USF Sarasota-Manatee professor ranked 5th in the country for authorship in criminology and criminal justice journals

Dr. James Unnever, associate professor of Criminology at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and Technical Advisor to the Sarasota Police Advisory Council, is tied for the 5th ranked innovative author in the nation for total number of lead or sole authored research articles in the fields of criminology and criminal justice.

The rankings were revealed in a peer-reviewed criminal justice article that identified the most prolific sole and lead authors who published their work in eight elite criminology and criminal justice journals during the first decade of the twenty-first century.  The study concluded that a small number of scholars publishing in top journals are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the most cited studies.

The news is not surprising to many who consider Unnever, who received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University, to be one of the nation’s lead experts in the criminology and criminal justice fields.

“Jim Unnever has made substantial contributions in these fields and in service-related contributions to the community,” said Dr. Arthur Guilford, Regional Chancellor of USF Sarasota-Manatee.  “His expertise in areas such as bullying, capital punishment, and racism and crime have proved an asset to the Sarasota-Manatee areas.”

Unnever’s research generally examines the relationships among race, racism, and crime. He has a book forthcoming in 2011 titled Race, Racism, and Crime: A Theory of African American Offending.  He also has published first authored articles on whether racial and ethnic intolerance predicts punitive attitudes cross-nationally, factors related to whether the public wants to “get tough” on corporate crime, and the relationship between perceived racial discrimination and delinquency.

As Technical Advisor to the recently formed Sarasota Police Advisory Panel, Unnever assists in advising the City Commission and making recommendations on policy matters related to creating better relations between Sarasota’s minorities and the City.  He also provides advice on how crime in the Newtown area could be reduced.

He also has done pro-bono work in Sarasota, Manatee and Desoto counties, including leading a research study requested by Walt Smith, Court Administrator for the 12 Judicial Circuit, in 2008.  The research investigated the factors related to why some offenders are rearrested while on bail.

“I volunteered to become the principal investigator on this project not only to provide a service to the 12th Judicial Court, but also to provide employment and research opportunities for USF Sarasota-Manatee and USF Tampa students,” he said.  “The research articles that I author help not only the community and the nation, but with the development of future investigators as well.”