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


Gresham SykesGresham M’Cready Sykes passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 29, 2010 in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was born in 1922 in Plainfield, New Jersey. He joined the army in 1942 and was discharged in 1946 at the rank of Captain in the Corps of Engineers. That same year he married Carla Adelt who has been with him until he died.

“Grex” received his doctorate in sociology at Northwestern University in 1954. He would go on to write five books, several monographs, and nearly an article or book chapter a year for some thirty-five years. Within four years of receiving his doctorate, he would publish two of the works that would help to establish him as one of the 20th century’s most notable figures in sociological criminology.

The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security Prison was first published in 1958 during his tenure at Princeton University. Each chapter in this small volume became a classic in its own right. More than a half century later, criminologists and penologists are still familiar with Sykes’s arguments concerning “the corruption of authority,” “argot roles,” “crisis and equilibrium,” and most famously of all, “the pains of imprisonment.” The book was released again by Oxford University Press in 1971 and again in 2007 by Princeton University Press (its original publisher).

Grex co-authored “Techniques of Neutralization” with David Matza, published in 1957 by the American Sociological Review. It’s safe to say that there are few, if any, academics versed in American criminology who are not familiar with the arguments laid out in this seminal work. The article continues to be republished in anthologies for courses in criminology and in the sociology of deviance. There are likely hundreds of thousands of sociology and criminology students in the United States and beyond who over the decades had, at one time, memorized the five techniques of neutralization for an upcoming exam.

Unlike many of his notable contemporaries, Grex’s career was not confined to one or two academic institutions.  He held posts at Princeton, Columbia, Northwestern, UCLA, Dartmouth, the University of Denver, and the University of Virginia. While at UVa, he received the Edwin H. Sutherland award in criminology in 1980. He retired after fourteen years at the University of Virginia as Professor Emeritus in 1988.

Following his retirement, Grex dedicated himself to his artwork. He spent tireless hours working in his studio in Charlottesville and had several gallery exhibitions.

Besides being a pioneer in sociological criminology and a successful artist, Grex was a loyal friend who had a terrific sense of humor and who felt passionately about the conditions of the disenfranchised. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

Submitted by Robert Heiner, Plymouth State University.  This obituary appeared originally in the December 2010 issue of Footnotes.

(Posted 12/2/10)


Sarah Hall passed away on October 10, 2010.  She was the heart and soul of ASC for 30 years, serving as the Executive Administrator from 1976 until her retirement in 2006.  While ASC President’s and Board members came and went, Sarah was the constant who oversaw the growth and development of ASC into what it is today.  The consummate professional, she worked with the highest level of devotion and dedication.  Sarah was always just a cheerful phone call away, helping committee chairs and executive officers to understand and fulfill their duties, and the new members to find their way.  For 30 years, Sarah Hall was ASC, and we all benefited immeasurably because of it.  She was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

Donations in Sarah’s name can be made to:
Kobacker House
3595 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio  43214

(Posted 11/30/10)



(Posted 11/30/10)


Marshall Barron Clinard died at St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe, NM on May 30, 2010, at age 98.  He was born in Boston, MA on November 12, 1911, the son of Gladys Barron and Andrew Marshall Clinard.

Marshall was educated at Governor Dummer Academy, Stanford University (BA '32, MA '34), and the University of Chicago (PhD '41, Sociology).  Between 1941-1945 he worked as Chief Criminal Statistician for the US Census Bureau and in the enforcement department of the Office of Price Administration.

He taught at the University of Iowa, Vanderbilt University, and for 34 years at the University of Wisconsin/Madison.At the University of Wisconsin he received many teaching awards and was a popular professor who attracted many students.  He had 17  PhD students.  In 1957 he published Sociology of Deviant Behavior, a major text book now in its 14th edition and still widely used.  He wrote 11 books and over 40 articles.  He was widely recognized for his work on corporate crime; his book Corporate Crime was republished in 2005.

He married Ruth Blackburn in 1937 and they had three children, Marsha Ruth, Lawrence Marshall, and Stephen Andrew.

During his Wisconsin years he worked in Sweden for a year as a Fulbright Research Professor studying prisons; he spent 3 years working in India for the Ford Foundation in Urban Community Development; he taught a year at Makerere University in Uganda under a Rockefeller Foundation Grant; and he spent a year in Switzerland studying crime under a National Science Foundation Grant.

He received numerous awards and was an active member of his professional organizations.  He was a member of the American Sociological Society and was the President of the Society of Social Problems, among others.  He served on several United Nations Congresses.  He was awarded an Honorary LL.D. from the University of Lausanne, the Donald Cressey Award, the Edwin H. Sutherland Award for Distinguished Contributions to Criminology from the American Society of Criminology, and the Gilbert Geis Lifetime Achievement Award.

After retiring in 1979, he and Ruth lived in Santa Fe for 10 years and then in Santa Barbara, CA.  When Ruth died in 1999 Marshall returned to Santa Fe where he married and continued traveling, writing, and keeping engaged in the world.  His zest for life, including a love of nature, the mountains, photography, hiking, family, and mankind contributed to his vigor right up to the moment of his
death.  He was a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Society.

Marshall is survived by his second wife, Arlen Runzler Westbrook, whom he married January 15, 2002.  She resides in Santa Fe and in Delmar, NY.  He is also survived by two children, Marsha Clinard (spouse: Charlie Boast) and Stephen Clinard (spouse: Paula Giordano), by four grandchildren (Eric and Marshall Schacht and Amy and Andrew Clinard), and by five great-grandchildren (Madison, Kayley, Noelle, Wade, and Tanner).  A son, Lawrence Clinard, preceded him in death.

Private services are planned.  The family requests no flowers. Marshall had a special interest in and supported Doctors Without Borders, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin/Madison.

From the Santa Fe New Mexican, June 6, 2010

(Posted 6/8/10)


Jean-Paul BrodeurJean-Paul Brodeur, Professor at the School of Criminology, Université de Montréal, and Director of the International Centre for Comparative Criminology, passed away on April 26, after a battle with cancer. Jean-Paul was a member of the American Society of Criminology since 1987. One of the rare francophone researchers to regularly participate in ASC meetings, Jean-Paul completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1975 at the Université de Paris and was a professor of Philosophy at the Université du Québec à Montréal until 1978. Even as a philosopher, his fight was against the abuse of power, misery, violence, and torture. His transition to Criminology that same year was based on his belief that his work would be more relevant within this young(er) discipline that was in search of greater critical assessments at the time. Foucault’s publication of Surveiller et punir during this same period was the proof that Criminology was ready for ideas and research that carried a greater social consciousness and the final pathway that brought Jean-Paul to cross-over into what would turn into a three-decade career.

Jean-Paul would move on to become one of Criminology’s most authoritative experts in the fields of policing, security, sentencing, and social justice. He was a productive scholar in both English and French and a well-known public figure through his participation in various public commissions and regular radio appearances and newspaper editorials. Friends and colleagues will remember Jean-Paul for the passion that he brought to his work and for his love of ideas, poetry, music, theatre, cinema, and poker. Above all, Jean-Paul was a lover of life. Whether in friendship or conflict, Jean-Paul always had the respect of others. His work ethic was unmatched. Even during the past year, as the physical toll of his sickness became increasingly apparent, he pursued his teaching, research, and writing with the same drive that depicted him for so many years. Indeed, he wanted his life to end as he lived it: responsibly, productively, passionately. And that he did—Jean-Paul finished correcting the final proofs of his last book less than a week before he passed away. This book, The Policing Web (Oxford University Press, August 2010), is the product of close to a decade of work and the culmination of Jean-Paul’s determined pursuit to produce the most original and comprehensive treatise on the police. We lost a wise man at the Université de Montréal, yet we are all appreciative of the legacy that he left us and his relentless message to establish la pensée juste.

Submitted by Carlo Morselli

(Posted 6/7/10)


Debra Ann Curran (May 3, 1954 - April 2, 2010), an active member of the criminological community, passed away at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida.  Debbie earned her BA from the University of South Florida, where she was active in local and state politics, was a member of the National Organization for Women, and was a fervent supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.  In 1980, she earned an MA in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University, where she concentrated on criminological studies with Charles Tittle.  She conducted research in the following years for several DC based survey organizations and for the DC Superior Court and saw her research on the judicial treatment of female criminal offenders and on sentencing disparities in the Florida juvenile court published in Criminology and Social Forces.  Over the years, Debbie’s relationship with Charles Tittle grew from the early one of student and teacher, and they wed in 1985.  In 1988, they moved to Pullman, Washington, where Debbie was the Academic Advisor for the Department of Sociology at Washington State University. She also served from 1992-1997 as the Managing Editor of Criminology.  She became the Undergraduate Coordinator for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University in 2001.  She was responsible for many administrative duties, including scheduling classes, graduation, and her favorite, advising students, not only on academic issues but on many aspects of their lives. Debbie also informally mentored graduate students in Criminology. She took many of those students under her wing, providing professional socialization and introducing them to networks of sociologists and criminologists.  She will be missed dearly by the many students whose careers and lives she enhanced, her colleagues who consider her to be among the dearest of friends, and her beloved husband, Charles. 

Submitted by Stacy De Coster, North Carolina State University

(Posted 5/5/10)

STEPHEN M. ROSOFF, 1945-2010


Submitted by Henry Pontell and Gilbert Geis, University of California, Irvine and Steven Egger, University of Houston-Clear Lake

(Posted 4/9/10)


John IrwinJohn Irwin, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University (SFSU), passed away January 3. After a conviction for armed robbery and serving a five-year sentence in California’s prison system, he received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968.

Irwin taught Sociology and Criminology at SFSU for 27 years. In prison he discovered that convicts were mostly ordinary human beings.  This insight, not entirely appreciated by many academics that study crime and criminals, guided all of his academic and political activities. His considerable research on prisons included six books: The Felon, Prisons in Turmoil, The Jail, and It’s About Time (with James Austin), The Warehouse Prison, and Lifer.  He was also one of the contributing authors to the American Friends Service Committee’s influential report Struggle for Justice.

John contributed to many community programs over the years, including Project Rebound at SFSU, and as an organizer and leader of the Prisoners’ Union in California. He received the August Vollmer award from the American Society of Criminology, and served on the Board of Directors for the JFA Institute and the Sentencing Project.

John was one of the founding members of the Convict Criminology Group. He came to ASC to see the cons and to help the group grow and prosper. We found his wise counsel and sincere friendship to be invaluable. John was proud to be a "convict criminologist" and advocate for social justice. See Convict Criminology Memorial at http://www.convictcriminology.org/index.html.

Submitted by Stephen C. Richards, James Austin, Barbara Owen, Jeffrey Ian Ross

The Sentencing Project's Memorial to John Irwin

(Posted 1/13/10)