Houston, TX. – With Houston having a higher-than-average crime rate and Harris County’s incarceration rate reportedly the highest in Texas, researchers at Texas Southern University are taking a deeper dive into understanding why and what’s working.
“To change, not only the state of violent crime, but to recommend ways to reduce mass incarceration,” said Dr. Howard Henderson, Director of the Center For Justice Research at Texas Southern University.
Thanks to a $350,000 grant, TSU is expanding its Center For Justice Research.
The university is developing the first-ever criminal justice research hub, which includes bringing together a network of experts from many of the different Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country, as well as, thoughtful leaders from different Houston communities.
“What we want to make sure is that the people who are most engaged, who are the most impacted by these issues, are at the table having conversations about not only the problem but the solutions,” Henderson said.
They’re hoping to create a true partnership with folks in communities like Third Ward who can provide direct insight while being included in the research.
“Because of their relationship with violence, their likelihood of being impacted by violence, having them be positioned as content experts on a level setting with others is just remarkable,” said Dr. Whitney Threadcraft, Director of Emancipation Park Conservancy.
The ultimate goal is to devise an action plan, not only for Houston, but for cities all across the country.
The hub is still in its planning stages and is expected to open at TSU in 2023.