Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers I (RCRJ 325, online)
This course, the first in the sequence of two courses on Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers, provides a
basic knowledge of problem-oriented policing and the related fields of environmental criminology and
situational crime prevention. It will show you how to take the initiative at every stage of the project in
defining the scope of the problem-solving effort, in trying to analyze the causes of the problem, in helping
to find an effective response, and in setting up the project so that it can be evaluated and the police can
learn from the results.
Each module and the steps within each module follow logically one from another, in line with the SARA
model: Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment. This course, Crime Analysis for Problem
Solvers (1), covers Scanning and Analysis of problems and various methodological issues. Crime
Analysis for Problem Solvers (2) covers Response and Assessment to problems and relevant
Throughout the course we use examples from the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries.
Finally, we will make extensive use of the wonderful trove of information on problem oriented policing
and situational crime prevention contained in www.popcenter.org, the website of the Center for Problem
Oriented Policing. All reading materials are contained within this course or are available as direct links to
the Center for Problem Oriented Policing website.
Class Overview & Syllabi
Introduction to Research Design in Criminal Justice (RCRJ 282)
This course introduces undergraduate students to the methods of social science research, with an
emphasis on crime and criminal justice topics. First, this course will explain the concepts and
vocabulary needed to understand social science research. Students will learn about different types of
research methods, including: experiments, surveys, secondary data analysis, interviewing, and more.
Second, the course will provide students with practical experience in reading, understanding, and
writing about research.
Course material will include textbook readings to establish a foundation of knowledge, as well as
published, peer-reviewed journal articles that illustrate research applications in criminology and
criminal justice. The overall goal of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills
necessary for reading, understanding, and evaluating research in criminology and criminal justice.
Over the last four years, I have developed teaching experience at a variety of levels and settings. I have taught for six semesters at Albany, four as a teaching assistant and two as an instructor. I also have extensive experience with online teaching, having collaborated with faculty members to develop three online courses, and having developed one online course on my own. Please see examples of my class syllabi below.
Ideology and Crime (RCRJ 408, online)
What is "ideology"? How do we develop it and maintain it? And, most importantly for this
course, why is it so important in understanding crime?
Ideology is perhaps best understood as a framework that you use. It is a tool for
understanding and evaluating the world. It is especially important when thinking about
crime, because most of us (citizens, policymakers, politicians, etc.) have very little direct
experience with criminal activity. Instead, we bring our underlying beliefs (our ideologies) to
The best start to learning about the relationship between ideology and crime is to critically
evaluate "what everybody knows" to be true, including what you "know." In this class, we
will be looking at what conservatives and liberals "know," what the media "knows," and even
what social scientists (like myself) "know."
This course will examine the role of ideology in constructing and reacting to the
phenomenon of crime. Students will examine common ideological paradigms in criminology
and criminal justice, while taking stock of their own beliefs. Finally, they will examine the
roles of two institutions (media and academia) in influencing ideology.