Welcome to the Department of Criminal Justice!

Charles-ChastainFounded in 1972 by the late Dr. Charles Chastain, the Department of Criminal Justice at UALR is the flagship criminal justice program in Arkansas. It offers an A.S. degree in Law Enforcement, a B.A. in Criminal Justice which is available fully online, a fully-online Master of Sciences in Criminal Justice, an in-class Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, and culminates with the only doctoral program in the state – a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice.

Across all of its programs, the department provides students with the intellectual and practical skills that they need to become successful and socially responsible professionals. Our programs approach the study of crime and justice with a unique blend of research and practice and it features outstanding scholars who make majors contributions in the community and in their discipline.

The faculty and students in the department work and learn together to:

1. Improve the criminal justice system.
2. Address and solve pressing issues related to crime.
3. Develop cutting-edge research and theory.
4. Prepare the next generation of criminal justice professionals.

In light of these goals, the department houses the Justice Research and Policy Center (JRAP). The goal of JRAP is to cultivate, support, and disseminate research that is relevant to the State of Arkansas, provide data-driven research to legislatures and policymakers, collaborate with state agencies, conduct program evaluations, and promote evidence-based practices to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. Our most important mission, however, is you. We are here to help you achieve your professional and academic goals and to support you along the way. Please make contact with us and let us know how we can help you.

Karen Wisdom If you are a current or prospective undergraduate student, reach out to Ms. Karen Wisdom, our Coordinator for Undergraduate Advising. She can answer your questions and help you map your journey. You can reach Karen Wisdom at kmwisdom@ualr.edu or by phone at (501) 683-7508.

Tusty ten BenselIf you are a current or prospective graduate student, reach out to Dr. Tusty ten Bensel, our Graduate Coordinator. She can help you reach for your next steps, share ways to get funding for your graduate studies and support your academic success. You can reach Dr. Tusty ten Bensel via e-mail at ixzohra@ualr.edu or by phone at (501) 683-7665.

Mary ParkerYou can also explore individual faculty, reach out and ask questions, as well as contact our Chair, Dr. Mary Parker, at mlparker@ualr.edu or by phone at (501) 569-3195. Once again, we welcome you to the department and look forward to supporting you on your academic journey.