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An Active, Collaborative Faculty

Faculty members in the J. Frank Barefield, Jr. Department of Criminal Justice bring both a wealth of experience and wide-ranging perspectives to their scholarship, teaching, and service. Where else can you find attorneys, biologists, chemists, criminologists, and sociologists all working on various scholarly inquiries, teaching students, or mentoring young researchers?

Excellence in Research

Our faculty are not only experienced, they have been recognized — both by UAB and by outside entities — for excellence in their research, teaching, and service. Faculty scholarship has appeared in some of the top refereed publications in their field of study, and their work is published by world-renowned presses like Cambridge and Oxford University.

A recent example of our faculty's work is Heith Copes' investigation of methamphetamine use in rural Alabama. Listen to Heith recount his time spent on Sand Mountain and meet the individuals from his story, captured in the emotional photo series GOOD BAD PEOPLE: Methamphetamine Use on Sand Mountain by Jared Ragland.

A Focus on Students

At the same time, they are helping advance knowledge, our faculty are also busy engaging students in such wide-ranging classes as Religion and Crime, Foundations of Law, Restorative Justice, Trial Advocacy, Victimology, and in Honors seminars. Whether meeting students in person, online, or in a blended learning environment, our faculty members help prepare their students for the 21st-century workforce by helping students develop critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate — both orally and in written form — while also enhancing their quantitative literacy and their civic engagement.

Our faculty members also routinely engage students through their involvement with the Criminal Justice Student Organization, via mentoring opportunities (be they in the lab or in the field), or in helping students craft individually designed majors in such areas as forensic science, correctional health care policy, or security studies.

Collaboration and Service

Finally, our faculty members also find time to give back — to the College of Arts and Sciences, the University, the profession, and the community — by serving on committees, reviewing manuscripts submitted to journals or publishers, holding office in professional associations, or volunteering their time to serve Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter.

If people make the department, then Criminal Justice is a very special place!