College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Bishop L. Robinson Sr. Justice Institute


We provide students and justice practitioners training, certification, and research opportunities within the fields of corrections and public safety.

Gun Violence Study

Coppin State University Gun Violence Study

Dangerous Recipe: Ingredients Contributing to African-American Gun Violence

Purpose of Study: Principal Investigator Dr. Johnny Rice, II, Chair and associate professor of criminal justice, and a trained team of Coppin State University student researchers are investigating the contemporary causes of gun violence, specifically exploring why Black males ages 15-24 in marginalized urban communities possess and carry guns. The team is also exploring factors that influence the impulse to carry a gun and what serve as triggers for gun use, based on the perceptions of African American men interviewed, who live in affected communities in Baltimore City.

Background: CSU was awarded $105,290 to conduct qualitative interviews during PHASE II of the study. This research grant was awarded to CSU by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), which received a $1 million grant from the National Collaborative for Gun Violence Research. To implement the study, TMCF brought together leading HBCU Criminal Justice researchers in Houston, TX (Texas Southern University), Wilmington, DE (Delaware State University/Lead Research Partner for the collaborative project), and Jackson, MS (Jackson State University) to leverage the experience, knowledge, and status of HBCUs in the African-American community to conduct research on attitudes toward guns ownership, possession, and usage by urban youth; the dynamics of social transmission of gun ownership and possession, carrying a gun, using a gun to threaten someone; and escalation to gun violence.

Study Framework: The study is comprised of two phases: 1) a quantitative secondary analysis of existing data sources of each study site and 2) a qualitative participant component in which each site will conduct qualitative in-depth interviews. The project is housed and supported by the College of Behavioral Sciences and the Bishop L. Robinson Sr. Justice Institute. The Coppin State University research team is currently interviewing eligible study participants, Black males aged 15-24 who reside in Baltimore City and have a history of gun possession.

To participate or learn more, contact Dr. Rice:

This scientific study will allow our research team to engage and interview African-American men in affected Baltimore communities and acquire their unique perspectives on factors that influence gun possession and use.

Dr. Johnny Rice II

Gun Violence Study Questions & Answers

If you are interested in participating in this study and would like to learn more, please read further.

If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to do the following:

Complete an interview that will last about one hour. The interview will be recorded and will be anonymous. We will not collect any identifying information about you, like your name, address, and/or birth date in the interview or on the recording.

Interviews are conducted

  1. at designated community-based organizations and also
  2. via Zoom.

The present study does not involve any serious risks. We will be asking questions about your criminal justice involvement, mental health status, school experience, and experience with a gun. Some of the questions on the survey may make you uncomfortable. Recalling some events in your past may create discomfort. You can skip any questions you do not want to answer. Also, if you want to contact a professional to discuss your experiences, we will provide you with resource contact information.

The greatest benefit of the study will be a better understanding of why people like you carry guns. This information is important to understand so we can make cities like Baltimore safer. You may also benefit from sharing your experience by recognizing your strengths and goals and identifying things about your life you may want to change.

No, your participation is voluntary. You may decide not to participate at all or, if you start the study, you may stop participating at any time. You may also choose to skip any question during the interview. Because this study is not connected to any government agency, like ones providing entitlements or supplements, or to any service provider, like a healthcare provider, your decision to participate or not in the study will not affect any benefits or services you receive now or in the future.

If you decided to participate, we will compensate you for your time and information. You will receive a $25 gift card.

You do not give up any legal rights by signing this consent form. However, there are no physical risks involved in this study.

We respect your privacy and have steps to make sure that your identity and information are protected. We will not collect any identifying information, like your name, address, and/or birth date in the recorded interview. We will record your verbal consent to participate in the study at the beginning of the interview.

We will be writing reports and articles that will be available to local officials, program developers, and other researchers. We may use some direct quotes from the interviews to better explain the information. However, because we are not recording your name or any identifying information, the information you provide cannot be connected back to you.

The principal researcher/investigator conducting this study is Dr. Johnny Rice II, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. If you have questions about this study, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Rice at Coppin State University, Department of Criminal Justice at 410.951.6104 or via email at

If you have questions regarding your rights as a research participant, you may contact the Coppin State University Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is a group of people from CSU and the local community who provide independent oversight of safety and ethical issues related to research involving human participants. You will receive a copy of this consent form to keep for your records. For more information, you may also access the IRB website at

You must be 18 years or older to provide consent. If you are between the ages of 15-17 years of age your parent/guardian must provide consent.

Do you have any questions? If so please contact us to learn more.

Do you want to participate? Please call Dr. Rice at 410.951.6104 or email him at to schedule an appointment.

Mon-Fri 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Health and Human Services Building, Room 518
(410) 951-3045

The Next Generation of Public Safety Leadership

The Justice Institute is a unique cross-disciplinary initiative that adds a liberal arts, public health, and mental health education perspective to any curriculum. Managed by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Justice Institute offers training and academic certifications approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) as well as the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission.

The Institute works with the Department of Criminal Justice and provides hands-on career enhancement and retooling skills to help students prepare for advanced study and/or entry into federal, state, county, municipal, and private criminal justice and corrections agencies. 

The Justice Institute at Coppin will enhance the professionalism of public safety services encouraging leadership and innovation through education and training.

Bishop L. Robinson Sr.

Workforce Enhancement

Maryland has critical workforce shortages across several high-growth areas, including correctional services, health care, parole counseling, homeland security, school-based police support, transit systems, and private security details.

Program Areas

We've framed our program to:

  • promote innovation and practice improvement across law enforcement, correction, and juvenile services.
  • conduct research on effective policy and service delivery.
  • foster effective partnerships between criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, public safety, public health and non-criminal justice disciplines.

The Institute provides a prototype for customized cross-disciplinary training programs that link cutting–edge research to field practice. While participating in the Institute, students have access to our state-of-the-art facility with smart classrooms, forensics laboratory, moot court room, and a crime scene laboratory.

Related Programs

Forensic Investigations


Policing Strategies


Investigative Sciences