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Washington State University
Contributing to more just, equitable, and safer communities. Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

A statement in condemnation of police violence, from the faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University

June 1, 2020

 

In light of the most recent in a heartbreakingly long series of events involving police violence on communities of color, especially black women and men, the Washington State University Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology reaffirms our faculty’s commitment to principles of social justice, including that of anti-racism. As we train the next generations of criminal justice professionals, we are keenly aware of the importance of helping them develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be the agents of positive change the field so desperately needs. We dedicate ourselves to addressing issues of systemic racial bias through not only our teaching but also our research, with which we aim to guide reform. We, as a faculty, vow to continue the pursuit and promotion of a more just society through education, research, service.

Welcome

The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology has a long rich history. In 1935, the President of then, Washington State College, Dr. Ernest O. Holland, contacted the nation’s first ever FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, for guidance in creating a program for the sole purpose of training law enforcement officers (September 18, 1935 Letter, October 3, 1935 Letter- Part 1, and October 3, 1935 Letter- Part 2). In 1943, under Dr. V.A. Leonard, the Department of Police Science was formed. Since then it has expanded beyond training police officers to touch on every aspect of the criminal justice system.

Combining a passion for scholarship with a keen understanding of practical applications, the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers students the opportunity to learn, explore and develop in a substantive and expanding field. The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is located on three campuses of Washington State University, at Pullman, Spokane, and Vancouver.

The department offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees; students may earn a minor, a bachelor of arts, a master’s degree, or a doctoral degree in criminal justice and criminology. We have degree options to suit today’s students, with our B.A. offered both on campus and online. With groundbreaking research, renowned professors, and students who are making a difference, WSU is an exciting place to pursue your education.

 

Undergraduate

Undergraduates benefit from a policy-focused curriculum that prepares them both for careers and future study, learning from leaders in the field.


Graduate

Graduate students work closely with faculty, pursuing a more comprehensive understanding of the field of criminal justice and developing as scholars and researchers.

Meet our faculty

Department faculty have a wide range of research and teaching interests, and the department is nationally and internationally recognized for its scholarship.

News

  • WSU Police partner with student legal group on arrest data

    The Student Legal Research Association will help evaluate arrest data from WSU’s police department as part of measures to address racial disparity in arrests on the Pullman campus. The campus police are also taking collaborating with university researchers to address implicit bias.

    These actions are part of an effort to address disproportionate arrests of Black people by campus police, a problem identified by a Daily Evergreen article in fall 2019 and a following report by WSU Office of Compliance and Civil Rights (CCR) in May 2020. The term “arrest” in police data includes non-custody interactions such as issuing traffic citations.

    The CBTSim program is just one that … » More …

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  • Criminologist Faith Lutze internationally honored for her work

    The international Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) has selected Faith Lutze, a Washington State University professor and expert in criminal justice, to receive the group’s prestigious Founder’s Award in recognition of “a career of providing substantial contributions to the Academy and to the discipline of criminal justice through education and research.”

    “It is such an honor to be recognized as an ACJS Founder and to represent such a respected community of justice scholars and educators, Lutze said. “I am proud, grateful and inspired to continue the important work of the Academy.”

    Lutze coordinated and helped grow her department’s undergraduate and graduate programs and has … » More …

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  • Clark County law enforcement no longer taking action for simple drug possession

    Clark County criminal justice and law enforcement officials are managing the impacts of a recent Washington Supreme Court ruling that found the state’s felony drug possession law to be unconstitutional.

    Sociologist Clay Mosher, who analyzes crime trends and teaches criminology at Washington State University Vancouver, noted that the justices’ opinion makes explicit reference to social and racial justice issues, and the collateral consequences of drug convictions.

    “The bottom line for me, if this decision sticks … it is going to have a significant impact. The (American Civil Liberties Union) notes that between 2015 and 2019, there were more than 60,000 arrests for ‘low-level drug possession … » More …

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  • Cluster hire program addresses racism and social inequality

    Five new WSU faculty positions have been created to help promote equity and diversity across the Washington State University System.

    The new positions are an integral part of the University’s Racism and Social Inequality in the Americas cluster hire program which was initiated by Provost and Executive Vice President and Professor of Anthropology, Elizabeth Chilton to demonstrate WSU’s commitment to inclusive excellence. The program is designed to address the urgent need for faculty specializing in interdisciplinary research topics associated with equity and diversity.

    The following proposals were accepted:

    African Diasporas in the Americas (Department of History)
    Indigenous Knowledge, Data Sovereignty, and Decolonization (Digital … » More …

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