Department News

Lesslie Kennedy, Ismail Onat, Joel Caplin

   Dr. Ismail Onat , Assistant Professor of The Sociology/Criminal Justice& Criminology Department at the University of Scranton, received The 2019 RCPS Kaleidoscope Award. The Rutgers Center on Public Security (RCPS) presents the Kaleidoscope Award each year to a recipient who has demonstrated innovative applications of Risk Terrain Modeling that advance research and practice for the public good. Dr. Onat has advanced Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM)through innovative applications to terrorism, drugs and crime analysis from an international perspective. He incorporates professional judgment into risk analysis and research projects that are place-based and actionable, and has demonstrated a unique ability to help practitioners maximize local resources and expertise to solve problems. This is exemplified in his participation with The Center for the Analysis and Prevention of Crime—housed in the University of Scranton’s Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Criminology department—where he combines his RTM knowledge with practitioner insight and student learning to enhance the technological and analytical capabilities of students, police officers, and other criminal justice agencies in the regional community.

International Justice Course

Dr. Harry Dammer, along with his students, traveled to Europe for a Special Topic course called "International Justice". The goal for this course was to see first hand how international justice agencies operate and to learn how law and criminal justice is practiced in Civil law/Continental law countries. 

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  • Visiting the police station in Leuven, Belgium.Zaanstad prison, the Netherlands where the students toured and attended 2 masses with the inmates. The students compared international justice systems with American justice systems.
  • The United Nations Office in Brussels, Belgium for the European Union. In this particular branch the assembly focuses primarily on financial matters, evaluations, and developmental strategies.
  • Students at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands where they had the opportunity to sit in on the hearing of Ongwen, who is being charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ICC deals with cases of genocide, war crimes, acts of aggression, and crimes against humanity.
  • Taking a break from studying and getting the opportunity to visit the North Sea!
  • University of Scranton students after attending lectures at the Katholik University of Leuven.

Scranton’s Criminal Justice Program Receives Prestigious Certification

The University of Scranton joins just nine other colleges in the nation with criminal justice programs certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The University’s criminal justice bachelor’s degree program received notice of certification by the Academy in February. The certification extends until 2026.

The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) certification is designed to evaluate evidence-based compliance that meets or exceeds all academic standards set by the ACJS executive board for associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s level criminal justice programs. The certification is based on outcome assessment of evidence of a program’s quality and effectiveness. ACJS academic certification standards assess the program’s mission, structure and curriculum, faculty, admissions, student services, integrity, quality and effectiveness, and outcomes for graduates leading to employment or graduate study, among other factors.

“This achievement did not happen overnight. It developed over a period of years due to our dedicated faculty, past and present, as well an administration who has supported our numerous departmental initiatives,” said Harry Dammer, Ph.D., professor and chair of the University’s Sociology, Criminal Justice and Criminology Department, who orchestrated the certification process for the program. 

The ACJS is an international association with more than 2,800 members that fosters professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justices, according to its website. Members represent every state and multiple countries including nearly every institution of higher learning with a criminal justice/criminology program. The association promotes criminal justice education, research and policy analysis for both educators and practitioners.

The University of Scranton offers a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. The University also offers minors in criminal justice and criminology.


Professor Marks End of an Era at Scranton

There is something missing at The University of Scranton in 2016. For the first time since 1942, a Cimini is not teaching. Criminal Justice Professor Joseph F. Cimini, J.D., retired from the University at the end of the 2015 fall semester, after more than 35 years of service. He could be considered a novice compared to his father Frank A. Cimini ’39, who joined the faculty at the University in 1942 and taught in the foreign languages department at Scranton for more than 50 years.

A 1970 graduate of The University of Scranton, Professor Joseph Cimini earned his J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America. He has taught in the Sociology/Criminal Justice Department at the University since 1980.

University of Scranton Criminal Justice Professor Joseph Cimini’s colleagues held a surprise party for him for his retirement from the University after more than 30 years of teaching. From left: University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.; Professor Cimini, Harry Dammer, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Criminology; and Brian Conniff, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

New Applied Sociology Minor

We are happy to introduce the creation of a new Applied Sociology Minor.  Applied sociology refers to when practitioners use sociological theories and methods outside of a university setting in order to answer research questions or problems for specific clientele or to promote social change.  Applied sociology is useful in obtaining accurate statistics documenting a social problem, designing programs to address social issues, and for program/policy evaluation.  Furthermore, the job growth rate for sociologists, including  applied sociologists, is expected to be higher than the average job growth rate.

Students interested in an applied sociology minor, as opposed to a general sociology minor, will need to focus their attention on understanding social organizations and coducting community-based learning projects.

For questions about the Applied Sociology Minor, pelase see Dr. Loreen Wolfer or Dr. Meghan Ashlin-Rich in the Department of Sociology/Criminal Justice & Criminology.

For more information about our department, faculty, majors, and minors, visit our website: