course opened my eyes to grant writing ... I learned a great deal and you [Barbara Howell] are truly an excellent instructor."
— Deborah Reith,  Master of Public Administration student who secured a $10,000 federal grant through a course project; B.S. in criminal justice ('86)
The skills I learned during my time at UCF are what made my transition to law school so seamless."
— Jacqueline Iaquinta,  Touro Law Center student; B.S. in legal studies ('10)
As an inaugural graduate of the M.R.A. program at UCF, I can attest to the outstanding curriculum developed for research administrators. "
— April Heyward,  Post Award Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Master of Research Administration ('13)
It was at UCF that I first learned many of the skills that I’ve since honed, including mapping with GIS software - an ability I found invaluable to my search for internships, graduate-level coursework, and employment."
— Richard "Ben" Hagen,  Research and Communications Associate, New Economy Project, New York City; B.S. in public administration ('10)
I am excited to be able to give back to the program that invested so much in me. It is truly and honor and a privilege."
— Carlos Gual,  Instructor of Athletic Training; B.S. in athletic training ('09)
The faculty advisor [at my medical school] was amazed that I had the opportunity to truly participate in the full spectrum of research as an undergraduate. "
— Chase Cavayero, medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicince, B.S. in health sciences - pre-clinical ('13),  
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