Our Grants

Demographic, Temporal, Relational, and Environmental Dynamics Surrounding Gun Violence

Overview

This study will investigate patterns in the demographic, temporal, relational, and environmental contexts in which individuals use guns to commit crimes prosecuted at a Southern District Attorney's Office.

Status

Awarded

Purpose

This project seeks to improve the data available to understand patterns in the use of guns to commit crimes and support evidence-based criminal justice practices in the Deep South.

Approach

The present study will collect three types of data through immersive research at a Southern District Attorney's Office: (1) ethnographic fieldnotes on weekly staff attorney meetings, judicial hearings, and circuit court trials; (2) in-depth interviews with prosecutors about the cultural and relational worlds that structure their daily work; and (3) analysis of investigative reports on all felony criminal cases involving a gun, case disposition records, and trial transcripts.

Significance

Little is known about the demographic, temporal, relational, and environmental contexts in which individuals use guns to commit crimes in the Deep South. This work will inform policies and interventions for reducing the use of firearms to commit crimes.

Investigator Bios

Dr. Susan Dewey (mentor) is a professor of criminology and criminal justice at The University of Alabama. She is the author/editor of 12 books and over 100 peer-reviewed publications on the intersections between violence, vulnerability, and criminal justice institutions. Her most recent book-in-progress, co-authored with Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb and Dr. Brittany Gilmer, is titled Gun Present: Inside a Southern District Attorney's Battle Against Gun Violence.

Dr. Brittany Gilmer (mentor) is an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice and her research focuses on the relationship between violence, the illicit, territory, and structures of power. She has worked as a researcher and later as a consultant with numerous international organizations, including the United Nations Office on Drugs Counter Piracy Programme, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Somali Fisheries Sector, and the Hostage Support Network.

Grant Amount
$50,000
Award Type
Postdoctoral
Organization
The University of Alabama
Investigator
Postdoctoral scholar to be confirmed.
Expected Completion Date
August 2023
Awarded
2022
Focus Areas
Urban Gun Violence
Domestic Gun Violence