Roberts JSI opens criminal justice survey to the community

Stock photo.

Roberts Wesleyan College’s Justice and Security Institute and Office of Diversity & Equity are seeking the Greater Rochester community’s input on a research initiative to identify, measure and understand perceptions among the Black community about Monroe County police departments.  

Over the past 10 months, the JSI developed and administered a survey regionally to participants ages 16-35 within high school and college settings, collecting data that also seeks to detect recruitment barriers that hinder the hiring and establishment of a more diverse police force.  

The research initiative, launched in partnership with the Brighton Police Department last August, is entering its public access phase, opening up the survey to solicit feedback from the community before reviewing and analyzing the data this summer. 

The anonymous survey will be accessible to the public digitally through the end of June on the JSI website. Questions will examine existing community perceptions and concerns, how they were formed, and what solutions or recommendations can be implemented to increase diversity within the police force or improve relationships between police departments and underserved communities. 

“Increasing access to this survey within the community is a crucial step toward understanding perceptions about law enforcement, where those perceptions are derived from and how we can better heed the call for change,” said Herb Alexander, chief diversity officer at Roberts. “This is an opportunity to hear directly from the voice of the community and use that feedback to create a lasting impact.” 

The project is led by Alexander and JSI director Joseph Testani. This study is made possible through a research consortium contract provided by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and will end in July with a presentation of all results to Brighton PD, DCJS and other regional law enforcement agencies. 

Visit to access the survey.