Strive to become a Director of Criminal Justice

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Whether you have not yet begun your criminal justice studies, are in the midst of them or are already working in the field, perhaps you envision yourself to become a leader. Why not strive to become a Director of Criminal Justice? To inspire you, we present a few role models who each hold this prestigious title.

For a Governmental Body

The Criminal Justice Services Department in Mesa County, Colorado, “provides a wide variety of monitoring, program and treatment services to other criminal justice agencies, local communities, victims and others impacted by our clients,” states its website. Such services range from community corrections rehabilitation programs and domestic violence treatment to restorative justice.

Dennis Berry has been the Director of the Criminal Justice Services Department since 1983. Some of his professional accomplishments and experiences include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Arizona State University.
  • Winner of the O. John Kuenhold award in 2011 (from the Colorado Governor’s Community Corrections Advisory Council) which recognizes an individual’s impact on public safety as it pertains to rehabilitating offenders when they re-enter the community.
  • This year, Berry and his fellow committee members were awarded the Rupert-Tate Game Changer Award by the Colorado Criminal Justice Coalition for the Mesa County ONE LESS PROJECT, which stands for “one less crime, one less victim, and one less offender to create a safer community through the use of principles and practices of reliable evidence-based decision making,” according to EBDM (

For an Organization

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the biggest and oldest civil rights organizations in the United States; it “fight[s] for social justice for all Americans”.

The NAACP has a Criminal Justice Department which strives to enhance public safety (recognizing it as a fundamental human right for all) and to advocate on behalf of victims of crime as well as incarcerated individuals (in areas such as rehabilitation and reintegration into the community).

The NAACP’s Criminal Justice Director is Dr. Niaz Kasravi. Some of her professional accomplishments and experiences include:

  • A Ph.D. in Criminology, Law & Society (University of California, Irvine)
  • Working with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi on human rights in Iran
  • Lead Researcher for Amnesty International USA’s Domestic Human Rights Program
  • Policy Associate for a program seeking to end sexual violence in prisons (Stop Prisoner Rape)
  • Research Interests: Law & Inequality, Racial Profiling, Youth & the Criminal Justice System, Prison Conditions, etc.

For a University

Dr. Robert J. Kane became Director and Professor of Criminal Justice at Drexel University last year. His teaching and research interests include police practice, police accountability, public health & violence, urban sociology/ecology, communities & crime, etc.

Some of Dr. Kane’s professional accomplishments and experiences include:

  • Ph.D. in Criminology and Justice (Temple University)
  • Previously associate professor at Northeastern University and assistant professor at American University
  • Worked with law enforcement agencies and conducted research in Philadelphia, NYC, Phoenix, DC, England, Ireland and the Netherlands
  • Co-Author of Jammed Up (NYU Press) based on his field research at the NYPD on police misconduct
  • Senior Research Fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety
  • As part of his educator profession, Dr. Kane enjoys taking students abroad for criminal justice-themed trips.