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Department of Criminology Faculty Member, Dr. Kathleen Heide, Receives Creative Scholarship Grant

Department of Criminology Faculty Member, Dr. Kathleen Heide, Receives Creative Scholarship Grant

Dr. Kathleen Heide has received a Creative Scholarship Grant to conduct follow-up interviews with a sample of male juvenile homicide offenders (JHOs) whom she initially evaluated in the early 1980s.  These boys were convicted of murder or attempted murder and sentenced to adult prison. The initial interviews were taped and transcribed. Dr. Heide also collected extensive record data on all subjects at that time.

     Dr. Heide has tracked these subjects. Of the original 59 participants, all but four have been released from prison.  Fifty-one are still alive and are currently in their early 50s. Professor Heide will be traveling throughout Florida and in two other states during her sabbatical in the fall to interview the men who consent to be re-interviewed. 

  Research of this nature with a significant number of JHOs over a 30-year period is unprecedented and is particularly timely due to recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Today juveniles convicted of murder are unlikely to be sentenced to life without parole, and 2000 inmates convicted in the  past and sentenced to life without parole or its equivalent are eligible for resentencing. To date, little is known about the circumstances that result in some JHOs committing crimes when released from prison, while others desist. This research can potentially identify factors that contribute to JHOs succeeding post-release (protective factors) and factors that likely influence other JHOs to recidivate (risk factors). Congratulations on your scholarship grant and good luck with your research!