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A Brief History

photo of FBI headquarters

The discipline of Criminal Justice was introduced at Boise State College in 1966, and was entitled Criminology. The program was started under a two-year grant from the Office of Law Enforcement Assistance.

During its first years, the program was moved from the Department of Social Science to Business, then Economics, then Public Administration, then Societal and Urban Studies, who changed their name to Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice Administration.

In 1990, the Department of Criminal Justice Administration became a separate department.

Student majors increased from about 25 in 1969 to over 200 in the early and mid-1970s.

Today the Department of Criminal Justice carries about 800 undergraduate majors, about 35 graduate students, and is the largest in Boise State’s new School of Public Service.

The faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice are engaged in a variety of community activities and contributions including:

  • Survey of the Prosecution of Child Sex Abuse in Idaho. A research team from the department works together with the Office of the Governor and the Attorney General to collect data and prepare reports to the legislature on the incidence of child sex abuse prosecution.
  • Crime in the Lives of Idahoans. This research project developed measures of crime by using a victimization survey of Idaho residents.
  • A Survey of Racial, Ethnic, and Religious Bias in the Idaho Court System. This project surveyed personnel in the Idaho court system to gain information on the racial, ethnic, and religious biases or perceptions of bias in Idaho state courts.
  • Partnership between the Ada County Sheriff’s Office and BSU. This project involves a “Policing Services” survey and focus groups of Ada County residents, including those in the cities of Eagle and Kuna.
  • Facilitation of Strategic Planning at the Boise Police Department.