Tobago-born Adjunct Lecturer, Criminologist, Researcher and Barrister, Dr Wendell C. Wallace won the 2017 Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for his research in gang activity.
The award was named in honour of Frederic Milton Thrasher-author of the book The Gang: 1,313 Gangs in Chicago. The award acknowledges scholarly works, on public safety issues, done by individuals, groups and organisations.
The National Gang Crime Research Center (NGCRC), the institution responsible for creating the award, does extensive research on gangs, gang members, and gang problems in cooperation with federal, state and local government agencies. It also disseminates up-to-date valid and reliable information about gangs and gang problems through its official publication- Journal of Gang Research.
The NGCRC also provides training and consulting services about gangs to federal, state and local government agencies.
In acknowledging the award, Dr Wallace, who hails from the village of Castara and attended Bishop’s High School, Tobago, said he felt “humbled”. “I feel honoured that my work is being recognised in the international arena.”
“I also feel humbled to know that someone from this part of the world can receive such an award,” Wallace also said.
Wallace, a lecturer in Criminology at the University of the West Indies (UWI), began doing gang research since 2006 and publishing his findings in 2009.
He has a B.A from the University of the West Indies(UWI), Postgraduate Diploma in Law LLB -University of London, Northumbria University, M.Sc. (Distinction) and a PhD from the University of the West Indies.
Here is a sample of Wallace’s work in gang research:
• 2014 - The Social Impact of the Hearts and Minds programme as a component of Hot Spot policing on communities in Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago. Journal of the Department of Behavioural Sciences, Vol. 3, (1), February 2014, pp. 44-64.
• 2013 - Better to be Alone Than in Bad Company. A Handbook About Gangs for Caribbean Parents and Children. Arawak Publications. Kingston: Jamaica.
• 2012 - “Findings from a concurrent study on the level of community involvement in the policing process in Trinidad and Tobago.” The Police Journal, Volume 85 (1), 2012. pp. 61-83.
• 2011 - “Introduction of a Community Involvement Component in Policing in Trinidad and Tobago: Reality or Rhetoric?” International Police Executive Symposium, Geneva Centre for the Control of Armed Forces and Coginta – For Police Reforms and Community Safety. Working Paper No. 37, August 2011. pp. 1-45.
• 2010 - “Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice: Continuing Myths or Promised Realities in Trinidad and Tobago”. Caribbean Journal of Criminology and Public Safety, 15 (1&2). pp. 359-398.
• 2009 - “The Impact of Tourism on Crime in a Small Island Developing Tourist Island Destination: The Case of Tobago”. Caribbean Journal of Criminology and Public Safety, 14, (1&2). pp. 186-213.