“Utilizing Smartphones to Study Disadvantaged and Hard-to-Reach Groups: The Newark Smartphone Reentry Project”
Abstract: In this talk, I discuss the use of smartphones to collect real-time information on the experiences of men recently released from prison and on parole in Newark, New Jersey. Mobile technologies, specifically smartphones, offer social scientists a potentially powerful approach to examine the social world. They enable researchers to collect information that was previously unobservable or difficult to measure, expanding the realm of empirical investigation. For research that concerns resource-poor and hard-to-reach groups, such as men recently released from prison, smartphones may be particularly advantageous by lessening sample selection and attrition and by improving measurement quality of irregular and unstable experiences. The first part of this talk describes the project and the smartphone application. I then present findings from one working paper, which uses GPS estimates to assess neighborhood-level daytime exposure by men on parole and the association between exposure and crime rates.