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School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science and Security

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Deputy Commissioner of Community Corrections, Christine M. Gutherz, with the Mississippi Department of Corrections spoke with Dr. Wes Johnson's undergraduate corrections class on October 17th, 2019. She began by explaining the history of corrections and Clintis McCray followed by speaking about recruitment into the Mississippi Department of Corrections.





Hattiesburg Police Department Officer Cinnamon Satcher visited a few of our criminal justice classes to speak about women in law enforcement. We appreciate the opportunity to have HPD officers be present in the classroom and explain their experiences in their career.



Southern Miss undergraduate student Dustin Cooley presented research at the ACJS conference in Baltimore, Maryland. This presentation consisted of his findings and challenges of the 2018 Mississippi Law Enforcement Survey.



Matthew Allen, practicing attorney and doctoral student in Criminal Justice, authored a recent Op-Ed in the Clarion Ledger on the important issues surrounding prison reform and rehabilitation of offenders. We are proud of Matt for his commitment to improving the criminal justice system! 

August 2019 Sergeant Leadership Training Report

Dr. Charles Scheer (USM), Dr. Mike Rossler (Illinois State University), Sergeant Timothy Loso (Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety), Dwayne Orrick (Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police), and Lieutenant Josh Bromen (Gulfport Police Department) co-authored a report that summarizes a three-agency study of sergeant and middle-management leadership training programs to assess fit, scheduling, format, and training content.

October 2018 Police Recruitment Report

Dr. Charles Scheer (USM), Dr. Mike Rossler (Illinois State University), and Chief Leonard Papania (Gulfport Police Department) co-authored a police recruitment report that was highlighted at the International Association of Chiefs of Police 2018 annual conference, as well as Police Executive Research Forum's December 2018 summit meeting on police recruitment. This report summarizes a comprehensive survey of five universities' criminal justice students about their interest in police patrol careers





Drs. Laura Gulledge and Charles Scheer both received awards at the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences awards ceremony. Dr. Gulledge received the College of Arts and Sciences Tenure-Track Teaching Award and Dr. Scheer received the College of Arts and Sciences Advising and Mentoring Award. We are extremely proud of Drs. Gulledge and Scheer and appreciate all they do to invest in our students and strengthen The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security.



Dr. Charles Scheer has received the 2019 IACP Leadership in Law Enforcement Research Award for his innovative work with police agencies. The award will be presented at a ceremony in Chicago this fall. Dr. Scheer has devoted significant time and effort to his research in the areas of leadership and management in policing. His work to involve community partners, such as Gulfport Police Department, continues to yield positive outcomes for our unit and the law enforcement community. Many thanks for your continued hard work, Dr. Scheer!​


Dr. Laura Gulledge, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, received the Lucas Endowment Award for Faculty Excellence at the USM Faculty and Staff Awards ceremony. Established in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Aubrey K. Lucas, the endowment supports annual awards to support faculty excellence in teaching and research.





Dr. Ragan Downey presents Crisis Intervention Training to law enforcement officers around the Pine Belt.




Dr. Laura Gulledge, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, received a certificate for her completion of the first ACUE module at a reception held at The USM Center for Faculty Development on November 30, 2018.  ACUE (Association of College and University Educators) provides professional development opportunities for university faculty designed to improve teaching and instructional practices.  We are proud of Dr. Gulledge and her recent accomplishment. Dr. Alan Thompson completed the ACUE program in 2017 and has received the ACUE Distinguished Teaching Scholar designation.




Dr. Wes Johnson, Professor of Criminal Justice and Doctoral Program Director, was recently honored for his hard work in establishing an annual banquet series at South Carolina State University, an HBCU.  The banquet was designed to provide opportunities for criminal justice majors to connect and interact with  African American practitioners in the field of criminal justice.  The banquet series is still going strong and is now in its 27th year.  Dr. Johnson was recognized for his contributions at the 27th Annual Banquet.  Dr. Johnson taught at SCSU from 1980-1988 and has been with The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science and Security at USM since 2007.  Please join us in congratulating Dr. Johnson for this well-deserved achievement. 




Justice Dawn H. Beam, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, was presented with the Susie Blue Buchanan Award at the 2018 Mississippi Bar Association’s Annual Meeting held in Destin, Florida.  The Award is presented by the Women in the Profession Committee and is named for Susie Blue Buchanan, the first female member of the Mississippi Bar who was admitted to practice in 1918.  Justice Beam was acknowledged for her extensive professional accomplishments and her ongoing service to and promotion of women in the legal profession.  Justice Beam serves as Adjunct Instructor of Criminal Justice at USM within The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science and Security.  Congratulations to Justice Beam on her receipt of this prestigious award.



The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security is proud to share the accomplishment of Dr. Vanessa Woodward-Griffin (Ph.D. Criminal Justice, 2013) who was recently appointed to the role of Associate Dean for the University College at the University of West Georgia. Dr. Woodward-Griffin has remained very active as a scholar and more information regarding her research can be accessed here.



The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security congratulates 2019 criminal justice graduate, Mallory Umbehagen, on her acceptance to Florida State University Law School. Mallory was a dedicated student and served as President of the Criminal Justice Student Association. We look forward to Mallory’s future success as she completes law school and enters the practice of law. SMTTT!



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Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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