Published on December 7th, 2020 | by TLV News


Analytics Lab Begins New Faculty Research Presentation Series

Abby Novak presents research on systems and delinquency from a labeling perspective

Faculty, staff, and students at the University of Mississippi recently welcomed Abby Novak, a new assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, to the School of Applied Sciences.

Novak was the first presenter for the new faculty presentation series hosted by the School of Applied Sciences Analytics Lab. She discussed her research on contextualizing the secondary sanctioning and secondary deviance effects of arrest.

This research examines systems and delinquency from a labeling perspective. Specifically, Novak studies how experiences in child-serving systems such as the juvenile justice system, education system, and child welfare system affect subsequent justice system contact and delinquent behavior in youth.

“Most of my research looks at how children are impacted in the short and long term by their experiences with a certain policy, like school discipline, minimum ages of arrest, diversionary practices, sibling placements, and more,” Novak said. “Since my research tends to involve policy-related questions, the findings have direct implications for policy makers and practitioners, as they shed light onto the various ways, intended or otherwise, children may be affected by policy-maker decisions.”

Novak joined the Ole Miss faculty this fall following her graduation from the University of Florida with a doctorate in criminology, law, and society. She received bachelor’s degrees in both gender studies and geography from the University of Richmond and master’s degrees in both social work and public administration from Florida State University.

Her research interests include systems and delinquency, juvenile justice, early antisocial behavior, applied quantitative methods, and crime prevention and public policy.

“Dr. Novak has an impressive educational background from many top-notch universities, including the University of Florida and Florida State University, prior professional experience in the state of Mississippi as an educator and highly sophisticated statistical skills,” said Wesley Jennings, UM chair and professor of criminal justice and legal studies.

“Her research interests in life-course criminology, juvenile delinquency, and the school-to-prison pipeline makes her research interdisciplinary and ripe for collaborations within the School of Applied Sciences and with other disciplines across the university.”

The School of Applied Sciences Analytics Lab provides educational training and offers consulting services to all UM students, faculty, and staff members. Besides statistics, lab personnel consult and train clients in measurement issues as well as research design.

For more information about the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, visit To learn more about the School of Applied Sciences Analytics Lab, visit

By Meaghan Flores

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The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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