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Criminal Justice Faculty - Rebecca Pfeffer

Rebecca Pfeffer

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Office: C-340M

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Pfeffer is an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Houston–Downtown. Her research focuses generally on the victimization of vulnerable populations, including victims with special needs and victims of human trafficking and hate crimes. Her current research focuses on public policies addressing prostitution, both in terms of the buying and selling of sex, and specifically investigates effective law enforcement response to the problem of prostitution. As a research associate at Northeastern University's Center for Criminal Justice Policy Research, she managed two National Institute of Justice-funded studies about human trafficking: one about the barriers to the successful identification and prosecution of human trafficking cases in the United States, and one about the experiences of labor trafficking victims in this country.

​​​​Northeastern University                    Ph.D.                      Criminology and Justice Policy

University of Pennsylvania                M.S.                        Criminology

Pace University                                 M.S.                         Teaching, Special Education

Pitzer College                                    B.A.                         Sociology, Psychology

Interests include: 
  • Victimology
  • Human Trafficking
  • Underserved and Hidden Populations
  • Crime Prevention​


Pfeffer, R. Childhood victimization in a national sample of youth with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. (forthcoming)

Cavanaugh, M., Pfeffer, R. & Ahmad, J. Undergraduate Student Participation in an
Evaluation of a Police Program: A High Impact Practice. Journal of Criminal Justice Education. DOI: 10.1080/10511253.2015.1131311

Pfeffer, R. and Farrell, A. (2015). Human Trafficking in Houston, Texas: An Assessment of Local Agency Understanding, Response, and Collaboration. Submitted to the Houston Mayor's Office.

Pfeffer, R. (2015). Risk and Protective Factors for the Safety of Children with Autism: A Qualitative Study of Caregivers' Perspectives. Journal of Family Strengths, 14(1), Article 21.

Farrell, A., Pfeffer, R. & Bright, K. (2015). Police Perceptions of Human Trafficking. Journal of Crime and Justice, 38(3): 315-333.

Farrell, A. and Pfeffer, R. (2014). Policing Human Trafficking: Cultural Blinders and Organizational Barriers.  Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, 653: 46-64.

Owens, C., Dank, M., Breaux, J., Banuelos, I., Farrell, A., Pfeffer, R., Bright, K., Heitsmith, R., & McDevitt, J. (2014). Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization of Labor Trafficking in the United States. Submitted to the National Institute of Justice.

Pfeffer, R., Cavanaugh, M., Ahmad, J., Carreno, Y., Green, D., Lamberton, R., & Nelson, J. (2014). Houston Police Department's Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program: A Preliminary Analysis. Submitted to the Houston Police Department.

Welsh, B.C.. and Pfeffer, R. (2013). Reclaiming Crime Prevention: A Revisionist American History. Punishment & Society, 15(5): 534-553.

Farrell, A., McDevitt, J., Pfeffer, R., Fahy, S., Owens, C., Dank, M., & Adams, W. (2012). Final Report: Identifying the Challenges to Improve the Investigation and Prosecution of State and Local Human Trafficking Cases. Submitted to the National Institute of Justice.

​2016, Recipient, SAGE Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Award

2015, Recipient, Organized Research and Creative Activities Award. "Examining the
Houston Police Department's Prostitution Incident Reports for Indicators of Trafficking." ($7,567)

2015, Recipient, Faculty Development Award, to attend Temple University's Inside Out
Prison Exchange Program Training Institute, Summer 2015. ($2,700)

2015, Recipient, Grant from High Impact Practices (HIPs) of the Center for Teaching and
Learning Excellence. "Human Trafficking in Houston: An Educational Bus Tour." ($1,400)

2014, Recipient, Grant from High Impact Practices (HIPs) of the Center for Teaching and
Learning Excellence. "What's in an Interview? Deepening Student Understanding and Analytic Ability in Qualitative Research." ($2,680)


Last updated 11/20/2019 9:22 AM