Meghan E. Hollis, Ph.D. is an independent researcher, scholar, writer, and editor. Her current research focuses on police ethnography; democratic policing (see Manning, 2010 – Democratic Policing in a Changing World); the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, crime and justice; police organizations; public safety organizational wellness; and understanding critical and feminist theories in criminology – specifically as they apply to the study of policing. Dr. Hollis has published in numerous academic journals, including Sociological Focus; Crime, Law, and Social Change; Journal of Experimental Criminology; Security Journal; Journal of Community Psychology; Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management; International Criminal Justice Review; International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice; and Crime Prevention and Community Safety.
She was co-editor of a special issue of Sociological Focus on Ethnography from the Margins. She is on the editorial board at Crime Prevention and Community Safety, and received the Sage Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Award from ACJS in 2017. She is currently working on a co-authored book, Scared Straight (Sage, with Dr. Anthony Petrosino, Learning Innovations at WestEd). Her co-edited volume, The Handbook on Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Justice, (with Dr. Ramiro Martinez, Jr, Northeastern University and Dr. Jacob Stowell, Northeastern University) can be found on the “Books” page. She has also co-authored systematic reviews for the Cochrane Collaboration and Campbell Collaboration, and has authored and co-authored several book chapters. Currently Dr. Hollis is working on a book on the problems with modern policing. This volume will focus on the challenges that police departments are facing as they try to adapt to changing society, increased use of technology in the commission of crimes, emerging crime problems, and the shifting definitions of public safety. As the police mandate shifts due to changes in public demand for services, police agencies have to adapt. The ever-changing environment of policing presents a multitude of problems that police must address to continue to provide effective social control and public safety for all citizens.
Previously, Dr. Hollis was an Assistant Professor at Texas State. While at Texas State, Dr. Hollis initiated the Austin Police Department officer and civilian employee wellness study in cooperation with members of the APD Wellness Committee Research Working Group. In this role, she conducted focus groups with civilian employees and police officers on issues impacting their wellness while working for APD. She consulted on the development of the wellness surveys with the National Police Foundation. Dr. Hollis also led the San Marcos Community Study. This study involved observation of crime prevention measures to examine how those correlated with crime levels in different parts of the city. She also worked on the San Marcos Police Communication Study. This study examined how information enters the police department and is filtered through various communication mechanisms in the agency to produce police outcomes. Dr. Hollis is currently working on writing up publications from these research projects.
During her time at Texas State, Dr. Hollis acted as a subject matter expert for the Office of Justice Programs work in Killeen, Texas. In this role, Dr. Hollis did data analysis and made recommendations to the Killeen Police Department on violent crime prevention measures and analysis of violent crime and property crime data in Killeen. This work was done in partnership with a consulting team hired by the Office of Justice Programs. Dr. Hollis also participated as a panelist in the Women in Policing meetings at the National Institute of Justice in December of 2019. This meeting brought together female police leaders from across the country with academic experts on policing to start a conversation about how the role of women in policing has changed and what steps can be taken to improve conditions for female police officers.
Prior to that she was Director of the Institute for Predictive and Analytic Police Science and an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Tarleton State University. In these roles she led an evaluation of the Comin’ Up Anti-Gang initiative for the Fort Worth Police Department, an evaluation of a substance abuse prevention program for probationers, and the Tarrant County Jail Use Study – a study aimed at identifying jail overuse and misuse and developing strategies for reducing the jail population while maintaining public safety. Dr. Hollis’s work on the anti-gang initiative led to independent analyses of the distribution of gang-related and gang-associated crime. Dr. Hollis continues to be interested in gang prevention measures and identification and recording of gang crime and tracking of gang members in police department activities.
As an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University, Dr. Hollis worked on the Program on Police Consolidation and Shared Services and for the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection. In these roles, Dr. Hollis led research on police consolidation practices, the influence of consolidation on employee morale and job perceptions, police staffing challenges and needs, product counterfeiting prevention, and other anti-counterfeiting efforts. Her work in this role focused on public safety and policing. She also led the grant funded study – the Detroit Community Study – which examined the relationship between community conditions, violent crime, public health challenges, and home abandonment and demolition. She also worked on the Operation CeaseFire and Project Safe Neighborhoods teams to assist in data collection and analysis. Dr. Hollis did analysis of gang activity and gang crime using Detroit Police Department data and in consultation with the Detroit Police Department Gang Intelligence Unit. Publications from this work are forthcoming.
Prior to that she was a research associate with Northeastern University and the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement. In these roles, she worked on policing, crime prevention, and routine activities theory-based research. Dr. Hollis completed a study of police organizational communication and an ethnographic study of a police department in the Northeast for her dissertation. She also completed research on guardianship against crime, worked on a systematic review of Scared Straight programs, and worked on crime prevention program evaluation work. Most of Dr. Hollis’s research has focused on police organizations and crime prevention efforts and evaluations.
Dr. Hollis is a research scholar at the Ronin Institute for Independent Scholars. She continues her work evaluating public safety programming to determine what is efficacious on reducing and preventing crime. Her work continues to emphasize the importance of evaluating policy and practice to get the “biggest bang for the buck” in crime prevention and other criminal justice initiatives. She is passionate about addressing racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system and the health care system knowing that doing so contributes to increased public safety for all citizens and builds trusting relationships between communities and public safety and public health agencies. She works tirelessly to advocate for communities that often do not have a voice due to limited political, social, or cultural capital. She believes in public safety, but she believes that public safety should be accessible to all populations. She is available for consulting services for police organizations. Please contact her here for more information.