Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University

Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University The department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University is a top-ranked program offering BA/BS, MA, and PhD degrees in Criminology, Law and Society and an MS degree in Criminal Justice.
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Campus Location 354 Enterprise Hall

Mission: The mission of the Department of Criminology, Law and Society is to provide a rich educational experience for our students and to generate research and scholarship that informs public policy and criminal justice system practice. At the undergraduate level, our mission is to provide students with a strong foundation in a liberal arts education through focused study on the justice system. We aim to develop in our students a critical understanding of the criminal justice system and how that system relates to broader ideas and ideals of justice, equality and human rights. Our goal is to encourage students to go beyond narrow technical topics to grasp the larger role of the criminal justice system in society. Our graduates should have a broad perspective on the justice system, as well as the competence needed to compete effectively and advance in their chosen field, be it criminal justice, human services, homeland security, or graduate study in the social sciences in law. At the graduate level, our mission is to instill in students the ability to apply academic expertise to crime and justice problems and enable our students to become the future generation of leaders in the fields of criminology, and law and society. Thus, we seek to translate scholarly research to policy and practice, both within the criminal justice system and in the broader society. Students will become researchers, teachers, and policy experts in academia, government, and private organizations. There are growing needs for broadly trained justice experts, and our graduate program is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue a successful, advanced career in the justice field in both academic and applied settings.

In a recent article published in The New Yorker, CLS professor David Weisburd counsels against simplistic approaches for...
01/10/2020
The Trouble with Crime Statistics

In a recent article published in The New Yorker, CLS professor David Weisburd counsels against simplistic approaches for identifying crime causation.

It’s surprisingly hard to say what makes crime go up or down.

So proud of all our December 2019 graduates! Below is a story about one CLS student, and the influence courses with prof...
12/20/2019
Kathryn Yeargin: Pursuing a Future in Law and Justice

So proud of all our December 2019 graduates! Below is a story about one CLS student, and the influence courses with professor Andrew Novak had on her career plans.

Legal studies has been an objective for Kathryn from the time she applied to Mason, and it led to her interest in criminology. She was motivated to...

Criminology, law and society professor Danielle Rudes believes that anyone willing to put in the work should be given th...
12/11/2019
Teaching model gets students out of the classroom and into the field | George Mason

Criminology, law and society professor Danielle Rudes believes that anyone willing to put in the work should be given the opportunity to conduct research and gain experience in their field. That’s why she started a lab specifically for undergraduate research.

George Mason University, the largest and most diverse public university in Virginia, is conducting a comprehensive search for its next president.

George Mason University’s Cynthia Lum is among the 12 educators from around the state honored as recipients of the 2020 ...
12/10/2019
Cynthia Lum named one of SCHEV’s Outstanding Faculty for 2020 | George Mason

George Mason University’s Cynthia Lum is among the 12 educators from around the state honored as recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

George Mason University, the largest and most diverse public university in Virginia, is conducting a comprehensive search for its next president.

David Weisburd, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and Executive Director of the ...
12/10/2019
David Weisburd Wins Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Policing

David Weisburd, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and Executive Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Criminology (ASC)’s Division of Policing at the Division of Policing.

David Weisburd, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and Executive Director of the Center for Evidence-Based...

12/10/2019

Congrats to PhD student Heather Prince, who has won the ACJS Juvenile Justice & Delinquency section’s Student Paper Award! She will be honored at the annual meeting in San Antonio for her paper “Anti-Bully Legislation: Effects for Youth in United States Schools.”

CLS Professor Andrew Novak's new book is about the role human rights lawyers play in developing international law throug...
10/25/2019
Transnational Human Rights Litigation - Challenging the Death Penalty and Criminalization of Homosexuality in the Commonwealth | Andrew Novak | Springer

CLS Professor Andrew Novak's new book is about the role human rights lawyers play in developing international law through courtroom advocacy and litigation. Using the examples of gay rights and death penalty abolition, the book describes the human rights networks in the English-speaking world that help spur law reform and social change.

The book analyzes the role of strategic human rights litigation in the dissemination and migration of transnational constitutional norms and provides an analysis of how transnational human rights advocates have used international and foreign law to promote e.g. decriminalization of homosexuality....

Criminology, Law and Society's Allison Redlich discusses the psychology behind false confessions in this article.
10/04/2019
Tyler's stolen youth: Compensating the wrongly convicted

Criminology, Law and Society's Allison Redlich discusses the psychology behind false confessions in this article.

Tyler Edmonds was 13 years old when he confessed to a murder he didn't commit. Two decades on he still pays the price.

Have a favorite Criminology, Law and Society professor? Nominate them for a Teaching Excellence Award!  Deadline is Mond...
10/04/2019
Teaching Excellence | Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning

Have a favorite Criminology, Law and Society professor? Nominate them for a Teaching Excellence Award! Deadline is Monday, 10/7.

Outstanding teaching is an integral part of Mason’s mission and is deserving of significant recognition. The Teaching Excellence Awards are both institutional recognition and a monetary acknowledgment of the significant work that faculty members devote to course planning and preparation; curriculu...

10/01/2019

Criminology, Law & Society senior Jordan Burkhardt is the 2019 recipient of the CHSS Senior of the Year Award and Jenniffer Andino Cruz was selected as runner-up. This award honors a graduating senior from the college for their outstanding contributions in the areas of academic excellence, leadership, and service to the college, university, and community.

Throughout Jordan’s undergraduate career, she has demonstrated service to the university community and commitment to her education. She is a Police Cadet, having been promoted to Cadet Sergeant. She is also an Assistant Community Director within Housing and Residence Life and serves as a Peer Advocate within the Student Support and Advocacy Center. This year, she has an internship with the Department of State. Previously, she participated in the University of Oxford semester exchange where she conducted research on counterterrorism and victimization. Jordan plans to graduate in Spring 2020.

Jenniffer has actively conducted research for the past three years. Much of her research focuses on the Latino community. As part of the CLS honors program, Jenniffer explored the effect of context manipulation on the disclosure of false confessions based on gender. She is actively involved in numerous campus organizations, including the Intelligence Community Club, Hispanic Student Association, and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Jenniffer plans to graduate in Fall 2019.

The Department congratulates both students on their successes at the university and their accomplishments during their undergraduate careers!

Jordan’s and Jenniffer’s accomplishments will be acknowledged during the CHSS Celebration of Achievement on Thursday, October 17th.

Exonerated: A History of the Innocence Movement, written by CLS professor Robert Norris, was included on the Innocence P...
09/27/2019
Innocence Project's 2019 wrongful conviction reading guide

Exonerated: A History of the Innocence Movement, written by CLS professor Robert Norris, was included on the Innocence Project's 2019 recommended reading list.

In honor of back to school time, the Innocence Project team is sharing our list of must-read books, articles and media to expand your knowledge about wrongful conviction.

Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy recently hosted a congressional briefing on mass shootings led by CLS pro...
09/27/2019
Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy leads congressional briefing on mass shootings | George Mason

Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy recently hosted a congressional briefing on mass shootings led by CLS professors Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper, along with colleague Daniel Nagin of Carnegie Mellon University.

With 37,000 students from all 50 states and 130 countries and a residential population of more than 6,000 students Mason is a vibrant and dynamic community of scholars.

09/27/2019

The Department of Criminology, Law and Society is delighted to welcome Dr. Evan Lowder to the tenure-track faculty at Mason!

Dr. Lowder received her PhD in psychology from North Carolina State University. Her research interests focus on strategies to reduce offending and improve behavioral health outcomes among justice-involved adults. Prof. Lowder is teaching Criminal Courts this semester.

CLS professor and former asst attorney general Laurie Robinson quoted about peer-review practices in the Office of Justi...
09/09/2019
Union says Trump appointee may be improperly influencing Justice...

CLS professor and former asst attorney general Laurie Robinson quoted about peer-review practices in the Office of Justice Programs: "I never once in 10 years selected a peer reviewer; that is how it should be."

A unit of the largest U.S. public employees union has filed a complaint with the...

"Focus is the key aspect," said David Weisburd, a professor of criminology at George Mason University who has spent deca...
09/09/2019
Baton Rouge leaders tout targeted approach to illegal guns; 127 confiscated this summer

"Focus is the key aspect," said David Weisburd, a professor of criminology at George Mason University who has spent decades studying where crimes occur and why. "One of the great failings of police agencies is focusing on a whole neighborhood and saturating all the streets. People in that neighborhood now feel like they live in a police state, even though there's probably only a few streets where crime is occurring."

Baton Rouge police have embraced a targeted approach to fighting crime — focusing on individual street corners and addresses — during an initiative this summer that resulted in several hundred

The second edition of the Handbook of Police Psychology, edited by CLS instructor Jack Kitaeff, is now available.
09/05/2019
Handbook of Police Psychology

The second edition of the Handbook of Police Psychology, edited by CLS instructor Jack Kitaeff, is now available.

New research from CLS professor Sue-Ming Yang (with colleagues Jennifer Carson and Laura Dugan) finds that eco-terrorism...
09/04/2019
A Comprehensive Application of Rational Choice Theory: How Costs Imposed by, and Benefits Derived from, the U.S. Federal Government Affect Incidents Perpetrated by the Radical Eco-Movement

New research from CLS professor Sue-Ming Yang (with colleagues Jennifer Carson and Laura Dugan) finds that eco-terrorism incidents decline when government actions increase the costs of perpetration.

Objectives In this study, we examine the effect of both the costs and benefits of perpetration, along with the rewards of abstention, on the behavior of a uniquely rational, yet frequent perpetrator...

Professor James Willis and grad student Heather Toronjo's new article explores three obstacles to evidence-based policy ...
09/03/2019
Translating police research into policy: some implications of the National Academies report on proactive policing for policymakers and researchers

Professor James Willis and grad student Heather Toronjo's new article explores three obstacles to evidence-based policy making in policing: the mistrust of science; the paucity of cost-efficiency analyses; and the challenge of managing competing values.

(2019). Translating police research into policy: some implications of the National Academies report on proactive policing for policymakers and researchers. Police Practice and Research. Ahead of Print.

New publication written by CLS doctoral students on translational criminology! In their review, Nichols, Wire, Wu, Sloan...
08/28/2019
Translational criminology and its importance in policing: a review

New publication written by CLS doctoral students on translational criminology! In their review, Nichols, Wire, Wu, Sloan & Scherer explore the roles of researcher practitioner partnerships, policy, technology, and government in developing and sustaining translational efforts in policing.

(2019). Translational criminology and its importance in policing: a review. Police Practice and Research. Ahead of Print.

CLS Prof Chris Koper's research on the potential for large-capacity magazine prohibitions and their ability to yield red...
08/19/2019
As mass shootings rise, experts say high-capacity magazines should be the focus

CLS Prof Chris Koper's research on the potential for large-capacity magazine prohibitions and their ability to yield reductions in mass-shooting deaths and injuries is cited in this article.

Limiting the number of bullets in gun magazines won’t stop mass attacks, but it could bring down their death tolls, experts say.

CLS Professor Laurie Robinson weighs in on federal prison staffing concerns in the following article.
08/19/2019
After Epstein's death, long-standing complaints about prison staffing draw new attention

CLS Professor Laurie Robinson weighs in on federal prison staffing concerns in the following article.

Attorney General William Barr said Monday “serious irregularities” have been uncovered at the federal facility where accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found dead, but experts and union officials say some conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center that appear to have enab...

Mason's Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy and the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University will host a congressi...
08/19/2019
CEBCP Congressional Briefing, September 17, 2019 | Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy

Mason's Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy and the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University will host a congressional briefing to bring the most up-to-date research on the mass shootings to the U.S. Capitol. Details in the link below.

CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFINGCountering Mass Shootings in the U.S.Tuesday, September 17, 2019 10:00am – 12:15pmDirksen Senate Office Building, Room SD-106, U.S. Capitol, Washington DC

CLS professors Cynthia Lum and Chris Koper, new editors of the journal Criminology & Public Policy, were interviewed abo...
08/19/2019
Interview with Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper, new Editors in Chief of Criminology & Public Policy - Sociology Lens

CLS professors Cynthia Lum and Chris Koper, new editors of the journal Criminology & Public Policy, were interviewed about their goals to extend knowledge exchange with criminal justice practitioners, policymakers and community members.

Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper, new Editors in Chief of Criminology & Public Policy 1. Congratulations on being appointed the new editors of Criminology & Public Policy (CPP). As you begin your term, what is your broad vision for the future of the journal? We are thrilled to be selected as the ne...

CLS Prof Cynthia Lum led a review of 70 studies of body-worn cameras (BWCs) and found that expectations and concerns sur...
08/19/2019
What Body Cams Do: Behavior, Accountability and Trust

CLS Prof Cynthia Lum led a review of 70 studies of body-worn cameras (BWCs) and found that expectations and concerns surrounding BWCs among police leaders and citizens have not yet been realized by and large in the ways anticipated by each.

Five years after the killing of Michael Brown, has the widespread adoption of body-worn cameras by U.S. police departments changed the factors that led to his death, and the subsequent protests?

According to CLS Prof David Weisburd in this article, the key to successful proactive policing is maximizing its impact ...
08/19/2019
Who Will Hold the Police Accountable?

According to CLS Prof David Weisburd in this article, the key to successful proactive policing is maximizing its impact on crime while minimizing the harm it inflicts on people and improving community trust.

When a Nashville officer killed a black man, his mother and other activists didn’t just seek an indictment—they fought to give citizens oversight of the whole police department.

Mason's Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE) will serve as the coordination and translation center for the...
07/26/2019
NIH establishes network to improve opioid addiction treatment in criminal justice settings

Mason's Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE) will serve as the coordination and translation center for the new JCOIN network, which the National Institute of Health has established to improve opioid addiction treatment in criminal justice settings.

ACE will be responsible for the management of logistics, engagement with practitioners and other key stakeholders in the justice and behavioral health fields, and dissemination of products and key research findings. It will also conduct research to identify effective dissemination strategies for reaching criminal justice stakeholders and provide funding for rapid turnaround innovative pilot studies. An educational component will provide outreach and mentorship to researchers and practitioners working in justice settings.

Read more about the JCOIN network in the article below.

Ten clinical research centers will address gaps in accessing high-quality care.

Several members of the Turkish National Police studied in our program. CLS prof and former dept chair David Wilson is a ...
07/24/2019
Open Letter in Support of Turkish National Police Leaders Who Studied in United States – Letters - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Several members of the Turkish National Police studied in our program. CLS prof and former dept chair David Wilson is a signatory on this Open Letter in Support of Turkish National Police Leaders Who Studied in United States.

July 22, 2019 Open Letter in Support of Turkish National Police Leaders Who Studied in United States To the Editor: Between 1999 and 2014 over 400 up-and-coming leaders in the Turkish National Police came to the United States for graduate studies, including 235 who enrolled in Ph.D. programs. They w...

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4400 University Drive, MS 4F4
Fairfax, VA
22030

General information

For information about the Department or its undergraduate degrees, please contact [email protected] For information about the graduate program, please contact [email protected]

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:00
Thursday 08:30 - 17:00
Friday 08:30 - 17:00

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(703) 993-8315

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