Alaina De Biasi Podges received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2012. While at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Alaina participated in the Inside Out Prison Exchange Program-a program that brings college students together with incarcerated men and women to study as peers in a seminar behind prison walls. She also interned at the Detroit Police Department, South Oakland Shelter and the Office of Attorney General-Criminal Division.
She received her Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland in 2015. While at the University of Maryland, Alaina participated in research projects exploring the relationship between crime hotspots and physical disorder, and worked on research investigating victimization in new and traditional immigrant areas. For her thesis, Alaina explored an alternative approach to greening vacant lots in an effort to optimize reductions in fear of crime. In particular, she conducted an experiment to test whether incorporating Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) into traditional urban greening practices of vacant lots will yield greater reductions in site-specific fear of crime over the traditional approach. In addition to her research at the University of Maryland, Alaina also led discussion sections in introductory statistics for undergraduate students.
Her primary research interests fall under the umbrella of communities and crime, including topics such as collective efficacy, community-oriented policing and community crime prevention. She is also interested in the ways in which environmental design can influence crime and fear of crime, and improve quality of life. She has a great interest in Detroit communities.