Progressive Prosecution; Criminal Courts; Corrections; Liberty Decisions and Punishment; Policy Analysis and Evaluation; Comparative Criminal Justice


Dr. Vîlcică joined the faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple in 2009. Before that, she served as a Definitive (life-tenured) Judge at the Court of the Fourth District of Bucharest, Romania. She received a Bachelor of Law degree in 1997 from the School of Law, University of Bucharest, a post-graduate Judge Diploma in 1998 from the National Institute of Magistrature and Ministry of Justice of Romania, and her Ph.D. degree in 2008 from Temple’s graduate program in Criminal Justice.

Her research interests include: progressive prosecution; pretrial justice and adjudication; parole and correctional processes; policy analysis and evaluation; and comparative criminal justice. All these research components tie directly into issues of system legitimacy, make contributions to theories of punishment, and have immediate public policy implications. Dr. Vîlcică is currently working collaboratively on a project funded by the Arnold Ventures Foundation: “Evaluating Prosecutor-Led Criminal Justice Reform in Philadelphia: A Mixed-Methods Approach”. 

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • Vîlcică, E. Rely. 2021. Criminal Liability of Legal Persons in the USA: An Analysis of the Legislation and the Application of Punishments in the Courts (in Romanian, “Raspunderea Penala a Persoanelor Juridice in SUA: O Analiza a Legislatiei si Aplicarea Pedepselor in Instantele Judecatoresti”). In Corporate Criminal Liability: A Transatlantic Institution—Establishing Guilt and Punishment (In Romanian). Andra-Roxana Trandafir & George-Alexandru Lazar (Eds.). Solomon Publications. (Invited submission.)
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely & Steven Belenko. 2021. Designing Effective Pre-Release Programs: Challenges and Pathways towards Successful Reintegration. Advancing Corrections, 11, 112-127. (Special Issue, Envisioning Corrections in 2030.)
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely, Kimberly Houser, & Veronica Nelson*. 2020. The Role of Mental Health Risk Factors in Predicting Parolee Performance in the Community: An Empirical Examination in a Large US Jurisdiction. Advancing Corrections, 9, 44-67. (Special Issue, Management and Treatment of the Mentally Ill and Mentally Unwell in Corrections.)  
  • Kimberly A. Houser, E. Rely Vîlcică, Christine A. Saum, & Matthew L. Hiller. 2019. Mental Health Risk Factors and Parole Decisions: Does Inmate Mental Health Status Affect Who Gets Released? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (16), 2950. (Special Issue, Health of Marginalized People). DOI:
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely. 2018. Revisiting Parole Decisionmaking: Testing for the Punitive Hypothesis in a Large US Jurisdiction. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62 (5), 1357-1383. DOI:
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely. 2016. Challenges in Parole Supervision: Views from the Field. Corrections: Policy, Practice and Research, 1 (4), 266-292. DOI:
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely. 2016. Studying Parole in the Spotlight: Lessons from a Large American Jurisdiction. European Journal on Criminal Policy & Research, 22(1), 61 88. DOI:
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely. 2015. The Influence of Inmate Visitation on the Decision to Grant Parole: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Criminal Justice, 43(6), 498 509. DOI:
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely & John S. Goldkamp (posthumously). 2015. Bail Prediction: Exploring the Role of Neighborhood Context in Philadelphia. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 42(11), 1159-1182. DOI:  
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely. 2014. Parole Decisionmaking in the United States: A Crisis Situation and Its Consequences (in Romanian, “Procesul de Liberare Conditionata in Statele Unite: O Situatie de Criza si Consecintele Sale”). Revista de Criminologie, Criminalistică şi Penologie, nr.1-2, 32-42. (The [Romanian] Journal of Criminology, Criminalistics, and Penology)
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely. 2014. The Role of Dismissal in the American Criminal Court: Court Theories Revisited. Justice System Journal, 35(2), 205-232. DOI:
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely. 2012. Nature and Consequences of Dismissals: Implications for Public Safety and Crime Prevention in Criminal Courts in America. Journal of Criminal Justice, 40(2), 103-116. DOI:
  • Vîlcică, E. Rely, Steve Belenko, Matt Hiller, & Faye Taxman. 2010. Exporting Court Innovation from the United States to Continental Europe: Compatibility between the Drug Court Model and Inquisitorial Justice Systems. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 34(1), 139-172. DOI:
  • Goldkamp, John S. & E. Rely Vîlcică. 2009. Judicial Discretion and the Unfinished Agenda of American Bail Reform: Lessons from Philadelphia’s Evidence-Based Judicial Strategy. Studies in Law, Politics and SocietySpecial Issue New Perspectives on Crime and Criminal Justice, 47,  115-157. DOI: https://doi/abs/10.1108/S1059-4337(2009)0000047007
  • Goldkamp, John S. & E. Rely Vîlcică. 2008. Targeted Enforcement and Adverse System Side-Effects: The Generation of Fugitives in Philadelphia. Criminology, 46(2), 371-410. DOI:

Courses Taught


  • CJ 1001 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJ 2401 - Nature of Crime
  • CJ 2597 - Criminal Justice Research Methods (writing-intensive)
  • CJ 3006 - Crime and Justice around the World


  • CJ 8320 - Crime and Justice around the World: Critical Issues
  • CJ 8302 - Advanced Methodological Issues in Criminal Justice Research

Independent Study

  • Diamond Peer Teacher - Undergraduate
  • CJ 9082 - Graduate (Directed Readings in Comparative Drug Policy; Pretrial Justice)