Study Helps Local Police Agencies Improve Investigations of Violent Crimes


A study by Dr. William King and colleagues led to changes in the way police process ballistic evidence in crime labs.

Results of a study of ballistics imaging by crime labs, first published in 2013, have already led to improvements in how labs and police agencies process and use information about violent gun crime.

Forensic Science Investigates New Sleep Aid of Toxicological Interest


The Department of Forensic Science developed a test to identify a new sleep aid in criminal and death investigations.

The Department of Forensic Science at Sam Houston State University recently published research that could help identify a new legal sleep aid in criminal and death investigations.

Intern Shadows Parole Officers in the Field


Kaitlin Ehrhart experienced the daily duties of a parole officer at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

This summer, Kaitlin Ehrhart shadowed parole officers as they visited with clients returning from prison to their communities in Grimes, Leon, Madison, Polk, Trinity, Walker and parts of Houston counties in Texas.

CJ Alumnus Heads Arkansas State Flagship Campus


Kelly Damphousse is the first CJ alumnus to lead a college campus in his position as chancellor of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

Alumnus Kelly R. Damphousse started his career wanting to be a Royal Canadian Mounted Officer or a goalie in the National Hockey League. Instead, he climbed to new heights as Chancellor of the flagship institution of the Arkansas State University System.

New Faculty Announced for Fall

New Faculty

The College will add three new faculty members this fall, expanding its expertise in criminal justice and criminology and security studies.

Three new faculty members will join the College of Criminal Justice in the fall, adding to its expertise in biosocial criminology, corrections, and emergency preparedness.

Inside Australia's First Body Farm

By Grace Tobin

We're used to covering a variety of stories at 60 MINUTES – from the wonderful to the weird. But visiting a place known as the Body Farm has got to be one the strangest assignments yet for reporter Peter Stefanovic, producer Grace Tobin and crew Mark Munro and Micky Breen. It’s a place where scientists are giving the dead a voice from the grave and it's helping solve some of the world’s grisliest murders.

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).

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


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.

Alumnus Elevated to Warden in Missouri Prison


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

Alumnus Kelly Morriss is in the business of second chances.

Study Examines Neurotransmitters Linked to Aggression and Anti-Social Behavior


David Gangitano and two students will spent the summer on a study examining the link between neurotransmitters and aggressive and antisocial behavior.

Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is taking a new multidisciplinary approach to understanding behaviors that contribute to criminal activity and mental health problems.

Dozier Presented 2017 ACE Award

ACE Award

Internship Coordinator Jim Dozier, a professor in Security Studies, was presented the John Payne ACE Award for 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


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.

Exploring Careers in Courts


Alumna Adriana Molina Morin oversees criminal appeals as deputy clerk for six judges on the 13th Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi.

Alumna Adriana Molina Morin grew up in the courts, beginning as a volunteer for the local justice of the peace in high school.

College Hosts 2017 Spring Commencement


The College hosted its own Commencement Ceremony in May, with about 450 bachelor, master and Ph.D. students walking across stage.

Due to the high number of graduates this spring, the College of Criminal Justice hosted its own Commencement Ceremony on May 12, with more than 450 students crossing the stage to receive bachelor, master and Ph.D. degrees.

Sam Houston State Researchers Study DNA from Explosives

awards night


A study on new methods for identifying and recovering DNA from exploded bombs was published by faculty and students in the Department of Forensic Science.

Researchers at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) hope to unmask manufacturers of homemade explosives using new advancements in DNA technology.

CVI Begins Series on Sexual Assault on Campus

Campus Sexual Assault

The Crime Victims’ Institute initiated a series on campus sexual assault to explore high risk populations, bystander intervention, criminal justice responses and best practices.

The Crime Victims’ Institute at Sam Houston State University launched a new series of reports on sexual assault on college campuses, which will investigate high risk populations, bystander intervention, criminal justice responses, and best practices.

Oliver's Exhibit Honors Father of American Policing

Willard Oliver


Willard Oliver collaborated with the Berkeley Historical Society on an exhibit honoring August Vollmer, Father of American Policing.

The badge and gun used by August Vollmer at the turn of the 20th Century were returned home to Berkeley, CA and were unveiled to the public during an exhibit honoring “the Father of American Policing.”

Low Heart Rate Linked to Stalking Behaviors in Men

heart rate


New biosocial research from the College discovered a link between low resting heart rate and stalking behaviors in men.

A low resting heart rate, which has been linked to aggression and violent offending, has been implicated in stalking behavior in males, according to a recent study.

College Shines with University-Based Awards

awards night


Students and faculty from the College of Criminal Justice earned prestigious awards at Sam Houston State University.

Faculty and students from the College of Criminal Justice were recognized with special awards at the close of the Spring semester.

College Names New Undergraduate Program Coordinator in CJ Advising Center

Arica Castleberry


Arica Castleberry was appointed the Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the Advising Center.

As a criminal justice major at Sam Houston State University, Arica Castleberry wanted a career where she could help people reach their full potential. She discovered her calling back where she started – as the new Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the College of Criminal Justice Advising Center.

Ph.D. Student Named National Emerging Forensic Scientist

Emerging Scientist

Ph.D. Student Lindsay Glicksberg was named an Emerging Forensic Scientist by the Forensic Science Foundation for her research on bath salts.

Ph.D. Student Lindsay Glicksberg received the Emerging Forensic Scientist Award by the Forensic Science Foundation for her research on the stability of “bath salts” in biological evidence.

Texas Sheriffs Learn Best Practices in Jail Administration & Management

New sheriffs from across Texas received a primer on best practices for managing their jails at the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT).

College of Criminal Justice Seeks CJ Ambassadors

ambassasor TV sign


The College is looking for three undergraduate students to serve as ambassadors at CJ events and to mentor students. Apply by May 31!

The College of Criminal Justice is seeking an elite group of enthusiastic and involved students to serve as ambassadors at various events and to mentor new and prospective criminal justice students.

Homeland Security Studies Moving Graduate Program to The Woodlands Center

The Woodlands Center

Security Studies

The master's program in Homeland Security Studies is moving to The Woodlands Center in the fall for new graduate students.

The master’s program in Homeland Security Studies will be moving to The Woodlands Center in the fall to accommodate better students and professionals in businesses and government agencies in the greater Houston region.

Alumnus Tackles Race Relations as Presidential Scholar

Presidential Scholar logo


Webster Chief Danny Presley was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar for his project to enhance dialogue between police and the communities they serve.

Webster Police Chief Danny Presley wants to jump-start the dialogue between police and minority communities across the country, and he has U.S. Presidents, cabinet members, and business leaders to help him on his way.

NIJ Recognizes CRIMES as Exemplary CJ Technology



CRIMES, a record management system developed by the Police Research Center at SHSU, was named a Justice Innovation Center for use by police and probation departments.

A comprehensive records management system developed for law enforcement agencies by the Police Research Center (PRC) at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) was designated a Justice Innovation Center by the National Institute of Justice.

College Celebrates Past, Present and Future at Honors Day

The Sundial

Honors Day

The College of Criminal Justice will honor students, alumni and friends and memorialize those lost in the line of duty at Honors Day on April 20.

Each spring, the College of Criminal Justice sets aside a day of celebration to honor students, alumni, and friends and to memorialize professionals who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

College Mourns Co-Founder of Security Studies Program

steave young

In Memoriam

Steve Young, one of the founders of the Security Studies program, left behind a legacy in his career and teaching.

Steve Young, one of the founders of the Security Studies program at Sam Houston State University, passed away on March 9 in Corpus Christi with his wife and family by his side.

The College of Criminal Justice will honor Young in conjunction with its Sword and Shield Induction Ceremony on April 27 at 5:30pm in the CJ Courtroom. The Sword and Shield is the honor society for those pursuing careers in homeland security, intelligence, emergency management, and protective services.

Swortwood Developing Lab Test for Synthetic Opioids

Madeleine Swortwood

Synthetic Opioids

Madeleine Swortwood is developing a test to identify and quantify synthetic opioids in saliva for toxicology labs.

With the nation in the midst of an opioid pandemic and more synthetic drugs flooding the market, an assistant professor in the Department of Forensic Science is researching a new method to detect these synthetic substances in death and criminal investigations.

Beto Chair Lecture: Edward R. Maguire

Beto Lecture

Edward R. Maguire from Arizona State University will present “New Directions in Procedural Justice Research” on April 13.

Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. Edward R. Maguire
April 13, 2017

9:30 to 11 a.m.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Edward R. Maguire, a Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, will present “New Directions in Procedural Justice Research” as part of the Beto Chair Lecture Series.

Protecting the Traveling Public

Justin Bradley


Justin Bradley is a K-9 officer for the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the third busiest hub in the country.

Justin Bradley and his K9 partner Dzsan are responsible for protecting 64 million people a year in a 30-square mile area the size of Manhattan that spans two counties and four cities.

CJ Graduate Enlisted in Fight Against Zika

Christopher Springer


Sgt. Christopher Springer of the U.S. Army helped develop a vaccine for Zika in his first job at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

After enlisting in the U.S. Army following graduation, Alumnus Christopher Springer’s first job in the military was to help develop a vaccine against Zika, a mosquito-borne virus linked to microcephaly and other brain malformation in fetuses and Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome in adults.

Study* Investigates Civil Legal Needs of Crime Victims


Legal Services

A study by Leana Bouffard and colleagues investigated the legal service needs of crime victims.

Only two-thirds of victim service providers are trained to identify the civil legal needs of their clients, and there is little consistency or structure in referrals to outside agencies, researchers found.

SHSU Groups Join For Sexual Assault Awareness Events

saam logo

Sexual Assault Awareness

Many departments across campus are coming together in April to raise awareness about campus sexual assault.

by Amanda Horn

Sam Houston State University departments across campus are coming together to raise awareness of various issues in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month during April.

SHSU's SAAM Committee has coordinated a number of events throughout the month to shed light on sexual assault in a variety of ways.

“These events have a bigger impact than people think that they do,” said Georgi McNease, chair of the SAAM Committee. “I think what our committee does during this month is very important.”


Real Talk w/CJ: Houston Area Multi-Agency Gang Task Force

Real Talk

On March 22, Real Talk will feature the Houston Area Multi-Agency Gang Task Force, which investigates MS-13 gang activities such as homicide, extortion and racketeering.

Real Talk w/CJ: Houston Area Multi-Agency Gang Task Force
Wed, Mar 22, 2017
2 p.m.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Homeland Security Students Aid Runners in 100 Mile Race


Security Studies

Three Homeland Security students served as CERT volunteers, provided first aid and support during the 100-mile Rocky Raccoon Race.

Three Security Studies students who helped provide first aid and support for the Rocky Raccoon Race, a 100-mile trail race through the woods of Huntsville State Park, are new members of the Walker County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Recent Publications

Here is a list of recent publications by faculty, graduate students and alumni of Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice.

Oliver Pays Homage to the Father of America Policing

Euless Badge

New Book

Willard Oliver pays homage to August Vollmer, the Father of American Policing, in his latest book.

After 10 years of research and a bookcase full of documents, Professor Willard Oliver published a comprehensive biography of August Vollmer, known as the “Father of American Policing.”

Protecting and Serving College Campuses

Euless Badge


Garret Hudson is working for Texas A&M Police, one of the largest college department in the state.

Alumnus Garret Hudson ('10) works for a college police department with jurisdiction in nearly every county in the state.

Countering Radicalization in Terrorism, Hate Groups, Gangs in Communities, Prisons and Jails

flyer for Radicalization


LEMIT and CMIT will present a three-day conference on radicalization, including terrorism, hate groups, and gangs, and how to combat the issue in communities, prison and jails.

The Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) and the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) are teaming up to share information on the radicalization of terrorists, hate groups, and gangs in an effort to build networks to combat the problem in Texas and beyond.

Spanning a Career in Immigration and Customs Enforcement


During her career in ICE, Alumna Tonja Marshall switched from investigating commodities to saving human trafficking victims.

Tonja Marshall was planning on a career in corrections or as a criminologist when she took a “leap of faith” on a coop program with U.S. Customs Service.

Advising Students for Future Success

Marissa Aldana


Meet Marissa Aldana, a first generation college graduate who is paving the way for future students as an advisor at the College.

As a first generation college graduate, Marissa Aldana hopes to guide other students on the right path for academic success and a rewarding career.

LEMIT Launches Online Offering with Body Worn Camera Course

camera lens


LEMIT debuted online courses for Texas law enforcement officers with a mandated primer on body worn cameras.

The Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) is developing online courses to address current trends and emerging issues in the field and to provide easy access to professional development opportunities for all certified peace officers in the state.

Study Examines Death Penalty Support in Mexico

Mexican flag


A study by Ph.D. Student Alexander H. Updegrove and Assistant Professor Erin Orrick examined public support for the death penalty in Mexico.

In sharp contrast to previous studies of public support for the death penalty conducted in the U.S., Catholics in Mexico were found to be more likely to support capital punishment, whereas older Mexicans and those living in states that bordered the U.S. were less likely to support the death penalty, according to researchers at Sam Houston State University.

Looking for a Career? Ask Carol Adams-Shearer

Carole Adams-shearer

Career Counselor

Meet Career Counselor Carol Adams-Shearer, who can help criminal justice students prepare for the job market.

Carol Adams-Shearer has had many careers packed into one, and she plans to use her diverse experience to help students at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) land their dream jobs.

Ph.D. Graduate Continues Sexual Assault Research in Kentucky

Bradley Campbell


Alumnus Bradley Campbell is using lessons learned at SHSU in a major statewide study on untested sexual assault kits in Kentucky.

A Ph.D. graduate from Sam Houston State University is using skills he learned while at SHSU to lead one of the first statewide studies to examine a backlog of untested rape kits in Kentucky.

College Expands International Program Initiatives

Beto Lecture

Edward R. Maguire from Arizona State University will present “New Directions in Procedural Justice Research” on April 13.

The Office of International Programs at the College of Criminal Justices continues to forge new relationships across the globe for research and practice in the criminal justice field.

Oliver Receives Accolades from Criminal Justice Organizations


Willard Oliver was recognized for his outstanding service to the field by ACJS and SWACJ.

Willard Oliver, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, received two awards from professional organizations in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field and preservation of the history of the associations.

Euless Seeking Future Police Officers at SHSU

Euless Badge


The Euless Police Department is coming to SHSU to administer its written and physical test for police officers.

The Euless Police Department is coming to Sam Houston State University to offer the written and physical tests for those interested in serving as police officers in the community.

Major Biosocial Project Underway at SHSU


Danielle Boisvert, director of Graduate Studies, is collaborating on a major biosocial study on criminal behavior and substance abuse.

What do heart rate, facial symmetry, DNA, finger measurements, reaction to stress, and hormones have to do with aggression, criminal behavior, and substance abuse?

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