Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Graduate Certificate Available in Criminal Justice

Photo of computer with handcuffs, reports and pens around it.

The College of Criminal Justice is introducing an online Graduate Certificate Program this spring to help professionals in the field with career advancement.

The Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management is designed for working professionals in law enforcement, corrections and victim services to assist with professional growth and career development. The 18-hour program is structured so it can be completed in a year, and it can be applied toward a Master’s degree in the future.. . . read more

Friday, November 16, 2012

CJ Mandate Now Available for the Fall of 2012

Read the Fall 2012 issue of CJ Mandate, the alumni newsletter from the College of Criminal Justice, for the latest news from the College and the Criminal Justice Center, including research on DNA and criminal behavior, testing procedures for bath salts, new faculty members and publications, outstanding alumni, the first webinar hosted by the Correctional Institute of Texas and much, much more.. . . read more

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Real Talk w/CJ: Federal Job Searches

Real Talk with CJ

Tue Nov 27, 2012
3:00 pm - 4:00pm
CJ Cafe (CJava)

Looking for jobs in the federal corrections field? Michelle Meers, a Career Counselor from Sam Houston State University Career Services, and Roberta Ardoin, a VetSuccess on Campus Counselor at the Veterans Resource Center at SHSU, can help you "Managing the Maze of Federal Job Searches" at the next Real Talk w/CJ on Nov. 27. The public is invited to attend.

A U.S. Border Protection agent checks the border with binoculars.Some of the most coveted jobs in criminal justice are in the federal government for high profile agencies like the Federal Bureau of Prisons or U.S. District Court. But there are 15 cabinet departments and more than 100 independent agencies in the U.S. government that offer employment, many in the corrections field.

To help prepare for those opportunities, Meers and Ardoin will review the USA Jobs site as well as expectations for applications and the federal resume format. They also will highlight the federal human resources process and review the overall scoring system used. Finally, the pair will discuss the benefit of veteran and disability preferences when applying for federal jobs. . . . read more

SHSU Grad Builds Legal Legacy at UH-Clear Lake

SHSU Alumnus Dr. James Benson built a courtroom in a classroom at the University of Houston - Clear Lake.

SHSU Alumnus Dr. James Benson built the program for criminal justice and legal studies at the University of Houston - Clear Lake, including a bachelor degree program for state inmates from the Ramsey Unit in Rosharon. Dr. Benson was recently recognized as a 2012 Outstanding Professor Award at UH-Clear Lake, and he has earned many more accolades along the way.Find out more about his career as a lawyer and professor here . . . read more

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Job Listings at Discover Corrections

Check out recent job listings in Texas at wwww.DiscoverCorrections.com Lubbock County
  • Detection officer
  • Detention shift clerk
Travis County
  • Correctional officer

Find other opportunities here. . . read more

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Analyzing Statements for Deception

Illustration of a suspect under a magnifying glass.

Law enforcement officers from across Texas learned a new investigative technique to better analyze statements by victims, witnesses and suspects.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. Scott Decker

Beto Chair Lecture Series

Wed, Nov 28, 2012
9:30 - 11:00 A.M.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Dr. Scott H. Decker, a Foundation Professor and Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, will present “Life Course Perspectives on Gang Membership: Walter Miller and the Lost Gang Project” as part of the Beto Chair Lecture series on Nov. 28.

Monday, October 29, 2012

TDCJ Hero Funds Criminal Justice Scholarship

Warden Billy Hirsch and Melanie Smith work at the Wynne Unit, where TDCJ Hero Susan L. Canfield was killed during an escape.

After spending four years at the Holliday and Wynne Units, Correctional Officer Melanie Smith decided she would like to become a lawyer to provide a voice for victims or to defend the innocent.

“I want to be an attorney,” said Smith. “That’s where you get a say so and the justification to speak up for the innocent. If someone is being victimized, you get to speak for them too.”

Susan L. Canfield (center) stands among the field force at the Wynne Unit about two weeks before her death. Susan L. Canfield (center) stands among the field force at the Wynne Unit about two weeks before her death.Smith is pursuing her dream at Sam Houston State University’s College of Criminal Justice thanks to a scholarship endowment fund that was set up by fellow correctional officers and friends to honor one of their own killed in the line of duty. Correctional Officer Susan L. Canfield was supervising inmates outside the Wynne Unit in 2007 when she and her horse were struck and killed by two of the inmates who escaped in a stolen vehicle. . . . read more

Warden Billy Hirsch and Melanie Smith work at the Wynne Unit, where TDCJ Hero Susan L. Canfield was killed during an escape.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fighting Gangs, One Hot Spot at a Time

Officer Vento gives a presentation on Houston gangs to teachers. Officer Eric Vento has worked with prison and street gangs in Houston.

Officer Eric Vento has dedicated his short career to fighting gangs on the street as part of the Houston Police Department, and he would like to share his knowledge with prospective law enforcement officers in the future.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Webinar Expands Learning in the Corrections Field

The webinar was hosted by Doug Dretke of CMIT and moderated by Carey Welebob of TDCJ CJAD.

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas hosted its first live broadcast on the Internet for adult probation officers to discuss ways to implement research-based practices in the field.

The Webinar, “Finding the Point with Evidence-Based Practices,” was attended by criminal justice agency personnel from 95 sites across Texas and was a cost-effective way to reach more professionals in the corrections field with nationally-known experts and a broad range of officials in Texas in the community correction process. This live, interactive program featured Dr. Christopher Lowenkamp, former Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research and Associate Director of the Corrections Institute at the University of Cincinnati, as well as a panel of officials from Community Supervision and Corrections, probation supervisors, and judges from across the state. . . . read more

Monday, October 8, 2012

CMIT Internet Broadcast now avaiable for viewing!

In September 2012, the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, in collaboration with the Community Justice Assistance Division (CJAD) of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice conducted a live internet broadcast. During this live internet broadcast titled Finding the Point with Evidence Based Practices, Dr. Christopher Lowenkamp addressed the implementation of evidence based practices in CSCDs by making practices and programs such as Motivational Interviewing, EPICS, etc. a part of the department’s overall organizational culture. Carey Welebob, director of CJAD was the moderator of the panel which included Mike Wolfe, CSCD Director from Taylor, Callahan, and Coleman Counties; Caroline Rickaway, CSCD Director from Brazoria County; Leighton Iles, CSCD Director from Tarrant County; Judge John Creuzot, Criminal District Court No. 4, Dallas County, and Judge Rose Guerra Reyna, 260th District Court, Hidalgo County.  To read more and view the broadcast, just click HERE!

Friday, October 5, 2012

College Offers Internship in Criminal Justice Agencies

Dr. Jim Dozier in his office among mementos of his past careers.

The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University offers more than 200 internships in local, state and federal agencies in law enforcement, corrections, forensic science and victim services as well as the private security industry.

Unlike many other Colleges, the internship offers full-time work experience for a semester in a future career field and provides up to nine credit hours of writing enhanced courses toward a degree. The internship, reserved for criminal justice majors, is taken in the senior year and has led to jobs for about one-quarter to one-third of the students that participate. Another one-third report making good networking contacts for future employment. . . .read more

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dr. Todd Armstrong poses in a stand of DNA.

A team of researchers at Sam Houston State University are studying the effects of genes and environmental adversity on criminal behavior among inmates incarcerated in a correctional facility located in a large city in the Southern United States.

In the first study of its kind in North America, Dr. Todd Armstrong—along with Drs. David Gangitano and Brian Boutwell—at the College of Criminal Justice are studying the link between specific genetic markers and self-reported childhood adversity in an incarcerated sample. The study is based on data that includes DNA samples, surveys, and criminal records of approximately 100 inmates incarcerated on a variety of charges, including violent crimes, drug offenses, property crimes, disorderly conduct and weapons offenses.. . . read more

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Discover Careers in Corrections at New Web Site

A correction officer interviews an inmate outside prison doors.

A new web site was launched earlier this year to help the public discover the wide variety of careers available in corrections.

A collaborative effort among The Council of State Governments/American Probation and Parole Association, the American Correctional Association, the American Jail Association and the Center for Innovative Public Policies, provides in-depth information about careers in corrections and provides job listing from 187 agencies across the country. The project was funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.. . . read more

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New TJJD Director Has Roots at SHSU, CMIT

Michael Griffiths (MS '74), an instructor for the College of Criminal Justice and the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, was named Director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

Michael Griffiths, a Sam Houston State Alumnus and online instructor at the College of Criminal Justice, has spent five decades serving youthful offenders across the state and was recently appointed the new executive director of the state agency that oversees juvenile services.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. Robert Agnew

Beto Chair Lecture Series

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 9:30 - 11:00 A.M. Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

The College of Criminal Justice will host Dr. Robert Agnew, the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Sociology at Emory University and President-Elect of the American Society of Criminology. Dr. Agnew is known internationally for his development of General Strain Theory, one of the leading explanations of crime and delinquency. He will present "Economic Troubles and Crime: Making Sense of a Complex Relationship."...read more

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CMIT Tackles Gangs in Texas

Jason Sole began selling drugs on the streets of Chicago at the age of 14 and later became one of the leaders of a notorious street gang. The son of a cocaine addict, this three-time felon spent two years in prison and a year on work release.

Sole turned his life around through education. He earned Bachelor and Master degrees in Criminal Justice and is pursuing his Ph.D. His mission is to help children learn from their mistakes and to help ex-offenders keep their eyes on the prize. Sole is an instructor in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University in the Twin Cities; provides training and case development for ex-offenders through the AMICUS organization; mentors and trains juveniles and adult through 180 Degrees, Inc. and the Council for Boys & Young Men; and volunteers with sex offenders in the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Sole was the one of the keynote speakers at the Gangs Conference, an annual event hosted by the Correctional Management Institute of Texas for corrections personnel, law enforcement officers, probation officers, investigators, school administrators and security personnel.. . . read more

Thursday, August 30, 2012

CMIT Instructor Named Director of Texas Juvenile Justice Department

Photo of Michael Griffiths

Michael Griffiths, an instructor for the Correctional Management Institute of Texas and Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice, was recently named the new Executive Director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Congratulations! See his story in the Austin American Statesman.. . . read more

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Motivational Interviewing Series Starts in October

Members of MINT that presented the inaugural training were (l to r) Mark Asteris, Susan Orendac and Greg Sumpter
Members of MINT that presented the inaugural training were (l to r) Mark Asteris, Susan Orendac and Greg Sumpter.

The Correctional Management Institute is offering a new series of Motivational Training sessions on Oct. 8-10. See this story on the inaugural session to find out what it's all about!

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas recently held part one of a three-phased training to teach juvenile and adult probation officers a new way of dealing with offenders to bring about long term changes in their lives and to reduce recidivism.

“Motivational interviewing will improve the outcomes of the kids we work with because it encourages them to take responsibility for making changes rather than placing the responsibility on the officer,” said Matt Smith of Williamson County Juvenile Services, which handles about 1,400 juvenile cases a year ranging from runaways to aggravated sexual assault. . . . read more

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TDCJ Offers $3,000 Recruiting Bonus for Select Units

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is offering a recruiting bonus for new correctional officers at select units. Visit the TDCJ Web Site for details!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Alumnus Unearths Stories from the Prison Graveyard

Dr. Frank Wilson stands among the headstones at the Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery.
SHSU Alumnus Dr. Frank Wilson is writing a book about the Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery in Huntsville.

The Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery in Huntsville is the final resting place for inmates who died in the Texas prison system and were unclaimed or whose families simply could not afford to bring them home, including infamous Serial Killers Henry Lee Lucas and two-time Death Row Inmate Kenneth McDuff as well as Kiowa Indian Chief Satanta, imprisoned in 1874 for leading raids on Texas settlers.

But those are not the stories Dr. Frank Wilson wants to tell. The SHSU Ph.D. graduate and assistant professor at Indiana State University is writing a book about “America’s common ground” found among the headstones on a quiet hill on Bowers Boulevard, just a few blocks from Sam Houston State University and the Walls Unit. . . . read more

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mid-Management Leadership Program is BACK!

Following a long and highly acclaimed history of providing assistance to agencies in leadership succession and the preparatory development of personnel in supervisory and mid-management positions, the Correctional Management Institute of Texas offers a week-long Mid-Management Leadership Program for criminal justice professionals at the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center in Huntsville, Texas.

Beginning in the Fall of 2012, The Correctional Management Institute of Texas will introduce its newest Mid-Management Leadership Program. The new program has been sculpted to capture the most current disciplines, needs and core competencies as identified by the National Institute of Corrections and the American Jail Association. Furthermore, great effort has been made in seeking the opinions and comments of field practitioners and leadership in determining the program relevancy and its ability to meet and measure up to its intended design and purpose. The new program promises to be as vibrant and rewarding as our previous Mid-Management Program delivered by Nancy Baird. The Institute is now accepting nominations for classes scheduled for September 30th – October 5th, 2012, and November 11th- 16th, 2012.  The classes will be limited to no more than 32 participants.

You can find more information HERE!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dr. Friel Elected to Texas Corrections Association

Dr. Charles Friel

Dr. Charles Friel, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Texas Corrections Association, a statewide umbrella organization representing all aspects of the correctional profession in the state.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Graduate of CMIT's NJLCA Class #2 Promotes

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas is pleased to announce the promotion of Randall Walker to the position of Assistant Sheriff, overseeing the Detention Division and all Detention related services. The Detention Division of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office is comprised of over 300 employees including both sworn and civilian staff as well as community volunteers. Included in the Division are the Main Adult Detention Facility, North County Detention Facility, Inmate Programs, Electronic Monitoring Program, and Court Movement. The Assistant Sheriff duties have expanded due to the Public Safety Realignment Act which took effect on October 1, 2011. This has resulted in an increase in adult offenders serving their time locally, either supervised in the community or incarcerated in the Detention Facilities. Assistant Sheriff Walker will be a leader in assuring the increased jail population and offender needs are balanced with the Sheriff's Office mission to provide a safe community to the citizens of Sonoma County.
Assistant Sheriff Walker was born and raised in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and served 9 years active duty in the United States Army prior to joining the Sheriff's Office in 1991. He has remained steadfast to continuing his education and has completed multiple courses in supervision, management, and leadership to include the National Jail Leadership Command Academy in Huntsville, Texas.  Read more...

TDCJ Employees Awarded CJ Scholarships

Debbie Erwin and Chris Cirrito, employees at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, were awarded scholarships for the Master of Criminal Justice Leadership and Management program.

Debbie Erwin and Chris Cirrito began their careers in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as correctional officers. Erwin has since advanced through the correctional officer ranks, while Cirrito has followed a different career path. With a scholarship from the College of Criminal Justice and the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, the two will pursue a Master’s degree at Sam Houston State University and take their careers to new heights.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

CMIT Appoints New Project Leaders

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas recently appointed two project team leaders – one a longtime employee and the other a 30-year veteran of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Sharese Hurst, who has worked for CMIT since 2000, was promoted to Project Manager, overseeing all jail management programs. Jeffrey Marton, retired Director of Training for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, will be a project coordinator for programs in mid-level and senior corrections leadership.  Read more...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Promotion News in CMIT!

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) is pleased to announce the promotion of Sharese Hurst to Project Manager within the Institute. Sharese has been with CMIT since September 2000 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new position. She has served the Institute in various capacities to include coordination of certification and continuing education trainings, providing secretariat services for professional associations, and planning and facilitating numerous professional development training programs and conferences. She also currently serves as Executive Director for the Texas Jail Association and editor of their quarterly publication, Key Issues.

Sharese obtained both her Bachelor of Business Administration (1993) and Master of Business Administration (1995) at Sam Houston State University.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Senior Level Corrections Leadership Development Program - March 25-30, 2012

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas is pleased to offer a week-long Senior Level Corrections Leadership Program for criminal justice professionals at the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center in Huntsville, Texas. The purpose of the program is to equip selected participants with the necessary correctional knowledge from an academic research standpoint and with the necessary leadership skills from a practitioner perspective that are required for Senior Level Leaders. This training will target deputy directors within adult and juvenile community corrections, assistant wardens/wardens, assistant jail administrators/jail administrators, and assistant superintendents/superintendents within adult and juvenile institutions. The Institute is now accepting nominations for its program scheduled for March 25-30, 2012. This program is limited to 24-participants.

Agency Responsibility:
  • Nominate a person who is in a Senior Level Leadership position or who has the potential to be promoted into a Senior Level Leadership position;
  • Nomination must be signed by the Agency Executive Director;
  • Nominees that are two years from retiring from the agency are not eligible;
  • Consider diversity when making the nomination;
  • Be prepared to allow the nominee to be in attendance from Sunday afternoon to noon on the following Friday; and,
  • Provide transportation or reimburse the nominee for round trip mileage between duty site and Huntsville.
Participant Responsibility: 
  • Arrive at the Criminal Justice Center in Huntsville on Sunday by 5:15 PM for the opening session;
  • Actively participate in training activities the entire week;
Institute Responsibility:

  • Consider a variety of diversity issues in selecting participants;
  • Notify nominee of acceptance into the program;
  • Provide 34 hours of relevant training in an atmosphere conducive to learning;
  • Provide all training materials;
  • Provide accommodations at the University Hotel;
  • Provide meals for participants.
For questions, please contact Natalie Payne at (936) 294-1706 or email at npayne@shsu.edu