Criminology and Justice Studies

About the Department

In what ways did the War on Drugs of the 1980s and 1990s impact urban communities in terms of street-corner dealing, violence, and overall health? What are the lasting effects of that "War" paradigm as they relate to national incarceration rates, racial disparities in police shootings, stop-and-frisk, and the adjudication process? How far will the fight against terrorism push the legal and ethical boundaries of government surveillance and the monitoring of electronic communications, and what will be the impacts of such forces? In what ways are “big data” being used (now and in the future) by justice, intelligence, or private organizations to identify social networks, conduct risk assessments, and make decisions about crime policy and resource deployment? Finally, how do climate change and pandemics influence crime and conflict across communities, and where does the collective discipline of criminology and criminal justice "fit" at the intersections of crime, housing, education, climate, and infection disease policy? These are just some of the questions the Criminology and Justice Studies faculty work every day to answer, both through their research and scholarship, and in the classroom with our students.

Drexel University's degree programs in Criminology and Justice Studies offer a rich educational experience that emphasizes justice and criminological theory, the use of analytical tools and data to answer big questions about crime and justice while teaching students how to translate conceptual knowledge into state of the art practice. Along the way, the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies offers global educational opportunities with two courses taught abroad, a set of community-based courses that take students beyond the classroom to practice the learning process, as well as an urban educational experience in one of the premier cities in the country. With its three thematic concentrations -- Criminal Justice, Justice Informatics, and Justice Studies -- the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies offers students many pathways through which to explore a curriculum that emphasizes innovative learning opportunities, global and civic engagement, and a culture that fosters student successes and well being.

Please click the links below to explore the degree concentrations in Criminology and Justice Studies. 

Degree Concentrations

Criminology and Justice Studies Faculty

Robert D'Ovidio, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor. The intersection of computer technology, crime, and the criminal justice system; criminological theory; surveillance; and digital forensics.
Ashley Dickinson, PhD, MPH (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). Associate Teaching Professor. Offender rehabilitation; capital punishment; LGBTQ+ community (criminal behavior and victimization); crime and health.
Jordan Hyatt, PhD, JD (University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University School of Law). Associate Professor. Community corrections; drug treatment; homelessness; probation/parole; re-entry; risk assessment; sentencing.
Shannon K. Jacobsen, PhD (Rutgers University). Assistant Professor. Gender, crime and victimization; fear of crime and perceptions of risk; campus crime; public safety; communities and crime; social inequalities; mixed methods research
Robert J. Kane, PhD (Temple University) Department Head. Professor. Police authority and accountability; urban ecology and sociology; violence and public health; police strategies and practices.
Kathleen Powell, PhD (Rutgers University). Post-Doctoral Fellow. Crime, punishment, and the life course; the intersection of health and justice system involvement; legal financial obligations; correctional interventions.
Cyndi Rickards, EdD (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Director of Justice Studies. Issues of mass incarceration, community-engaged scholarship, intersection of mental health and the CJ system, the criminal justice system and the lived experience.
Kristene Unsworth, PhD (University of Washington). Assistant Teaching Professor. Information science, policy and ethics, critical discourse analysis and qualitative methodology.
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