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How the Boise State Criminal Justice Program Serves Us All

aerial view of downtown Boise with text: Public Interest Boise State School of Public Service

Photo of Dean Corey Cook

April, 2018

This issue of Public Interest spotlights Criminal Justice, the largest program in the School of Public Service. With a current enrollment of over 500 students, Criminal Justice at Boise State builds on 50 years of accomplishments to prepare students to be fully informed participants at all levels of the justice field.

When you think of individuals working in Criminal Justice, you may think of attorneys, police officers or correction officers. And many of our graduates serve in these capacities. But our graduates work in many other fields that serve the public interest as well. They work as victim advocates, addiction counselors, serve in federal agencies such as the FBI, CIA, Park Service and BLM, and work in private-industry careers such as insurance fraud investigators. And many of our Criminal Justice graduate students go on to earn PhDs in the the Justice field.

In this issue we’ll also show you how our Criminal Justice faculty are winning awards, publishing books, and providing service to justice entities, the profession and the community.

Corey Cook
Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University

Dr. Lisa Growette Bostaph

Boise State Professor Serving Second Term on Idaho Criminal Justice Commission

Gov. Butch Otter has invited Boise State Criminal Justice Professor Lisa Bostaph to serve a second term as one of two public members of the Governor’s Idaho Criminal Justice Commission. Bostaph, an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Graduate Program Coordinator is the first academian to serve on the commission. The Commission addresses important criminal justice issues and challenges and develops cost-effective, balanced, best-practice solutions to achieve a safer Idaho.

In addition, Dr. Bostaph recently published a report, “The distribution of risk in intimate partner violence cases: The Idaho Risk Assessment of Dangerousness.” Her report is the initial step in validating the Idaho Risk Assessment for Dangerousness (IRAD) which is currently used by roughly half of police and sheriffs’ agencies in Idaho and multiple policing agencies across the country as part of their response to domestic violence calls.

Finally, Dr. Bostaph was re-confirmed by the Idaho Senate by unanimous vote to a third term as Commissioner on the Idaho Commission on Pardons & Parole.

Jim Kerns and Laura King

Criminal Justice Faculty Appear as Guest Experts on National Podcast

Two Boise State Criminal Justice faculty were guest experts on the January 18 YesCollege podcast. Laura King and Jim Kerns discussed the field of criminal justice, how it is changing, the courses criminal justice students can expect to take and career opportunities for criminal justice graduates. They specifically explained the degree program at Boise State as well as the internship possibilities available to Boise State criminal justice students.

Dr. Laura King is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice as well as the programs’s Undergraduate Coordinator. Jim Kerns is the Criminal Justice Internship Coordinator. A retired Boise Police Department Deputy Police Chief, Kerns also serves on the Juvenile Corrections Review Board for the State Department of Juvenile Corrections, which reviews juvenile custody status beyond their 19th birthday.

The national YesCollege podcast seeks to demystify college degree programs for prospective students in order to help them find the best degree option for their academic and professional goals.


Shaun Gann
Shaun Gann, second from left, with colleagues.

Boise State Criminal Justice Professor Wins Outstanding Paper Award

Shaun Gann recently was awarded the 2016 Outstanding Paper Award for the Journal of Crime & Justice from the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association for a paper he worked on titled Weapons and Drug Offenses and Juvenile Disproportionate Minority Contact.

Read About Shaun Gann in the Boise State Update >

Students in New Orleans
Benjamin Comer, second from right, with Criminal Justice faculty and students in New Orleans.

Boise State Graduate Student Wins Top Prize in Criminology Competition and Takes Home Scholarship

Benjamin Comer, a graduate student in the Criminal Justice program, recently won first place and a $500 scholarship in the Alpha Phi Sigma criminology knowledge competition. The competition took place at the annual conference for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in New Orleans, Louisiana. Comer, along with Caitlyn Pederson, Katie Swofford and Kyle Reed, was part of a four-student delegation representing Boise State’s chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma at the national conference.

Criminal Justice Professors awarded grants,  Publish Books on Topics Expected and Surprising

Jacqueline Lee

Boise State Criminal Justice professor Jacqueline Lee has been awarded a grant from the School of Public Service Research Committee. The grant will fund the conducting of interviews with practitioners as a part of a re-entry court evaluation.

Published: Justice Administration

Image of book cover for Justice Admin

Andrew Giacomazzi, Criminal Justice Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Public Service, has published a new edition of Justice Administration: Police, Courts, and Corrections Management. Part of the “What’s New in Criminal Justice Series” and co-authored with Ken Peak, the book explores leadership, management and supervision in police, courts and corrections.

Published: Oxford Handbook of Evolution, Biology, and Society

image of book cover for Oxford Handbook of Evolution Biology and Society

Criminal Justice professors Anthony Walsh and Cody Jorgensen recently published a book chapter titled “Evolutionary Theory and Criminology” in the Oxford Handbook of Evolution, Biology, and Society. The chapter provides a detailed discussion on how crime and anti-social behavior can be explained through an evolutionary lens.

Published: The Science of Love

image of book cover for Love

Criminal Justice Professor Anthony Walsh published his first book, The Science of Love, in 1991. Dozens of books and nearly three decades later, Walsh revisits the subject with his new book Love: The Biology Behind the Heart. Drawing on Darwin, Shakespeare, religion, philosophy and history, Walsh looks at love – and the consequences of a lack of love – from many angles, addressing the question, “is love an evolutionary adaptation or a social construct?”