Current Projects

In-Custody Jail Populations

Whitney Threadcraft Walker is currently studying high system utilizers in a local jail population. By examining the segmentation of this population, Dr. Walker seeks to identify discrete categories of offenders with distinct patterns of offending, needs for treatment, and levels of supervision. With this information, Dr. Walker will recommend programs/services that are relevant and responsive to interrupt the cycle of recidivism

Race, Gender, and Risk Assessment

Risk assessment instruments have been lauded as empirically based determinations of risk of reoffending, capable of reducing disparities resulting from implicit bias. However, critics of these tools maintain that risk assessments as cultural artifacts are unalienable from the values (and biases) of the society in which they are created. Using a diverse sample of female probationers, Whitney Threadcraft Walker examines the veracity of these claims by evaluating the predictive validity of a commonly utilized risk instrument. Key among this evaluation, however, is Dr. Threadcraft Walker’s analysis of error. More specifically, misclassifications are examined to identify the distribution of error across racial/ethnic groups. By analyzing the degree of error by race/ethnicity category, Dr. not only detects, but quantifies the predictive bias of a commonly used risk instrument.

Justice Involved Mental Health Population in a Local Jail

Dr. Threadcraft Walker is currently facilitating a mental health profile on inmates from a local jail. Exploratory in nature, the analysis seeks to identify common characteristics (e.g., common diagnoses, patterns of offending, needs for treatment, levels of supervision, etc.) of the sample under study.