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Criminal Justice Scholars: Women Advancing to Head of The Classroom
By A. Allen-Jones, MPA - PHD Candiate in Organizational Leadership
Published: 04/30/2012

Female scholar Long gone are the days when women were seen as doing nothing more than attempting to overshadow male roles or thought of as seeking “personal options” in their choice to enter the criminal justice field. Traditionally a male dominated field, criminal justice has since become a field that continues to see women advance toward high-level administrative roles, within correction, law enforcement, and increasing, education. For years, women have gained recognition within the criminal justice field, now there is growth among women transcending from the frontline to the classrooms. For the criminal justice system, the way to “improvement of service” could be by recruiting more professionally experienced female educators.

For years, Higher Education had difficulty recognizing women into the criminal justice scholarly ranks. Studies continue to show a favoritism among institutions to promote males to scholarly positions over women, this has not deterred an ever growing number of women to work toward gaining influential and leadership roles in criminal justice studies. Times are changing, and seemingly there’s a growing pattern among female criminal justice educators, toward “correcting professional shortfalls”.

While there is no argument that both men and women hold an important role in the criminal justice profession, women have pioneered into taking on an increasing role within scholarly exploration of the problems hindering advancements in the criminal justice system. Women within the field are taking on dedicated scholarly roles; preparing future officers to do more than learn basic theory; to be conscious of the profession’s “mistakes” and learning to avoid them.

Doing Justice, Doing Gender, by Susan Ehrlich Martin, Nancy C. Jurik, is one of those books that takes a hard look at women in the criminal justice system by exploring the history; by discussing the errors and “inviting an initiative to make some changes”. Martin and Jurik concentration is on women in the criminal justice system, but their overall theme plays right to the center of the initiative “to correct and avoid”.

Kimberly Karlberg, Professor and Criminal Justice Coordinator at Joliet Junior College in Illinois, is yet another example of that leadership. Karlberg got it right when she authored, The 25 Biggest Mistakes Law Enforcement Make and How to Avoid Them, and "25 Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement". Karlberg’s “no-nonsense” direct approach of the problems and call to acknowledge the “mistakes” , not for ridicule or blame, but for augmentation and correction. Karlberg writes about pride and misguided power hampering Law Enforcement’s ultimate responsibility, “To serve and Protect”, thoroughly presenting concrete steps to avoid the mistakes that seemingly create unwanted profession criticism; in end establishing an ethical Law Enforcement officer.

Our criminal justice system still craves for aggressive change, we simply need it. . From the plights within Juvenile Justice, frustrations over failed corrections Rehabilitative Programs, to continued difficulties of establishing positive Law Enforcement Community Relations, the need for change sits right in front of us. Women or men, professionals who have experienced the failures, frustrations, and obstacles can catapult such positive change and thank goodness some have already taken the lead.

Corrections.com author, A Allen-Jones, holds a Master’s in Administration and Organizational Leadership, and is currently pursuing her PHD in Organizational Leadership. She can be contacted at aliceallenjones@mail.com

Other articles by Allen-Jones:


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