Department Chair Message


James Lee, Ph.D., Department Chair,

Fall 2013 to present

Welcome to the Department of Justice Studies at San José State University, one of four schools and seven departments in the College of Health and Human Sciences. Established in 1930, our department is the oldest degree-granting program in Criminal Justice in the United States. Starting as a Police School with an emphasis on professionalizing policing, over time it matured into its current form with multiple programs that take differing approaches to justice. We have programs in Criminology, Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Legal Studies, and Human Rights. A constant throughout these changing times is our commitment to academic excellence, social activism, and policy relevant research.

Our expanding department currently has 15 professoriate faculty, 21 lecturers, and over 1,000 majors. Faculty in our department are widely recognized and well respected scholars and researchers, as well as innovative, effective teachers. In addition to mentoring and teaching students, they conduct research on human rights, immigration, migration, border violence, criminalization of migrants, Japanese-Brazilian transmigrants, Caribbean criminogenics, violence against women, punishment, conflict processes, terrorism, sex offender behavior, policing, effects of policing on Latino and African American neighborhoods, victimology, gender and crime, family violence, youth violence, deviant behavior, reentry of formerly incarcerated persons, self and identity, developing DNA profiles from degraded samples, and postmortem molecular biology of cartilage.

Students in our department are highly active in numerous student groups (Alpha Phi Sigma, Chi Pi Sigma, Forensic Science Students Group, JS Graduate Students Association, and the JS Task Force), and participate widely in the community and university. Our Department offers the following degrees:  MS in Justice Studies; MS in Criminology, Concentration in Global Criminology; BS in Justice Studies; BS in Justice Studies, Concentration in Criminology; BS in Forensic Science with a concentration in Biology or Chemistry; Minor in Justice Studies; Minor in Forensic Studies; Minor in Legal Studies; Minor in Human Rights; and Certificate in Collaborative Response to Family Violence.  

Our curriculum supports understanding through praxis as well as traditional scholarship. Through internships, service learning, the award winning Record Clearance Project, the CSI Summer Camp, Themis--a student research journal, and their own research projects, our students engage in service, advocacy, legal assistance, creating new knowledge, and educating the public. Upon graduation, students  are very well prepared for graduate studies, law school, or careers in justice related professions such as in probation and parole, corrections, law enforcement, and in crime labs.

Our alumni are among the most prominent professionals in law, policing, corrections, nonprofit services, and other related fields. I am very proud of our department, and as you explore more, you will see why. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Yours truly,

James Daniel Lee, PhD

Professor and Chair

Justice Studies Department