K-9 Units, White-collar Crimes, and National Drug Policies Explored by CCJS Faculty, Students at WSC Conference

ccjs.jpg Criminal Justice professors and their students presented at the 40th Annual Conference of the Western Society of Criminology. Left to right are Diana Grant, Kathryn Kahawaii, Nicole Guice, Joseph Fitch, Ngoc Vinh Nguyen Bui, Professor Barbara Bloom and Professor Eric Williams.

K-9 units, white-collar crimes, and national drug policies, were some of the research areas that seven Criminal Justice students and six professors presented about at the 40th Annual Conference of the Western Society of Criminology (WSC) in Berkeley this February.

The WSC presentation was the first conference presentation for all seven Criminology and Criminal Justice students attending. The SSU contingent was one of the largest groups that attended this year. The department, through a generous donation by retired CCJS Professor Ken Marcus, was able to support the students' conference registration fees.

"I felt honored to be able to present at a conference with some of the leaders in the field of Criminology and Criminal Justice," SSU student Renee Olsen said.

Olsen heard about the conference in one of her classes with professor Napoleon Reyes. and decided to attend because she thought it was "a great opportunity for me to be immersed in an environment with people who are passionate about the same topics that I am." "It was a chance to put to practice all of the theories and research methods we are taught during class in my own unique way," she said.

CCJS students and professors showcased their research projects before an audience of academics, practitioners, and fellow students.

In a panel on "Unconventional Crime and Criminals: Perception, Moral Competency, and Transparency" chaired by Reyes, Olsen and Kristin Kim described how SSU students perceive white-collar crimes. Olsen and Kim conducted a survey of SSU students to see if they were more or less likely to identify white-collar criminals than conventional or traditional criminals.

On the same panel, students Joseph Fitch and Nicole Guice explained the impact of moral competency on white collar offending. Guice enjoyed every part of the conference and said she learned a lot from the experience.

"Aside from the practical aspects of research," she said. "The conference itself taught me how to carry myself as an academic, how to present myself and my ideas in a professional, effective, and engaging manner." She highly recommends the conference to students of any major.

"The conference itself taught me how to carry myself as an academic, how to present myself and my ideas in a professional, effective, and engaging manner."

"Everyone at the conference was excited to listen to the panels and present their findings, and there was an air of genuine interest surrounding every discussion," Guice said.

In a panel chaired by Professor Eric Williams called "Drug Crime Characteristics and Police Tactics," Fitch and Ngoc Vinh Nguyen Bui analyzed the drug crime characterization and national drug policies of select countries and Kathryn Kahawaii discussed how K-9 units are used by police departments in the Bay Area.

In a panel on "Mass Incarceration and Reform," Cherilyn Jones co-presented with Professor Eric Williams and talked about their paper entitled "Citizens and Hermits: Two Styles of Prison Leadership."

The rest of the CCJS faculty also presented on their current research projects. Professor Pat Jackson chaired a panel on "Innovative Methods to Study Crime and Justice" and presented a paper entitled "Understanding Youth Experiences Through Photo Elicitation."

Professor Reyes presented his research entitled "A Cross-National Study of the Impact of Access to Internet and Mobile Phone on Government Corruption." Department Chair Barbara Bloom was featured as a panelist in the Presidential Panel on the Future of Feminist Criminology and presented on "The Women's Community Justice Blueprint: Developing a Gender-Responsive Approach to Realignment."

Professor Diana Grant also chaired a roundtable discussion on "How to Use Current Events to Promote Critical Thinking in Criminology and Criminal Justice Classes" while Professor Dan Macallair chaired a workshop on "California Juvenile Justice Reform: The Positive Youth Justice Initiative."

The CCJS Department hopes to have a larger faculty-student contingent in next year's WSC conference, which will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2014.

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