Obituary Home Page
Some of these individuals participated in the ASC Oral History Project. For more information, please go to the Oral History Project page.
DALE K. SECHREST (1939 – 2011)
Some people have a vibrancy that makes them appear to be larger than life. Undoubtedly this is why it has taken the faculty at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) so long to come to terms with the loss of one of our distinguished members. Dale K. Sechrest, or as he preferred to be called “Uncle Dale”, passed away unexpectedly at Loma Linda Hospital on November 12th, 2011 from cancer-related complications.
Dale was born in Taft, CA on April 22, 1939. Enlisting in the Army in 1957, Dale monitored Soviet radio and missile activity from Turkey. Upon returning state-side, he used the G.I. Bill—obtaining a B.A. in Psychology (1964) and a M.S. in Sociology (1966) from San Jose University. Following a short stint as a Deputy Probation Officer with the Contra Costa County Probation Department in El Cerrito, CA, Dale worked through a sequence of applied research positions.
Officially, Dale spent a couple of years with the Joint Commission on Correctional Manpower and Training in Washington, DC. Several years later he found his way back to California to join the American Justice Institute in 1971. From 1973-1975 he served as a Project Director with the Center for Criminal Justice, at Harvard Law School. Dale’s tenure with applied research organizations culminated in a 10 year relationship with the American Correctional Association. And, somewhere in the middle of it all, Dale completed a D.Crim. from the University of California at Berkeley, 1974. Shortly thereafter the program was disbanded; no one is certain what to make of this coincidence.
Always on the go, Dale jumped into the academic world with a faculty position at Florida International University. A native Californian, Dale soon left the humidity and mosquitos, returning to his home state and settling in at CSUSB. Dale’s passion for correctional research never waned and during his 21 years at CSUSB. As director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research (CCJR-CSUSB), Dale mentored countless students and faculty on the art of applied research. Generous to a fault, Dale’s opportunities became your course release or M.A. thesis as he drew everyone in around him to help with the research. Dale was always “just trying to get organized”, and though he frequently lamented that he was “maligned and misunderstood”, he was beloved by all.
His legacy extends far beyond the countless publications and research reports he completed. Dale is survived by his ex-wife, Judy Sechrest; three children, Stephanie Conner, Alan Sechrest and David Sechrest; 6 grandchildren, two nephews, and 1 great grandchild; and, many colleagues. It is no exaggeration to say that Dale touched thousands of lives. Never at a loss for words, Dale’s wit and occasional limerick, continues to echo in our hearts. He is greatly missed.
Dale’s dedication to supporting the scholarly development of students and faculty will be honored with the Dale Sechrest Memorial Fund and a research lab named in his honor. For more information or to make a gift, please see https://development.csusb.edu/makeagift/.
Gisela Bichler, Ph.D.
Professor, Dept. of Criminal Justice
California State University, San Bernardino
WILLIAM EARL AMOS
William Earl Amos protected a president as a Secret Service agent and guarded war criminals as a military police officer – but his lifelong passion was in education. For 10 years, Dr. Amos served as coordinator of the criminal justice program at what is now the University of North Texas, where he had been a professor emeritus since he retired in 1991. Throughout his career, Dr. Amos taught at a host of other institutions, including Georgetown University, American University, and the University of Texas at Dallas.
Born in Charleston, Arkansas, Dr. Amos joined the Army immediately after graduating from high school. As an army military police officer at the end of World War II, he worked to keep order as American, Russian and British troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps. Much of his military service in the 1950s was at the prison in Nuremberg.
In 1956 Dr. Amos became a Secret Service agent and was assigned to protect then President Dwight Eisenhower. He returned to school at this time and earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Maryland. In 1969, Dr, Amos was appointed to the U.S. Parole Commission and served for a period of time as the chair of its youth corrections division.
Dr. Amos was an active member of ASC for many years, and served as president in 1977. He passed away on August 7, 2011.
Drawn from Joe Simnacher, Dallas News, 8/9/11
VINCE O'LEARY, 1924-2011
Vince O’Leary died on April 22, 2011, from injuries suffered from a fall. He was 86 years old.
Vince was an iconic figure in correctional theory, policy, and practice. His distinguishing characteristic was that he was a natural leader who inspired confidence in the people around him. The first half of his career was spend as a correctional professional, where he was involved in some of the most import changes in the country during that time. In the second half of his career, he was one of the leaders in the development of criminal justice as a field in higher education. His seminal contributions to criminal justice policy and practice were recognized in 1981, with the August Vollmer Award of the American Society of Criminology.
Within corrections in the latter half of the 20th Century, there was no meaningful policy development on which he did not have influence. He was Assistant Director of the 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, handling the area of corrections, and he later drafted portions of the 1968 report of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. As an administrator for the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, he oversaw the design of the prototype national criminal justice statistical reporting system. He was a lead consultant on corrections to the 1973 National Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and goals.
Vince’s role as a formative leader in the policy arena of corrections followed several years of leadership roles locally and nationally. He was chief probation and parole officer for the State of Washington, and was the first director of parole for the State of Texas, where he organized it’s first professional parole supervision system. Following these administrative assignments, he spent six years at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, where he was at first director of the National Parole Institutes, and then later headed the Division of Research, Information, and Technology, supervising a staff of over 40 professionals. At each of these assignments, Vince demonstrated a deep commitment to education and development. He established training partnerships with the top universities in each state, and with NCCD oversaw a national program of professional training that reflected the most recent practice-relevant knowledge in the field. The importance of the NCCD training/research program cannot easily be overestimated. When this worked is combined with his role with the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges, it is reasonable to think that he personally trained 2,000 correctional managers and administrators in the ears before joining the faculty at SUNY-Albany.
Coming to SUNY as a founding faculty member in the new School of Criminal Justice was a natural career step, given Vince’s interest in high-quality education for professionals, especially top-management, in the field of criminal justice. His natural talent for leadership led to his eventual selection as dean of the School of Criminal Justice. In 1975-76, SUNY suffered a fiscal crisis that required university-wide reorganization and retrenchment. Vince chaired the committee that designed the reorganization. His deft handling of this volcanic challenge led to his appointment as president of the University in 1977, and he served in that role until 1990. While he was a professor, he wrote 2 books, 11 monographs, and 40 articles. The significance of his work is demonstrated by how often it has been reprinted: 10 of his writings have been reprinted a total of 21 times. He retired as University Professor in 1996.
I knew Vince as teacher and mentor. He was the most talented teacher I have ever met, with an inspiring ability to explain concepts and generate enthusiasm for critical thought about real problems affecting the justice system. Nothing satisfied him more than a good give-and-take about some thorny, pressing idea related to justice. His breath of knowledge and joy for stimulating exchange meant that he improved any conversation of which he became a part.
He was also the most generous mentor I have ever known, pouring over multiple drafts of my 800-page dissertation and editing them, line by line. On a handful of occasions, he spent personal capital to invest in my career, including convincing me to stay in school by offering me an extra-pay job, even after I had failed the first pro-seminar writing assignment in a class he taught.
When I tried to thank him for all of this after he hooded me in 1977, he said simply,” You cannot thank me. You can only pass it on.” Every student and colleague who has since benefitted from association with me in any way has him to thank.
Submitted by Todd Clear, Rutgers University
The recent passing of Allen Breed at age 90 is a great loss for our nation and his family and friends. He was a creative and research-supportive leader of state and federal efforts to bring principle to criminal and juvenile justice.
Allen Breed went to work for the California Youth Authority (CYA) soon after his return from World War Two. He began as a youth counselor hoping to save money to enter Stanford Law School. He became so committed to youth work that his legal education was placed on hold. Allen moved up through the CYA organization and became its director. Under his leadership, CYA became renowned worldwide for its innovative research and treatment programs. Allen Breed pioneered the Probation Subsidy Act that became the model for the expansion of community corrections in many states. He greatly valued researchers as major partners in corrections and supported the earliest work on offender classification. Allen led the statewide to remove juvenile status offenders from secure confinement. Allen was a key advocate for the passage of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Act.
President Jimmy Carter asked Allen Breed to lead the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Allen emphasized the use of research to improve corrections and sought to upgrade professional organizations in the field. At NIC, he placed early and focused attention on the vast disproportionate number of people of color in jails and prisons. Allen fought to keep young people out of adult facilities and he challenged corrections officials to be leaders, not just “practiced survivors”. While at NIC, Allen Breed was instrumental in the passage of the federal Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.
After leaving NIC, Allen took over the leadership of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency Board of Directors for a decade, and was central to saving that organization. He also began working on behalf of federal courts as a special master in cases involving prison and jail crowding, the provision of inmate medical care, and juvenile corrections systems in many states. He was highly effective in mediating conflicts between civil rights lawyers and corrections officials. For elected officials, the media and leaders in philanthropy, Allen Breed was the most authoritative and object source on best practices.
Submitted by Barry Krisberg &
Frank Zimring, University of California, Berkeley
The ‘grande dame’ of youth criminology in Europe is no more. Josine Junger-Tas passed away at age 81. True to her character, until the very end, she remained keenly interested in the world around her. Josine was a passionate, prolific and creative scholar who has inspired many criminologists, in Europe and beyond. Her contributions, too numerous to be summarized easily, have been recognized by the Sellin-Glueck award (1989), the DIC Distinguished International Scholar Award (2007), and the ESC European Criminology Award (2008).
During her long career, she studied a wide variety of topics, but she mostly focused on youth crime. She was a fervent and compassionate believer in prevention rather than punishment, and she often spoke out publicly against the repressive and hard line youth policies which emerged in the Netherlands over the last decade.
Josine was a true internationalist avant la lettre. Her work is published in Dutch, German, French, Belgian, British and American journals, reports and books. She co-authored several articles with her daughter Marianne Junger, also a Dutch criminologist. Josine was a member of the Scientific Council of the Council of Europe and served on numerous international expert committees. She worked for twenty years at the Research and Documentation Center (RDC) of the Dutch Ministry of Justice, honing her skills at “applied research with scientific integrity. “ After retiring from the RDC in 1994, she became a professor of youth criminology at the University of Lausanne where she received an honorary doctorate. Since her retirement, she has been a visiting professor at various universities, most recently at Utrecht University. In 2000 together with several European colleagues, she took the initiative to establish the European Society of Criminology. She organized the first ESC meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland and became the first ESC President in 2001.
Josine launched the First International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISRD-1) in 1989, which was followed several years later by a much expanded ISRD-2 in which more than 30 countries collaborated. She had just finished her contribution to the book manuscript on the ISRD-2, when she fell ill. The Many Faces of Youth Crime: Comparing and Contrasting Theoretical Perspectives on Youth Crime is now in press (Springer). Sadly, she will not be around to participate in ISRD-3. Her leadership, her intellectual curiosity, her gentle spirit and her infectious laugh will be sorely missed.
Submitted by Ineke Haen Marshall, Northeastern University