Our People


Faculty and Staff members have degrees in criminal justice, law, jurisprudence, linguistics, biology, criminology, justice studies, political science, psychology, sociology and social work. Research and teaching interests include criminal and comparative law; police; law and society; theory; capital punishment; juvenile justice, child abuse and neglect; family law and family violence; forensics; policy evaluation; immigration; punishment; race and racism; violence; and historical and comparative justice issues. Based on scholarly production and faculty citations, the Justice Studies Department is recognized as a leading justice program in California.

Our department is lead by a team of innovative scholars who include: 

jamesDr. James D. Lee, Department ChairDr. Lee was trained in sociology with emphases in criminology and social psychology. His research typically focuses on the processes by which people become winners or losers. He has evaluated the effectiveness of programs in higher education and in community settings, some intended to enhance success and others to improve life for the disadvantaged. His research has also explored the ways that people who are labeled criminal or deviant respond to labels, both personally and socially. He derives great joy from teaching about younger persons’ experiences in educational and correctional contexts. He also gains satisfaction from teaching students how to make sense of and produce quality research. 

Dr. Sang Kil, Graduate Coordinator - Sang Kil is a scholar-activist whose research examines the criminalization of immigrants in the news media, especially in relation to the USA-Mexico border coverage.  She is currently President of the Board of Directors for Free Speech Radio News. She is also a founding member and organizer of Queer Qumbia in the Bay Area. 


Dr. Chris Hebert, Undergraduate Coordinator - Dr. Hebert earned his PhD in Sociology from Pennsylvania State University. His interests are in criminology, white-collar crime, organized crime, and deviant behavior.



Dr. Steven Lee, Forensic Science Program Coordinator - Professor Lee holds a BS from SUNY Binghamton in Biology, an MS from NYU and PhD from University of California, Berkeley in Molecular Biology. Dr. Lee is also currently a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley and serves frequently as a consultant or trainer in forensic DNA. He was formerly the Director of R&D at CA Dept of Justice DNA Laboratory from 1994-2000 where he served as an expert witness in DNA, spearheaded the implementation of robotics for sample processing, DNA extraction and STR amplification, and conducted DNA training courses. He is a Fellow in the Criminalistics section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, full member of the California Association of Criminalists, American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Science Teachers Association and is qualified as an American Society of Crime Laboratory Director’s Laboratory Accreditation Board inspector. He has taught courses in molecular biology at SFSU (1996-1998), Forensic genetics at UC Davis (1997), forensic DNA Typing of STRs at FIU (2003), Criminalistics, Forensic Science, DNA and Crime, Genetics Law and Society and Forensic Molecular Biology at SJSU.


Dr. William Armaline, Human Rights Program Coordinator - William Armaline is an assistant professor in the Department of Justice Studies at San José State University working primarily in the fields of sociology, education, and human rights. His areas of interest include sustainable political economic and ecological theory, critical race theory and anti-racism, critical pedagogy and transformative education, critical ethnography, inequality and youth, prison abolition, and drug policy reform.  Dr. Armaline is currently in contract with Polity Press for a second book on the Political Sociology of Human Rights, and will serve as Director of the new Minor in Human Rights at San Jose State University beginning in Fall 2012.


Dr. Edith Kinney, Legal Studies Program CoordinatorEdith Kinney is an Assistant Professor of Justice Studies, working in the fields of human rights and critical legal studies. She received her PhD in Jurisprudence and Social policy and her JD from Berkeley Law, an interdisciplinary background that informs her research and scholarship. Dr. Kinney's research interests include the dynamic interactions of law and society, focused particularly on the role social movement organizations play in criminal justice reform efforts around human trafficking, sexual violence, prison conditions, reentry, and collaborative courts.


Jan Hagemann, Alumni Coordinator - Jan Hagemann earned a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a teaching credential and master's degree from San José State. She taught 100W in the Justice Studies Department and was formally a Faculty-in-Residence at the SJSU Writing Center.  Jan was recognized as an Outstanding Lecturer for 2009/2010.  Although she retired in 2013, she still serves as a volunteer in a variety of areas within the Department.