Some of these individuals participated in the ASC Oral History Project. For more information, please go to the Oral History Project page.
Criminologist Kauko Aromaa passed away suddenly in his sleep on 18 January 2019 in his home at the age of 75.
Kauko Aromaa was a colorful person who left a visible mark on Finnish criminology. He started his career in 1970 at the Institute of Criminology, a precursor for the current Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy at the University of Helsinki. His very first study, ‘Everyday Violence in Finland’ (1971), paved the way for the development of national victimisation surveys and indicators for the measurement of crime and crime damages, a field in which Kauko played a leading role throughout the 1980s and 1990s. As a result of his activity, Finland also became an active participant in international victimisation studies from the very first survey in 1989 onwards.
Kauko took an active part in international co-operation and in the development comparative criminal statistics, both as a member of the European Sourcebook Working group and as a member of several working groups of the European Society of Criminology.
Kauko was a member of the board of the ESC in 2005-2006 and he acted as president of the association in 2006-2007. He was also the key organiser of the 3rd annual meeting of the European Society of Criminology, held in Helsinki in 2003.
Kauko was a key person in Nordic criminological meetings from the 1970s onwards. He gave lasting input into the development of Nordic research co-operation and to the building of connections between researchers and research institutes across the Nordic countries, continuing here the work that had been instigated by his predecessors at the Institute of Criminology, Inkeri Anttila and Patrik Törnudd, during the 1960s. Kauko Aromaa was a long-standing member of the board of the Scandinavian Criminological Council in 1989-2002 and he acted as president of the Council in 2001-2003.
In 2000, he was appointed as the director of the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI). Thanks to his vast networks, Kauko engaged the institute in various European research projects, thus expanding HEUNI’s research endeavours into new areas. This included research in 2008 on labour exploitation and human trafficking for the purpose of forced labour; he was among the first in Europe to take up this topic. Upon retirement in 2001, he was appointed a professor at the University of Manchester, continuing his career in academia. He continued to participate in European research projects until his death.
In November 2011 Kauko Aromaa was awarded the Freda Adler Distinguished Scholar Award by the American Society of Criminology. Kauko travelled to Washington, D.C. to receive the award together with his wife, Kaarina.
As a criminologist, Kauko could be characterised as one of the last ‘Genuine Generalists’. His expertise and interest covered a broad field of major issues of criminological interest; an increasingly rare feature, when research seems ever more to know more and more about less and less. In his capacity as a researcher, he was brimming with ideas. His reactions to societal changes were quick and incisive, and he had broadened the horizons for research into cross-border crime, corporate safety and human trafficking already by the 1990s. A subject which particularly intrigued him in the 1990s was the criminality in Finland’s neighbouring countries—both Russia and the Baltic countries. Kauko worked closely with Baltic colleagues and contributed with significant input into the development of victimisation surveys in the region.
Kauko Aromaa did not isolate himself in the ivory tower of academic research. Instead, he took his media responsibility seriously and was always willing to comment and consult with the media. In the course of numerous TV interviews and newspaper reports, he became a familiar figure for the Finnish audience as a criminologist who had the ability to place problems into their appropriate scale and to do so in a language that everyone could understand.
Getting Kauko to attend a meeting, or to make a speech or presentation, was not difficult. In his own words, ‘even the worst seminar is better than staying at home’. Indeed, for the ESC-members and his Nordic colleagues, Kauko was a regular sight at conferences and seminars—his figure pushing through the crowds, always with his black ‘Marimekko bag’ full of all sorts of strange stuff, joking, laughing and talking practically to everyone. During the social events around the conferences we— more often than not —had the opportunity to witness Kauko’s talents as a singer, often inspired either by songs from the resistance movements or Finnish tango. There wasn’t an occasion that would have been unfit for a little song, whether it would be a high-level Nordic criminology meeting with several hundred participants or a singing contest with an ex-Russian general at HEUNI international advisory board dinners.
Kauko carried the intellectual and social heritage of the radical 1960s — the protection of the weak and socially marginalised — throughout his whole life. As a student, he was already one of the founding members of the social liberal movement established in Finland in 1967 against social injustices and for the improvement of prisoners’ rights and the living conditions of homeless people. And after his retirement he continued to work in the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters, supporting children and families in difficult and insecure situations and preventing domestic violence.
Those who have had the opportunity to work together with Kauko remember him as a colleague who never lost his temper and good mood, and who always had time for discussion—and always with a point. We remember him also as a man who loved books, so much that he seemed to want to be literally to be surrounded by them. Some of us still imagine Kauko sitting in his room and surrounded by a massive fortification of stacks of books and papers so that his presence could only be confirmed by the occasional glimpse of his beard and spectacles between the piles.
But most of all, we remember Kauko as a well-read person within whom education and intellectual curiosity combined with friendliness and a good sense of humour.
Tribute to Our Feminist Scholar Sister
Last night we lost our dear sister, Helen Eigenberg. Helen was an amazing scholar and friend who was also an incredibly dedicated teacher and community and campus activist. And she had the best sense of humor.
Had Helen not been stricken with stage 3B breast cancer at the age of 38, at the same time she was denied tenure in an outrageous act of sexism (the case was settled out of court), we are confident she would have published even more cutting-edge feminist contributions to criminology. We can’t recognize everything, but here are some examples:
Eigenberg, H. (1990). The National Crime Survey and Rape: The Case of the Missing Question. Justice Quarterly, 7(4):655-671. This article was influential in drastically changing how rape was asked in the NCVS (from the NCS).
Eigenberg, H., K.E. Scarborough, & V.E. Kappeler. (1996). Contributory Factors Affecting Arresting Domestic and Non-Domestic Assaults.” Journal of Police, 15(4):27-54. This was the first empirical documentation that police are significantly more likely to arrest in non-DV than DV assaults.
Helen’s numerous publications on rape in men’s prisons (e.g., Journal of Criminal Justice, 2000; Prison Journal, 1989 & 2000; chapter in 1994 edited book Violence in Prisons), including guards’/COs’ views of prisoner rape, where in one she reported “in the prison vernacular” the guards “seem to offer little assistance to inmates except the age-old advice of ‘fight or fuck’” [as cited on p. 277 in a 2012 article by James E. Robertson in the Federal Sentencing Reporter). This scholarship on prison rape resulted in her being interviewed on 60 Minutes March 3, 1996 (Episode 25, Season 2) (something she felt was the nail in her coffin for being denied tenure by some jealous colleagues).
Helen was a founder of the journal Feminist Criminology (FC) and when FC’s first editor had to suddenly step down, Helen took it on with no backlog of accepted articles and worked tirelessly to keep our journal alive, including to assist many new feminist scholars in getting their manuscripts up to speed for FC. (Jo was Helen’s “Deputy Editor” which we quickly renamed “Deputy Dog”. Jo spent her spring break and first time in Chattanooga working on some of these manuscripts with Helen in her house which was an amazing time together.)
In addition to her dedication to Feminist Criminology, Helen’s commitment to the DWC is far too extensive to cover (as are her publications, advocacy, and friendship) in this tribute, but here are some:
- In 2012, Helen was the inaugural winner of the DWC’s Sarah Hall Award, named after Susan Case’s predecessor of over 3 decades, Sarah Hall, who was a huge friend to our division. This award recognizes outstanding service to the DWC and professional interests regarding feminist criminology (see https://blog.utc.edu/news/2012/12/dr-helen-eigenberg-earns-inaugural-national-award/).
- 2008 recipient of the DWC’s Inconvenient Woman of the Year Award, given for her implementation of the Green Dot program to fight campus rape at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, as well as countless other activism resisting violence against women on and off of UT-C’s campus.
- She was the DWC website guru from the beginning of our website, until someone else took it over after years of Helen doing this. She was also chair of the DWC nominations for years.
The four of us (Joanne Belknap, Mona Danner, Helen Eigenberg and Nancy Wonders) met through various ASC and ACJS events starting in we think in the late 1980s, but primarily bonded through the DWC. We bonded over being feminist criminologists, there weren’t so many of us in those days, and our similar senses of humor and love of life. After an incredibly intense DWC meeting in San Francisco in 1991 where many members righteously and powerfully disclosed sexual exploitation and assaults by male colleagues at professional meetings and on our campuses, our fearsome foursome friendship was the most solidified. The last day we were there (a Saturday or Sunday) we went to Haight-Ashbury and realized we were all born in 1958, and we became the 58 GRRRLS. Since 1991, 3 of the 4 of us have had breast cancer and 2 of the 4 of us had painful “no-confidence” votes in our positions of chair by colleagues we thought were our friends and for whom we’d advocated. We saw each other through other painful life and work events with an enduring and solid love and respect for each other. The year we turned 50, Helen organized our first no-work event, renting a cabin near Gatlinburg. Our last night, drinking wine by a fire, Mona asked us all to think what we thought our work legacy would be, and we all said it would be the amazing students we’d had the honor to teach. We have always loved talking about our teaching and students. Since then, we have had had many mini-vacations together in varied places and varied times of the year, most recently again in a cabin near Gatlinburg and again organized by Helen, for 5 days before the ASC conference in November (2018).
A year ago, in January 2018, Helen was diagnosed with terminal cancer in her lungs, bones, and later, her brain. Her courage and humor over this last year is nothing short of heroic. Her doctors didn’t think she could survive the intensive chemo, radiation and surgeries of the initial treatments starting last January (so hadn’t put in a port). She obviously did to the doctors’ amazement. The 3 of us went to stay with her last March. One of our goals was to help her put some weight back on and we (and her doctors) were thrilled when she’d put on 5 pounds. (Jo put on 8 pounds—true story.) Last summer, Helen came to Jo’s & Scott’s (Jo’s partner) in Colorado to buy marijuana—on the advice of her palliative care providers--- to help with her pain and the treatment-induced nausea, which we turned into a week-long adventure. Jo’s Boulder medical friends assisted in the advice on the best dispensaries and brands at a dinner at her house, where Molly Bowers, was also present. Molly had a terrible wrongful conviction case that the DWC was very helpful in and she had wanted to meet Helen for a long time (via Jo’s reports of her and Helen’s support of Molly’s unsuccessful appeal for a new trial). Helen has referred to Scott as “The Saint” for years, for being able to live with Jo given the rate of lost keys and wallets; insufficient clothes and toiletries, at ASC conferences. Of course, The Saint loved Helen! He made a wonderful meal Helen, Molly, Jo, Scott, and their medical friends ate in the backyard. Later we heard tat at another dinner party someone said, “that’s probably the first and last time I’ll eat a dinner where both a former incarcerated person and a former prison guard [Helen] discussed how fucked up the prison system is!” One of many priceless moments was in one of the dispensaries when many people were in line with Helen and Jo and a cheery, loud, youthful voice said, “Hi, Professor Belknap!” and everyone in the dispensary (about 30 people) burst out laughing.
Although we’ve known Helen was dying for the last year and originally hadn’t expected her to live past March 2018, she was so vibrant last summer on the pot quest and in November in our Tennessee cabin, we didn’t realize we would never see her again. She had plans for another dispensary trip to Colorado in December and we were all talking about our next adventures together, believing we had more time. In December she got pneumonia and went downhill quickly. She passed January 25, 2019.
This world lost an amazing feminist scholar, teacher and activist, and our very dear, smart, generous, and hilarious sister.
With Great Sadness but Also Gratitude for Having Been Loved by Helen,
Jo, Mona, and Nancy
M. KAY HARRIS
M. Kay Harris, age 71, Associate Professor Emerita of Criminal Justice at Temple University, passed away after a sudden illness on November 16, 2018.
Kay was a founding faculty member of Temple’s Criminal Justice Department in 1981. Over the next three decades, Kay was instrumental in the department’s development to a highly ranked Ph.D. program. Kay’s research, teaching and wide-ranging service to the field was focused on issues related to institutional and community-based corrections and informed by her deep-seated desire to create a more just system of criminal justice.
In 1997, while department chair, Kay worked with Lori Pompa to develop the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program, through which Temple students and incarcerated individuals studied together in semester-long courses. Kay helped shape Inside-Out into an internationally recognized program of transformative education and, following her retirement in 2012, continued to nurture Inside-Out and contribute to discourse on correctional policy. Kay also worked with the Lifers Initiative at the SCI- Grateford prison (an organization comprised of and run by life-sentenced individuals) advocating for alternatives to life sentences in Pennsylvania. On multiple occasions, she organized mini-conferences at the prison bringing together incarcerated men and world-renowned criminologists to tackle pressing issues in the correctional field.
Kay's commitment and contributions to criminal justice reform predated her time at Temple. Before joining Temple, Kay was already a prominent figure with major reform and advocacy organizations such as the ABA. She served on the staff of the 1967 Johnson Crime Commission, which in many respects is where the multidisciplinary field of criminal justice took off.
Kay also left a lasting mark on the lives of many undergraduate and graduate students she taught, many of whom have gone on to promote her social justice ideals in their own careers.
Kay was an adventurer who enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and the world. She often combined travel with her commitment to criminal justice reform by visiting prisons and correctional agencies on multiple continents, constantly working for peaceful social transformation.
Kay enjoyed contra and swing dancing and while travelling for business or pleasure would look for opportunities to join in local contra and swing dance nights. She will be fondly remembered for her boundless joie de vivre and optimism, her deep compassion and wisdom, and her long-lasting friendships.
Kay received her B.A. from the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas and her M.A. from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.
Contributions in her honor may be made to the Kay Harris Inside-Out Education Fund HERE, or at: www.insideoutcenter.org/our-supporters.html. (Please be sure to specify that the tribute is in Kay’s memory.)
Contributed by (alphabetically): Alan Harland, Brett Harris, Phil Harris, Peter Jones, Lori Pompa, Cathy Rosen, Ralph Taylor, and Rely Vîlcică.
C. RON HUFF
Our dear friend and colleague, C. Ron Huff, passed away on March 31, 2019 after bravely battling pancreatic cancer. A long-time professor in Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine and at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, Ron served as Dean of the School of Social Ecology at UCI and Director of the John Glenn College at OSU, where he also served as Director of the Criminal Justice Research Center.
Ron began his interest in the field working in corrections in Ohio, after receiving a MSW degree from the University of Michigan. He earned a doctorate in sociology from Ohio State in 1974, studying criminology with Sy Dinitz. After teaching at UC Irvine and Purdue, Ron returned to Ohio State, where he produced a distinguished body of research and established himself as a great academic administrator. He came to UC Irvine in 1999 to lead the School of Social Ecology, which he did for more than a decade, before returning to the faculty to focus full-time on his teaching and scholarship. He continued to produce impressive scholarship and undertake innovative teaching (such as creating an online course that quickly became a favorite).
Ron’s scholarly legacy includes at least three major lines of influence: formative work on the idea and importance of wrongful convictions, research and policy recommendations about youth gangs, and a career-long dedication to the obligations of the public university in scholarship and education about pressing issues of policy.
Ron was one of the first scholars to emphasize the problem of wrongful convictions and his early work along these lines helped bring research and scholarship on miscarriages of justice into the center of criminology and public policy debates. He began researching and writing about innocence among the convicted before most believed that systematic research on the topic was a realistic possibility and when most policy-oriented research in criminal justice was focused on crime reduction and prevention. His books (Convicted but Innocent (with A. Rattner, and E. Sagarin) and Wrongful Conviction with Martin Killias) are foundational to the field.
Ron’s scholarship has stimulated an extensive amount of academic and policy work on theory and research about gangs. Ron and his colleagues used multiple methods to study gang formation and behavior, to assess police and other intervention methods and to analyze official gang definitions and recording of gang members. His three edited volumes, Gangs in America, brought foundational research to the field.
In all, Ron authored a dozen books and over 100 journal articles. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and served as President of the American Society of Criminology, and on dozens of committees and councils of the ASC. His many honors include the Donald Cressey Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the Paul Tappan Award from the Western Society of Criminology, the Herbert Bloch Award and the August Vollmer Award from the American Society of Criminology, and the Gerhard O.W. Mueller International Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice.
Ron served tirelessly as a consultant to national and state agencies and courts about innocence, gangs, youth violence, and public policy, such as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the F.B.I. National Academy, and the American Bar Association committee on wrongful convictions. In retirement, he continued to offer his expertise to those working in the criminal justice system who sought to understand gangs, prevent miscarriages of justice, and otherwise ensure that public policy and practice ensured justice.
At UC Irvine, Ron led the School of Social Ecology for ten years. He became well known for asking three questions: What’s good for the public? What’s good for the University of California? And, what’s good for the School of Social Ecology? With these questions as his guide, he served the public, UCI, and Social Ecology exceptionally well. As he did so he became known for his fundamental decency and his daily acts of kindness. With his leadership, we maintained and further strengthened a "culture of civility" in our School. The tie that binds Ron’s scholarly interests together with his administrative contributions was his belief that basic research is essential for sound public policy and that public universities have an obligation to learn and to teach about how vital that connection is.
At UCI, Ron was widely and justifiably admired by his faculty, and by his colleague dean and vice chancellors, for fairness and decency in administration. And in every way--in his scholarship, in his teaching and in his stewardship of the university--Ron was driven by the highest standards of excellence. His great optimism and sense of humor were unfailing. For these and so many more reasons, he will be greatly missed. Ron is survived by his wife of 51 years, Patricia Huff, and by daughters Tamara Connor (and Michael) and Tiffany Huff and by granddaughters Skylar and Hazel. All of us recall a conversation with Ron that inevitably came around to a loving comment about one or another family member; one quickly understood that his family meant the world to him.
Michael Gottfredson, Valerie Jenness, Cheryl Maxson, and Carroll Seron
CHARLES L. NEWMAN
Dr. Charles L. Newman, age 92 of Louisville, Kentucky passed away on September 4, 2019. Noted criminologist and author, he was a former University of Louisville professor, devoted husband of Della Scott Newman, and member of Southeast Christian Church. Boxing as a sparring partner for Frank Sinatra in his youth, and service in the Pacific during World War II contributed to his grit and determination through almost 93 years, including his final battle with cancer.
He was a former Professor at University of Louisville, the Pennsylvania State University, Florida State University, University of Texas, Arlington, University of North Dakota and others. He was the former President of the Administration of Justice Services, Inc., a Fellow and former President of the American Society of Criminology, former Director of the Dallas (Texas) County Jail, and former Director of the City of El Paso (Texas) Jail.
After spending his early years in Montreal, Charles Newman returned to the U.S. to attend New York University and then enlisted in the Army in 1943, serving as a medic during World War II in the Pacific on Saipan and Guam. After discharge in November, 1946 he completed Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees at New York University in Correctional Administration. Following graduation he taught at Fairleigh Dickinson College and then was a field director with the American Red Cross in Rhode Island and then at Fort Knox, KY. He was then invited to teach at the University of North Dakota, where he introduced a criminology course. He also served as a consultant to help relocate Native American children from the reservation school to surrounding communities due to closing of the Fort Bethold Reservation to make way for the Garrison Dam project.
In 1955, he went to Florida State University where helped establish a Corrections degree program. In 1959, he returned to Kentucky, joining the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work, where he introduced a specialty in Correctional Social Work. He served on Kentucky Commissions relating to the Criminal Justice System, and helped to organize the KY Council on Crime and Delinquency. He also organized and directed National Institutes on Probation and Parole Supervision at the University of Louisville. In 1966, he was invited to Pennsylvania State University to design and create a curriculum in Law Enforcement and Corrections. He also established the Police Executive Training Program for senior local and state law enforcement officials and for a period of time directed the National Jail Resources Institute. He continued these activities until retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1977.
In 1978 he was invited as a visiting professor at the University of Texas, Arlington, which set the stage for his activities of the next several decades. He was asked by Judge Sarah Hughes to monitor and consult with the Dallas County, TX jails, which were under Federal Court Jurisdiction. The next year Judge Hughes ordered that he take over as Director of the jail system, which he did until it was released from Federal oversight in 1980. During his tenure, operations were reorganized, a number of inmate training programs were introduced and a new facility for low risk prisoners was opened. From their he went to El Paso, TX, where he reorganized jail operations, expanded inmate housing and assisted in planning a new jail. In 1985, he returned to Louisville, where he created a national criminal justice planning and consulting business, which provided assistance to county and state governments on planning, and to architects on cost effective jail design, which led to the construction of modern jails across the country.
He wrote, edited and contributed to 19 books and numerous articles and research reports. He created and edited the journal Criminologica for the American Society of Criminology, of which he later served as President. The journal was later renamed Criminology, and he returned as editor.
Dr. Newman received numerous awards for his research and scholarship, including Fellow of the American Society for the advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and the Western Society of Criminology. He was given the NYU Trustees award for his scholarship. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, American Authors, American Men of Science among others, and was a Kentucky Colonel. His was an active life, well lived.
Joan Petersilia (1951–2019) was a distinguished scholar, policy advisor, President of the American Society of Criminology, and cherished colleague and mentor to too many people to count. To her, even more importantly, she was a loving wife, mother, and sister; a good friend; an engaged community member; and consummate public servant committed to positioning social science analyses front and center when it comes to doing all we can to ensure criminal justice systems better people’s lives, including by delivering justice.
The daughter of an Air Force General and an Army nurse, Joan was born in Pittsburgh, and she earned her BA degree in sociology from Loyola University of Los Angeles in 1972, her MA in sociology from The Ohio State University in 1974, and her PhD in criminology, law and society at the University of California, Irvine in 1990. During an illustrious career spanning over four decades, she was a Senior Researcher and Director of The Criminal Justice Program at RAND (1989-1994); a Professor of Criminology, Law and Society and the Founding Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections at the University of California, Irvine (1992-2009); and The Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law at Stanford University (2009-2018), where she was also the Co-Director of The Stanford Criminal Justice Center. Professor Petersilia was a preeminent scholar and one of the most widely known and respected criminologists in the world. The quality and impact of her work was recognized with the 2014 Stockholm Prize in Criminology, the most prestigious award in criminology (sometimes called “The Nobel Prize in criminology”).
Joan’s principal scholarly focus was on the workings of the criminal justice system, including how it processes people, how it makes decisions about various sanctions, and the consequences of those decisions for both society and those punished. Although her voluminous body of work covered a range of topics, from probation, prosecutorial decisions, criminal careers, and the processing of vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities, she is best known for her innovative work on sentencing, community corrections, and prisoner reentry. Her work on these and other issues focused on improving the corrections system through program evaluation and policy relevant research; in fact, she referred to herself as “an embedded criminologist” as a way of emphasizing that her professional pursuits as a researcher and scholar required her to effectively work from within the criminal justice system.
With an applied interest as her guide, Joan often was ahead of the times. Beginning her research career at RAND in 1974, she was one of the first criminologists to recognize community corrections as an important area for research and to conduct large-scale empirical studies in this area. Beginning in the mid-1980s, much of her research focused on assessing the impact of community-based punishments on offender behavior and public safety. Her research in this area includes a number of specific program evaluations, including evaluations of intensive supervision, electronic monitoring, day fines, drug testing, and work release. With her colleague Susan Turner, she pioneered the use of the experimental paradigm in real-world criminal justice settings to assess the impact of intensive supervision. In a related line of empirical work, she examined the effects of diverting people from prison to intermediate sanctions. This research focused on such questions as how much prison populations could be decreased by diverting specific classes of offenders to community corrections, and how much crime that group would be expected to commit if left at large.
In the late 1990s, Joan turned her attention to a new line of research by focusing on the way in which the justice system deals with individuals with developmental disabilities. Her work along these lines broke new ground by demonstrating that people with developmental disabilities are disproportionately likely to be involved in the criminal justice system as both victims of crime and people who commit crime, and the inability of the system to understand their special needs and problems is a significant public policy problem. As a result of growing national interest in this topic, the U.S. Congress passed the “Crime Victims with Disabilities Awareness Act,” signed by President Clinton in 1998. The Act mandated a National Research Council panel on the topic. Joan was appointed chair of that panel, and in that role she co-wrote the final report, “Crime Victims with Developmental Disabilities,” which was published and distributed by the National Academy of Sciences (2001). Also at the turn of the century, Joan was once again ahead of her time when she directed scholarly and policy attention to what is now commonly called “the prisoner re-entry problem.” As prison populations swelled in the United States, she led the way in understanding two aspects of prisoners’ re-entry into the community: (1) the consequences of releasing large numbers of formerly incarcerated people into communities, and (2) determining what types of re-entry programs are most effective. Related to this concern, she wrote a review essay commissioned by the National Institute of Justice, “Parole and Prisoner Reentry” that also appeared as a chapter in her co-edited book, Prisons (1999). Thereafter, in her (now classic) book titled When Prisoners Come Home (2003), she utilized both qualitative and quantitative data to critically examine the prisoner reentry problem. The Public Interest explained, this book provides a “masterful synthesis” and “sensible recommendations” about how to best address the challenges of re-entry for prisoners and communities.
Throughout her career, Professor Petersilia was called upon by government officials to lead efforts to reform the criminal justice system. For example, she was tapped by the California State Legislature to chair an expert panel on correctional reform in California and thereafter by the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to chair a strike team charged with the implementation of California Assembly Bill 900, also known as the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007. For this work, the Governor formally thanked Professor Petersilia for bringing systematic evidence to bear on correctional reform and significantly influencing his thinking about prison and parole reform in California. Her influence on California policy over the years was substantial and consequential. Former California Governor Jerry Brown shared that "Joan was a giant intellect whose contributions to improving our criminal justice system are immense and will thankfully survive us all. I was honored to know and work with her."
Likewise, Professor Petersilia’s work has been recognized by a plethora of research and service awards from diverse audiences, including academic societies, community groups, practitioner organizations, and government agencies. As just two examples, she was an elected Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and she received its Vollmer Award for scholarship and professional activities that have made outstanding contributions to justice or to the treatment or prevention of criminal or delinquent behavior.
Over the course of her career, Professor Petersilia did not assume that social science research, however well done, will miraculously find its way to public policy makers; thus, she routinely worked with lawmakers, law enforcement agencies, and corrections officials on issues surrounding criminal justice reform. For example, she testified before both the California Legislature and the U.S. Congress on issues pertaining to crime victims with disabilities and parole, successfully encouraging new legislation in these areas; she participated in the National Institute of Justice’s Executive Sessions on Sentencing and Corrections with a group of officials who met quarterly to discuss policy issues; she briefed hundreds of organizations on her research on community corrections, crime and disabilities, and prisoner re-entry problems; and, most recently, she served as the leading expert for many stakeholders, including the governor, on the implementation of California’s Public Safety Realignment Law of 2011 (A.B. 109), the state’s historic attempt to downsize prisons, enhance rehabilitation, and protect public safety.
Joan enjoyed a national and international reputation among scholars, policymakers, and practitioners alike as someone who effectively takes research beyond the walls of academe and into the belly of the criminal justice system, especially corrections. Always asking policy-relevant questions, she was greatly respected for her ability to analyze highly politicized issues in a fair, impartial, and data-driven manner and to cast light on such issues by utilizing rigorous empirical research. For this reason, she is easily recognized as one of the most applauded and decorated applied criminologists in both the United States and abroad.
One of Joan’s mentors, Peter Greenwood, commented that “Joan was well organized and a self-starter from the day she started at RAND. She always had a clear idea of where she was headed and how to get there. As soon as something appears on her ‘to do’ list, she is up at 5 a.m. hammering away on it.” Those who know Joan best would agree and attest to the fact that her passion for the work she did was fueled by the sheer love of doing criminological research and an unwavering commitment to escorting research into arenas where it can make a difference in the lives of real people, families and communities, especially those who most suffer from policies and practices that can be improved by evidence-based considerations. Her compassion for others knew no bounds; it motivated her dogged work ethic and insatiable desire to “get it right.” Likewise, she took great pleasure and pride in cultivating this passion and commitment in others, including her many law students and Ph.D. students over the decades. Indeed, toward the end of her life, she often remarked on how she found inspiration in her students and took great pride in their many accomplishments, knowing they represent the future.
Joan passed away on September 23, 2019, following a hard-fought battle against ovarian cancer. She was 68 and is survived by her husband, Stephen Richard Thomas, her sons Jeffrey Ramme Petersilia and Kyle Gregory Petersilia; her two sisters Margaret (Peggy) Ann Johnson (Douglas) and Jeanne Cora Sydenstricker (Robert Michael), nephews Stephen Michael Sydenstricker and Brent Ramme Sydentstricker, and nieces Lindsay Rosewater Sacco, Andrea Michelle Johnson and Stacy Johnson Kassover. Remembrances may be made to Santa Barbara Special Olympics (281 Magnolia Ave Suite #200, Goleta, CA 93117), a group which held a special place in Joan’s heart.
Michael Gottfredson, University of California,
Irvine Valerie Jenness, University of California,
Irvine Jodi Lane, University of Florida
Mona Lynch, University of California, Irvine
FRANK R. SCARPITTI
The field of criminology mourns the loss of Frank R. Scarpitti, who passed away on February 28, 2019. He was 82. Frank was born in Butler, PA and moved to Cleveland, Ohio at age 11. He attended junior and senior high school in Cleveland and graduated from Cleveland State University in 1958. He immediately entered graduate school at The Ohio State University, receiving his Ph.D. Degree in sociology in 1962. Although trained in criminology, his first professional position was as director of one of the first community mental health research studies, testing the efficacy of home care for schizophrenic patients. This research was published in the book Schizophrenics in the Community, and received the American Psychiatric Association's Hofhemier Prize for Research in 1967. Thus began a 44-year career of teaching, research and writing.
After spending four years on the faculty of Rutgers University, he accepted an associate professorship at the University of Delaware in 1967, moving his wife and young daughter to Radcliffe Drive in Newark, a home he and Ellen never left. Two years later he was promoted to full professor and appointed Chair of the Department of Sociology (later Sociology and Criminal Justice). He served in that position for 17 years over several terms. The year 1969 was also notable because their second child, a son, Jeffrey, was born.
Frank was a prolific scholar and writer, authoring, coauthoring or editing 19 books and over 60 articles and chapters. He researched and wrote on mental health, crime, delinquency, corrections, deviant behavior, social problems, drug treatment and the role of organized crime in illegal waste disposal. His coauthored book, Poisoning for Profit, was widely cited by legal and legislative officials as the impetus for legal action designed to curb unlawful waste dumping. He was recognized nationally by being elected President of the American Society of Criminology as well as holding various offices in several other professional organizations. In 1981, he was elected Fellow in the American Society of Criminology, in recognition of his scholarly contribution to the intellectual life of the discipline.
Frank was also committed to the University of Delaware, particularly to ensuring a climate of equality. In 1968, he was appointed by the University President to Chair the Advisory Committee on Policies, Programs, and Services Affecting Blacks and Other Minority Group Students. The committee was tasked with recommending policies to improve the campus climate for minority students. They presented their recommendations in what became known as The Scarpitti Report, which had a large influence on policies designed to increase recruitment of minority students and faculty, and also ensure their representation on the Board of Trustees.
In 2006, Frank was named the Edward and Elizabeth Rosenberg Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice and received the Francis Alison Award, the University of Delaware's highest faculty honor. Despite his various honors and awards, he was proudest of the many graduate students with whom he worked and who have assumed a variety of academic and governmental positions. Nearly 50 of them returned to Newark to attend his retirement celebration. In Frank’s honor as a graduate student mentor, the Frank Scarpitti Graduate Student Award is presented annually to a graduate student in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. It is still not uncommon for faculty and students alike to ask, “What would Frank do?” when challenging issues arise.
The most important sphere of Frank’s life was his family. Frank was a devoted husband and father, participating with Susan and Jeffrey in a variety of activities as they passed through their childhood and teenage years. For over 20 summers, the family moved to its farm in Pennsylvania, where they adopted a simpler lifestyle focused on the outdoors and the wonders of nature. For Frank, these were perhaps the happiest years of his life. Although he worked a great deal, he always had time for baseball, mystery novels, and old western movies, a subject he often lectured on.
He will be remembered as a kind, caring person, often generous to a fault, who once said he wanted to be remembered as a "good man." His family and friends believe he achieved his goal. A memorial service will be held at a future date. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ellen Canfield Scarpitti; a daughter, Susan Scarpitti Newstrom, son-in-law, George; daughter-in-law, Lisa Scarpitti; granddaughter, Alyssa Padilla and her children Bella and Matthew Castro; sister, Rita Bournique; brother Ronald; and various nieces and nephews. He was pre deceased by his son, Jeffrey, parents Frank and Geneva Scarpitti, brother Louis, and sister, Alice Lazor.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his honor to the University of Delaware, Gift Processing, 83 E. Main St., 3rd Floor, Newark, DE 19716, including in the check memo line “Frank Scarpitti Graduate Student Award in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.” Gifts can also be made on the University of Delaware secure website, www.udel.edu/makeagift and including the same designation. To send online condolences, visit www.stranofeeley.com.
BENJAMIN M. STEINER
Benjamin M. Steiner passed away on January 22, 2019 at the age of 43 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Ben was born on March 3, 1975 to Kathy (Jarolimek) and Stan Steiner in Bismarck, North Dakota where he also spent his formative years of schooling.
Ben received his B.S. in Sociology from North Dakota State University in 1997 and worked as a youth counselor and juvenile probation officer in Idaho. Ben earned a M.A. in Criminal Justice from Boise State University in 2002 and received his Ph.D. in 2008 from the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. He was an assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina from 2008-12 and promoted to associate professor rank in 2012. He joined the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2012 and earned full professor rank in 2017.
Over the course of his short career, Ben became one of the nation’s leading scholars of institutional corrections. He was awarded the Young Scholar Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ Juvenile Justice Section in 2009, the Distinguished New Scholar Award by the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Corrections and Sentencing in 2012, and the Outstanding Research Award by the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2012. He amassed over one million dollars in state and federal grants while producing two books, 60+ journal articles, numerous book chapters, project reports, and monographs. A great deal of his work involved partnerships with local and state corrections institutions in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Ohio. Many of his publications and research projects also involved students who called him an outstanding mentor.
Ben’s scholarship contributions were exceptional in depth and rigor. Always at the forefront in his field, his accumulated knowledge on causes of prisoner misconduct and victimization, consequences of in-prison misconduct and the sanctioning of offenders, and sources of correctional officers’ behaviors and attitudes toward prisoners have influenced the trajectories of many criminal justice scholars.
To those who knew him well, Ben was funny, witty, passionate, and warm-hearted. In his spare time, he renovated his 100-year old home, planned family vacations, cooked great meals, exercised, and played card games. He enjoyed traveling to new places – preferably with water or mountains. Ben’s professional and personal life had great meaning and he will be deeply missed by all those who knew him.
Ben leaves behind his beloved wife Emily (Wright), whom he met and married while they were both doctoral students at the University of Cincinnati. He was a devoted husband and wonderful father to their son, John. Ben is survived by parents Kathy Jarolimek (Ken) in Bismarck, North Dakota and Stan Steiner (Joy) in Jackson, Wyoming. Brothers and sisters: Keith Jarolimek (Kim), Colorado Springs, Co; Kristy Owens (Eric), Lincoln, North Dakota; Angie O’Hara (James), Yuma, AZ; Matthew Jarolimek (Christy), Minneapolis, MN; Lea Steiner and Avi Steiner, Boise, ID. Ben also leaves behind two grandmothers: Angela Jarolimek, Fargo, ND and Jane Berryman, Guthrie, OK and many nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts and cousins. He also was preceded in death by his grandparents: Carl and Mary Radloff, John F. and Anna Marie Steiner, Matt Jarolimek, and Oscar Berryman.
A memorial service is being planned in March of 2019. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Corrections and Sentencing “Benjamin Steiner Excellence in Corrections Research Award.” A description of the award can be found here:
Donations can be made online or by check: Make checks payable to the American Society of Criminology and include The Benjamin Steiner Award in the notes. Mail to: American Society of Criminology, 1314 Kinnear Rd., Ste. 212, Columbus, OH 43212
Online donations: https://account.asc41.com/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=3352
Scroll to the bottom to find: You can make a donation online using our donation form. Click on the donation form link, and be directed to a portal where log-in will be required. Non-ASC members must set up a temporary account then can log in and make a tax-deductible donation to Ben’s Award.
Memorials may be sent to the University of Nebraska Foundation to benefit the Dr. Benjamin Steiner Fellowship for Criminal Justice Professionals – 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508
Dr. Stephen Tibbetts passed away unexpectedly on September 10, 2019, at age 49, of natural causes. He is survived by his loving wife, Kim, talented daughter, Rian, and caring parents, Steve and Jane.
Steve graduated with his Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland in 1997. He was an assistant professor at East Tennessee State University from 1996-2000, before joining the faculty at California State University, San Bernardino where he worked for 19 years. Then, in August 2019, Steve joined the faculty at Radford University as Chair of the Criminal Justice Department. During his career, he authored 10 textbooks and over 50 scholarly journal articles. In 2011, he won one of CSUSB’s highest accolades, the “Outstanding Professor Award.”
While there is no doubt Steve had an impressive contribution to the academic world, his impacts on a personal level are the real reason we celebrate his life and mourn his death. The following contributions highlight what Steve meant to us as a friend, colleague, and mentor.
Steve and I started graduate school at the University of Maryland College Park together, took every course together, shared an office, an amazing mentor (Ray Paternoster), ideas, life experiences, and so much more. We were inseparable, bonded by our love of criminology, football, sports, Marathon Deli, and too many other things to name here. Steve’s mind never turned-off. Studying for comps at a restaurant every Friday afternoon, we would talk theory, policy, theory, methods for hours on end. We came up with so many ideas talking about comps, and actually drafted a survey on the balcony of LeFrak Hall that turned up to be one of our first but best publications on rational choice and individual differences in Justice Quarterly.
But the work was not all that mattered. It was our personal bond. Everyone knows what it is like to go through graduate school, but then there is the personal life as well. Relationships, children, pets, moving, travel, music, Tacos for Everyone (inside joke, ask me in person)—things that are what make us who we are as people. We shared and relied on one another for a lot, some good some bad, but that is what made our friendship one that I have always cherished. Just this past summer, Steve was in Dallas and wanted to have lunch. So, I took him to Twisted Root Burgers, a place in Deep Ellum that Guy Fieri once profiled on Divers, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Why? Because that is how Steve and I rolled. “Foo-Foo” was not in his vocabulary, unless it was the Foo Fighters, but I digress.
Steve left behind an awesome criminological legacy. But that pales in comparison to the people he left behind. His wife, Kim, who I met early on when they were dating, lost her husband. Their amazing, volleyball-star daughter Rian lost a father. His parents lost their son. And I lost a best friend. But I really didn’t lose. I gained 27 years of a friendship that made me a better person than I was before that. ~Alex R. Piquero
After many years in academia, we are grateful for having the colleague who we also consider a dear friend, someone special in our lives. Steve was one of those exceptional colleagues, a dear friend, to me. I will miss our conversations. Those who knew Steve, appreciate that those conversations could range from how much snow he was shoveling, thoughts on why SEC was so wonderful (I’m Big 10), to his favorite episodes of Law and Order. Steve always expressed such joy and pride when talking about the special loves in his life – his wife, Kim; his daughter, Rian, and his mom and dad, Jane and Steve.
Steve was one of those colleagues that I could go to when I needed to discuss a possible project, advice on how to handle a situation, or just to “vent.” He seemed to always have a way of making things seem better. He was known by many of us in the department to share odd or strange crime stories. For me, he would enjoy sharing some crazy cat news story. By the way, Steve did not really like cats so you can imagine the type of stories he would share.
Steve has made a significant, and lasting, impact in the field of criminology in so many ways. But he has impacted so many people, not just as a criminologist, but as Stephen Tibbetts. He was a wonderful husband, father, son, and dear friend. I will miss him.
I first met Steve about 13 years ago when I was an undergraduate student at Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB). Almost immediately I knew there was something special about him. He was confident, creative, and had a special way of blending academic rigor with fun. Steve used to take great joy in presenting the most absurd news stories he could find in class. He was quite the trendsetter, as he was undertaking this activity far before the “Florida man” trend/meme made its way into the mainstream. This is just one example of the countless ways that Steve would seamlessly inject his personality into his classes. Steve was magnetic. I ended up taking several of his classes during my undergraduate career and our more formal interactions eventually spilled over into discussions about research, movies, food, music, traveling, and various other topics.
When I eventually reached my senior year at CSUSB, Steve urged me to consider the grad program at CSUSB, and I ended up taking his advice. Soon after, I got my first real taste for research and was quickly enamored. Without question, this blossoming passion was also fostered by working more closely with Steve, who eventually chaired my master’s thesis. I remember heading to Steve’s office on numerous occasions to get a signature or ask a quick question, and the next thing you’d know two hours had passed and we would be breaking down the underlying philosophical principles expressed in The Big Lebowski, summarizing the best lunch spots in Huntington Beach, or outlining plans for future road trips. These talks, without any question, changed my life. During these interactions, Steve and I also talked about ideas, perspectives, and aspirations that ultimately shaped the next ten years of my life.
Steve was a mentor, an advocate, and a sage advisor. But above all else, he was a great husband, who loved and cared deeply about his wife, Kim. A doting father, who beamed with pride and marveled at the beautiful, intelligent woman his daughter, Rian, has become. And a caring and loyal friend who I am happy I was able to share some of the most important experiences of my life with. Losing my friend and mentor has been devastating, but I will be forever grateful for the time I was fortunate enough to share with Steve. I know my life will never be the same, and I’m far better off because of it.
~Joseph A. Schwartz
When I started as an assistant professor at CSUSB in 2007, Steve was assigned as my faculty mentor. My first impression was that Steve was the nicest, most down-to-earth academic I had ever met. Twelve years later and I still believe that to be true. Steve was jarringly – and refreshingly – honest; he told me what I needed to know, he never sugar-coated anything. Steve, at times, seemingly didn’t have much of a filter either, but he had a charm about him that just made it all work so well; he was just so damn personable! In that respect, he was the best faculty mentor I could ever ask for.
Over the years, these traits remained constant. I can’t even begin to recall all of the times I went to Steve for advice, to chat about the past weekend’s Gator football game, to talk about Rian’s most recent volleyball tournament, or to simply complain and conspire on a plethora of work and life related situations.
Steve was always there for me. He was always my strongest supporter at work. He encouraged me and guided me on handling so many situations. One thing I admired most about Steve was his ability to get along with everyone. He had a unique ability to be on everyone’s side in work “discussions” at any given time regardless of how many sides there actually were. I learned a lot from Steve over the years and I am better for having known him. And I am now at a profound loss, as is far too often the case, because I never stopped to thank him for simply being himself and for how much he impacted my career and life until it was too late to tell him in person.