Message From the Chair


Welcome to the latest Criminal Justice News! In this issue we highlight some of the department’s accomplishments during the 2017-2018 academic year and provide updates on plans for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Craig Hemmens.The spring 2018 semester was a very busy and productive one for the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. The number of undergraduate students in the program exceeds 900 (including 150 online students) who have selected CRMJ as either a first or second major or minor. We offered more classes than ever before, and they all filled. We also offered several online classes during the December Intersession to help students matriculate in a timely manner.

This spring, the department, with the criminal justice honors student organization Alpha Phi Sigma, hosted our annual department awards celebration on April 23 in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center. Faculty had the happy opportunity to hand out more scholarship funds than ever before, thanks to several very generous donations by CRMJ alumni. The department will continue to seek funds for undergraduate and graduate student scholarships. This year, we’re soliciting funds for a new graduate student scholarship to be named after long-time professor Dr. Otwin (Otto) Marenin).

Department faculty continue their productive research, ably assisted by our graduate students and a few very capable undergraduate students. A list of recent publications is included in this newsletter for your review.

The Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice Research continues to collaborate with the Washington Department of Corrections and other state agencies, and the department has established a working relationship with the Oregon Youth Authority. OYA is generously providing the funds to support one PhD student a year as a research assistant to work on projects of mutual interest to OYA and the department.

The department also obtained grant funding for several new research projects, including a study of procedures and body-worn cameras in Covington, Washington—a project funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Meanwhile, work continues on the three-year, $1 million National institute of Justice (NIJ) grant received by the department in January 2017. This grant, which includes several faculty (led by Dr. Mary Stohr) and a number of graduate students, is to examine the impact of marijuana legalization on law enforcement practice and policy in Washington and neighboring states.

Faculty and graduate students presented their research at several conferences, including the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences meeting in New Orleans, the American Society of Criminology meeting in Philadelphia, and the Western Association of Criminal Justice meeting, held this year just up the road in Spokane.

This will be my last chair’s message, as my four-year term as chair ends in August 2018. I have enjoyed the opportunity to lead the department forward and to work with so many bright, curious, and nice people. It has been my honor to serve. I look forward to returning to “regular faculty” status and focusing more of my time on teaching and research.

Thank you all for your continued support of the WSU Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology!

Craig Hemmens

Chair and Professor