189208 Developing a New Interdisciplinary Paradigm: Epidemiological Criminology at the Crossroad

Monday, October 27, 2008: 12:35 PM

Timothy A. Akers, MS, PhD , School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
The sciences of epidemiology and public health and the sciences of criminology and criminal justice have long overlapped in their relationship to one another. While behavioral and biomedical scientists have studied aberrant behavior and its root causes, the processes in investigating a crime, and the many psychological, social, environmental, and ecological factors that contribute to deviant behavior or its antecedents—there continues to exist fragmented theories that directly skirt this scientific overlap between epidemiology/public health and criminology/criminal justice. Public health, as a discipline, has evolved its lexicon of terminology to include “violence epidemiology”, “forensic epidemiology”, and “Injury Epidemiology”, among others. However, to date, this fragmentation has left epidemiologists and criminologists, from varying theoretical perspectives, vying for a coherent framework in which both sciences can eventually emerge to create a viable paradigm in which scientists, practitioners, educators, and students can advance new bodies of research in a scientific field such as “Epidemiological Criminology”. This panel will serve as the first scientific forum to raise the “Epidemiological Criminology” paradigm as an umbrella theory that incorporates the many contextual and empirical methods, models, and techniques used across various disciplines. Such disciplines may include psychology, sociology, social work, nursing, medicine, forensics, information sciences generally and informatics specifically, environmentalism, epidemiology, and criminology, among many others. It is through a coherent paradigm when the scientific community will better understand such issues as human rights, intentional injury, mental health, violence, substance abuse, recidivism, and (bio)terrorism, among others.

Learning Objectives:
1. To increase the knowledge of participants around interdisciplinary methods, models, theories, and statistics used in the behavioral and biomedical sciences of epidemiology and criminology. 2. To increase the knowledge of participants to better understand the value of a mixed methods approach to contextual theories while also including empirical theories of aberrant behavior across epidemiological and criminological paradigms.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For the past 27 years, I have been either an educator and/or practitioner in both public health and the criminal justice system. For many years, while in academia, local government, and the federal government, I have organized national panels around similar topics. Moreover, I have supervised national conferences and meetings while in academia and while serving as a Senior Behavioral Scientist for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.