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2015 OBITUARIES

Past Years: 2014   2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

Some of these individuals participated in the ASC Oral History Project. For more information, please go to the Oral History Project page.


CHARLES CHASTAIN

Criminal justice has lost another of its founding greats. Charles Chastain was diagnosed with cancer the first week of June and died two days later. Charles served the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) from his arrival as an assistant professor to retirement, serving over 20 years as chair. Charles was one of the earliest adoptees of the LEAA effort to develop criminal justice degrees and provide an education for people in the criminal justice system. He was a vocal supporter of criminal justice studies as a liberal arts education that had the potential to transform people, both within and outside the justice system, though a broader understanding of the workings of crime, justice, and politics. He established the criminal justice bachelor of arts at UALR in 1972. Soon thereafter, he established the master of arts program in criminal justice. In both of these, he insisted on an arts designation because he felt criminal justice students should be exposed to the arts, languages, and philosophies of a liberal arts education. The number of people Charles touched and changed through interaction with him is immeasurable. He helped form the philosophies of several heads of the Arkansas Department of Correction, and many police chiefs, police officers, probation officers, and others. He touched the early academic lives of many people who are now lawyers and professors, including offering an adjunct teaching position to a young Bill Clinton. Charles was also a strong supporter of people in prison. He started a program to collect books from people to build libraries in prisons throughout Arkansas. He was one of the first people to become involved in the Inside-Out program in prisons because he wanted to show students that people in prison were much the same as them with some different life experiences and to show those in prison the potential for future success through education. Charles was also a believer in the academic associations, having been President of the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice and a board member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. For me, Charles believed in me when many graduate schools would not. He was a mentor, confident, and friend for over 25 years. I feel as if I have lost a father. I am sure all those Charles touched feel the same. We have lost one of the greats.

Authored by Jeff Walker
June 4, 2015


NILS CHRISITE

Professor Nils Christie, University of Oslo and Dr. H.c. University of Copenhagen, the Nestor of Scandinavian criminology, died as the result of a tram-bicycle accident in Oslo on May 27, 2015 at the age of 87 years. He was continuously active as a scientist and as an important voice in the public discourse on society`s reaction to crime and deviance with a focus on the problems that system responses create, and on the humanistic as well as empirical foundations for these reactions.

Christie had a long professional career as a researcher and writer, beginning with his sociological dissertation on juvenile offenders in 1959, and as a key person in Scandinavian criminology. He was a primary initiator of the Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology and its chairman from 1979 to 1982.  Nils Christie was always very engaged in creating scientific milieus with older and younger colleagues in the Nordic countries. The Scandinavian research seminars became an important stimulus for young criminologists and a foundation for inter-Nordic contact and cooperation. Also seminars between researchers and criminalists in the judiciary and prosecution became important in bringing criminology into contact with the very agencies which were part of its objects of study. Both of these seminars were originally initiated by Nils Christie and still take place once a year in the framework of the Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology.

Christie’s list of publications is long and varied. He saw criminology and sociology as important bases for social and philosophical deliberations on the legitimacy of the exercise of societal power, and consistently raised basic issues of the state´s use of power and coercion. In one lecture he saw the role of criminologists as closer to that of poets than to that of statisticians (“Criminologist – Technician or Poet,” 1976).  

Examples of this are Christie’s concern with school issues (If the School Did Not Exist, 1971) and with alternative styles of life (Beyond Loneliness and Institutions:  Communes for Extraordinary People, 1989).  Indeed, he stayed in The Vidar collective, one of these Institutions for extraordinary people, for extended periods of time. He also analyzed alternative youth movements (“on the hippie community of Christiania,” 1968) and societal reactions to drug use. He was particularly critical of official drug policy or “the war on drugs.”  Christie and Kettil Bruun wrote the book The Good Enemy:  Drug Policy and Its Beneficiaries (1985).

Christie’s criticism of official criminal policy not only addressed issues of punishment (e.g., in Limits to Pain, 1981 – on “the right level of punishment” and suffering for society) but also police abuses of power, and the situation of prison inmates. But more importantly he searched for alternatives to the present penal system through alternative conflict resolution. His article on “conflicts as property” (1977) opened up the idea of “giving conflicts back to the parties” and became instrumental as a basis for the emergence of Norwegian conflict councils as an alternative to both traditional prosecutorial and judicial policies, and to more severe sanctions.

On a macro-social level in the book Crime Control as Industry (1994), he warned against the creation of a Gulag-system of institutions as a mixture of the Soviet prison camp system and the American prison industry with the heavy influence of powerful prison contractors, and the economic interests of communities and prison staff in preserving and expanding the use of incarceration.

He continued this tradition in A Suitable Amount of Crime (2004).  In this book Christie argued acts that can be constructed as criminal are virtually unlimited and, therefore, that there is potentially an endless supply of crime.  He lamented the size of prison populations in those nations with large penal systems, and asked whether the international community has a moral obligation to shame these extremely punitive countries.

Nils Christie’s ideas had great influence upon the criminal policy discourse not only in Norway and Scandinavia, but in many other parts of the world which have benefited from translations of a number of his most important books as well as a large number of articles and lectures. He was awarded the Sellin-Glueck Award by the American Society of Criminology in 1978.

Christie placed great emphasis on writing in an unpretentious and generally intelligible manner. He saw this as a prerequisite for bringing important social discourse to a wide audience and not preserving it for a small number of specialists. This at times was seen as controversial by traditional criminologists and politicians, but at the same time places him as an important philosophical and societal light-tower in the often impermeable fog of loosely founded assumptions and allegations in policy-making. 

In a situation where criminal policy and the treatment of deviance is influenced by inhumane and ill-founded demands for punishment as revenge, there is a need for a deeper consideration of social knowledge and humanism which is the bearing foundation of Christie´s work

Nils Christie is survived by his wife Hedda Giertsen (University of Oslo), his former wife Vigdis, and two daughters Lindis and Anja.

 

Authored by
Jørgen Jepsen (Aarhus, Denmark),  
Anette Storgaard (University of Aarhus, Denmark and Chairperson, the Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology),
and Eric L. Jensen (University of Idaho)


GEORGE FRASER COLE

George Fraser Cole obituary


GLEN DAVID CURRY

A Warrior Finally at Peace

It is our sad duty to inform the American Society of Criminology of the passing of Glen David Curry, Emeritus Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, on April 27, 2015.  Although the official cause of death was heart failure, he also suffered from Hepatitis C and, just before his death, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He was 66 years old.  He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Janet Bonham Curry, his daughter, Zoe Michaela Curry, a brother, Steven Curry, a sister, Sharron Curry, his first wife, Janette Curry, and a host of friends and colleagues.
If Dave’s life was a movie, most film critics probably would dismiss it as completely implausible.  He was born into a second-generation coal-mining family in McDowell County, West Virginia. After the mines closed, his father transplanted the family into a series of housing projects and abandoned houses/trailers that could serve as free, temporary residences while he unsuccessfully looked for full-time work. In addition, when Dave was a teen, his mother suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized in a state hospital for the indigent in Mississippi, where she received shock treatments. That’s a tough way to come up.

Because of the constant moves, Dave never finished the twelfth grade, but his test scores were so high that he was admitted to a community college and then the University of Southern Mississippi without a high school diploma, earning a B.S. in Sociology (with a minor in Mathematics)  in 1969.  Since he was supported at USM by an Army ROTC scholarship, he was obligated to serve a tour of duty.  He was sent to Vietnam as an intelligence officer and eventually was promoted to captain.  Upon his return, he enrolled at the University of Mississippi, where he was awarded an M.A. in Sociology in 1973.  In addition, greatly disillusioned by what he had experienced in Southeast Asia, he served as the Mississippi state coordinator of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Upon completion of his degree, he enrolled in the doctoral program in Sociology at the University of Chicago in 1973 (when and where we first met him), graduating with his Ph.D. in 1976.
His odyssey becomes even stranger at this point. He accepted a tenure track position in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of South Alabama, achieving the rank of Associate Professor and serving regularly as an expert witness for the local NAACP- affiliated law firm and the Southern Poverty Law Center.  He also intensified his work with the VVAW.  These activities did not sit well with the Alabama political power brokers and they assigned a Special Agent from the Alabama Bureau of Investigation to go undercover with the VVAW in an effort to take Dave down.  That agent convinced one of Dave’s associates that he needed cocaine to treat some headaches he was suffering due to a head wound he supposedly had received as a Marine in Vietnam.  Unfortunately, in a case of extremely bad judgement, Dave helped facilitate the drug delivery. Although he was not involved in the actual transaction, he was arrested.  As he once put it, in court the Special Agent “painted me as a regular supplier of cocaine for other veterans.” That was all it took: he was convicted on three counts, the time was to be served consecutively, and the sentences totaled 34 years. 

While the appeals process progressed, Jim Coleman of the University of Chicago (bless his heart) successfully convinced the courts to release Dave into his custody. Nevertheless, once the appeals were exhausted, Dave was sent to prison, where he eventually served 14 months (the time was reduced because of new sentencing guidelines). In one of the great ironies of correctional history, despite the fact that he had a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, he had not formally completed high school.  Therefore, he was required to obtain a G.E.D. before he could be released.  By the way, eventually there was a happy ending.  In 1999, the Special Agent whose false testimony sent Dave to prison was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.  Dave realized that this development might cast doubt on that agent’s veracity in his own trial and applied for a Presidential pardon. It was the last one granted by Bill Clinton (2000).

Upon his release, Dave accepted a position at West Virginia University (1989) and then joined the CCJ faculty at UMSL in 1994.   At that point he already had garnered international acclaim for his work in military sociology and his studies of street gang activities, which later expanded into a focus on youth violence in general.  Not only did he continue to be a prolific researcher but he was highly devoted to his teaching responsibilities and in 2004 received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service. He also served on the national boards of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (winning its Advocacy Award in 2001).  He retired in 2011 for health reasons and moved to Mobile, Alabama.

Overall, Professor Curry was an inspiration as a survivor, a scholar, a social activist, a gentleman, and a great friend/family member. His death has been a major loss for all of us who knew him.  Jody Miller and Scott Decker have organized a special session in his honor for the 2015 meetings in Washington, D.C., and we hope you will join us for a celebration of his personal and professional lives.  Memorial contributions may be made in Dave's name to: Vietnam Veterans Against the War, www.vvaw.org or Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc., National Office, P.O. Box 355, Champaign, IL 61824-0355.

Bob Bursik
Jim Lynch


DON C. GIBBONS

Don Gibbons, a renowned criminologist and important contributor to the criminological literature, died on April 14 in Portland, Oregon.  Don was born in Newport, Washington on June 6, 1926.  He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946, and following his discharge, he attended the University of Washington; there he completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies and was awarded a Ph.D. in Sociology in 1956.  While at the University, he met his future wife, Carmen Baker – in Don’s words, “the best thing that ever happened to me!”  He and Carmen, married for 56 years until her death in 2008, had two children, Michael and Diane. 

Following the completion of his Ph.D., Don accepted a one-year position as Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia, with a joint appointment as Director of the Staff Training School at Oakalla Prison Farm.  This latter appointment was indicative of what was to come, in that Don continued to use his criminological knowledge to serve the community.  In the mid-1970s, Don and his colleague Gerald Blake were awarded a grant to develop program models for the federal juvenile diversion program.  Don continued to assist a variety of criminal justice efforts in the community, serving as a Research Consultant to the Oregon Corrections Division and as a Consultant to the Multnomah County Youth Commission.  Don served his profession with similar enthusiasm and commitment.  He was the Northern Division Vice President of the Pacific Sociological Association in 1976-1977 and then the Association’s President in1982-1983.  He was a long-time editor of the journal Crime and Delinquency and an Associate Editor of both the Pacific Sociological Review and the Western Sociological Review.  The American Society of Criminology honored his outstanding contributions to criminological scholarship and the advancement of the discipline by making him an Honorary Fellow of the association.

In 1957 Don joined the Sociology faculty at San Francisco State College, where he eventually (1966-1968) served as the Department Chair.  Then in 1969, he accepted a faculty appointment in the Department of Sociology at Portland State University, where he remained until his retirement in 1991.  As at SFS, faculty respect for Don in the PSU Department also resulted in his election as Department Chair (1971-1974). But it was not only the Department of Sociology at PSU that benefitted from his expertise and work ethic.   Part of the broadening of the University in the 1970s was the development of an Urban Studies unit (now the hugely successful School of Urban and Public Affairs) with its own Ph.D. program. Don was invited to take on a second faculty position, both developing and teaching in the Criminal Justice arm of the Ph.D. program.  With the awarding to the program of a $500,000 Law Enforcement Administration Association (LEAA) grant, Don became the Director of the National Criminal Justice Educational Development Consortium, serving in this role from 1974-1976. 

Don taught a variety of classes in Sociology, Criminology and Urban Studies and was highly thought of by his students.  He encouraged students to develop their own interests and then did what he could to assist their projects.  As one former student (now a professor) wrote in a commemoration, “Perhaps more than anything I will never forget the freedom Don gave me to explore radical criminology and to write my dissertation about the policing of labor radicalism—an area outside his expertise.  By permitting me to ‘color outside the lines’ during my doctoral education at PSU, Don instilled in me the self-confidence to develop my own unique identity as a scholar.”   His teaching expertise became well known, and throughout his professional career, he was invited to serve as a visiting professor at an impressive array of universities, including Stanford University, University of Oregon, San Diego State College, Arizona State University and University of Melbourne.  

Yet, Don is perhaps best known for his research and prolific writing on criminology.  During the course of his career, he authored five books and co-authored another three.  His classic text, Society, Crime and Criminal Careers, now in its 8th edition, was first published in 1968 and is used in classrooms throughout the world.  In Delinquent Behavior, first published in 1976, he again expertly used his author skills and considerable knowledge to offer students an overview of the study of juvenile delinquency.  At Don’s invitation, Marvin D. Krohn became a co-author of the 4th and 5th editions of Delinquent Behavior.  Don’s last book, Talking about Crime and Criminals: Problems and Issues in Theory Development in Criminology, published in 1993, reflects his long-term attention and commitment to the elaboration of criminological theory.  His published journal articles comprise too many to list, but his topics were diverse and always timely.

Any remembrance would be incomplete if it failed to mention Don’s fondness for running.  Here as in his scholarly endeavors, he went to the top—he qualified for and finished one of the six World Marathon Majors--the Boston Marathon.  His worn-out blue and yellow Nike’s became part of the wall decoration in his office.  There was also an artistic side to Don.  His woodcarvings included waterfowl and masks, and his paintings often depicted ocean front scenes from his beloved refuge on the Washington coast. It was not unusual to receive original watercolors as Christmas cards from Don and Carmen. 

Don is survived by his children, Diane Irwin (Craig) and Michael Gibbons, three grandchildren, Katie Cooper, Austin Gibbons, and Jonathan Irwin, and sister, Beverly Bergau.

Contributed by Kathryn Farr (Professor Emerita, Portland State University) and Annette Jolin (Professor Emerita, Portland State University)


HANS JOACHIM SCHNEIDER

Schneider
Prof. Dr. Dr. hc. Dipl.Psych. Hans Joachim Schneider passed away on the 18th of June 2015 in the age of 86 years in Muenster, Germany. He was life member of the American Society of Criminology. and regular attendant of its annual meetings. He was one of the most important bridges between the social science oriented American criminology and the more criminal law oriented continental European criminology. Close friend of Marvin E. Wolfgang, Schneider never neglected his scientific connections to the USA. He was awarded numerous internationally prestigious honors, among them a Dr. h.c. (University of Lodz (Poland)), the Hermann Mannheim Award of the "ICCC" Montreal and the Hans von Hentig Award of the "World Society of Victimology". He was honored with a criminological (Schwind, H.-D., E. Kube and H.H. Kuehne eds.) 1998 and with a victimological Festschrift (Kirchhoff G.F. and P.C.Friday eds.) 2000. He has published about 20 books and more than five hundred articles in thirteen languages (German, Chinese, English, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish and Spanish. His textbook was translated into Russian and Chinese language. He is survived by his wife Hildegard, his daughter Ursula (judge in the highest German Federal court) and son Marvin Oliver (Professor Universitario Sao Paolo, Brazil).


RICHARD H. WARD

wardTribute to
RICHARD H. WARD
(September 2, 1939 – February 17, 2015)1

Richard H. Ward, International Criminologist, passed away in his sleep at age 75 at home in Bethany, Connecticut, on February 17, 2015. Borrowing a well-known Winston Churchill phrase, Dick Ward truly was a “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”2 He was many things to many people. He held his students spellbound by his ability to explain complex criminological concepts in ways that all could comprehend and appreciate. Police administrators admired the many stands he took, unwilling to compromise his principles. Scholars respected his laser-like focus on action research. Those with little long-term exposure to the man saw him as a gruff, growling bear. At first blush some may have been intimidated by this façade, but those who stayed the course, colleagues, family, and friends, soon recognized that beneath the tough guy veneer that he cultivated beat the heart of a teddy bear whose compassion and concern for those who needed help knew no bounds.

Since his passing more than a dozen accolades have been rendered, most posed on the Internet, from institutions where he served, publishers, et al.  A Remembrance was held at the University of New Haven February 21, 2015.3 Over 300 were in attendance representing every element of the Criminal Justice System paying their respects to this extraordinary pioneer of our discipline. A Celebration of his life was held at the University of Illinois at Chicago March 28, 2015.4 When from the dais the question was asked of the audience: “How many of you are former students of Dr. Ward?” half of the 400 present stood. Dick had left UI Chicago 15 years earlier, but he left an indelible impression on the lives and careers of thousands worldwide! His Internment was April 17, 2015, at the National Cemetery on the USMC Base, Quantico, Virginia. There a large contingent of his family, friends, former students, and faculty colleagues watched in solemn reverence as a USMC Color Guard in dress blues served as pall bearers and thereafter offered a 21-gun salute in tribute to their brother Marine; once a Marine, always a Marine.

The attention to detail that Dick learned in the Marine Corps he payed it forwarded. This proclivity drove most of his colleagues crazy.  Upon leaving the Marine Corps in 1961, he joined the NYPD where he remained until 1970, leading as a gold shield Detective.  As a police officer, he enrolled at John Jay College of Criminal Justice completing his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 1968 and there taught part time in Law Enforcement.  Soon afterward Dick was selected to matriculate at the University of California, Berkeley in the famous School of Criminology where he received his Doctorate of Criminology in 1971. Dick returned to John Jay moving into administration and among other things established the Law Enforcement News and launching John Jay’s Ph.D. program. He served as Dean of Graduate Studies, Dean of Students and thereafter Vice President.  He left New York in 1977, to take a position as Vice Chancellor for Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he remained for 22 years; there he established the Office of International Criminal Justice and its bimonthly Criminal Justice International. What would later become the major automated source of terrorism incidents, he began a database in 1994. In 1999 he left Chicago and moved to Sam Houston State University as Dean and then Associate Vice President of Research.  There he formalized the terrorism database; it became the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG). In 2008 he left Texas to serve as Dean of the College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven, bringing with him ISVG and establishing the Ph.D. Program which he directed. Four years later in 2012 he was elevated to Vice President for Special Programs and Sponsored Research, a post he held until he passed away.

Dick was interested in all phases of Criminology from the courts, probation, prisons but his first love was policing.  Dick had many publications and books on Law Enforcement investigations, education, terrorism, and more. He was constantly generating new ideas for change. He received many awards and 1977 – 1978 served as President of ACJS.  

He received the greatest joy in helping people in the field.  He taught In China, Saudi Arabia Malaysia, Egypt, and Thailand and visited 45 other countries as well. He not only taught international students but also assisted them cut through red tape enabling many to come to America to further their education. One of his students is now the Chief of Police in Jamaica. Committed to bringing about positive change no task was too great for Dick.  He would help all who sought his assistance and stayed in touch with most.

Our condolences and sympathy go out to his wife Dr. Michelle Ward and their daughter Sophia, as well as his other children, daughter Jeanne and son John, wife Juli and their children son Declan and daughter Keeley, as well as Dick’s sister, Joyce Hornback, and other family members. Our profession, Criminology and Criminal Justice, is better for his commitment and dedication. The personal lives of many of us have been forever enriched by his empathy. Dick Ward, you will never be forgotten.

Juiius Debro, D. Crim., Professor Emeritus, University of Washington
William L. Tafoya, Ph.D., Professor, University of New Haven

References

1. Scholarships in his memory may have been established at other institutions; at UNH contributions may be sent to: The University of New Haven, C/o The Richard and Michelle Ward Endowed Scholarship, Office of Advancement, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516

2. Churchill, Winston (1939) ”The Russian Enigma,” BBC Broadcast October 1, London: The Churchill Society. http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/RusnEnig.html

3. UNH (2015) “In Remembrance of Richard H. Ward,” West Haven, CT: University of New Haven. http://www.newhaven.edu/news-events/news-releases/2014-2015/863092/

4. UIC (2015) “Celebrating a Life: Richard H. Ward,” Chicago: University of Illinois at Chicago.