Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Dr. Elizabeth Griffiths

Associate Professor


PhD (2007) University of Toronto



Elizabeth Griffiths received her Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto in 2007. Her research primarily focuses on the diffusion of violence across space and over time, neighborhood effects, the effects of large-scale public housing transformation on changes in crime across urban areas, and the role of race, space, and geography in the prosecution and processing of felony drug cases. She also studies the causes and correlates of miscarriages of justice in criminal justice processing, the nature of disputes over which violent altercations emerge, and extralegal factors at sentencing, among other topics.

Areas of Specialization
Communities & crime
Criminological theory
GIS & spatial methodologies
Research methods

Key Publications
Xu, Jie and Elizabeth Griffiths. Forthcoming. Shooting on the Street: Measuring the Spatial Influence of Physical Features on Gun Violence in a Bounded Street Network. Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Nir, Esther and Elizabeth Griffiths. Forthcoming. Sentencing on the Evidence. Criminal Justice Policy Review.

Griffiths, Elizabeth and Johnna Christian. 2015. Considering focused deterrence in the age of Ferguson, Baltimore, North Charleston, and beyond. Policy Essay. Criminology & Public Policy 14 (3): 573-581.

Griffiths, Elizabeth. 2013. Race, Space, and the Spread of Violence across the City. Social Problems 60 (4): 491-512.

Owens, Michael Leo and Elizabeth Griffiths. 2011/2012. Uneven Reparations for Wrongful Convictions: Examining the State Politics of Statutory Compensation Legislation. Albany Law Review 75 (3): 1283-1327.

Griffiths, Elizabeth, Carolyn Yule and Rosemary Gartner. 2011. Fighting over Trivial Things: Explaining the Issue of Contention in Violent Altercations. Criminology 49 (1): 61-94.

Griffiths, Elizabeth. 2011. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Analysis. Pp. 442-64 in Paul Vogt and Malcolm Williams (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Innovation in Social Research Methods. London: Sage.

Griffiths, Elizabeth and George Tita. 2009. Homicide In and Around Public Housing: Is Public Housing a Hotbed, a Magnet, or a Generator of Violence for the Surrounding Community? Social Problems 56 (3): 474-493.

Griffiths, Elizabeth and Jorge M. Chavez. 2004. Communities, Street Guns, and Homicide Trajectories in Chicago, 1980-1995: Merging Methods for Examining Homicide Trends across Space and Time. Criminology 42 (4): 941-978.


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