Current Events and Highlights


The School of Criminal Justice will host a guest lecture by author Charlie Spillers, on Thursday, February 22nd at 5:30 p.m. The lecture will be held in Scianna Hall Room 1003.  A Mississippi native, Spillers’ career in law enforcement spanned 40 years.  His law enforcement career began with the  Baton Rouge Police Department followed by his service as an accomplished undercover agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.  Spillers  spent a decade fighting drug trafficking, auto theft rings, drug smuggling operations, and police corruption.  Also an attorney, Spillers served as a federal prosecutor and completed three tours in Iraq for the U.S. Department of Justice where he was on the prosecution team that tried Saddam Hussein.

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School of Criminal Justice Director, Lisa Nored, participated in Tiger-Eagle Lectures. This was part of the CTE month-long celebration hosted by Hattiesburg High School Career and Technical Education program. 

Students were able to preview the college lecture environment and explore possible career paths.




 The Criminal Justice Student Association recently participated in two demonstration events.  Students visited the Lamar County Shooting Range where CJ alum, Major Brad Weathers (03) hosted the group’s visit.  Major Weathers and other Lamar County deputies demonstrated how law enforcement utilizes a gun range for training and development activities. 

Gulfport Police Department K-9 Officers visited USM and conducted a demonstration for CJSA members. Students learned how K-9 handlers and their four-legged partners perform their official duties.




It’s always a pleasure to attend the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony and observe our graduates being commissioned into the United States Armed Forces.  Last week, Adrian Conner and Jacob Palmer, both criminal justice majors, were commissioned.  We wish them the very best and thank them for their service to our country.


















Dr. Wes Johnson gave a presentation entitled The Criminalization of Mental Illness: Crisis and Opportunity for the Justice System. He discussed the effects of deinstitutionalization and budget cuts on the criminal justice system as well as a number of positive changes being made to improve Mississippi police responses to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.





Emily campo displayed her honors thesis on obtaining fingerprints on semi-porous surfaces at Honor’s Day.






In September 2017, The School of Criminal Justice hosted the first annual Drug Court Summit.  This event was attended by drug court judges, coordinators, probation officers and a host of statewide policymakers.  Issues related to the statewide evaluation of Mississippi drug courts by the Mississippi Statistical Analysis Center were discussed.  Preliminary findings regarding drug court evaluation were presented by Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Dr. Charlie Scheer.





Graduate students from the School of Criminal Justice volunteered their services at the 2017 Southern Criminal Justice Association Conference in New Orleans on September 26th-29th. The students were responsible for working the registration desk for SCJA. 






Vice President for Research Gordon Cannon and The Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research held a reception to honor students who received the Eagle SPUR Awards for the 2017 Fall semester.  This reception was held on Friday, August 18, 2017.  Senior criminal justice major, Ariel Elliott, was recognized for her research and funding award.  Dr. Alan Thompson serves as Ariel’s mentor.














Dr. Dean Bertram recently represented The School of Criminal Justice at the annual College View held at The Mississippi School for Math and Science.  We have recruited some of our best and brightest students from MSMS and look forward to this event each year.






Adjunct Faculty Earns Prestigious Award 

Judge Mike McPhail of Hattiesburg Receives Mississippi Bar Foundation's 2017 Law-Related Public Education Reward


 MDIAI 2017 Educational Conference 

From April 11-13, 2017 the  MDIAI held its annual Educational Conference in the Thad Cochran Center at USM. The Mississippi Division of the International Association for Identification's (MDIAI) mission is "to encourage the enlargement and improvement of the science of forensic identification and crime detection" and they bring that to fruition by holding events like this one. The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Laura Pettler, a Forensic Criminologist and Current Deputy Coroner. Some of the topics presented and discussed were crime scene investigation, crime scene reconstruction, 9-11 call analysis, and forensic victimology.