SHSU Study Earns Top Award at Policing Journal

Eyewitness ID

A study examining eyewitness identification practices at the Houston Robbery Division won an award from Emerald Publishing.

A study conducted by Sam Houston State University researchers on eyewitness identification procedures used by the Robbery Division at the Houston Police Department received the 2017 Award of Excellence from Emerald Publishing.

Study Examines Disciplinary Segregation across State Prisons

Corrections

H. Daniel Butler examined the legal and extralegal factors used by prison officials to determine disciplinary segregation at state prisons.

Nearly one-third of offenders who violated institutional rules and regulations across state prisons received a sanction of disciplinary segregation, which prison officials based on legal and extralegal factors, according to a recent study.

Disciplinary segregation, a type of restrictive housing often referred to as a prison within prison, is a punishment reserved for inmates found guilty of violating institutional rules. In “Examining the Use of Disciplinary Segregation within and across Prisons,” authors H. Daniel Butler of Sam Houston State University and Benjamin Steiner of the University of Nebraska, Omaha examined how legal factors, such as the type of rule violation, and extralegal factors, such as race, age, and gender, influence prison officials’ decision making process. The article, was published in Justice Quarterly.

The study, based on self-report data from the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, included more than 6,000 offenders from 242 state prisons who were found guilty of institutional rule violations. The authors found that the decision-making process by prison officials is based not on the rule violation, but rather on a history of misconduct and other factors, such as age, gender, criminal history, prison work, visitations, and time served.

Among the inmates more likely to receive a sanction of disciplinary segregation were those who were young, male, previously incarcerated, and serving longer sentences. Among the factors less likely to lead to sanctions of disciplinary segregation were being female, serving time as a sex offender, receiving visits, and working more hours at a prison job. The study also examined the use of disciplinary segregation as a punishment across state prisons. Although the use of the practice varies from state to state and facility to facility, some common elements were found. Those prisons with a greater density of low risk inmates or those that that relied more heavily on prison work by inmates were less like to use disciplinary segregation.

“Our findings revealed that both legal and extralegal factors influence whether inmates are placed in disciplinary segregation,” said Butler, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. “Regarding extralegal factors, however, prison officials appear to make decisions based on factors that are linked to an inmate’s prospects for reform (e.g. criminal history, involvement in conventional activities). Additionally, our findings suggest that a greater use of remunerative controls may reduce the need for disciplinary segregation because inmates are participating in work, programing, and other prosocial activities.”

Alumnus Elevated to Warden in Missouri Prison

Alumnus

Kelly Morris is leading minimum security prison in Missouri, helping prepare offenders for rentry to the community.

Alumnus Kelly Morriss is in the business of second chances.

CJ College #1 for Online Graduate Education

#1 Online CJ Graduate Education

U.S. News & World Report ranked the College of Criminal Justice as the top in the country for Online CJ masters’ programs.

Sam Houston State University offers the best online criminal justice program for graduate education in the nation, according to the 2017 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR).

Dozier Presented 2017 ACE Award

ACE Award

Internship Coordinator Jim Dozier, a professor in Security Studies, was presented the John Payne ACE Award to his work in the community.

Internship Coordinator Jim Dozier, a professor in the Department of Security Studies, was presented the David Payne Academic Community Engagement Award at Sam Houston State University for 2017.

Intern Follows Calling to Aid Youth in Juvenile Justice

Yahaira Alcantara

Internship

Yahaira Alcantara followed in the footsteps of juvenile probation officers in Harris County to aid youth in the criminal justice system.

Yahaira “Gabby” Alcantara witnessed juvenile probation in action in Harris County during her internship this spring.

Hayes and Orrick Presented National Teaching Awards

Brittany Hayes

Top Teachers

Brittany Hayes and Erin Orrick were recognized as among the top new teachers in the field by the Academy of Criminal Justice Science and SAGE.

Two faculty members in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology earned teaching awards from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), one of the largest professional organizations for academics in the field.

Member of The Texas State University System