Tusty ten Bensel – Director

Dr. Tusty ten Bensel is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology at UA Little Rock. She is also the director of the Justice Research Policy Center at UA Little Rock. She received her B.A and M.A in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Dr. ten Bensel is a premier scholar specializing in violence and victimology. Her research stems from an interest in understanding the broader social, historical, and political contexts of criminal behavior and desistance, focusing specifically on sexual violence, victimization, neighborhoods and crime/recidivism, and hate crimes against special populations. She has published more than 25 articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as Criminology, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and Criminal Justice Policy Review. She has completed one book and secured multiple grants/contracts. Based on her research on collective sexual violence in warring countries, she was invited to present her work at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2014, where she discussed the collectivization process of sexual violence in Bosnia and Sierra Leone. In 2019, Dr. ten Bensel received the Faculty Excellence Award in Research and Creative Endeavors by the College of Social Science and Communication (CSSC) for her research achievements.

Over the past few years, Dr. ten Bensel has been involved in a number of contracts and grants that involved disproportionate minority contact among juveniles in the criminal justice system in Arkansas, community surveys of crime and safety, neighborhood characteristics and reentry, and system-involved youth mentoring. In addition, Dr. ten Bensel is part of a team that is collecting data on personal transformation and identity changes among those who receive training and resources from Heifer International around the world.

Based on her mentoring and research work with students, Dr. ten Bensel was awarded the 2018 Educator of the Year Award from the Single Parent Scholarship Foundation of Pulaski County. In addition, she was accepted into the Women in Education Leadership program at the Harvard Business School. She also chaired UA Little Rock’s Take Back the Night event to raise awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence. Recently, she has been elected as the 2021 incoming President of the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice (SWACJ) and is currently the Secretary and founding member of the Sex Offense Policy Research Workgroup (SOPR). In addition, Dr. ten Bensel is an active member of several other professional organizations, such as the American Society of Criminology (ASC), Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), and European Society of Criminology (ESC).

Dr. ten Bensel can be reached at 501-916-6638 or ixzohra@ualr.edu

Please click here to view Dr. ten Bensel’s Vita.