- Forensic psychology and juvenile justice
- Juvenile justice research and program evaluation
- Juvenile justice policy and practice reform
- Adolescent development and decision-making capacities
- Miranda rights comprehension and juvenile confessions
- Juvenile probation system reform
- Dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline
- Anger management with girls in the juvenile justice system
- Reducing rates of disproportionate minority contact with the justice system
How We Make a Difference: the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab
Naomi Goldstein, PhD, and her Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab collaborate with community stakeholders to use social science research to improve juvenile justice policy and practice. To produce better outcomes for youth and communities, the lab works to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, reform juvenile probation systems, protect youths’ rights during police questioning, and reduce racial and ethnic disparities within the justice system.
Beyond academic publications, program evaluations, and other grant-funded research, Goldstein and the lab have created a positive policing training manual for school officers, a statewide juvenile probation transformation curriculum and training program, an anger management intervention for girls in residential juvenile justice placements, forensic assessment instruments used in evaluations of defendants, and an adolescent development training curriculum to reduce disproportionate minority contact of youth with police. Goldstein and the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab also author policy reports; provide feedback on local, state and national legislation; and contribute to amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Naomi Goldstein, PhD is Professor of Psychology at Drexel University, Co-Director of Drexel’s JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology, and a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow. An applied researcher and Director of the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab at Drexel, Goldstein seeks to improve juvenile justice policy and practice to promote positive outcomes for youth. For the past 15 years, her work has focused on adolescents’ capacities to make legal decisions, their abilities to fulfill behavioral requirements of the law, and the development of juvenile justice interventions and procedures to promote youths’ long-term well-being.
Goldstein is primary author of the Miranda Rights Comprehension Instruments, an assessment tool used in forensic mental health evaluations of a defendant’s comprehension of the rights to silence and legal counsel during police interrogation. She also created and evaluated the Juvenile Justice Anger Management (JJAM) Treatment for Girls, an empirically supported group intervention to reduce anger and aggression. Driven by her commitment to using research to inform policy and practice in the U.S. and abroad, Goldstein is evaluating juveniles’ competence to stand trial in Argentina to inform the country’s legislative debate about lowering the age of criminal responsibility. In addition, Goldstein is collaborating with juvenile probation departments to reform juvenile probation systems in Philadelphia and across the state to make them more responsive to adolescent development and to promote youths’ successful completion of probation. Collaborating with the Philadelphia Police Department, School District of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia Department of Human Services, Goldstein is evaluating a city-wide, school-based police diversion program that was designed to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline; the Police School Diversion Program resulted in a 54% reduction in the number of school-based arrests in Philadelphia from the 2013-2014 school year to the 2014-2015 school year and approximately a 75% reduction in the number of school disciplinary transfers in the district.
In addition to authoring more than 50 articles and book chapters, Goldstein co-authored Evaluating Capacity to Waive Miranda Rights, published in the Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment book series. She co-edited Juvenile Delinquency and the American Psychological Association Handbook of Psychology and Juvenile Justice. Goldstein has served on many boards and committees, including the editorial boards of multiple academic journals, the Research Advisory Committee of the American Psychology-Law Society (APA, Div. 41), and numerous juvenile justice work groups and policy committees.
Goldstein’s research has been funded by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, National Institute of Mental Health, Argentina’s National Ministry of Education, Stoneleigh Foundation, Philadelphia Department of Human Services, American Psychology-Law Society, and American Academy of Forensic Psychology. All of her work is carried out in collaboration with community-based juvenile justice leaders and with the assistance of postdoctoral fellows, research staff, and graduate and undergraduate students in the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab.
Goldstein received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and completed her clinical internship at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the forensic/corrections track. She received a BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University. At Drexel University, she teaches graduate statistics, graduate and undergraduate courses in child psychopathology and treatment, and undergraduate courses in comparative forensic psychology.