Caterina G. Roman

Professor • Department of Criminal Justice • Temple University • LINK TO C.V.


Professor Roman joined the faculty in the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University in Fall 2008 after nearly two decades with the Urban Institute, a policy think tank in DC.

Her research interests include the relationship between neighborhood characteristics, fear, violence, and health; social services and support for the formerly incarcerated, the social networks of high risk and gang youth, and evaluation of innovative violence reduction programs. The majority of her projects are based in the cultivation of researcher-practitioner partnerships that utilize community-informed research methods and approaches. Her research has been published in both public health and criminology journals. She received a Ph.D. in sociology and justice, law, and society from American University.

She teaches the following courses: Senior Capstone on criminal justice reform; Senior Capstone on prisoner reentry. At the graduate level, she teaches: Street Gangs; and Communities and Crime

Professor Roman attributes her career direction as being influenced as a teenager by lyrics from Bruce Springsteen’s “Lost in the Flood” and “Jungleland.”

Research: Journal Articles by Topic

Profesor Roman's research has focused on understanding risk and protective factors related to participation in violence, as well as the evaluation of prevention and intervention programs.


Professor Roman has been evaluating prisoner reentry programs for almost 30 years.

Street Gang Prevention & Intervention

(not yet updated)

Professor Roman's research examines best practices for preventing youth from joining gangs and to support youth wanting to leave gangs.

Reducing Community Violence

- selected publications

Journal Articles:

Roman, Caterina G. 2022. A Conceptual Model of Help Seeking by Black Americans after Violent Injury: Implications for Reducing Inequities in Access to Care. Prevention Science, [online, ahead of print]

Poster Presentation summary of Prev. Science article can be found here. Poster presented at 2022 National Firearms Research Conference, Washington, DC, December 1, 2022.

Johnson, NJ & CG Roman. 2022. Community Correlates of Change: A Mixed-effects Assessment of Shooting Dynamics during COVID-19. PLOS-ONE, February 23, 2022.

Johnson & Roman short summary brief available here.

Roman, CG. 2021. An Evaluator's Reflections and Lessons Learned about Gang Intervention Strategies: An Agenda for Research. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research.

Hyatt, JM, JA Densley, & CG Roman. 2021. Social Media and the Variable Impact of Violence Reduction Interventions: Re-Examining Focused Deterrence in Philadelphia. Social Sciences, 10, 147.

Roman, CG, HJ Klein, CS Harding, JM Koehnlein & V Coaxum. 2020. Post-Injury Engagement with the Police and Access to Care among Victims of Violent Street Crime: Does Criminal History Matter. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. (ePub Status)

Roman, CG., M Forney, JM Hyatt, HJ Klein, & NW Link. 2020. Law Enforcement Activities of Philadelphia’s Group Violence Intervention: An Examination of Arrest, Case Processing, and Probation Levers. Police Quarterly, 23, 232-261.

Roman, CG, NW Link, JM Hyatt, A Bhati, & M Forney. 2019. Assessing the Gang-Level and Community-Level Effects of the Philadelphia Focused Deterrence Strategy. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 15, 499-527.

Roman, CG., HJ Klein & KT Wolff. 2018. Quasi-Experimental Designs for Community-Level Public Health Violence Reduction Interventions: A Case Study in the Challenges of Selecting The Counterfactual. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 14, 155-185. (Summarizes Phila CeaseFire findings and challenges with the evaluation)

Journal Articles (continued):

Reducing Community Violence

- selected publications, (continued)

Recent Project Briefs

available in PDF

Supporting the Formerly Incarcerated

Roman, CG & NW Link. 2017. Community Reintegration among Prisoners with Child Support Obligations: An Examination of Debt, Needs, and Service Receipt. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 28, 896-917.

Related summary blog: ( US American Politics and Policy Blog): “Providing assistance to incarcerated fathers who have child support obligations can help their post-release community reintegration.”

Harding, CS & CG Roman. 2017. Identifying Discrete Subgroups of Chronically Homeless Frequent Utilizers of Jail and Public Mental Health Services. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 44, 511-530.

Link, NW & CG Roman. 2017. Longitudinal Associations among Child Support Debt, Employment, and Recidivism after Prison. Sociological Quarterly, 58,140-160.

Roman, CG, J Fontaine, J Fallon, J Anderson & C Rearer. 2012. Defending and Managing the Pipeline: Lessons for Running a Randomized Experiment in a Correctional Institution. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 8, 307-329.

Roman, CG & J Fontaine. 2012. Collaborative Solutions for Reentry Housing. In R. Immarigeon and L. Fehr (Eds.) Pathways for Prisoner Reentry: An ACA Reader. American Correctional Association Press.

(Not available in PDF)

Roman, CG, A Wolff, V Correa & J Buck. 2007. Assessing Intermediate Outcomes of a Faith-based Residential Prisoner Reentry Program. Research on Social Work Practice, 17, 199-215.

- selected publications

Urban Institute Reports listed below can be found here.

Willison, JB, CG Roman, A Wolff, V Correa & CR Knight. 2010. Evaluation

of the Ridge House Residential Program. Final Report Submitted to the National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Roman, CG, J Fontaine & M Burt. 2009. The Corporation for Supportive Housing’s Returning Home Initiative: System Change Accomplishments after Three Years. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Hall, S, M Burt, CG Roman & J Fontaine. 2009. Reducing the Revolving Door of Incarceration and Homelessness in the District of Columbia: Population Overlaps. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Metraux, S, CG Roman & R Cho. 2008. Incarceration and Homelessness, in Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Research, edited by D Dennis, G Locke & J Khadduri. Washington DC: US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Roman, CG & J Travis. 2006. Where Will I Sleep Tomorrow: Housing, Homelessness and the Returning Prisoner. Housing Policy Debate, 17, 389-418.

Mears, D, CG Roman, J Buck & A Wolff. 2006. Faith-Based Efforts to Improve Prisoner Reentry. Journal of Criminal Justice, 34, 351-367.

Recent GrantS/ CURRENT Projects

Harms After a Victimization: Experience and Needs (HAVEN)

Co-Principal Investigator (PI John Roman, NORC). The HAVEN project is designed to develop a conceptual model of victimization costs that redefines key constructs in measuring harms from violence and uses those constructs to create a new methodology for financial cost modeling of victimization. To develop and test the model we are obtaining and analyzing innovative integrated data systems (IDS) that link criminal justice, health, labor, and human services data in three counties and conducting an in-person household-based survey in Chicago and Camden to: 1) observe the prevalence of victim harms in trauma, quality of life, and repeat victimization and 2) examine the use of very under-studied victim services. January 2021 - December 2022. (Sponsored by the National Institute of Justice). Read more here.

Beyond Gun violence reduction

Funded by the New Venture Fund/Fund for a Safer Future, this project, in collaboration with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, extends Dr. Roman’s evaluation research on Philadelphia CeaseFire/Cure Violence and Philadelphia Focused Deterrence to examine whether the interventions, implemented in 2013, differentially influenced clearance rates for shootings. The project also will assess what types of deterrence processes were at work with Focused Deterrence, by following up on the outcomes of everyone touched by the intervention.

Evaluation of the Violent Crime and Opioid Reduction Partnership ( The Kensington Initiative)

This BJA-funded collaborative project led by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG) expands and evaluates an innovative prosecution strategy designed to reduce violent crime tied to drug markets, but with specific emphasis on collaborative analysis-driven targeting, investigation and smart prosecution of crime drivers. Temple is leading the impact evaluation.

Gun Violence and Desistance: The Role of Mentoring and Social Relations among Early Violence Desisters

This post-doctoral fellowship project (PI: Peter Simonsson), funded by the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research (NCGVR), explores gun violence desistance mechanisms at work among high-risk young people newly involved in the street outreach-based Cure Violence (CV) model. Professor Roman is Co-PI.

Innovations in Supervision Initiative: Collaborations to Reduce Violent Crime and Recidivism

This BJA and CSG-funded project creates a researcher-practitioner partnership with the PA Department of Corrections and State Parole to develop new methods of data collection and analyses for Philadelphia’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, a focused deterrence initiative targeting parolees with violent offense histories.

PACure: Enhancing Healthy Reintegration and Recovery for High-Risk Opioid Users

This PA-Commonwealth-funded project run by Dr. Steven Belenko identifies gaps in care and support services and facilitates linkage to community-based medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for high-risk urban opioid users. (Co-I)

RECENT Media Mentions

December 6 and 7, 2022

Professor Roman featured among other faculty in Temple Now's special feature edition focused on gun violence:

Part 1:

Part 2:

December 7, 2022

City Cast Philly Podcast: Do Teen Curfews Actually Work?

Professor Roman discusses the findings from her teen curfew study conducted a number of years ago when Prince George's County, MD implemented their curfew.

Nov. 28, 2022

Philadelphia Neighborhoods Project (Temple journalism capstone project)--Professor Roman discusses the importance of including prevention efforts in violence reduction. Article is here.

June 2022

6ABC feature on recurring gun violence in Philadelphia (highlighting some of Professor Roman's research).

March 7, 2022

6ABC (TV) Inside Story 15-minute segment on a COVID and gun violence study conducted by Dr. Roman and her graduate student, Nicole Johnson

Dec. 15, 2021

Interview segment with Solomon Jones on Wake Up with WURD.

Dec. 13, 2021

Comments featured in Billy Penn news story on gun violence hotspots.

Dec. 7, 2021

Research featured in Inquirer story by Dylan Purcell on violence in Philadelphia.

July 31, 2021

Featured in ProPublica news story by Alec MacGillis on the homicide surge in Philadelphia in recent years.

July 16, 2021

Featured guest in a conversation with Greg Berman, Inaugural Guggenheim Distinguished Fellow at the Guggenheim Foundation. Related blog on the Crime Report.

July 6, 2021

Comments in Philadelphia Inquirer on Philadelphia’s anti-violence strategy.

April 2021

Research featured in Philadelphia Citizen podcast on Philadelphia gun violence (Jo Piazza - journalist).

May 20, 2021

Front page article by journalist Mike Newall on opioid crisis in Kensington neighborhood; mentions Professor Roman’s research/evaluation with photograph of Temple research team.

Oct 6, 2020

Commentary on increase in violence during the pandemic: New York Times’ The Upshot

January 3, 2020

The Trace: Comments about the state of government funding for gun violence research.

Webinars, Op-Eds & Testimomy

November 2022

Temple University releases recommendations from their Task Force on Violence Reduction. The Task Force, of which Professor Roman was a part, brought together faculty, students, staff, administrators, community members and parents to review the state of the field of violence reduction and to reflect on Temple's strengths and challenges with regard to violence on and off campus. information about the Task Force, its members, and the final recommendations, can be found here.

Nov. 10, 2022

National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) on Crime Rates during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Workshop. Professor Roman’s (with Nichole Johnson) presentation about Philadelphia, drug markets and increases in shootings can be found here.

Full agenda and highlights from the National Academy panel here.

Jan. 7, 2022

Op Ed in Phila Inquirer: "Mayor Kenney should create a cabinet of experts to stem gun violence." (with John K. Roman)

Nov. 9, 2021

Presenter discussing the context of homicide in Philadelphia, as part of the 38th Annual Norman Glickman Lecture in Urban Studies at Penn:

Link to Penn Urban Studies Webinar: The Ecology of Homicide

September, 2021

Featured as a presenter in a webinar on community-centered evaluation as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to support Community Violence Intervention (CVI).

The webinar recording can be found HERE and the slides HERE.

In this webinar, Professor Roman and her colleagues discussed the relevance of evaluation for community violence intervention. Topics included process and outcome evaluation and how to the build rigorous empirical evidence on program successes, ways to partner with community members in order to understand whether CVIs are working to reduce violence, and the benefits of community-based participatory research. The webinar is the fourth in a series that is part of a joint effort of the U.S. DOJ, HHS, HUD, DOL, DOE, and the White House Domestic Policy Council.

April 13, 2021

Phila City Council Testimony for the Fiscal Stability and Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee: "Implementing Evidence-based Strategies to Combat Community Gun Violence in Philadelphia"

Feb. 20, 2020

Phila City Council Testimony - Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention Hearing on Victims and Victimization: "Informing Solutions to Remove Barriers to Victim and Social Services for those Experiencing Serious Injury in Philadelphia"

Dec. 11, 2019

Op Ed in Phila Inquirer: Invest in Evidence-Based Gun Violence Solutions.

Nov. 28, 2017

Phila City Council Testimony for the Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention: "The Role of Data in Public Health Strategies to Prevent Gun Violence"

Mapping Gun Violence and its Concentration

This map shows the "raw" count of criminal shootings in each Census tract in Philadelphia for 2019-2020 on top of a map layer portraying the rate of shootings (per 1000 population) in each tract.

The small yellow boundary represents the geographic area comprising the intervention area for the PA Office of Attorney General's Kensington Initiative - a project that Dr. Roman is evaluating

Data obtained from and analyzed by researchers in the Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University.

Census tract layer for the GIS mapping was also obtained from OpenDataPhilly.

Map Pin
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Useful Links

Temple University's Department Of Criminal Justice


Temple University'S

PUblic Policy Lab

Research Advisory Group on Preventing and Reducing Community Violence (John Jay College)

Report on Reducing Violence without Police (Nov. 2020)



Resources for Students:

Op Ed Writing

Modern Simple Minimalist Frames
Person reading newspaper

Temple University's Public Policy Lab recently hosted a webinar discussing the mechanics of a writing op-eds:

"Taking Research Public:

Tips for Writing Effective Op-Eds."

The event featured Elena Gooray, past Opinion Editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Professor Roman.

Watch the short webinar on YouTube

by clicking the link below.

Youtube Play Icon

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