Jacinta Gau

Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida

Areas of Expertise

  • Criminal justice policy
  • Quantitative methods
  • Race and poliing
  • Procedural justice
  • Police

Key Findings

  • Police officers who endorsed the law-enforcement role orientation were more likely to feel cynicism toward citizens. MORE
  • Officers who endorsed order-maintenance role were less likely to feel cynicism toward citizens. MORE
  • A majority (roughly two-thirds) of juries in both urban and rural counties were White. MORE
  • The White jurors were over-represented in juries in regards to the population in both urban and rural counties. MORE
  • There was a significant difference between Black and White officers’ use of force. MORE
  • White officers were more likely to use force, such as OC spray and hard hand tactics compared to Black officers. MORE


Jacinta Gau, Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida, is an expert in police-community relations, criminal justice policy, race and policing, procedural justice and police legitimacy.

Gau currently consults with police agencies. She previously served as a subject-matter expert for the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS Office) on a Technical Assistance project in which a team studied a Florida police department in-depth, assisted with training, and provided policy and training advice. She has helped train other police departments on procedurally just policing and currently assists a local sheriff’s office on personnel and staffing issues.

She has been published in numerous journals, including Justice QuarterlyJustice and Behavior, and Crime & Delinquency.

Gau received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Criminal Justice from Washington State University and her B.A. in Psychology from Western Washington University.