Re-envisioning Diversion Through Community Engagement
2022 Recipient of the College of Arts & Sciences Community-Based Research Initiative
Research shows that the criminal legal system (CLS) causes inequalities and that the CLS footprint could be reduced through community engagement. Through this innovative new project, researchers are working with community members and practitioners to re-envision diversion practices within the First Judicial District of New Mexico to minimize CLS involvement and inequalities among juveniles (12-17) and young adults (18-25).
The project is being led by a multidisciplinary team including faculty, graduate students, researchers, and practitioners from the Departments of Sociology, Economics, Public Health the New Mexico Sentencing Commission, Center on Alcohol Substance Use and Addictions (CASAA), and the First District Attorney’s office. The team is in the process of building community partners who will help craft research components of the project and inform diversion practices.
The project will lead to practices that divert youth from New Mexico’s CLS in ways that enhance wellbeing and address racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender inequalities. The practices will serve as prototypes that could be implemented in New Mexico and beyond.
The project is multifaceted and funded through several grants. The PI of the Community-Based Research Initiative is Noah Painter-Davis, associate professor of Sociology and the Co-PI is Lisa Broidy, distinguished professor and chair of Sociology. The Community Building Team includes Anastacia Romero, a graduate student in Public Health; Neil Greene a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center on Alcohol Substance Use and Addictions (CASAA); Verlin Joseph, a Postdoctoral Fellow at CASAA; and PhD candidates in Sociology, Libby Vigil, Katie Rickers.
Team members on other aspects of the project include:
Jennifer Padgett Macias, Managing District Attorney, First District Attorney's Office
Morgan Wood, Assistant District Attorney, First District Attorney's Office
Linda Freeman, Executive Director, New Mexico Sentencing Commission
Christopher Lyons, Professor, Department of Sociology
Margo Hurlocker, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Steven Verney, Professor, Department of Psychology
Thaneshwar Paneru, Doctoral Student, Economics Department
Eunice Kim, Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology
Alexandra Hernandez-Vallant; Clinical Psychology; Doctoral Fellow UNM Center for Social Policy
Magdalene Bernier, Undergraduate Criminology Major, Department of Sociology
Davyd Setter, PhD candidate, Sociology
Kodiak Ly, PhD candidate, Sociology