Cheryl Jonson

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Xavier University
Chapter Member: Central Ohio SSN

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About Cheryl

Jonson's research interests focus on the effectiveness and psychological impacts of civilian active assailant protocols, the effect of prison sentences on recidivism, public opinion concerning criminal justice policy, and correctional officer training. Overarching themes in Jonson's writings include the importance grounding policy in empirical evidence and organized skepticism. Jonson serves as the founder and Chair of the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Public Opinion & Policy, Executive Counselor of the Division on Corrections and Sentencing, and Associate Editor of Victims & Offenders. Jonson also teaches the Inside Out Prison Exchange program in three prisons in Ohio.

In the News

Opinion: "Arming Teachers Seems an Easy Fix but Are the Possible Costs Worth the Risks?," Cheryl Jonson (with Brooke Miller Gialopsos and Alexander L. Burton), The Columbus Dispatch, June 2, 2022.
Opinion: "Public Holds Varying Views of Defunding Police," Cheryl Jonson (with Amanda Graham), The Enquirer, August 2, 2021.
Opinion: "Putting Multi-Option Active Assailant Response to the Test," Cheryl Jonson (with Melissa M. Moon and Joseph A. Hendry), Security Management,
Opinion: "Active Shooter Response," Cheryl Jonson (with Joseph A. Hendry and Melissa M. Moon), Bests Review, 2019.


"Custodial Sanctions and Reoffending: A Meta-Analytic Review" (with Damon M. Petrich, , Travis C. Pratt, and Francis T. Cullen). Crime and Justice 50, no. 1 (2021).

Bases on a meta-analysis of 116 studies, custodial (e.g., prison, jail) sanctions have no effect on reoffending or slightly increase it when compared with the effects of noncustodial sanctions such as probation. 

"An Apple in One Hand, a Gun in the Other: Public Support for Arming Our Nation’s Schools" (with Alexander L. Burton, Francis T. Cullen, Justin T. Pickett, and Velmer S. Burton Jr.). Criminology and Public Policy 2 (2021): 263-290.

Discusses surveying 1,100 American adults, a substantial majority of the public supports arming SROs (70%). Mentions how the public is split about arming teachers and nonteaching staff, with approximately 4 in 10 Americans support the arming of non-law enforcement staff in our nation's schools.

"Are Students Scared or Prepared? Psychological Impacts of a Multi-Option Active Assailant Protocol Compared to Other Crisis/Emergency Preparedness Practices" (with Melissa M. Moon and Brooke Miller Gialopsos). Victims and Offenders 15, no. 5 (2020): 639-662.

Indicates that for the vast majority of students active shooter training experiences no negative psychological outcomes. Reveals Instead, many students reported feeling safer, more prepared, and more empowered after receiving the training.

"Agents of Change or Control? Correlates of Positive and Negative Staff-inmate Relationships among a Sample of Formerly Incarcerated Inmates" (with Matthew W. Logan, Shelley Johnson, and Francis T. Cullen). Corrections 7, no. 3 (2020): 175-195.

Uncovers that correctional officers can serve as both sources of stress and support for those incarcerated. Discovers that younger, people of color, who have been victimized in prison and have participated in treatment programs view correctional officers more negatively.

"One Size Does Not Fit All: Traditional Lockdown Versus Multioption Responses to School Shooting" (with Melissa M. Moon and Joseph A. Hendry). Journal of School of Violence 19, no. 2020 (2018): 154-166.

Discusses two active shooter protocols were compared in a simulation study: the traditional lockdown (e.g., get behind a locked door, hide, turn out the lights) model and the multi-option (e.g,, evacuate, lockdown, or actively resist) model. Mentions using simulations, it was uncovered that the multi-option model appears to result in fewer injuries and a quicker resolution, suggesting it saves more lives.

"Preventing School Shootings: The Effectiveness of Safety Measures" Victims and Offenders 12, no. 6 (2017): 956-973.

Finds that many school safety policies are not evidence-based. In particular, there is little research supporting the effectiveness of SROs, metal detectors, and access control measures in preventing school shootings.