The Center for Data, Ethics, and Society supports students across all levels and disciplines who are engaged in research and outreach activities that addresses the ethical, social, and political dimensions of our increasingly data-driven society.

Featured Student: Thomas Johnson

Thomas Johnson at ASC

In November 2022, Thomas Johnson presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology in Atlanta, GA.

Johnson, a recent graduate of Marquette's Criminal Justice Data Analytics Program and currently purusing a second Master's in Data Science with a specializtion in machine learning, has worked with Dr. Aleksandra Snowden on the project "Alcohol Density and Domestic Violence", which uses data science methodologies to assess how alcohol availability in communities affects Male-on-Female domestic violence (MFDV).

Johnson provided this reflection on his ASC conference experience:

The Center provided funding for me to attend the American Society of Criminology’s Annual Meeting, where I presented research on alcohol availability and domestic violence. This research used a geospatial approach to assess the effect of alcohol outlets, such as restaurants, bars, or packaged liquor stores, on rates of male-to-female domestic violence in Milwaukee neighborhoods. I discussed the results of this study, which indicate that alcohol outlets that sell beverages to be consumed off-premises, such as a packaged liquor store, have a positive relationship with incidents of domestic violence. This culminated in addressing several mechanisms to reduce domestic violence and providing ideas for further exploration of the association between alcohol availability and violence.
A central theme of the conference was the future of criminology, especially the proliferation of data-driven tools used by different actors within the criminal justice system. I listened to a panel featuring the Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Director of the National Institute of Justice, who emphasized the need for credible, accessible data and efforts to modernize federal agencies’ data usage and communication. These discussions centered around the implementation of an equity lens and the promotion of inclusive research that takes time to listen to the people closest to the issue being studied. The message was clear: accounting for the differential impact the criminal justice system has on different populations and how that shapes the data must now be the standard moving forward.