Each month, the Office of Sponsored Programs will spotlight a different PI and their research. If you are interested in being featured in our next spotlight, please email Please be sure to provide us with an abstract (3-5 paragraphs) about your research, explanation of your recent project, the amount your project (s) were funded for, special events that you are hosting or coordinating, obstacles or challenges you faced during the application process, if applicable, and a photo of yourself.   

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Dr. Hung-En Sung and the second cohort of trainees at the Academy for Security Analysis in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Hung-En Sung, PhD,
Professor, Department of Criminal Justice
John Jay College of  Criminal Justice

Hung-En Sung joined John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2006. Previously, he had served as Research Director at Kings County's District Attorney Office (1996-2001) and Research Associate at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (2001-2006).

Dr. Sung’s research revolves around corrections and rehabilitation, police behavior, and the impact of democratization on crime and justice. The role of justice reform in transitional societies has been an important focus of his scholarly work. He has published extensively on these issues and engaged in related training and technical assistance activities in Latin America and Asia. Professor Sung has brought in and/or managed $5.5 million in research and institutional grants since 2006. He was awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship by the National Institute of Justice in 2010, a Visiting Professorship at the National Taipei University with funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan in 2015, and several intra-mural recognitions for his scholarly and mentoring works. Hung-En Sung is currently collaborating with psychologists from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, to evaluate tablet-based tests of self-control with funding from Banco Santander and PSC-CUNY (2017-19). He is a member of the team led by Professor Jeff Mellow to ameliorate prison overcrowding in El Salvador with support from the U.S. Department of State (2017-19).

In 2018, Professor Sung was appointed to lead a regional capacity-building program sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote evidence-based practices in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala (2018-20). As the sustainability component of the latter program, the first master's program in criminology is being designed at the Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas" (UCA), El Salvador. This academic program to be inaugurated in January 2021 will be the first of its kind in the region that is suffering the highest rates of criminal violence in the world. The Northern Triangle, a region comprised by El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, is afflicted with gang violence and has the highest homicide rates in the world. Governments at all levels have been struggling with finding right responses to the crisis. In 2017, USAID signed an agreement with John Jay College to establish the Academy for Security Analysis (la Academia para el Análisis de Seguridad) to promote institutional capacity in the design, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based practices to improve citizen security. The other institutional partners include UCA, San Diego State University, Rowan University, and Academia Superior de Seguridad Pública (ANSP). The goal is to train 144 security professionals and justice officers from 36 criminal justice agencies from the three countries in the use of scientific methods and data in policy-making. The second cohort of 48 trainees graduated in January 2019 (See video here).

This cross-national capacity-building project is currently led by Dr. Sung and supported by Professor Rosemary Barberet (Sociology), Professor Veronica Michel-Luviano (Political Science), doctoral student Lidia Vasquez, and John Jay alums Dr. Gipsy Escobar (Measures for Justice) and Professor Joel Capellan (Rowan University). Other contributors include faculty members from the institutional partners. Both the process and outcomes of the experiment have been highly regarded by USAID, the stakeholders, and the public in general.

Dr. Sung is a member of the American Society of Criminology. He has published in journals such as the British Journal of Criminology, the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. He has taught and published in English, Spanish, and Chinese languages