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Jason Gravel, Ph.D.


Social network analysis. Data science. Street gangs and gun violence.



I am a criminologist interested in the role social networks play in facilitating and perpetuating criminal and violent behavior. Social networks shape the information we have access to, the behaviors we observe, the opportunities we encounter, and the values we adopt. I am particularly interested in applying social network analysis to develop ways to prevent and reduce crime and violence, particularly gang and firearm-related violence. 


I completed my Ph.D. in June 2018 in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine. My dissertation "On the use of police data for social network analysis" examines the challenges and promises of using police records to study criminal networks. Previously, I completed a MA in August 2013 in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. 


Following my Ph.D., I joined the Penn Injury Science Center (PISC) at the University of Pennsylvania as a postdoctoral fellow.  My work at PISC centered on evaluating the impact of firearm laws, examining how elements of the built environment of urban areas can reduce violence, and studying the mechanisms that make violence behave like a contagious disease. 

In the Fall of 2020, I joined the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University as an Assistant Professor. 


Home: About Me
Home: Education


October 2018 - August 2020

Postdoctoral fellow 

Penn Injury Science Center

Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics

Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Douglas J. Wiebe

Dr. John M. Macdonald


September 2013 - June 2018

Ph.D. Criminology, Law, & Society
University of California, Irvine


"On the use of police data for social network analysis"

Dr. George E. Tita, Chair and advisor

Committee members

Dr. Katherine Faust

Dr. Michael R. Gottfredson

Dr. John R. Hipp

Dr. Cheryl L. Maxson


September 2011 - August 2013

M.A. Criminology
Simon Fraser University


"Jack-of-all-trades: Social capital, criminal versatility, and brokerage in a street gang network"

Dr. Martin Bouchard, Chair and advisor

Committee members

Dr. David C. Pyrooz

Dr. Jennifer S. Wong


September 2006 - May 2009

B.A. Psychology
Université Laval

My Publications

Home: Publications

The Promise of a Network Approach for Policing Research
Marie Ouellet, Sadaf Hashimi, Jason Gravel, Dean Dabney

Justice Quarterly

November 2020

Considerable attention has been devoted to understanding police socialization and the resulting culture, yet only recently have scholars turned to a network approach to understand the social relationships between officers. We extend these efforts with results from a pilot study of officer networks in a large US police department. Network data are collected from 88 front-line officers to examine officers’ informal working relationships. Our findings shed light on the connected nature of officer relationships, showing how personal support networks intersect and diverge from more formal advice and mentorship networks. The study provides an alternative starting point for understanding socialization as a vehicle of officer attitudes, values, and behaviors. Likewise, it demonstrates the applicability of a network approach for understanding departments’ social and structural organization. We conclude with a discussion on how officer networks can inform meaningful policy initiatives, including shifting organizational climate, enhancing retention, and curbing abuses.

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Contact information

551 Gladfelter Hall

1115 Polett Walk
Philadelphia, PA. 19122

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Media appearances

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