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Dr. Elizabeth Griffiths

Associate Professor & PhD Program Director


Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology, University of Toronto; B.A. (First Class Honours) in Sociology, University of Calgary

Office Location

CLJ, 552

Areas of Specialization

Neighborhood Effects
Criminological Theory
GIS and Spatial Methodologies
Policing and Prosecuting Drug Crime


Elizabeth Griffiths received her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Toronto in 2007.  She held a faculty position in the Department of Sociology at Emory University before moving to Rutgers University-Newark’s School of Criminal Justice in 2011.  Her research focuses broadly around the influence of place on the distribution and movement of crime across space.  More specifically, her work closely attends to spatiotemporal changes in the distribution of crime, refining the measurement of space and spatial influence, and delineating the implications of place-based features on violence.  Her scholarship also explores how system actors and policy officials substantively shape case processing and criminal justice outcomes.  In a large, multidisciplinary, mixed-method project funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Griffiths examines how race, space, and geography condition the policing, prosecution, and punishment of felony drug crimes over a decade in one Southern metropolitan county.

Recent & Key Publications

Braga, A., Griffiths, E., Sheppard, K., & Douglas, S. (Forthcoming). Firearms instrumentality: How do we know that guns make situations more lethal? Annual Review of Criminology.

Nir, E., & Griffiths, E. (2019). The thirteenth juror. British Journal of Criminology, 59, 315-333.

Griffiths, E., Yule, C., & Gartner, R. (2018). Relationship (a)symmetries and violence: Comparing intimates and non-partners. Violence Against Women, 24, 697-717.

Xu, J., & Griffiths, E. (2017). Shooting on the street: Measuring the spatial influence of physical features on gun violence in a bounded street network. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 33, 237–253.

Nir, E., & Griffiths, E. (2016). Sentencing on the evidence. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 29, 365-390.

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

Howell, J. C., & Griffiths, E. (2019). Gangs in America’s Communities (3 Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Griffiths, E. (2013). Race, space, and the spread of violence across the city. Social Problems, 60, 491-512.

Griffiths, E., Yule, C., & Gartner, R. (2011). Fighting over trivial things: Explaining the issue of contention in violent altercations. Criminology, 49, 61-94.

Griffiths, E., & Chavez, J. M. (2004). Communities, street guns, and homicide trajectories in Chicago, 1980-1995: Merging methods for examining homicide trends across space and time. Criminology, 42, 941-978.