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Some of these individuals participated in the ASC Oral History Project. For more information, please go to the Oral History Project page.


Picture of C. Ray Jeffery

On December 6, 2007, Dr. C. Ray Jeffery passed away after some years of ill health.  Jeff, as he was affectionately known, was retired from the faculty of the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University, and was a past president of the American Society of Criminology. In his earlier years as a professor, he became widely known for his book on Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, which provided an innovative and unique perspective on environmental factors that contributed to crime and were infinitely malleable.  This work led him to develop theories such as Defensible Space, Environmental Criminology, Rational Choice, and Situational Crime Prevention that extended opportunity theory into new territory.  Jeff also paved the way for a reintegration of the social and biological sciences in the field of Criminology. Jeff was renowned for his writings and teachings on ways in which study of the brain could substantially enlighten our field; criminology had neglected its biological roots for many decades prior to his advocacy.  In the face of contention and opposition from a few criminologists who feared that the “social” part of the equation would be lost, Jeff persisted in his movement toward a more rigorous, holistic, and empirically-based perspective on the causes of crime.  He did not neglect any discipline that he felt could contribute to a comprehensive etiological understanding of criminal behavior; he recognized the role of the social and physical environment in brain development and function even before neurobiological studies focused on that interaction.  The model that drove him was founded on a solid belief that a transdisciplinary view of behavior would lead to more effective and humane approaches to preventing and treating offender behavior.  Jeff’s brilliant theorizing, countless followers (both senior colleagues and students), and numerous books and articles are testimony to the mark he has left on the field. Jeff stimulated the imagination of many criminologists over the years.

As a person, Jeff was modest and humble, even somewhat reserved.  But when he spoke, he did so with conviction and unyielding passion.  From the start, his life was never easy and, thus, a rough exterior and some impatience was all that some folk could see.  But underneath, he was a kind, caring, compassionate man who always looked forward, seeking progress and comrades to share in that quest.  I discovered my career path through what I saw in Jeff’s eyes and I have followed it all the while recognizing and appreciating his role in my own passion for the science.  He is gone but his spirit will never be forgotten and his impact will be forever felt.

Written by Diana Fishbein, RTI International

Click here to read others' thoughts on C. Ray Jeffery.

(posted 2/12/08)

HAROLD K. BECKER, Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, California State University Long Beach

Dr. Becker a police officer with Los Angeles Police Department for four years and a member of the U. S. Coast Guard for eight years. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from University of Southern California in 1959 and a D.Crim. from the University of California Berkeley in 1971.  He taught full time at California State University Long Beach from 1963 to 2000, and one semester a year after that until he retired in 2005.  He was an adjunct professor at the Center for Politics and Policy at The Claremont Graduate School from 1989 to 1996 where he taught and mentored a number of emerging Ph.D.s.  One of his favorite courses was the graduate class in criminological theory where he used a Socratic method to encourage students to think about the implications of each paradigm.

Hal had eclectic interests in criminal justice.  He was involved in numerous research projects on gang violence and juvenile crime prevention. He is best known for his studies of comparative policing, including three publications he authored or co-authored:  Police Systems in Europe, Justice in Modern Sweden, and the Handbook of the World’s Police. In addition to publishing about police systems, he escorted a number of student study tours to Sweden and was one of the first to take students to China. 

Dr. Becker was an active member of  both the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, as well as an active participant in the International Criminal Justice/Criminology section.  He died on November 21, 2007, at his home in Huntington Beach of complications from cancer. 

(posted 1/23/08)

PAUL CASCARANO, Retired Federal Executive

Paul Cascarano, 76, a retired Federal official who served in the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice, died August 8, 2007 of a heart attack at Reston Hospital, VA.

 Mr. Cascarano joined the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, later named the National Institute of Justice, in 1968.  He was named an assistant director of the agency in 1985, and was a charter member of the Senior Executive Service.  Mr. Cascarano created the Institute’s training and dissemination programs to help criminal justice agencies apply research findings and promising approaches, such as the first police street crime units and the first rape crisis centers.  He was responsible for initiating and supporting for many years NIJ funding for Crime and Justice An Annual Review of Research, edited by Michael Tonry and published by the University of Chicago Press.  He developed regional training programs and national conferences that brought together professionals from a number of fields to address community problems.  For example, in 1976, when he instituted training to improve methods for dealing with rape victims, it was often the first time that police detectives, emergency room doctors, prosecutors, and mayors’ representatives had been at the same table to work on the problem. Mr. Cascarano also oversaw development of technology programs, including standards for the testing and certification of police body armor, now worn by police throughout the country,  He emphasized use of different approaches to communicating useful new information.   In addition to publications that distilled research findings, he oversaw development of a series of videos, “Crime File,” which presented discussions among front-line professionals and scholars about important crime control issues.  The programs, moderated by James Q. Wilson, were broadcast on public television stations.   He also supervised the development and operation of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, the first automated reference data base on all aspects of criminal justice.

  He retired from the federal government in 1999.  After his retirement, he was a volunteer with the Travelers’ Aid Society at Reagan National Airport. Mr. Cascarano was born in Brooklyn, New York, and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from City College of New York.  He served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954. Before joining the National Institute of Justice, he was a systems analyst at Systems Development Corporation in Santa Monica, California. Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Ann, of Alexandria, two brothers, Anthony Cascarano of Alexandria, and Joseph Cascarano of Los Alamitos, California, as well as several nieces and nephews.

(posted 8/28/07)

INGER SAGATUN-EDWARDS passed away on April 2, 2007.  You can find some articles on her at the following links:




(posted 6/27/07)

Beloved professor of political science and criminal justice dies

Susette TalaricoAthens, Ga. – The University of Georgia mourns the death of Susette Talarico, a UGA faculty member for three decades. Beloved by scores of students and colleagues, Talarico died May 23, 2007 following a 17-year bout with breast cancer.

“Susette was not only one of UGA's best faculty but also one of the university’s finest citizens, and her good works benefited students and faculty colleagues alike,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams.  “She had a strong international reputation in legal and judicial studies, and represented UGA well over the course of many years.  She will be sorely missed.”

Born on May 10, 1946, in Danbury, Conn. to Ella and Nathaniel Talarico, Susette had two siblings, Robert Nathaniel Talarico (Barbara) and her twin sister Annette Talarico Adams (Kenny).

After graduating as the valedictorian of her high school class, she joined the Sisters of Mercy for six years, during which she earned her bachelor’s degree at Diocesan Sisters’ College (St. Joseph’s College). Upon reflection, she chose to leave the convent to pursue a joint master’s and doctoral program in political science at the University of Connecticut, which she completed in 1976.

Following a brief teaching stint at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, Talarico joined the political science faculty at the University of Georgia in 1977 where she pursued her passion for teaching until retiring in 2006.

Talarico was the Albert Berry Saye Professor of American Government and Constitutional Law, Emerita and a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorat UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs.  A charter member of UGA’s Teaching Academy, Talarico was known for her innovative approach to teaching and mentoring and for her contributions to curriculum development at the university—serving as the driving force in the creation of the interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program in criminal justice.

Not only was she a two-time winner of the coveted Josiah Meigs Award, Talarico was named the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences General Sandy Beaver Teaching Professor for three years and a Danforth Teaching Fellow for six years.  Most recently, the UGA chapter of Phi Kappa Phi presented Talarico with its Love of Learning Award.  Upon her retirement, the department of political science’s teaching award was named in her honor.  The award was endowed by Talarico’s former students and generated so many contributions that its funds are also used to support public lectures and research funds for students in criminal justice and political science.
In addition to her success in the classroom, Talarico was an accomplished scholar with over fifty published articles and books focused on the study of sentencing, criminal courts and civil litigation.  She served as editor-in-chief of Justice System Journal for six years.  Throughout her professional career, Talarico was devoted to advancing the socialization of women into the academy.  As the only tenured female professor in the department of political science for years, she played a pivotal role in mentoring junior women in the field, often times helping them with the submission of their first papers for publications.  In creating a coffee hour for the women of the School of Public and International Affairs, she informally brought together female graduate students to meet and interact with female faculty members.

In May, she was awarded the 2007 American Political Science Association’s Law and Courts’ Teaching and Mentoring Award, a well-deserved honor that reflected her devotion to students.

One former student put it this way, “I graduated from UGA more than 25 years ago, I live 1,700 miles from Athens, I have no political or professional clout to speak of, yet she still sends my family a holiday card every year with a personal note.  What does a card have to do with Dr. Talarico’s success as a mentor and instructor?  It illustrates her true genius as an educator; she cares for you as a student, but more importantly, she cares about your development as a person.”

Commenting on her teaching, Robert Grafstein, head of the department of political science said, “Soon after she came to Athens, her energy, devotion to her students, concern for her colleagues and general public spiritedness seemed irreplaceable.  But her profound influence long ago transcended the university through the impact she had on her former students far and wide.  On someone’s passing, we often say she will be missed.  In Susette’s case, that doesn’t begin to describe it.” 

“This remarkable woman touched the lives of countless students, colleagues and friends in ways that will never be forgotten,” said Thomas P. Lauth, dean of the School of Public and International Affairs. 

While known as a brilliant scholar and a dedicated teacher, Talarico will also be remembered as a loving wife and mother, a devoted sister and daughter, and a magnificently caring friend.

On December 29, 1982, Talarico married the love of her life, Rodger Taylor Carroll and on March 15, 1984, they had a son, Robert David Carroll: a great joy for both of them. 

Though her greatest love was reserved for her family and friends, Talarico also loved to sing and was known to devour books. 

Talarico is survived by her mother, her two siblings, her husband and son, nineteen nieces and nephews, and fourteen great nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Susette M. Talarico Fund, which supports students and faculty in criminal justice and political science.   Contributions can be made to the Arch Foundation for the University of Georgia, specifying the Susette M. Talarico Fund, and mailed to the School of Public and International Affairs, 217 Candler Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.  30602.

Thursday, May 24, 2007
Writer/Contact:  Joy R. Holloway, 706/410-5182, joyh@uga.edu

(Posted 5/31/07)

SIMON DINITZ , 1926-2007 Sadly, criminology has lost another giant.  Simon (Sy) Dinitz, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Criminology at Ohio State University (OSU) died on March 3, 2007.  We will remember him well as:  a scholar committed to scientific research on problems that matter greatly to society; a dedicated teacher who cared deeply about his students, their lives, and their families; and a fine human being who was not too self-absorbed to recognize the needs of others.

A native of New York City, Sy received his Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University (1947), and his Master’s (1949) and Ph.D. (1951) from the University of Wisconsin.  In 1951, he joined the faculty in Sociology at OSU, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1991.  At OSU, Sy helped to establish a strong and lasting tradition in Criminology.  He loved teaching in all kinds of settings, and so also served as visiting faculty in departments across the country and the world.  Sy authored or co-authored 16 books and over 130 articles.  He advised 40 Ph.D. recipients, and used his expertise to advise the State of Ohio, the nation, and world organizations (e.g., the United Nations) on criminal justice and correctional policies.

Sy collected an array of awards.  We note just a sampling here.  He was the first recipient of all three of the OSU’s top honors i.e., awards for:  Distinguished Teaching (1970), Distinguished Research (1979), and Distinguished Service (1996).  In 1981 Sy was honored as the first faculty member to deliver the OSU Commencement Address.  He is a Past President and Fellow of ASC, a recipient of the Society's Edwin H. Sutherland Award (1974), and a former editor of Criminology, then Criminologica.

Though a true scholar, Sy was first and foremost a family man.  He was married for 46 years to his wife Mildred (Mim), and took great pride in the achievements of his children (Jeff, Thea, and Risa) and grandchildren.

Gifts in memory should be sent to The Mildred and Simon Dinitz Graduate Fellowship Fund, The Ohio State University, 2400 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, OH 43210, or to your favorite charity.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of all those who had the privilege of working closely with Sy as students and colleagues,

C. Ronald Huff, University of California, Irvine
Ruth D. Peterson, Ohio State University
Frank Scarpitti, University of Delaware

(Posted 4/14/07)

EUGENE HOWARD CZAJKOSKI, 78, died Friday, February 16, 2007, at the Margaret Dozier Hospice House. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Rosalind.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Eugene H. and Rosalind D. Czajkoski Scholarship Fund, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, attention Dean Blomberg, 634 W. Call Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306.

Dr. Czajkoski was an Army Veteran of the Korean War. A native of New York, he earned his doctorate in public administration (Criminal justice) from New York University in 1964. He joined the Florida State University faculty in 1966, and continued to teach in the classroom as recently as Fall of 2006. He was the chair of the department of criminology before becoming the founding dean of the School of Criminology in 1974. He remained dean until 1986. In 1987, he was awarded dean emeritus and professor emeritus status.

In addition to his active involvement at FSU and major professional associations in his field, Dr. Czajkoski served as commissioner on the Florida Supreme Court Nominating Commission; consultant for National Institute of Justice; chairman of the Governor's Council on Criminal Justice; and various other positions within the Governor's office. He was instrumental in creating DISC Village, a drug treatment center, and was on its board of directors for 35 years.

Gene had a wonderful sense of humor and was a colorful, gregarious conversationalist. His virtues were many; he was reliable, fair, loyal, prudent, trustworthy, ethical, reasonable, kind, and a truly good and decent man, who lived by the Golden Rule. He was a good friend to many and a loving, devoted husband.

Other survivors include the Rapaglia and D'Arco families and many friends, colleagues, and students.

Originally published in the Tallahassee Democrat on 2/18/2007.

(Posted 3/5/07)