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.
I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Penn Injury Science Center (PISC) at the University of Pennsylvania. My work here at PISC centers on evaluating the impact of firearm laws, examining how elements of the built environment of urban areas can reduce violence, and designing a longitudinal network study aimed at highlighting the mechanisms that make violence behave like a contagious disease.
October 2018 - August 2020
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
Dr. Katherine Faust
Dr. Michael R. Gottfredson
Dr. John R. Hipp
Dr. Cheryl L. Maxson
September 2011 - August 2013
Simon Fraser University
"Jack-of-all-trades: Social capital, criminal versatility, and brokerage in a street gang network"
Dr. Martin Bouchard, Chair and advisor
Dr. David C. Pyrooz
Dr. Jennifer S. Wong
September 2006 - May 2009
Network Exposure and Excessive Use of Force:
Investigating the social transmission of police misconduct
Marie Ouellet, Sadaf Hashimi, Jason Gravel, & Andrew V. Papachristos
Criminology & Public Policy
In this study, we investigate how a police officer's exposure to peers accused of misconduct shapes his or her involvement in excessive use of force. By drawing from 8,642 Chicago police officers named in multiple complaints, we reconstruct police misconduct ego‐networks using complaint records. Our results show that officer involvement in excessive use of force complaints is predicted by having a greater proportion of co‐accused with a history of such behaviors.
Our findings indicate officers’ peers may serve as social conduits through which misconduct may be learned and transmitted. Isolating officers that engage in improper use of force, at least until problematic behaviors are addressed, seems to be critical to reducing police misconduct and department‐wide citizen complaints. Future studies should be aimed at investigating how social networks shape police misconduct and the ways network analysis might be used to diffuse intervention strategies within departments.