Affiliated Researchers

Heidi Bonner, Ph.D.
Research Fellow

Dr. Bonner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University (ECU), and is a trustee of the Institute’s Board of Trustees. She received her doctorate in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany, SUNY. Dr. Bonner’s research focuses on the administration of the criminal justice process, with an emphasis on police decision making and the effects of policies and programs on police operations, including intervention in domestic violence. As the recipient of a three-year subcontract from the Office on Violence Against Women, she serves as the local evaluator in an evaluation of a project designed to reduce homicide in incidences of domestic violence. Additionally, she has been involved in research with various police departments in New York State and North Carolina, including recent work in the areas of bias based policing; evaluation of CPTED strategies; employee stress and wellness, response to witness intimidation in intimate partner violence, and the effectiveness of de-escalation training. While at Albany, Dr. Bonner was the recipient of the University at Albany School of Criminal Justice’s Distinguished Dissertation and the Walter M. Francis Policing awards, and the Lt. John F. Finn Scholarship. She received the Dean’s Early Career Award at ECU in 2017.

Mark R. Chaires, Ph.D.
Research Fellow

Dr. Chaires has thirty years of law enforcement experience, a third of that time spent at the executive management level. His last appointment was as the Police Chief of the Schenectady, NY Police Department. During his tenure there he was the driving force behind many of the agency’s crime control and human resource initiatives, including: Compstat, public surveillance camera system, performance appraisal, and its leadership development program. His research interests include stereotypes, police use of deadly force, and police training. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany. He was the recipient of University at Albany School of Criminal Justice’s Walter M. Francis Policing Award.

Shelagh E. Dorn, Ph.D.
Research Fellow

Dr. Dorn is Director of Strategic Planning & Analysis for the Greenville (SC) Police Department. She was previously the Assistant Director for Technical Assistance and Training and a Senior Research Analyst at the Finn Institute. She has worked extensively in the intelligence analysis field as a senior supervising intelligence analyst in a state fusion center, as an instructor, and as a subject matter expert, and has experience in law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services. She is President of the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA). She earned a Ph.D. in criminal justice at the University at Albany. Her areas of interest include: intelligence-led policing; evaluation research; law enforcement best practices; intelligence and fusion centers; and accountability mechanisms, satisfaction levels, and performance measures.

Chris Harris, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Harris currently works as an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology & Justice Studies at UMass Lowell. He holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University at Albany. His research interests are primarily in police performance and public perceptions of police, as well as evaluation research of various police initiatives. He has been involved in research with various police departments in New York State, including serving as the principal research analyst for Project Safe Neighborhoods in Syracuse, as well as an analyst for the Crime Analysis and Problem Solving partnership between the Albany Police Department and the University at Albany’s School of Criminal Justice. Chris was the recipient of the University at Albany School of Criminal Justice’s Distinguished Dissertation and the Walter M. Francis Policing awards.

Shelley S. Hyland, Ph.D.
Research Fellow

Dr. Hyland is a statistician in the Law Enforcement Statistics Unit of the Bureau of Justice Statistics. She is also an Adjunct Instructor at Argosy University Online and Brandman University, and previously worked as a data analyst in the fields of criminal justice, kidney transplant, health policy and psychology. In addition, she was a crime analyst for the Schenectady Police Department in New York and a Graduate Research Assistant at the University at Albany. She recently completed a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at the University at Albany, and she holds an M.A. in Forensic Psychology and a M.A. in Criminal Justice.

MoonSun Kim, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Kim is currently an Associate Professor at the State University of New York College at Brockport. He earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany. Dr. Kim’s research interests include program evaluation, international criminal justice, crime and spatial analysis, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He has an extensive background in statistical and spatial analysis, from which the Institute’s work benefits through his collaboration in examining the effectiveness of strategic and programmatic crime reduction initiatives, such as gun interdiction patrols, wireless video surveillance, and safe passage initiatives.

John D. McCluskey, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow

Dr. McCluskey is currently a Professor of Criminal Justice at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany in 2002. His research interests include procedural justice, compliance, and criminology. He has worked as a consultant and researcher with a variety of criminal justice agencies throughout the U.S. That research has included the process and outcome evaluation of delinquency intervention programs, violence reduction initiatives, and community partnership-building efforts. His ongoing work with the Detroit Police Department is focused on a National Institute of Justice sponsored evaluation of a gun-violence reduction effort in that city.

Alissa Pollitz Worden, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow

Alissa Pollitz Worden is an expert in the study of communities and the courts that serve them.  She has been the Principal Investigator in NIJ-funded studies of how community courts respond to intimate partner violence, and how both practitioners and the public understand the dynamics of violence, and the best practices for responding to violence.  Her works is centered on the variability in local court processes, and the implications of that variation on case outcomes and disposition patterns.  Her current research investigates the impact of indigent defense program policies on case disposition patterns.  Her research is committed to addressing the ways in which local practices, politics, and expectations shape courthouse customs and behavior.

Andrew P. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Research Fellow

Dr. Wheeler is an assistant professor in the criminology program at the University of Texas at Dallas. He completed his doctoral studies at the School of Criminal Justice at the University at Albany, and he was formerly a senior research analyst with the Finn Institute. His research interests include the spatial analysis of crime, discretionary police behavior, and evaluations of crime reduction programs.

Martha Williams Deane
Research Fellow

Ms. Deane is a Principal Administrative Analyst with the New York State Police (NYSP) in the Planning and Research Section, where she has overseen applied research and evaluation involving program, policy, and equipment initiatives for nearly twenty years. She was the NYSP research coordinator for one of the first federal strategies to examine law enforcement and school violence (NIJ-COPS) and as a follow-up, the NYSP developed one of the largest School Resource Officer (SRO) programs in the country, with an evaluation component for which she was responsible. She is certified by NYS Office of Mental Health as a Police-Mental Health Trainer and has conducted numerous trainings with recruits to handle police situations that involve people with emotional disturbances. Prior to her work at the NYSP, Ms. Deane was a Research Investigator at Policy Research Associates, Inc. (PRA), involved in examining police-mental health partnerships at a time when many innovative programs were under development. PRA collaborated with the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and the University of North Carolina-Duke Program on Mental Health Services Research regarding police responses to emotionally disturbed persons and new models of police interactions with the mental health system. Her current research interests include police active shooter evaluation and new collaborations between law enforcement and mental health systems using the Sequential Intercept Model. She holds a Master’s degree in sociology and is an Adjunct Instructor at the University at Albany and the Sage Colleges.

James Frank, Ph.D.

Dr. Frank is the chairperson of the Institute’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Frank is a professor at the University of Cincinnati. He received his J.D. from Ohio Northern University in 1977 and Ph.D. from the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University in 1993. He is presently the Director of the University of Cincinnati Center for Criminal Justice Research. Dr. Frank’s primary research interests include understanding police behavior at the street-level, the formation of citizen attitudes toward the police, and the use of evolving technology by patrol officers. Dr. Frank has published policing articles in Justice Quarterly, Police Quarterly, Journal of Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Policy Review, Crime and Delinquency and Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategy and Management.

Sean Cochrane
Research Assistant

Mr. Cochrane is a Research Assistant with the Finn Institute. He holds a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University at Albany and a B.A. in Social Work from Siena College. He is also a doctoral student at the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany. As an Army veteran, one of Mr. Cochrane’s research interests is the reintegration of deployed veterans. His research interests also include the reintegration of individuals previously incarcerated.

Reeya Hoosain
Research Assistant

Ms. Hoosain is a Research Assistant with the Finn Institute. She is a current Master’s of Social Work student at the University at Albany with a concentration in clinical social work. She holds a B.A. in Social Work from the University of Georgia. Ms. Hoosain’s interests are in the mental health field with intentions to become a clinical social worker. In her free time, she likes to explore nature, read, and paint.