Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Dr. Joel Caplan

Associate Professor


Ph.D. (2008) University of Pennsylvania

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Caplan joined the faculty as Assistant Professor in 2008. He also serves as Deputy Director of the Rutgers Center on Public Security, where he co-developed and continues to advance Risk Terrain Modeling methods for spatial risk analysis. His research generally focuses on risk assessment, spatial analysis, and computational criminology, which takes the strengths of several disciplines and builds new methods and techniques for the analysis of crime and crime patterns. Dr. Caplan’s theory-driven scholarship is guided by a principle that every project should deliver a widely accessible product that is of practical value to the criminal justice community. In pursuing this goal, his current research activities focus on policing, crime control, and evidence-based resource allocation. They have led to the development of new methods and software, such as the RTMDx Utility (, that are used by crime researchers and analysts around the world. Joel’s past professional experience as a police officer, 911 dispatcher, and emergency medical technician give him a unique research perspective.

Websites: and


Areas of Specialization
GIS Mapping & spatial analysis
Computational criminology

Key Publications
Marotta, P., Barnum, J., Watson, A., & Caplan, J. (2014). Crisis Intervention Team Training Programs for Law Enforcement Officers: A Systematic Review.

Piza, E. L., Caplan, J. M., & Kennedy, L. W. (2014, online first). CCTV as a Tool for Early Police Intervention: Preliminary Lessons from Nine Case Studies. Security Journal.

Piza, E., Caplan, J. M. & Kennedy, L. W. (2014). Analyzing the Influence of Micro-Level Factors on CCTV Camera Effect. Journal of Quantitative Criminology. 30(2), 237-264

Caplan, J. M., Kennedy, L. W., & Piza, E. L.* (2013). Joint utility of event-dependent and environmental crime analysis techniques for violent crime forecasting. Crime and Delinquency, 59(2), 243-270.

Caplan, J. M., Kennedy, L. W., & Baughman, J. (2012). Kansas City’s Violent Crime Initiative: A Place-Based Evaluation of Location-Specific Intervention Activities during a Fixed Time Period. Crime Mapping, 4(2), 9-37.

Caplan, J. M. (2012). Protecting parole board legitimacy in the twenty-first century: The role of victims’ rights and influences. Victims and Offenders, 7, 1-24.

Caplan, J. (2011). Mapping the spatial influence of crime correlates: A comparison of operationalization schemes and implications for crime and criminal justice practice. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 13

Caplan, J. M., L. W. Kennedy, & J. Miller. (2011). Risk terrain modeling: Brokering criminological theory and GIS methods for crime forecasting. Justice Quarterly 28.

Kennedy, L. W., J. M. Caplan & E. Piza. (2011). Risk clusters, hotspots, and spatial intelligence. Risk terrain modeling as an algorithm for police resource allocation strategies. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 27

Caplan, J. M., L. W. Kennedy, & G. Petrossian. (2011). Police-monitored CCTV cameras in Newark, NJ: a quasi experimental test of crime deterrence. Journal of Experimental Criminology 7

Matejkowski, J., Caplan, J. & S. Wiesel Cullen. (2010). The impact of severe mental illness on parole decisions. Social integration within a prison setting. Criminal Justice & Behavior 37

Caplan, J. (2010). Parole release decision: Impact of positive and negative victim and non-victim input on a representative sample of parole-eligible inmates. Violence & Victims 25.

Caplan, J. M., & S. C. Kinnevy. (2010). National surveys of state paroling authorities: Models of service delivery. Federal probation 74.

Caplan, J. M. (2010). Parole release decisions: Impact of victim input on a representative sample of inmates. Journal of Criminal Justice 38


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