Jonathan Rosen Publishes Findings on Crime in Latin America

Jonathan D. Rosen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice for Holy Family University, continues to explore organized crime in Latin America with the publication of his newest book and an article in a leading academic journal, the Journal of Criminal Justice.

In the book, Crime, Violence and theJonathan Rosen headshot outside State in Latin America, co-authors Jonathan D. Rosen and Hanna Samir Kassab, explore the linkages between weak institutions and government policies designed to combat drug trafficking, organized crime, and violence in Latin America. Using quantitative analysis to examine criminal violence and publicly available survey data from the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) to conduct regression analysis, individual case studies on Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua highlight the major challenges that governments face and how they have responded to various security issues. Rosen and Kassab later turn their attention to the role of external criminal actors in the region and offer policy recommendations and lessons learned.

The article, “Mara forever? Factors associated with gang disengagement in El Salvador,” published in the Journal of Criminal Justice, studies gang organization in El Salvador and the ways individuals exit the gangs in extremely violent contexts. Rosen, and Co-author José Miguel Cruz, surveyed nearly 1,200 active and former gang members in El Salvador, and conducted 24 interviews with former gang members in rehabilitation programs. Given that gangs play an integral role in the social order in the communities where they are present, it is extremely difficult for gang members to disengage. Their investigation found that incarceration and religious affiliation provide the most critical and safe opportunities to disconnect from a gang.

Rosen is an expert in organized crime, drug trafficking, and security-related issues. Prior to joining the Holy Family University School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Rosen was a research scientist at Florida International University in Miami and a professor at the University of the Sea (Universidad del Mar), in Oaxaca, Mexico. He is the author and co-author of 19 books, including: The Losing War: Plan Colombia and Beyond, The Criminalization of States: The Relationship between States and Organized Crime, and Colombia's Political Economy at the Outset of the Twenty-First Century: From Uribe to Santos and Beyond.