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Dr. Alex Gimenez-Santana

Assistant Professor of Professional Practice


Ph.D., Rutgers University; M.S., Rutgers University; B.S., University of Alicante

Office Location

CLJ, 551

Areas of Specialization

Crime Mapping
Neighborhood Effects on Crime
International Comparative Studies

Dr. Alejandro Gimenez Santana is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, where he serves as Co-Executive Director of the Newark Public Safety Collaborative (NPSC). Before assuming the position of NPSC Co-Executive Director, he served as a consultant for the World Bank regional office in Bogotá, Colombia, and the Inter-American Development Bank in Montevideo, Uruguay. He has interned as a research analyst at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and Washington’s Fund for Peace.
Dr. Santana has secured over $5M in external funding in support of the Rutgers-Newark anchor initiative “Newark Public Safety Collaborative.” His contribution to the development of the Data-Informed Community Engagement model for crime prevention has been featured in national and international press outlets and, most recently, by the U.S. Department of Justice. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on crime mapping and comparative criminal justice systems across different cultures. His research foci are spatial analytics, social disorganization, communities, and neighborhood effects on crime. He has extensively researched the association between unique contexts of social disorganization and the effect of the immediate built environment on the spatial distribution of violence and crime across various urban settings. He has over ten years of experience in the criminal justice field and has been invited to present at research and practitioner conferences in over a dozen countries across Europe, Latin America, and North America. He holds an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Global Affairs from Rutgers University-Newark.




Recent Grants:

Gimenez-Santana (PI), Kennedy (Co-PI) & Caplan (Co-PI). $3m. From the Bureau of Justice Assistance (#15PBJA-22-GK-04502-JAGP) for a three-year project titled “The Newark Public Safety Collaborative: Empowering Community Organizations to Become Co-producers of Public Safety.” 2022.

Gimenez-Santana (PI) & Caplan (Co-PI). $1.5m. From the Prudential Foundation, for six years of support of the Newark Public Safety Collaborative. 2023-2024.

Gimenez-Santana (PI), Santos & Caplan (Co-PI). $196k. From the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center, for a two-year project titled “Empowering Community Organizations to Become Co-Producers of Public Safety: Developing a Gun Violence Crime Reduction Strategy in the City of Newark.” 2023-2025.

Gimenez-Santana, A. (PI), Caplan, J. (Co-PI) & Kennedy, L. (Co-PI). From the Prudential and Victoria Foundations, for four years of support of the Newark Public Safety Collaborative (2018-2021). $735,000

In 2018, the Newark Public Safety Collaborative (NPSC) was formed as part of the Rutgers-Newark School of Criminal Justice Anchor program to foster community participation in creating safe neighborhoods across the city of Newark. Today, NPSC is a well-established public safety initiative with a diverse pool of community partners ranging from grassroots movements to well-organized community development groups. Other community partners affiliated with the NPSC include community-based organizations (CBOs), real estate developers, law enforcement, local government officials, Newark-based corporations, as well as other key stakeholders. The NPSC initiative focuses on the use of data analytics under the Data-Informed Community Engagement (DICE) framework to assist community groups in their efforts to problem-solve and proactively address the environmental conditions that give rise to expressions of criminal behavior across the city of Newark.


Recent & Key Publications

Giménez Santana, A., Caplan, J.M., & Kennedy, L.W. (2022). Data-Informed Community Engagement: The Newark Public Safety Collaborative. In E. Piza & B. Welsh (Eds).The Globalization of Evidence-Based Policing: Innovations in Bridging the Research-Practice Divide. London, UK: Routledge Press.

Giménez-Santana, A., & Caplan, J. (in print). Empowering Youth to Become Co-producers of Public Safety: Implementation of Data-Informed Community Engagement in Newark, NJ. In P. Boxer & R. Travis (Eds).The Future of Youth Violence Prevention: A Mixtape for Practice, Policy, and Research. Rutgers University Press.

Chichester, K., Drawve, G., Sisson, M., Giménez-Santana, A., McCleskey, B., Goodin. R., Mrug, S., Walker, J. T., Cropsey, K. (2023). Crime and Features of the Built Environment Predicting Risk of Fatal Overdose: A Comparison of Rural and Urban Ohio Counties with Risk Terrain Modeling. American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Chichester, K., Drawve, G., Giménez-Santana, A., Sisson, M., McCleskey, B., Dye, D.W., Walker, J. T., Mrug, S., & Cropsey, K. L. (2020). Pharmacies and features of the built environment associated with opioid overdose: A geospatial comparison of rural and urban regions in Alabama, USA. International Journal of Drug Policy.

Giménez-Santana, A., Medina, J. E., & Miró, F. (2018). Risk terrain Modeling for road safety: Identifying accident-related environmental factors in the province of Cádiz, Spain. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research.

Giménez-Santana, A., Caplan, J. M., & Drawve, G. (2018). Risk terrain modeling and socio-economic stratification: Identifying risky places for violent crime victimization in Bogotá, Colombia. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research.