Robert J. Kane, PhD, is Professor and Department Head of Criminology and Justice Studies. Kane's primary research interests include police authority and accountability, communities, crime and health, and technology and justice. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Kane (with his academic mentor, James J. Fyfe) completed a study of police misconduct in the New York City Police Department -- to date, the largest study of misconduct ever conducted in an American police agency. Since then, Kane has published numerous peer review articles on police misconduct, legitimacy, and accountability in the NYPD, culminating in his 2013 book Jammed Up: Bad Cops, Police Misconduct, and the New York City Police Department (NYU Press, co-authored with Michael D. White).
In 2011, while an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology at Arizona State University, Kane and colleagues were awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice to examine the effects of the Taser on cognitive functioning (Michael D. White served as Principal Investigator, Kane and Justin Ready served as Co-Principal Investigators). The project began after Kane joined Drexel; and for two years he traveled between Philadelphia and Phoenix to conduct the study. The project concluded in 2013 and remains the only randomized controlled trial of the Taser conducted outside the purview of Taser International. The study informs public policy in the area of police interrogations, specifically addressing the length of time police departments should wait before interviewing suspects who have been “Tazed” (and who tend to suffer substantial declines in cognitive functioning) by police officers.
Kane joined Drexel in 2012 as Program Director of Criminal Justice, where he and his colleagues worked to transform that program into the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies with a curricular and research emphasis on urban criminology and justice and technology, justice, and the law. Most recently, Kane co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Police and Policing (Oxford University Press) with his former ASU colleague, Michael Reisig. He is currently developing a new book project tentatively titled: No Justice No Peace: Smart Crowds, “Dumb” Policing, and the #Ferguson Rebellion. The book will be largely based on an examination of geo-tagged social media posts from Ferguson during the unrest of 2014.