Bolden’s areas of research and teaching expertise are street gangs, social networks, human trafficking, race/ethnicity in criminal justice, homicide, and environmental criminology. For 2012-2013, he was selected as the “Futurist in Residence” for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Behavioral Science Unit- Futures Working Group, to study human trafficking and transnational crime innovation.
In the News
Describes the spectrum of gang organization, typology, and affiliation in the United States.
Analyzes differences between traditional and hybrid gangs. Uses a social networking lens to analyze relations between members of rival gangs, and finds routine cooperation as a common feature in the gang landscape.
Explores the origin, social processes, and extent of criminal activity in the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs.
Debates the idea of gangs as social networks with the traditional viewpoints of organization. Examines the current state of knowledge of gangs as social networks.
Examines how people enter and exit gangs. Finds that violent gang initiation is not the only method of entrance, and that exiting gangs is common but success is tied to geographic separation and alternative support systems.
Reports on a meeting of 40 experts (researchers and law enforcement) to examine the likelihood of gangs and terrorists working together to deploy weapons of mass destruction. The report explains potential scenarios, historical precedents, and why the events have not occurred.