GSN Profile: Alisa Matlin, Doctoral Student, Criminal Justice
Rutgers Graduate School-Newark
Office of the Dean
Visit: 185 University Avenue
John Cotton Dana Library, Suite 306
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Phone: (973) 353-5834
In our Information Age, technology and criminal justice are coming together in new ways. This uncharted territory leads to questions like: How do we handle the use of social media in law enforcement investigations? What privacy issues surround the use of digital evidence in a courtroom?
These are just some of the areas that RU-N student Alisa Matlin will examine during her Research Assistantship at the National Institute of Justice. Matlin, a third-year Ph.D. student at the School for Criminal Justice, landed the prestigious position last year. “I was thrilled,” she says. “I think it’s very exciting to be involved at the national level in the criminal justice system.” This marks the first time a Rutgers student received this assistantship.
From September 2016 to August 2017, Matlin will work with the Institute’s Office of Science and Technology. In addition to research on digital evidence, she’ll also be involved with a project that promotes the health and safety of people working within the criminal justice system, and those affected by it.
Matlin grew up in New Jersey, and earned both a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Applied & Mathematical Statistics from Rutgers University - New Brunswick. She also holds an M.Ed. in Neuroscience and Education, from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Through her master’s degree in statistics, Matlin gained important experience in data mining, which uses algorithmic methods to find patterns in data, and is often used to make predictions about future events. This experience led Matlin to an invitation last year from New Jersey’s Department of Corrections to participate in analyzing some of their data.
Matlin says there is great potential for statistical methods to help prevent crime and to make the criminal justice system more just and efficient. “There are gaps in information within criminal justice,” she says, “but also a wealth of available data that is yet unexamined.”