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College of Arts and Sciences Criminal Justice and Criminology

Examining how autism research can improve juvenile justice policies

Book cover: Law and Neurodiversity.A new book co-authored by Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Laurie A. Drapela offers guidance on how autism research can inform and improve juvenile justice policies in Canada and the United States. Both countries rely on decentralized systems of governance to craft and implement law and policy, but their treatment of » More …

Study cites law enforcement concerns

Police lights.A new study by WSU criminal justice researchers found increased drugged driving, greater youth access to marijuana, and insufficient officer training are a few of the concerns expressed by police officers in the first state to legalize recreational cannabis sales to adults. While the officers did not support recriminalization, they noted several issues with the implementation of Washington state’s 2012 law legalizing cannabis.

Researchers evaluated the effects of legalizing cannabis on the state’s law enforcement efforts and said the experiences of Washington officers could help inform other » More …

Six CAS seniors in WSU Top Ten

6 of the 2020 WSU Top Ten Seniors.For more than 80 years, WSU has recognized ten of the top seniors in each graduating class. The class of 2020 honorees includes six College of Arts and Science students: Morgan Atwood, Elyse Bennet, Ana Karen Betancourt Macias, Kathryn “Katie” Doonan, Thomas LeClair, and Colin Taylor.

These women and men represent the highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience, including campus involvement, community service, athletics, and visual and performing arts.

Learn more about our Top Ten seniors and their plans for the future: » More …

Mothering a Book: Recollections of a WSU Author

Melanie Angela Neuilly and daughter. In her 2019 edited book “Mothering From the Field: The Impact of Motherhood on Site-Based Research,” WSU criminal justice associate professor Melanie-Angela Neuilly collected the experiences of academic researchers and mothers conducting their fieldwork while raising children. Neuilly’s own experience of juggling site work and motherhood in Nice, France, in 2014 is also chronicled.

Neuilly said she came to the book somewhat circuitously: In 2013, she obtained a WSU Seed Grant to conduct ethnographic field observations at » More …

The sky isn’t falling

Cannabis.More than a few citizens held their breath when Washington legalized recreational cannabis in 2012.

“There were many who believed it would trigger a massive increase in youth use and marijuana-related traffic collisions and fatalities,” says Clay Mosher, sociology professor at WSU Vancouver.

“But in the five years since sales began, those increases in youth use have not manifested, and while there have been some spikes in polydrug driving, they aren’t as significant as predicted.” » More …

Combating rising incarceration in rural areas

County jail.While big cities across the United States are making progress to reduce the number of people entering local jails, smaller cities and rural counties are experiencing an alarming rise in incarcerations.

Understanding the factors behind this shift and helping rural Washington communities overcome their justice system challenges is the goal of new, grant-funded research by WSU sociologists. » More …

Seeding big-picture, interdisciplinary research

A detail of a classic Mayan polychrome vessel depicting a deer hunt.With support from Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation Seed (IRIS) grants, CAS faculty and graduate students in diverse areas are combining forces with colleagues across the university to tackle critical questions by integrating knowledge in a wide array of fields—criminology, biology, English, medicine, archaeology, nursing, and more.

“The IRIS grant program supports faculty efforts to build collaborative relationships and advance our interdisciplinary creative activities, scholarship, and » More …

CAS students, faculty recognized for campus contributions

coughead.Three College of Arts and Sciences undergraduates and one faculty member were honored at the 2019 Safety, Health and Security Fair for their contributions to campus safety, health and security.

President Kirk Schulz congratulated the award winners and discussed the value of security and safe practices on campus and in the community, emphasizing that safety is key to WSU’s success as a university.

The four CAS recipients are: » More …

Women faculty share career journeys

A panel of women at a table with microphones.Faculty in sociology, criminal justice, and anthropology shared personal stories about their career experiences during the Association for Faculty Women (AFW) Pathways to Leadership event in early November.

The event was designed to illustrate different leadership pathways and gave both attendees and panelists an opportunity to » More …

Study finds minimal effect on major crime from legal marijuana sales

Plastic bag containing marijuana.Legalizing recreational marijuana has had minimal effect on violent or property crime rates in Washington and Colorado, a WSU study funded by the National Institute of Justice has found.

“As the nationwide debate about legalization, the federal classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act, and the consequences of legalization for crime continues, it is essential to center that discussion on studies that use contextualized and robust research designs » More …