February 2021

Hon. Donald Shelton (CCJ Program Director), JD PhD, has been elected to Chair the Jurisprudence Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences for 2021- 2022. Shelton is a Fellow in the Academy. He was elected at the 73rd Annual Scientific Conference of the Academy, which was held virtually for the first time last week and will serve through the 74th Annual Conference next February in Seattle, Washington.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a multi-disciplinary professional organization that provides leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system. The objectives of the Academy are to promote professionalism, integrity, competency, education, foster research, improve practice, and encourage collaboration in the forensic sciences. Since 1948, the AAFS has served a distinguished and diverse membership.  Its over 6,500 members are divided into eleven sections spanning the forensic enterprise.  Included among the Academy’s members are physicians, attorneys, dentists, toxicologists, physical anthropologists, document examiners, digital evidence experts, psychiatrists, engineers, physicists, chemists, criminalists, educators, and others.

Dr. Shelton teaches a number of classes, including CRJ 487/587 Forensic Science Evidence, CRJ 488/588 Criminal Procedure, CRJ 402/502 Probation and Parole, and CRJ 316 American Judicial Process. In Fall 2021, Dr. Shelton will be  teaching an exciting  new class - CRJ 404/504 Sentencing - in which he will also draw upon his 25 years of experience as a Circuit Court Judge.

Professor Maya Barak's latest article, “Family Separation as State-Corporate Crime,” appearing in the Journal of White Collar and Corporate Crime, explores the Trump administration's role in normalizing harmful state practices that, in collaboration with private and nonprofit actors, violate migrants’ human and legal rights and facilitate crimes against migrant children and families.

Want to learn more about crimmigration, the intersection of the criminal justice and immigration systems? Check out Dr. Barak's recent appearance on Culture and Crime Talks with host Dr. Sarah Daly to discuss crimmigration and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

The Activated People and the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition recently hosted Dr. Barak as a special guest panelist to discuss gang database transparency and Virginia HB 2226. Dr. Barak's co-authored article, “Conceptual and Empirical Obstacles in Defining MS-13: Law-Enforcement Perspectives,” was published in Criminology and Public Policy this past fall. In the piece, Dr. Barak links long‐standing issues of gang definition and measurement to MS‐13 in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Hungry for justice? Check out CrimBytes, a podcast and blog featuring student musings on crime, media, and culture from our very own Criminology and Criminal Justice students. Content is curated by Dr. Barak and stems from students' "Newsmaking Criminology" projects in Intro to Criminal Justice (CRJ 200), Crimmigration (CRJ 417/517), and Forensic Science (CRJ 487/587). 

Author Steven Dudley, co-founder and co-director of InSight Crime, a think tank focused on organized crime in the Americas, and a senior fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies joins Dr. Maya Barak and special guest critics--Dr. R.V. Gundur, Brandon Hunter-Pazzara, and Dr. Watoii Rabii--to discuss his latest book, MS-13: The Making of America’s Most Notorious Gang, which won the 2019 Lukas Prize for work-in-progress.

Professor Barak teaches CRJ 200 Introduction to CJ,  CRJ 417/517 Crimmigration, CRJ 418/518 Criminal Justice Research Methods, and 487/587 Forensic Science.

Dr. Kevin Early is appearing in a BET+ ORIGINAL series American Gangster:  Trap Queens. This true-crime docuseries takes a look at the rise and fall of infamous female criminals in America, featuring interviews with the queenpins themselves and the people who knew them best. 

He appears with numerous law enforcement and criminal justice professionals in Season 2 Episode 2 and Season 2 Episode 4.  Check out this article about his participation in the series: 'In America, opportunity is measured by ZIP code'.

Professor Early teaches a number of classes including CRJ 324 Serial and Mass Homicide, CRJ 468/568 Criminology, and CRJ 466/566 Drugs, Alcohol and Society.

Lecturer Aaron Kinzel had the following article published in Critical Criminology in November 2020: Carceral Citizenship as Strength: Formerly Incarcerated Activists, Civic Engagement and Criminal Justice Transformation. During the era of mass incarceration, a history of felony convictions and imprisonment imposes legal and extra-legal sanctions that strip individuals of rights—what Miller and Alexander (2016) call “carceral citizenship.” Despite the wide-reaching structural constraints that accompany the identity of being formerly incarcerated, many individuals enact their agency with civic engagement to reshape boundaries around individual and collective identity.

He also gave an international guest lecture on mass incarceration and his story of trauma and redemption at the: School of Business and Law at CQ University, Australia.

Professor Kinzel teaches CRJ 472/572 Corrections, CRJ 469/569 Juvenile Delinquency, and CRJ 200 Introduction of Criminal Justice.

Lecturer Dan Rodriguez moderated a national online safety event based on his research and lessons in Cyber Crimes at UM-Dearborn. 

For the last two years, Rodriguez has partnered with the Farmington Public Schools Districts PTA and Facebook on educating families in online and digital safety.  In 2020, they did a virtual session that was well attended, and were invited by the National PTA to do the presentation at the National level for “Safer Internet Week” this past February 8-12, 2021.

His model of partnering local law enforcement with the school district is unique, and discusses how everyone has to come together to better serve the community by educating families.  Every year Prof. Rodriguez stresses the research and studies that are conducted at the University of Michigan-Dearborn  based on his CRJ 474 Cyber Crimes course. 

The attendees have indicated that they appreciate his presentation and have described it as “unscary, blameless  while still getting the message of we need to be careful across.” Rodriguez has benefited of having the perspective as an educator, parent and law enforcement professional to offer many important perspectives.

The CCJ Internship

The CCJ Internship class CRJ 478 is our capstone class and is taught by Professor Gregory Osowski. Students arrange field placements with criminal justice agencies and attend weekly seminars during their junior or senior year.

One of the features of the seminar is the opportunity to meet representatives of agencies who discuss the real-life work in the field. Recent speakers included officers from U.S. Customs, U.S. Immigration Service, Detroit PD, Dearborn PD, and Dearborn Heights PD. In future semesters, the FBI will also make presentations.

Professor Osowski also teaches CRJ 408 Police in the Community.

Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies

Social Sciences Building
Back to top of page