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UMD Named 2014 Best Value College by Princeton Review

January 28, 2014

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

The Princeton Review Best Value CollegesCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has been named a Best Value College for 2014 by The Princeton Review.  The list, recognizing 75 public and 75 private colleges, ranks selected schools based on a wide range of criteria—from academics to cost of attendance to financial aid. Maryland was recognized by The Princeton Review for its comprehensive aid program, wide selection of merit-based scholarships, living-and-learning communities and top-notch honors program.

According to The Princeton Review, "University of Maryland—College Park offers a comprehensive aid program for students who demonstrate financial need. But it’s the university’s full suite of merit-based scholarships that make a UMD degree an exceptional value."

"More than 100 undergraduate degrees are on offer here, and the university’s location near Washington, D.C., means that top-notch research and internship opportunities are literally in your backyard," says the book's publishers.

The list features 150 institutions -- ranking the top 10 public and private colleges and listing the remaining 65 in each group unranked and in alphabetical order. To generate the rankings, The Princeton Review examined more than 30 factors using data gathered from institutional and student opinion surveys conducted from Fall 2012 through Fall 2013 at 650 colleges and universities.

The Princeton Review also ranks UMD No. 9 for best athletic facilities, No. 12 for most politically active students, No. 15 for top undergraduate entrepreneurship programs, and No. 20 for lots of race/class interaction. The university was also recently ranked No. 7 for in-state tuition on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance's list of Best Values in Public Colleges.

The full Best Value Colleges list and the University of Maryland's profile are available here.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

Terps Win Sustainable Growth Challenge

January 27, 2014

Sara Gavin 301-405-9235

Sustainable Growth ChallengeCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Students from the University of Maryland's Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture were awarded first prize in the first-ever Sustainable Growth Challenge organized by the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission. From a pool of 12 university teams throughout the state, the group of Terps was chosen to present before a jury of planners and state agency officials in December in Annapolis.

Their winning submission entitled “Design and Planning for Sea Level Change and Stormwater Issues on Maryland’s Eastern Shore” addresses challenges faced by the town of Oxford, Md. Located on the Tred Avon River and surrounded on three sides by water, Oxford is predicted to grapple with sea-level rise and storm surges in the near future. The team of UMD students suggested redesigning an existing park, creating wetlands and sketching efficient evacuation routes as some potential solutions to the town’s water woes.

This was the first year of the student challenge, which the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission hopes will inspire more student planners to consider sustainability. The winning team from UMD will be honored February 5 as part of the commission’s second annual Smart Growth Forum and Awards Ceremony in Annapolis.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

University of Maryland Releases TerpVision 12

January 27, 2014

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235


COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The latest installment of the University of Maryland's TerpVision series is now available. Hosted by noted sports broadcaster Bonnie Bernstein '92, TerpVision 12 covers UMD stories of impact and inspiration happening on campus, in College Park and around the world.

TerpVision 12 includes:

  • Sports Journalism the Povich Way: Since its inception in 2011, the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism has brought sports media leaders like ESPN's Kevin Blackistone and Scott Van Pelt to campus to lead symposia on popular sports issues, provide real-world advice and mentor students, and champion Povich's commitment to racial and gender equality in sports.
  • The Birds and the Bees: A decades-long UMD research project gives students and researchers a once-in-a-lifetime experience to live and work in the rainforests of Australia, studying the fascinating mating habits of satin bowerbirds.
  • College Park Academy: This past fall, a new college prep school was opened designed specifically for the coming wave of students, who have their own moniker: Digital Natives.
  • Wilmeth Sidat-Singh: Race and Football: Rewind to Maryland Football way back in 1937, when segregation in the south was very much alive. The Terrapins refused to face Syracuse at home unless the Orangemen benched their top player.
  • Virtual Healing: Maryland is one of the few schools to offer a class in a new art form called projection design. Jared Mezzocchi teaches the class and recently collaborated with other artists, as well as veterans organizations to help raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The full TerpVision 12 show is available here.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

UMD Artist Resurrects Spirit of Beloved Chapel Oak

January 24, 2014

Nicky Everette 301-405-6714

Chapel Oak SculptureCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – A noted University of Maryland sculptor will formally unveil his latest creation, a 10-foot-tall wooden "vessel" that memorializes a campus landmark, at a reception in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 25.

Foon Sham, a professor of art in the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU), built the 5,000-pound sculpture from remnants of a beloved white oak tree that stood in front of the university's Memorial Chapel for close to 75 years, providing a canopy for everyone from wedding parties to students seeking shade as they studied.

Known as the Chapel Oak or "Duke's Tree"—honoring a groundskeeper who tended to it for almost four decades—the majestic oak was cut down in July 2012 after being struck by lightning and suffering further damage from fungi and insects.

Duke's TreeSham's "Chapel Oak Vessel," comprising more than 1,500 pieces from the tree, is on display at the Arlington Arts Center, part of a six-month exhibition of community-sourced art that highlights the center's mission of nurturing and supporting regional artists.

"The [sculpture's] abstract acorn shape represents the fruit from the white oak," Sham says. "Now that the tree is gone, the fruit remains as a metaphor of transformation from one identity to another."

Sham worked with university groundskeepers after the tree was cut down, first storing the wood on campus before transporting large sections to his home studio in Northern Virginia.

In keeping with some of his earlier sculptures—including one commissioned by the World Bank in Washington. D.C., and another currently on display in Shanghai, China—Sham says he wanted to create what he terms a "vessel" with remnants from the Chapel Oak.

Foon Sham"I want people to be able to walk in, to see light above, to hear their echo inside the sculpture and be transported," he says.

ARHU Dean Bonnie Thornton Dill says Sham's art illustrates the imaginative spirit that defines virtually everything in the college. "This piece is particularly special, as it rekindles memories of that most beautiful tree that meant so much to our campus community."

Dane Winkler, Sham's graduate student, assisted his adviser with much of the heavier work, chain-sawing large parts of the tree into sections that could be more easily worked with.

Winkler, a master of fine arts candidate at Maryland, will have his own sculpture on display at the exhibit, which kicks off a yearlong celebration of the Arlington Arts Center's 40-year history as an incubator of regional talent.

Laura Roulet, a 1999 Maryland graduate with a master's in art history, is curating the exhibition. "As we looked through the center's archives when planning this exhibition, Foon's name repeatedly came up as someone who often showed his work here, mentored other artists and truly represented the center's mission of keeping extraordinary talent in the area," she says.


An opening reception for "CSA: Forty Years of Community Sourced Art," takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Arlington Arts Center. Foon Sham, Dane Winkler and other artists will be on hand to discuss their work.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

UMD Entrepreneurship Program Honored for Excellence

January 23, 2014

Eric Schurr 301-405-3889

Pictured: USASBE President Pat Dickson, left, and EIP Director Jay Smith.COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) has selected the University of Maryland Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP) as the first-place winner for an Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education award in the Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program category.

A joint initiative of the The Honors College and A. James Clark School of Engineering's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), EIP is a two-year, living-learning program for freshman and sophomore honors students that fosters an entrepreneurial spirit, creates a sense of community and cooperation, and develops ethical and innovative leaders.

A leading voice in entrepreneurship research, teaching, and application, with over 1,000 members across the world, USASBE established the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards to recognize excellence in entrepreneurship education at the programmatic level. Each is awarded on a competitive basis, with only one institution winning in each category during a given year.

"EIP is a growing and dynamic program," said Clark School Dean and Farvardin Professor Darryll Pines. "Few initiatives have made it to this national scale in less than four years. It is a testament to the passion and dedication of EIP Director Jay Smith, who not only lives and breathes the concept of innovative thinking, but also genuinely cares for each and every one of his students."


"I never would have dreamed a two-year program would impact me this much but it has."

--EIP alumna Ashmi Sheth


The premise of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP) is simple: take some of the most talented students entering the University of Maryland and teach them how to apply entrepreneurial and innovative thinking to everything they do. Less than four years after the program's launch, its students are leaders across the university, winning competitions, starting new ventures, bolstering companies, non-profits and government initiatives, and spreading the mindset that an individual really can change the world. 

The comprehensive yet dynamic structure of EIP includes a residential community, incubator facilities, experiential learning, coaching and mentoring, challenging academics, impact seed fund and start-up discussion and peer feedback meetings.

Since 2010, EIP has grown to serve 170 freshmen and sophomores in the 2013-2014 academic year and supports 120 additional upper-level students who have completed the program's course sequence.

"Jay Smith and the EIP students are changing the university every day, for the better," said Honors College Director William Dorland. "It is wonderful to see their efforts recognized at the national level. There will be more recognition to come, I am certain."

"We are honored to be recognized for excellence in entrepreneurship education by USASBE, one of the most influential organizations in the nation for supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses," says EIP Director Jay Smith. "We are committed to continually improving a model program to spur entrepreneurship and innovation, two of the key economic development drivers for creating jobs and bringing new products to market. For students, entrepreneurship is a fantastic vehicle for self-expression and self-actualization, giving them a chance them to pursue their dreams while creating value for society."

Click here to learn more about EIP and to see what students have to say about the program.

View a video about EIP made by students in the program:


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

Grassroots Effort to Train Burmese Refugee Teachers

January 22, 2014

Halima Cherif 301-405-0476

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – More than 5,000 Burmese refugee children living in Malaysia—who are prohibited from attending public schools—now have the opportunity to receive a better education, due to the work of Colleen O'Neal, an assistant professor in the University of Maryland's school psychology program in the College of Education.

There are currently approximately 40,000 school-age refugee children in Malaysia. Refugee communities are forced to teach their own children, setting up hidden schools in kitchens and apartments. O'Neal is co-leading a grassroots effort to train these community members to become effective and confident teachers, as well as helping them train their colleagues.

"Refugee children are typically hidden in urban areas, not in tent cities, and are either uneducated or undereducated," says O'Neal. "I had not planned to do refugee education research when I arrived as a Fulbright Scholar to Malaysia in 2010. However, the tens of thousands of hidden refugee children eventually became visible to me, and I saw a clear, powerful need to make an impact on their education and lives."

Funded by the U.S. State Department Fulbright program and partnering with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees in Malaysia as well as local universities, NGOs, and refugee schools, O'Neal's team of Fulbright alumni, students, and interventionists work to empower refugee teachers to improve their students' socio-emotional and academic functioning. 

Using a training manual as a guide, O'Neal and her colleagues teach behavioral and emotion-focused approaches to managing students' emotions, attention, and behavior challenges. They help them build more positive relationships with their students, employ positive management techniques, and use less physical punishment. The trainers focus on helping the new teachers identify and manage their own emotions and stress as well.

"We use as much hands-on, nonverbal training tactics possible. These teachers are refugees themselves, and although they often teach in English, their English is sometimes rudimentary," says O'Neal. "For example, we do activities like teachers pretending to be students tossing a ball from one teacher to the next, with the goal of helping them cultivate a tool box of safe, quiet physical activities they can do with their students—without their neighbors calling the police."

A total of 160 teachers have been trained to-date through refugee teacher training intervention.

The refugee project research study has shown preliminary, significant results in improving refugee teacher knowledge and confidence in managing students' emotions, behavior, and attention, in addition to the teachers improving their own stress management and self-care.

O'Neal adds, "The importance of refugee education research lies in the fact that global political change has an impact on millions of refugee children worldwide, numbers that are increasing at alarming rates."

For more information on the project, visit http://resilientrefugeesmalaysia.blogspot.com.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

UMD at the Forefront of Next Chapter in MOOCs

January 21, 2014

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

"Specializations" Now Offered, Including in Android Development and Cybersecurity

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland is taking a pioneering role in expanding students' learning experiences with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) beyond just one course. Starting this semester, the university's MOOC offerings will include "specializations"—multi-course sequences in cutting-edge fields. These specializations, now being offered through Coursera, are a new type of program that allow students to dive deeper into learning and develop mastery in a particular subject.

“These specializations take MOOCs to the next level by adding structure and consistency,” says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. “We just pioneered a MOOC specialization with another institution, and now we can expand the concept at home, drawing on our many strengths in cybersecurity.”

android developmentThis semester, UMD, in partnership with Vanderbilt University, is offering one of the first-ever specialization programs shared across universities. The MOOC specialization on Android development includes courses on:

  • Design and implementation of user-facing applications;
  • Middleware systems programming; and
  • Integrating mobile devices with computing clouds.

The first course in the specialization will be taught by UMD Computer Science Professor Adam Porter, and the following two will be taught by Vanderbilt Computer Science Professor Douglas Schmidt and Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Jules White.

“MOOCs are exciting to the University of Maryland, not only because they demonstrate our excellence in so many areas, but because they also help us learn how to better take advantage of technology to improve our on-campus courses,” says Professor Ben Bederson, special advisor to the Provost on technology and educational transformation.

cybersecurityNext, in Fall 2014, the university will begin an all-new MOOC specialization in cybersecurity. Taking advantage of UMD's expertise through the Maryland Cybersecurity Center, the specialization will present students with a broad, multidisciplinary perspective on current topics in cybersecurity, including courses on:

  • Cryptographic algorithms and protocols;
  • Tools and techniques for developing secure software;
  • Human-centered approaches for designing usable secure systems; and
  • Elements of hardware security.

This new series will take a unique, interdisciplinary approach to teaching cybersecurity, with professors from across the university, including Jonathan Katz and Mike Hicks in computer science, Gang Qu in electrical and computer engineering, and Jen Golbeck in the iSchool.

Capstone courses, in which students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in several of these areas, will finish off both specializations.

"With the recent security breaches of several major U.S. corporations, the importance of addressing the cybersecurity challenges of today's world has become increasingly critical," says Katz, director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center and a professor of computer science. "Our multidisciplinary course sequence, drawing on faculty from three different departments on campus, will provide students with a unique opportunity to obtain a comprehensive introduction to this exciting—and growing—field."

The University of Maryland also offers individual MOOC courses on a variety of topics, from understanding terrorism and developing innovative ideas, to tolerance in religious societies and making better group decisions. To view UMD's full MOOC offerings, visit https://www.coursera.org/umd.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

Warning Computer Hackers Shortens Their Intrusion

January 16, 2014

Andrew Roberts 301-405-2171
Lee Tune 301-405-4679

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Cybercrime has grown to define the criminal landscape of the 21st century. Yet, cybersecurity research has focused on the crime – computer system attacks – and on counter measures to it, while largely ignoring perpetrator behavior during such attacks. However, University of Maryland researchers now are exploring the conduct of the computer intruders. In a groundbreaking new study, they show for the first time that the appearance of a warning banner upon entry significantly shortens the time an intruder remains on an attacked system.

Honey Pot ServerThe researchers also found that slow network speed combined with a warning message further hastens criminal hackers’ departure from the system.

Led by Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice David Maimon, the UMD team’s research, recently published in the journal Criminology, demonstrates the potential to influence hackers’ behavior by targeting their responses to warning messages during attacks.  This study is just the “tip of the spear” in criminology-based hacker behavior research and they have additional studies already nearing completion or well underway, according to Maimon.

“There is a lot of literature and research on the effects of deterrents – how to discourage criminal activity,” says Maimon. “However there’s almost no research on the immediate impact of these efforts, in this case warning messages, on what’s happening during the act. In our study we’re effectively able to watch a heist in progress, instead of investigating a crime scene after the fact.”

Maimon and study colleagues Michel Cukier, associate director for education in UMD’s Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) and an associate professor of reliability engineering in Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering; Bertrand Sobesto, a Clark School Ph.D. student; and Mariel Alper, a Ph.D. student in the department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, note their research is filling an important void.

A number of industry regulators, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), have developed national guidelines and policies regarding the display of warning messages when a cyber attack, or intrusion, takes place. However, these policies are largely influenced by the experiences of industry leaders, and are seldom designed around research that supports their effectiveness.

As a result, the UMD team notes, recommendations are being made on a national and global scale, without sufficient testing to prove their value in various environments. These recommendations substantially influence the approach institutions and corporations take to combat cybercrime and if these are misguided, it may have long term implications for the integrity of their security protocols.

The Maryland researchers conducted their study by deploying massive systems of high-interaction “honey pots,” or computers that appear to be part of a network, but are actually isolated. These highly monitored systems are designed to study hackers and precisely document their tactics.

By using several hundred “honey pots,” altering their system configurations and observing how computer hackers respond, Maimon and his collaborators learned a great deal about the attacks and the attackers. “Think about the burglar analogy. The low-interaction systems, used in a number of other studies, are equivalent to a façade,” Maimon explains. “The high-interaction systems we use are like watching criminals break into multi-story homes that are under intense surveillance.”

“There’s a high percentage of human interaction here,” says Maimon. “These aren’t ‘BotNet’ attacks. These are people committing crimes, sitting in front of a computer.” By capturing massive amounts of data in these environments, and applying new methods of translated code into behavioral actions, Maimon can literally observe and analyze hackers’ keystrokes and draw conclusions about the hackers’ tactics and their reactions to warning messages. “Through extensive collaboration, with the right tools to analyze data on cyber attacks, the application of these newly formed behavioral models can help to mitigate the effects of hacking by applying effective interventions.” The findings have tremendous implications for both technology and the social sciences.

Their application of criminological theory to cybercrime is part of a new and a growing field of research into behavior of the individuals who carry out the attacks. “We’re combining computers and ‘soft science’ models for the first time,” says Maimon. “We can see that we’re making an impact…but there is a great deal left to learn. What kinds of warnings are most effective? Are we able to influence the hackers’ behavior over time? These questions will define how our research progresses…and ultimately the future of how we confront cybercrime.”

Maimon says he and colleagues are already taking the next steps in applying criminological models to the prevention of computer system trespassing through underway studies that examine:

  • how different kinds of warning messages might influence attackers’ behavior; and
  • how the presence of surveillance mechanisms changes the behavior of computer system trespassers.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

MTV Shows Led to 5.7 Percent Drop in Teen Births

January 13, 2014

Laura Ours, University of Maryland, 301-405-5722
Sofiya Cabalquinto, Wellesley College, 781-283-3321

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Despite concerns that turning teen moms into reality TV stars has glamorized teen pregnancy, a new study shows that MTV's 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom have had a more powerful impact in the opposite direction: the series has significantly reduced births to teens.

The research, coauthored by University of Maryland economist Melissa Schettini Kearney and Wellesley College economist Phillip B. Levine, finds that MTV's 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom led to a 5.7 percent reduction in teen births, which accounts for around one-third of the overall decline in teen births in the year and a half following the show's introduction in 2009.  The study, "Media Influences on Social Outcomes: The Impact of MTV's 16 and Pregnant on Teen Childbearing," will be published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, January 13, 2014. 


As Kearney and Levine addressed in an earlier study, the U.S. teen birth rate ranks high among developed countries, although it has been declining dramatically over the past 20 years and is now at a historic low. In particular, the U.S. teen birth rate fell rapidly between 2008 and 2012. The researchers showed that the Great Recession played the biggest role, explaining more than half of the staggering drop in the most recent, sharp decline. However, the economists also theorized that the timing of the introduction of MTV's 16 and Pregnant is such that it could also have contributed to the staggering drop in teen birth rates. This theory launched the first study to offer a credible estimate of the causal effect of specific media content on teen childbearing rates.

UMDKearney and Levine investigated whether the show influenced teens' interest in contraceptive use or abortion, and whether it ultimately altered teen childbearing. "In some circles, the idea that teenagers respond to media content is a foregone conclusion, but determining whether the media images themselves cause the behavior is a very difficult empirical task," said Professor Kearney.

To determine the show's impact on teens, Kearney and Levine conducted an in-depth empirical study, analyzing several measures of exposure, including Nielsen ratings data and metrics from Google and Twitter. The researchers then examined the impact on teen birth rates using Vital Statistics Natality microdata.

WellesleyKearney and Levine show that 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom have a large and highly engaged following, win ratings wars, and lead teens to search for and tweet about the themes within.  They also find that searches and tweets about birth control and abortion spike exactly when the show is on and in locations where it is more popular. According to Professor Levine, "our use of data from Google Trends and Twitter enable us to provide some gauge of what viewers are thinking about when they watch the show. We conclude that exposure to 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom was high and that it had an influence on teens' thinking regarding birth control and abortion."

Their most important finding, though, is that "the introduction of 16 and Pregnant along with its partner shows, Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2, led teens to noticeably reduce the rate at which they give birth," according to Kearney and Levine. Their estimates imply that these shows "led to a 5.7 percent reduction in teen births that would have been conceived between June 2009, when the show began, and the end of 2010. This can explain around one-third of the total decline in teen births over that period."

Although data limitations precluded Kearney and Levine from conducting separate analyses of abortions, the researchers note that teen abortion rates also fell over this period—suggesting that the shows' impact is likely attributable to a reduction in pregnancy rather than greater use of abortion.

According to the authors, the finding that 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom had an impact suggests that MTV drew in teens who actually were at risk of teen childbearing and conveyed to them information that led them to change their behavior, preventing them from giving birth at such a young age. "The fact that MTV knows how to make shows that teens like to watch, which speak to them in ways that resonate, presumably is critical to the show's impact," they said.

"This approach has the potential to yield large results with important social consequences," concluded Kearney and Levine. "Typically, the public concern addresses potential negative influences of media exposure, but this study finds it may have positive influences as well."

"When we developed 16 and Pregnant, teen birth rates were reported to be on the rise, so we created this series as a cautionary tale on the hard realities of teen pregnancy.  We are deeply grateful to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy for their expert guidance," said Stephen Friedman, president of MTV.  "We've always believed that storytelling can be a powerful catalyst for change, and are incredibly heartened by this news."
"The entertainment media can be, and often is, a force for good," said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.  "One of the nation's great success stories of the past two decades has been the historic declines in teen pregnancy.  MTV and other media outlets have undoubtedly increased attention to the risks and reality of teen pregnancy and parenthood and, as this research shows, have likely played a role in the nation's remarkable progress."


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

Half of Black Males, 40% of White Males Arrested by 23

January 10, 2014

Laura Ours 301-405-5722

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Nearly half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males in the United States are arrested by age 23—which can hurt their ability to attend school, secure employment and participate fully in their communities, according to a new study in the journal Crime & Delinquency. The study's authors include Professor Ray Paternoster, a faculty member in the University of Maryland's No.1-ranked Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice.

handcuffsThis groundbreaking report outlines the first contemporary findings on how the risk of arrest varies across race and gender, analyzing national survey data from 1997 to 2008 of teenagers and young adults, ages 18–23, and their arrest histories, which run the gamut from truancy and underage drinking to more serious and violent offenses. The study excludes arrests for minor traffic violations.

The study reveals a higher prevalence of arrest among black males compared to white males, and little race variation in arrest rates among black and white females.

"These findings are troublesome because they show that a large proportion of young males, particularly African-American males, will carry the stigma of an arrest. What makes this so problematic is that the repercussions will be manifested throughout their adult years as youth with arrest histories—even if the arrest does not result in a conviction—will find it difficult to find full-time and adequately paying employment, and without adequate employment they do not make attractive marriage partners," Professor Paternoster said. "Our findings would suggest that for African-American males, the cumulative probability of an arrest by age 23 is higher than the cumulative probability completing college. This does not bode well for their futures."

Other key findings include:

  • By age 18, 30 percent of black males, 26 percent of Hispanic males and 22 percent of white males have been arrested.
  • By age 23, 49 percent of black males, 44 percent of Hispanic males and 38 percent of white males have been arrested.
  • While the prevalence of arrest increased for females from age 18 to 23, the variation between races was slight. At age 18, arrest rates were 12 percent for white females and 11.8 percent and 11.9 percent for Hispanic and black females, respectively. By age 23, arrest rates were 20 percent for white females and 18 percent and 16 percent for Hispanic and black females, respectively.

Professor Paternoster said that while the study's findings are eye-opening, they prompt further inquiry and investigation.

"This is the first study in a very long time to be able to get these estimates of the cumulative risk of arrest, and it would be expecting too much for this one study to answer many questions. For instance, we observed that African-American males had a greater risk of arrest than white males, a difference we did not see among females, and it is not clear why this would be so. Further, how much of the difference between African-American and white males is due to differences in behavior and how much is due to other factors like differences in police behavior or the behavior of victims is an important question for future research," Professor Paternoster said.

In addition to Professor Paternoster, the study's researchers include lead author Robert Brame of the University of South Carolina, Shawn Bushway of the University of Albany and Michael Turner of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This study, a representative sample of the larger population, builds on a previous one by the team that was released in January 2012 in the journal Pediatrics. That study garnered national attention for providing the first look since the 1960s at arrest prevalence and for its key finding that one in three people are arrested by age 23.

The research team next will seek to develop an understanding of the economic, social and law enforcement factors that can influence arrests and what role gender and race play.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.


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