Researching at the community-university borderlands: Using public science to study policing in the South Bronx

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Abstract

This article is a case study of the Morris Justice Project (MJP), a participatory action research (PAR) study in a South Bronx neighborhood of New York City (NYC) designed to understand residents’ experiences with and attitudes towards the New York Police Department (NYPD). An illustration of public science, the research was conducted in solidarity with an emerging police reform movement and in response to an ongoing and particularly aggressive set of policing policies that most heavily impacts poor communities and communities of color.  The case study describes a set of ongoing participatory, research-action, “sidewalk science” strategies, developed in 42 square blocks of the South Bronx, designed to better understand and challenge the ongoing structural violence of the carceral state. Collaboratively written with members of the Morris Justice collective, we tell our story across three sections that outline the genesis of the project, describe our major commitments, and offers PAR and public science as a possible “intervention” in traditional university practice.

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Article Details

How to Cite
Stoudt, B. G., Torre, M. E., Bartley, P., Bissell, E., Bracy, F., Caldwell, H., Dewey, L., Downs, A., Greene, C., Haldipur, J., Lizama, S., Hassan, P., Manoff, E., Sheppard, N., & Yates, J. (2019). Researching at the community-university borderlands: Using public science to study policing in the South Bronx. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 27, 56. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.27.2623
Section
Research For Justice
Author Biographies

Brett G. Stoudt, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

Brett G. Stoudt lives with his family in Brooklyn and is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department with a joint appointment in the Gender Studies Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice as well as the Psychology and Social Welfare Doctoral Programs at the Graduate Center.

María Elena Torre, Graduate Center, CUNY

María Elena Torre lives in Brooklyn with her son and partner and is the founding Director of The Public Science Project and on the faculty in Critical Social/Personality Psychology and Urban Education at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Paul Bartley, Graduate Center, CUNY

Paul Bartley has lived, worked, and raised his 3 children in the Bronx and is the Senior Case Manager and Certified Recovery Coach Trainer of Trainers at the Acacia Network. He has worked with the mentally ill, homeless and substance abuse populations for nearly 17 years.

Evan Bissell, University of California, Berkeley

Evan Bissell lives in Berkeley, California and is an artist and researcher who organizes narratives for equitable systems and liberatory processes.

Fawn Bracy, Graduate Center, CUNY

Fawn Bracy is a mother and proud recent grandmother who raised her two daughters, son, and nephew in the South Bronx, where she has lived and built community for over 40 years. She has worked with the New York Civil Liberties Union to reform the NYPD and bring policing with dignity and respect to the South Bronx.

Hillary Caldwell, Graduate Center, CUNY

Hillary Caldwell lives in Harlem and is a PhD Candidate in Environmental Psychology and the Women’s Studies Certificate Program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Hillary is also the Assistant Director and Lead Instructor for The Minor in Community Change Studies at City College of New York, CUNY.

Lauren Dewey, University of Vermont

Lauren Dewey lives with her family in Vermont and is a clinical supervisor and faculty member in the Department of Psychological Science at the University of Vermont.

Anthony Downs, Graduate Center, CUNY

Anthony Downs is a Bronx native of 34 years who has participated in numerous professional conferences to speak out about police reform and feels a renewed energy to help end aggressive policing practices in NYC.

Cory Greene, Graduate Center, CUNY

Cory Greene was born and raised in the inner city of New York and currently a doctoral student in the Critical Social/Personality Psychology program at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is one of the co-founders and co-director of H.O.L.L.A! (How Our Lives Link Altogether).


Jan Haldipur, California State University Long Branch

Jan Haldipur lives in Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach.  His new book, No Place on the Corner: The Costs of Aggressive Policing (NYU Press) takes an ethnographic look at the consequences of aggressive policing tactics in New York City.  

Scott Lizama, Graduate Center, CUNY

Scott Lizama lives with his family in Brooklyn and is a PhD student in Environmental at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Prakriti Hassan, Graduate Center, CUNY

Prakriti Hassan has been a Bronx resident for over 12 years and through MJP, discovered her passion for research and her strong interest in police reform. She is currently a student in the M.A. Program in Liberal Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Einat Manoff, Graduate Center, CUNY

Einat Manoff currently lives with her daughter in Canada. She is a doctoral student in the Environmental Psychology Ph.D. program at the CUNY Graduate Center.



Nadine Sheppard, Graduate Center, CUNY

Nadine Sheppard is a mother of three sons and has lived in the South Bronx for over 20 years. She is deeply committed to ending aggressive and discriminatory policing in her community and the winner of the Linda Powell Pruitt Women who refuse to Surrender Award.

Jacqueline Yates, Graduate Center, CUNY

Jacqueline Yates is a mother of two sons, a wife, and has lived in the South Bronx for more than 30. She has been actively involved with the New York Civil Liberties Union to reform the NYPD and end aggressive and discriminatory policing practices.