Celebrating 50 Years of Service: 50th Anniversary Events

This year, the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University celebrates 50 years of service. As one of the oldest and largest criminal justice programs in the country, the College sets the stage for education, research and practice in such diverse fields as law enforcement, corrections, victim services, forensics and security. It offers the longest running Ph.D. program in the discipline, producing nearly 300 scholars around the globe, and continues to educate and train leaders in the field through its academic programs and affiliated professional institutes. The College has been at the forefront of change in criminal justice throughout its history by researching best practices, training professionals in the field, and educating undergraduate and graduate students.

Here is a list of event planned to celebrate the milestone!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Leadership Luncheon
11 a.m.
Flag Room - by invitation
Recognizing student leaders and student organizations

Sundial Ceremony
1:30 p.m.
Flagpole - all invited
Honoring criminal justice alumni who lost their lives in the line of duty

Honors Convocation
7:00 p.m.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom - all invited
Scholarship awards will be presented to academically gifted criminal justice students

Friday, April 24, 2015

Building a Criminal Justice Knowledge Base
Seminars and Presentations
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
George G. Killinger Auditorium - all invited
Panel discussions featuring past Beto Chair speakers and current faculty

50th Anniversary Gala
6:00 p.m. Cocktail Hour
George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center Lobby - all invited
7:00 p.m. Dinner
Lowman Student Center Ballroom - all invited with ticket (Reserve Online)
A formal event highlighting five decades of success

Saturday, April 25, 2014

Scholarship Golf Tournament
7:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Shotgun Start
Raven Nest Golf Club - all invited, registration required (Register Online)

CJ Barbecue
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Raven Nest Golf Club - all invited

50th Anniversary Beto Chair Lecture and Symposia

50th Anniversary Beto Chair Lecture and Symposia
Fri, Apr 24, 2015
9:00 to 5 p.m.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the College of Criminal Justice and its prestigious Beto Chair Lecture Series, the College will offer a day of symposia featuring Dr. Michael G. Maxfield, professor at John Jay College of Criminal, along with panels of world-renown faculty form the College to discuss the past, present and future of research in the field of criminal justice.

9:00 a.m. Beto Chair: “Evidence Generation: Evaluation Partnerships with Community-based Justice Organizations in New York City”
Dr. Maxfield, a respected leader in the field, is the author of numerous articles and books on a wide variety of topics, including victimization, policing, homicide, community corrections, auto theft, and long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. He is the coauthor of the popular textbook, Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology, now in its sixth edition, and currently serves as the editor of the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. Formerly a professor at Rutgers University, Professor Maxfield received his Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University.


Following Dr. Maxfield’s keynote speech, faculty from the College of Criminal Justice from all disciplines, including police, courts, corrections, security, victimology and forensic science will share their thoughts on the evolution of the field over the last five decades, including a historical perspective on the development of the knowledge base in criminal justice; what experts know with reasonable certainty; what the field still needs to know and the critical issues criminal justice faces in the future.

The symposia are free and open to the public. Following is a schedule of topics and speakers:

10:45 am Symposium One: Historical Perspectives on Development of a Knowledge Base
Criminology Brittany Hayes
Police Jim Dozier
Corrections Jeff Bouffard
Security: John Payne
Victimology Victoria Titterington
Forensic Science Jorn Yu; Joan Bytheway
Discussant Dr. Mike Maxfield, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

1:00 pm Symposium Two: What We Know with Reasonable Confidence
Criminology Dennis Longmire
Police Yan Zhang
Corrections Gaylene Armstrong
Security Magdalena Denham
Victimology Mary Breaux
Forensic Science Sarah Kerrigan

2:15 pm Symposium Three: What We Most Need to Know
Criminology Todd Armstrong; Danielle Boisvert
Police Bill Wells
Corrections Melinda Tasca
Security Nathan Jones
Victimology Leana Bouffard; Cortney Franklin
Forensic Science Sheree Hughes-Stamm; David Gangitano

3:45 pm Symposium Four: The Most Critical of What We Need to Know—Explaining the Crime Drop
Criminology Erin Orrick
Police Solomon Zhao
Corrections Doug Dretke
Security Russell Lundberg
Victimology Ryan Randa
Forensic Science Jasmine M. Drake

The full day of events will be available live at www.cjcenter.org/live

Celebrating 50 Years of Service: Expanding Opportunities in Forensic Science

In 2001, the College of Criminal Justice launched the inaugural master’s degree for forensic science in Texas, and it is making history again by offering the first multi-disciplinary Ph.D. in the field in the country.
The interdisciplinary curriculum at SHSU prepares students for a wide variety of forensic science disciplines including DNA, toxicology, firearms, drugs, trace evidence, latent prints, questioned documents or arson. Despite the competitive nature of the field, employment and post graduate success rates have averaged 96 percent since 2006. The majority of graduates work in the public sector, in federal, state, county and city crime labs and medical examiner’s offices, but others have turned to private lab or advanced degrees.

“Sam Houston’s Forensic Science Program helped me to achieve my goal of becoming a forensic scientist by providing the essential knowledge, guidance and skills needed for everyday life in a real-world crime lab,” said Anna Mudd, Supervisor of the Toxicology Section of the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab.

The College also recently introduced undergraduate minors in forensic science and forensic anthropology, which can help boost career options in criminal justice, natural sciences and the health care field.

“If you understand a little more about forensic science, it will help you be a better investigator,” said Dr. Sarah Kerrigan, Director of the Department of Forensic Science and former state crime lab director. “It will also make individuals with science degrees more competitive if they choose to pursue a career in forensics with just a BS degree.”

With federal changes on the horizon for the possible certification of forensic scientists, the Department recently added the Institute for Forensic Research, Training and Innovation (IFRTI), which will train professionals to meet current and future standards in forensic science disciplines an build partnerships between academia and crime labs to address issues or trends in the field. In addition to forensic scientists, the program will serve a wide variety of criminal justice professionals, including educators, scientists, law enforcement, attorneys and the judiciary.

“With forensic science reform pending in Congress, institutes of higher education are expected to play a major role in terms of research and training,” said Dr. Kerrigan, Chair of the Department of Forensic Science. “These improvements in the broad field of forensics present a unique opportunity to enhance our profile and national standing, while making a significant contribution to the advancement of efforts at the national level.”

The College of Criminal Justice and the College of Arts and Sciences at SHSU collaborated to create the program in 2001. In 2006, the program underwent a major overhaul, including the introduction of almost a dozen new courses, hiring new faculty, relocation to a state-of-the art Chemistry and Forensic Sciences Building, and investment in scientific equipment found in crime labs.

Now with its own Department, new equipment and a Ph.D. degree, the program is set to take on the future of the field

“Faculty and student research at SHSU is incredibly diverse, ranging from designer drugs to forensic botany, anthropology, 3D printed guns and next generation DNA sequencing in mass fatalities,” said Dr. Kerrigan, Director of the Department of Forensic Science. Thanks to our faculty expertise, we are able to offer tremendous scope within the Department of Forensic Science.

Celebrating 50 Years of Services: Keeping Texas Roads Safe from Impaired Drivers

For the last 10 years, a program at the College of Criminal Justice has been keeping the roads safer in Texas by training professionals to recognize the signs of impaired driving.

Called Impaired Driving Initiatives, the program funded by the Texas Department of Transportation offers training to law enforcement, school officials, employers, and probation and parole officers to identify the signs and symptoms of drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.

"It’s a huge problem that the public doesn’t know exists," said Senior Trooper Chuck Carlile of the Texas Department of Public Safety Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. "It’s rewarding when you get someone who is impaired off the road."

In 2010, there were 2,023 crashes involving fatalities in Texas, with 575 involving alcohol and 185 involving drugs. Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest growing problem, and it ranks second behind marijuana in illegal drug use. About half of Americans routinely use at least one prescription drug for medical reasons, and about 20 percent of citizens have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons over their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Health.

The initiative operates two training programs to enhance law enforcement officers’ abilities to identify and evaluate impaired drivers. The programs are offered free of charge to municipal, county and state law enforcement personnel at locations throughout the state.

The Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement program provides officers with general knowledge about drug impairment and stresses the importance of collecting biological samples. The Drug Recognition Expert Course is a certification program which trains officers to detect and identify individuals under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and to pinpoint the substances that may be causing the impairment.

With teen deaths and injuries continuing to rise from alcohol and drug related crashes, the Impaired Driving Initiatives program also offers a training curriculum for school employees, including teachers, counselors, nurses, custodians, superintendents, coaches, driver education instructors, school bus drivers and board members, to help recognize the issue in their schools through the Drug Impairment Training for Education Professionals Program.

To promote safe driving in the workplace, Drug Impairment Training for Texas Employers was introduced to help employers identify the problems in businesses. They train supervisors and managers for public and private companies on how to identify drug and alcohol abuse among workers and to address those issues with policies and procedures.

“You know this stuff is out there, but you don’t know the extent they will go to hide it,” said James Ray Nicker and Danny Kuykendall of Walker County Precinct 4. “It is definitely usable information.”
Finally, the Impaired Driving Initiative recently added Drug Impairment for Texas Community Supervision and Parole Officers to its roster to help probation and parole officers identify impairments not only among their clientele, but in families as well.

“Eight out of ten convicted offenders reside in our communities – living in our neighborhoods, working in our communities and driving to and from their place of work and recreational activities,” said Cecelia Marquart, Director of the Impaired Driving Initiatives.

Together, these initiatives are making Texas a safer place by reducing the number of traffic crashes and fatalities on Texas roadways.

50th Anniversary Honors Day

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, the College of Criminal Justice will continue its traditions of honoring outstanding students, alumni and supporters, as well as those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

The Leadership Luncheon pays tribute to the executive boards of criminal justice student organizations as well as distinguished scholars in the graduate program. In addition, the College will bestow awards for Outstanding Alumnus to Ronald B. Turk (’88), Acting Deputy Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington, D.C, as well as the Defensor Pacem to Professor Emeritus Dr. Jerry Dowling for his outstanding contributions to the field of criminal justice.

The College will highlight the achievements of eight criminal justice organizations on campus, including Alpha Phi Sigma, Lambda Alpha Epsilon, National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, Society of Forensic Science, Phi Alpha Delta, Crime Victim Services Alliance, Graduate Student Organization and National Organization of Hispanics in Criminal Justice.

Distinguished Alumnus Turk oversees all field operations for the ATF in Washington, D.C. and was nominated to become a Brigadier General in the U.S. Air National Guard. He was recognized for leading troops in protecting the Bagdad Airport during the Iraq War. Turk also was involved in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing, is involved in high profile inspections of gun retailers, and works on developing intelligence on gun crime issues.

Dr. Dowling, who retired as a professor at the College of Criminal Justice in 2014, is a former FBI agent who joined the faculty in 1972. In addition to educating generations of law enforcement professionals, Dr. Dowling was instrumental in developing licensing and professional exams for police officers across the country. Along with Dr. Larry Hoover, Dr. Dowling wrote the first licensing exam for peace officers in Texas and Illinois and developed curriculum for basic police training in Texas, Illinois, New York and Maine. He also is responsible for the training used for jailers at the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and for school resource officers in Kentucky. Finally, he worked at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas as an instructor, providing classes on legal liability and labor relations for professionals in the field.

In addition to the awards, the College also will posthumously recognize David W. Crews, a Texas legislator who sponsored the bill that created the Institute of Contemporary Corrections and the Behavioral Sciences, the predecessor to the College, more than five decades ago.

Following the Leadership Luncheon, the College will honor the field's fallen heroes at the Sundial Ceremony, an annual event where faculty, staff, students and visitors participate in a ceremony recognizing the ultimate sacrifice in the service of criminal justice.

The evening Honors Convocation recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students at the College. The College will award 43 scholarships to 76 students, which includes nine 100 Club Awards and five Deans’ Scholarships. This year, there were five new scholarships, including the Chief Charles W. Tackett Memorial Scholarship in honor of the former SHSU University Police Chief; the Texas Ranger Law Enforcement Association Scholarship recognizing the contribution of SHSU alumni to the elite state law enforcement division; athe Richard and Michelle Ward CJ Endowment Scholarship in honor of former Dean Ward; the Professor Jerry L. Dowling Scholarship for Exemplary Achievement in Criminal Law in honor of SHSU Professor Emeritus Dowling; and the Logan Bennett-Lyons Criminal Justice Scholarship established by Eric Bennett and Interim Dean Phillip Lyons.

During the Honors Convocation, the College also will recognize 253 student for their academic achievements this year at the College of Criminal Justice.

Child Abuse Awareness Month Event at The Woodlands Center

Tue Apr 14, 2015
11:00am - 11:30am
Back Lawn at The Woodlands Center

In recognition of Child Abuse Awareness Month, the Victim Studies Program has planned an event at The Woodlands Center featuring a butterfly release and speakers in the field of child abuse and neglect.

The idea was the brainchild of two undergraduate classes as a way to raise awareness among the broader community about child abuse prevention. The event will feature speakers from , stressing the importance of individuals, families, agencies and communities working together to prevent child abuse.

In Texas, there were 66,572 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in 2014. In the Houston region of 12 counties in Southeast Texas, 9,020 have fallen victim to the crime, with 567 victims in Montgomery County alone.
Child Protective Services is responsible for investigating reports of abuse and neglect of children and providing services to children and families in their own homes. They also place children in foster care and adoptive home.

Finally, the agency provides services to youth in foster care to help them make a successful transition into adulthood.

Bikers Against Child Abuse is an organization dedicated to providing a safer environment for abused children. Working in conjunction with state and local communities, the group offers two volunteers for each child, supporting them in their neighborhoods, in courts or at parole hearings. The bikers accompany children to interviews or offer rides with the organization.

The Court-Appointed Special Advocates program provides a voice for children in the criminal justice process. By recruiting, training and supporting citizen volunteers, these advocates represent the child’s interest in court hearings and provide critical information to ensure children’s rights and needs are being met during their time in foster care.

Real Talk w/CJ: Alfred Bryant, Child Protective Services

Wed Apr 8, 2015
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Alfred Bryant has spent his career helping children who are victims of abuse and neglect as well as their families.

Member of The Texas State University System