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WSU Police partner with student legal group on arrest data

The Student Legal Research Association will help evaluate arrest data from WSU’s police department as part of measures to address racial disparity in arrests on the Pullman campus. The campus police are also taking collaborating with university researchers to address implicit bias.

These actions are part of an effort to address disproportionate arrests of Black people by campus police, a problem identified by a Daily Evergreen article in fall 2019 and a following report by WSU Office of Compliance and Civil Rights (CCR) in May 2020. The term “arrest” in police data includes non-custody interactions such as issuing traffic citations.

David Makin.

The CBTSim program is just one that the WSU campus force will undertake, Gardner said.  The department is working on another project with WSU criminal justice professor David Makin and the Complex Social Interactions Lab where officers will review body camera footage in very specific ways to try to understand the effect their actions have.

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WSU Insider

Criminologist Faith Lutze internationally honored for her work

Faith Lutze.

The international Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) has selected Faith Lutze, a Washington State University professor and expert in criminal justice, to receive the group’s prestigious Founder’s Award in recognition of “a career of providing substantial contributions to the Academy and to the discipline of criminal justice through education and research.”

“It is such an honor to be recognized as an ACJS Founder and to represent such a respected community of justice scholars and educators, Lutze said. “I am proud, grateful and inspired to continue the important work of the Academy.”

Lutze coordinated and helped grow her department’s undergraduate and graduate programs and has mentored numerous doctoral students and junior faculty over the years. She has also developed a number of community engagement activities and served on criminal justice policy boards at the state and federal levels.

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WSU Insider

Clark County law enforcement no longer taking action for simple drug possession

Clark County criminal justice and law enforcement officials are managing the impacts of a recent Washington Supreme Court ruling that found the state’s felony drug possession law to be unconstitutional.

Clayton Mosher.

Sociologist Clay Mosher, who analyzes crime trends and teaches criminology at Washington State University Vancouver, noted that the justices’ opinion makes explicit reference to social and racial justice issues, and the collateral consequences of drug convictions.

“The bottom line for me, if this decision sticks … it is going to have a significant impact. The (American Civil Liberties Union) notes that between 2015 and 2019, there were more than 60,000 arrests for ‘low-level drug possession and drug equipment violations’ in the state. That is obviously a significant number of arrests,” Mosher said.

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Yahoo! News

Cluster hire program addresses racism and social inequality

Five new WSU faculty positions have been created to help promote equity and diversity across the Washington State University System.

Elizabeth Chilton.

The new positions are an integral part of the University’s Racism and Social Inequality in the Americas cluster hire program which was initiated by Provost and Executive Vice President and Professor of Anthropology, Elizabeth Chilton to demonstrate WSU’s commitment to inclusive excellence. The program is designed to address the urgent need for faculty specializing in interdisciplinary research topics associated with equity and diversity.

The following proposals were accepted:

  • African Diasporas in the Americas (Department of History)
  • Indigenous Knowledge, Data Sovereignty, and Decolonization (Digital Technology and Culture Program and WSU Tri-Cities)
  • Music of Black Americans/Music and Social Justice (School of Music)
  • Racialized Justice in America (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology)
  • Social and Environmental Justice (School of Design and Construction)
Lisa Guerrero.

Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies, Lisa Guerrero, associate vice provost for inclusive excellence, will manage the cluster hire program as one of her first initiatives in her new position.

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WSU Insider 

Student-produced video celebrates Veterans Day

Faculty, staff and students across the Washington State University system will celebrate Veterans Day a little differently this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the usual in-person gatherings are unable to take place, student veteran Chris Mann produced a special video to honor and thank veterans from each WSU community.

Mann is a senior majoring in psychology and criminal justice on the Pullman campus who spent eight years on active duty in the Marines fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is president of WSU’s Student Veterans Committee.

“Viewers will see the WSU Veterans Memorial, the service flags flying, and hear taps being played,” Mann said. “I wanted to film the scene so it would look exactly the same as if you were there in-person watching the ceremony.”

Mann is no stranger to making videos. When he isn’t studying, he can sometimes be found exploring remote places around the country shooting footage for the Outdoor Channel or other adventure networks. He even built an editing studio in his Pullman apartment.

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WSU Insider