Message From the Chair
Welcome to Criminal Justice News!
We are excited about the range of activities our faculty and students are engaged in. We continue to offer diverse opportunities to our students. This fall, Denny Johnston, a WSU political science alum who recently retired from the state Department of Corrections, came and spoke to our criminal justice majors about career opportunities in the field of corrections. His sage advice was much appreciated! In spring 2020, Dr. Faith Lutze will be offering our inaugural Inside-Out Prison Exchange course. The course will bring Outside students from WSU together with Inside students at the Coyote Ridge Correctional Center—offering potentially transformative learning experiences for both sets of students. In addition, a group of undergraduates will be participating in the department’s study abroad to Netherlands with Dr. Melanie Neuilly (Wolf), learning about international approaches to managing crime.
This fall, we were honored to present the first Diego Moreno scholarship to undergraduate Zachary Kercher. We greatly appreciate the generosity of the Moreno family. We are ever-grateful for our alumni and for the sacrifices they and their families make for our communities.
Our faculty and graduate students continue to engage in research that addresses current criminal justice challenges. Drs. Zachary Hamilton and Alex Kigerl have been working with the National Institute of Justice on a risk assessment strategy necessary under the recently passed federal First Step Act. The purpose of the act is to facilitate the successful reentry into the community of individuals who have been convicted of non-violent drug offenses. Drs. Dale Willits, Craig Hemmens, Nick Lovrich, David Makin, John Snyder, and Mary Stohr earned much positive media attention for their work on the effects of marijuana legalization. Their work finds no evidence that marijuana legalization affects crime. A number of our faculty and graduate students participated in the Western Association of Criminal Justice and the American Society of Criminology meetings on topics ranging from the effects of marijuana legalization to risk and needs assessment to neighborhood crime to rape to inmate work experiences.
As we move toward the end of the semester, we wish everyone a happy holiday season.