Criminology Research Center

Funded Projects

Project: Quality Data Is the First Step: The National Homicide Data Improvement Project
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Principal Investigators: Randolph Roth, Michael Maltz, Wendy Regoeczi, Douglas Eckberg, Roland Chilton, and Marc Riedel

The goal of this study is to improve dramatically the quality of data on homicides for the United States since 1959. This effort will lead to more realistic analyses of the short- and long-term causes of child homicides, intimate partner homicides, and homicides among unrelated adults, and permit the testing of hypotheses concerning those causes and the impact on homicide rates of clearance rates and other forms of deterrence. Our preliminary analyses document the extent to which reliance on extant datasets has distorted our knowledge of homicide in the United States. For some categories of homicide, the present researchers have found that merging police and vital statistics homicide records at the state level can increase the tally of homicides by as much as 30 percent over the numbers available from police reports alone. By combining (a) data reported by police to the FBI, with (b) data reported by health officials to their state vital statistics agencies and to the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, augmented when necessary by (c) internal police records and newspaper accounts, the project will create homicide data series that are as complete as possible. The research will be conducted initially in Ohio and then in four more "open record" states (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and North Carolina), so named because their death records are available for examination and chosen because they represent four different regions of the country.

Project: Forensic Evidence in Homicide Investigations
Sponsors: National Institute of Justice
Principal Investigators: Tom McEwen and Wendy Regoeczi

The objective of the project is to determine how homicide investigators use evidence during the course of their investigations. It includes identifying ways in which both unanalyzed and analyzed evidence contributes to investigations. Data will be collected on approximately 300 homicides that occurred in the City of Cleveland between 2008 and 2011. Open and closed cases will be compared to determine differences between types of evidence collected, analysis requests, forensic results, and contributions to the investigations.

Project: An evaluation of Domestic Violence Case Processing in Cleveland's Municipal Court
Sponsors: Cuyahoga County Justice Assistance Grants, Cleveland Municipal Court
Principal Investigators: Wendy Regoeczi and Dana Hubbard

The proposed research will examine and evaluate Cleveland's Domestic Violence Project by collecting and comparing data on domestic violence cases handled through the Dedicated Domestic Violence Docket (DDVD) versus those that are handled by other dockets. The objectives of the study are to (1) develop and implement a data collection and management strategy that will encompass all of the agencies involved in the processing of domestic violence cases in the city; and (2) examine the impact of processing cases through the DDVD on case outcomes and offender recidivism.

Project: Examining the Application of Discretion in Police Decision-Making in Cuyahoga County
Sponsors: Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office
Principal Investigators: Wendy Regoeczi, Stephanie Kent, Ronnie Dunn, Bill Bowen

This project is a joint collaboration between the Criminology Research Center and the Levin College of Urban Affairs that is part of a larger study commissioned by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office to conduct a review of the Cuyahoga County criminal justice system from arrest through prosecution and case disposition. Criminology Research Center faculty are conducting research involving riding alongs with patrol officers in several cities within Cuyahoga County to observe how police apply discretion in the course of interacting with citizens.

Project: Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Violence Against Women Act Grants to Encourage Arrest and Enforcement of Protection Orders
Sponsors: Cuyahoga County
Principal Investigators: Wendy Regoeczi

As a subcontract on a major grant awarded to Cuyahoga County from the Federal Office of Violence Against Women, Wendy Regoeczi is responsible for conducting research on the use of computerized case management systems used in other major police departments throughout the country. Using this information and the results of her funded research on domestic violence case processing in the City of Cleveland, she will work on a team tasked to build a case management database for Cuyahoga County.