Spotlights

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Amy Farrell

It is with great pleasure the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice announces Amy Farrell as the winner of the American Society of Criminology’s Mentor of the Year Award. Faculty from across the country are nominated by students for the award for which faculty members voluntarily and informally mentor undergraduate and graduate students.

Professor Farrell joined the tenure track faculty in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2008. Prior to that time she served as the assistant director of the Institute on Race and Justice and a faculty researcher at Northeastern University. Her research seeks to understand arrest, adjudication and criminal case disposition practices. In recent research, she has examined how variable levels of racial group and gender representation among court workgroups relate to district-level differences in sentencing. Professor Farrell is also engaged in research examining how jury outcomes, particularly the factors that predict and explain acquittals. She is the co-author, with Daniel Givelber of the book Not Guilty: Are the Acquitted Innocent, published by New York University Press in 2012. 

Over the past few years, Professor Farrell has focused much of her attention to understanding how the criminal justice system responds to the newly prioritized crime of human trafficking. Although not a new phenomenon, human trafficking was criminalized by the federal government in 2001. Since that time all fifty states have passed laws outlawing the practice of human trafficking and devoting resources to its identification and eradication. In support of this research, Professor Farrell oversees a program to collect data on human trafficking investigations for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. She has studied and published research about how local, state and federal law enforcement agencies identify, investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. She is currently completing a project examining labor trafficking victimization based on data from victim service providers, police and victims themselves in four cities across the U.S. Additionally, Professor Farrell is engaged in ongoing research examining how changes in state human trafficking laws impact the identification and prosecution of human trafficking offenders. As part of this project, Professor Farrell is working with colleagues to understand how the public views the problem of human trafficking and what responses they expect from state and federal governments to address the problem. Professor Farrell has testified about police identification of human trafficking before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. She was also appointed to the Massachusetts Attorneys General Human Trafficking Policy Task Force where she oversaw a committee that developed recommendations for improving the collection and sharing of data on human trafficking victims in the Commonwealth. 

For more information on ASC and the Mentor of the Year Award, please visit the ASC’s website.