MDC Faculty Showcase: Following the Global Pathway to Criminal Justice Using Statistics

Professors Lourdes España and Sharon Plotkin present an interdisciplinary study abroad program between the criminal justice and mathematics disciplines and how they will use statistics to compare the criminal justice […]


MDC Faculty Showcase: Following the Global Pathway to Criminal Justice Using Statistics

Authors:Sharon Plotkin , Lourdes España


Professors Lourdes España and Sharon Plotkin present an interdisciplinary study abroad program between the criminal justice and mathematics disciplines and how they will use statistics to compare the criminal justice systems between the U.S. and England. The program is designed for students whose interests are in the criminal justice fields with an emphasis on statistics, as it pertains to crime rate occurrence, mathematical occurrence of repeat offenders, and a comparison analysis of the criminal justice system in England and the U.S. Its premise is to expand the boundaries of the classroom for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the unique, vibrant, and dynamic rich culture of England while exploring their criminal justice system as it compares to the U.S.

Sharon Plotkin

Sharon Plotkin obtained her Master of Science degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology from Florida International University. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in social work, also from Florida International University, and an Associate of Arts degree in psychology from Broward Community College. She is currently seeking a doctoral degree in education. She is a member of several forensic organizations, including the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, International Association for Identification, and Gold Coast Forensic Association.

Plotkin received her certification in crime scene investigations through the International Association for Identification in 2006, and has been doing crime scene work for almost 21 years. She has handled thousands of cases, ranging from burglaries to homicides and suspicious deaths. She has received specialized training in various fields of crime scene investigations, including bloodstain reconstruction, photography, crime scene reconstruction, fingerprinting, shoe wear casting, and other various topics.

Plotkin has also published a crime scene reconstruction textbook with author Robert Ogle Jr., and recently co-authored a second textbook on fingerprint processing, slated for release in March 2021.

Lourdes España

Professor Lourdes España holds a master’s degree in mathematics education from Florida International University. She has been awarded three Endowed Teaching Chairs from Miami Dade College, and has also been a full-time mathematics professor at Miami Dade College since January 2001. In 2016 she joined forces with criminal justice to create and implement a large campuswide event called “Surviving the Crash,” which demonstrated the importance of math and other disciplines coming together to save lives