- To develop and disseminate relevant findings concerning crime, criminal justice, and public policy through research, public scholarship, and student engagement.
- To leverage the potential insights of empirical research to better inform law enforcement practices, judicial policy, and criminal justice systems (i.e., policing, courts, corrections).
- To examine how political violence is prosecuted in the United States by exploring the relationship between how a crime occurred, who was the perpetrator, and why the case was prosecuted in a particular manner.
- To determine the predictive effect known values can have for other variables—how ethnicity is a predictor of prison sentence, for example.
- To create and publish a previously nonexistent database for public use and study. This dataset serves as a meta-analysis and is ideologically inclusive (i.e., Salafi-jihadist , nationalist-separatist, right-wing, left-wing, issue-focused) of acts of political violence, extremism, bias-motivated crime, and terrorism.
- To collaboratively engage undergraduate students and faculty in the craft of research and the complexities of carrying out a long-term team project.
- To help prepare students to engage professionally and personally in the fields of criminology, criminal justice, law, public policy, and related disciplines by providing hands-on experience and opportunities for multi-year practical engagement. This preparation includes providing students relevant instruction, training, and strategic oversight to assist in entering the workforce, engaging with internships, and preparing to obtain advanced degrees.
Unique Contributions of TPP
- The tPP data set aims to include all cases which involve felonies in furtherance of political violence, or crimes which have been described in official State speech as terrorism, extremism, or motivated by a social or political agenda.
- Across thousands of cases, we can explore correlations between the manner in which a defendant is charged, prosecuted, and sentenced, and any number of variables specific to the defendant?s demographics, the nature of the crime, and ideological and legal factors.
- Advanced coding allows for analysis of prosecutorial strategies such as those involving Foreign Terrorist Organization designation, hate crime laws, civil rights violations, terrorism enhancements, theAnimal Enterprise Terrorism Act, the Federal Access to Clinic Entrance Act, and incarceration in Communications Management Units.
[Text taken from plea agreement for ‘eco-terrorism’ case, US v. McGowan]
 Despite the many problems with the blanket use of the term ‘jihadist,’ after discussion, tPP decided to use this term to describe a range of politically Islamic-forms of extremism including those more aptly described as Islamism, Wahhabism, Qutbism, Salafism/Salafi-jihadism, or Islamic fundamentalism. The decision to use such terms occurs throughout tPP, as sometimes terms are used amongst media or intelligence reports but poorly describes a concept or ideology (e.g., eco-terrorism). For the purpose of creating and using a terminological shorthand, these terms are included despite their problematic natures and the aspects of difference their use erases.