Each month, the Office of Sponsored Programs will spotlight a different PI and their research. If you are interested in being featured in our next spotlight, please email  . Please be sure to provide us with an abstract (3-5 paragraphs) about your research, explanation of your recent project, the amount your project (s) were funded for, special events that you are hosting or coordinating, obstacles or challenges you faced during the application process, if applicable, and a photo of yourself .   

Image of spotlights

Stephen Handelman, Director, Center on Media, Crime & Justice

Stephen Handelman was appointed Director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ) at John Jay College in May 2007. An internationally known author and investigative journalist whose award-winning work has intersected the worlds of journalism, higher education, international security, justice and human rights, he is an expert on post-Soviet crime and corruption, and a veteran foreign correspondent who has reported from the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia.


The CMCJ is the nation’s only practice- and research-oriented think tank devoted to encouraging and developing high-quality reporting on criminal justice, and to promoting better-informed public debate on the complex 21st-century challenges of law enforcement, public security and justice in a globalized urban society. The Center provides a non-partisan forum for discussion, networking and information-sharing between the media and the criminal justice community both in the U.S. and abroad, including academics, practitioners and non-government organizations.


The CMCJ is spearheading an especially active program of research and fellowships for journalists and students in 2018. In February, CMCJ held its annual John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America, which brought together nearly 65 journalists, academics (including many from John Jay), justice practitioners, legislators and advocates for two days of discussions on “Justice in the Heartland.” The H.F. Guggenheim Foundation provided the principal support ($95,000) with additional grants from Pew Charitable Trusts/Public Safety Performance Project ($7,500) and the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice ($5,000). The funds supported original research on media coverage of criminal justice in 2017, and the distribution of a wide range of scholarly research on issues such as sentencing reform, the opioid crisis, and policing.


CMCJ received the first tranche of a two-year, $250,000 project from the Langeloth Foundation to organize a Fellowship program for journalists on “Rethinking Solitary Confinement” which expanded into a special “Solitary Week” on campus (April 23-27), including panels for students and faculty. On May 22-23, CMCJ will host a second workshop on domestic violence with the support of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence ($69,000), and on June 7 they will host a public forum on gun violence on campus co-sponsored by City Limits magazine.  In mid-July, CMCJ is organizing a program on Rural Justice and Jails, with joint support from the Ford and the MacArthur Foundations ($100,000), and CMCJ will hold its third biannual program on juvenile justice with a grant from the Tow Foundation ($126,000) and a supporting grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation ($10,000)  in early Fall.  CMCJ is currently awaiting final approval for a two-year project on “Cash Register Justice—The Abuse of Court Fines and Fees”, which is tentatively scheduled for mid-October. CMCJ is also developing guidelines for public communications strategy for Latin American police agencies and justice ministries in the form of a white paper/online tool with a two-year grant from the InterAmerican Development Bank ($85,000).


CMCJ was privileged to have John Jay students as fall and spring interns, and a number of student ambassadors have worked with them during their programs.  During the Fall and Spring semesters, Center Director Stephen Handelman hosted four episodes of John Jay’s monthly CUNY-TV program, Criminal Justice Matters.  And the Center’s online news and resource platform, The Crime Report, has dramatically raised its national profile, with over 150,000 unique page views in March, and more than 15,000 Twitter followers. Over the past four months alone, CMCJ published/posted more than a dozen commentaries and reports on research and new books authored by John Jay faculty, and reported on a number of college-sponsored events and studies.  Seven universities across the country are now bulk subscribers to its service (latest one: NYU Law).


For more information please visit Criminal Justice Matters episodes can be viewed here: Reports on all future conferences will be available at: The Crime Report is available free to all John Jay students and faculty (accessing from john jay server) at:


*please note:  funding amounts mentioned are rounded off