Criminal Justice Faculty Funded as Research Partners with Project Safe Neighborhoods

Dr. Zhang and Dr. Ingram have been funded almost $450,000 to serve as research partners on the Southern District of Texas’ Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) for a second year. Through research, data analysis, and the examination of police activity, Dr. Zhang and Dr. Ingram help develop strategies to prevent crimes in troubled neighborhoods in the Houston area through the PSN project.

Project Safe Neighborhood works nationwide and brings together law enforcement officials from all levels to help prevent violent crimes in communities. Dr. Ingram and Dr. Zhang look to build upon existing strategies to enhance law enforcements’ approach to violent crime and gang issues in PSN’s Southern District. The PSN project has been implemented in the United States for over 20 years and operates through the southern districts federal attorney’s office. The project brings together researchers and practitioners to produce better tactics by law enforcement.

Dr. Zhang enjoys this aspect of working with the PSN Project, stating, “we are very happy that we can help practitioners. We should be able to help with policy and help them identify other places that need more effort.”

In their second year of funding, Dr. Zhang and Dr. Ingram are analyzing how COVID-19 has impacted their current strategies. They are also looking into different factors that may contribute to the rise of violent crime in certain areas. Dr. Ingram and Dr. Zhang, who are both professors in the Criminal Justice department, are constructing a crime index to analyze the distribution of crimes in communities through the PSN Project. Their dedication to research and strategy implementation will lead to better law enforcement practices and will create safer neighborhoods in Texas