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 Chair - Dr. James Lee typically does research that reveals the processes by which people become winners or losers. He has explored the effectiveness of programs in higher education and in community settings, some to enhance success and others to improve life for the disadvantaged. He also looks at the ways that people who are labeled 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. Alessandro De Giorgi, Graduate Coordinator - Alessandro received his PhD in Criminology from Keele University (United Kingdom) in 2005. Before joining the Department of Justice Studies in 2007, he was a research fellow in Criminology at the University of Bologna (Italy) and a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society (University of California, Berkeley).  Alessandro De Giorgi is member of the Law & Society Association, the American Sociological Association, and the American Society of Criminology.

danDr. Danielle Harris, Undergraduate Coordinator - Danielle A Harris received her doctorate in Criminology in 2008 from Griffith University, Australia. Prior to that, she completed a Masters degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland (College Park) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Justice Studies (with Honors) at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane and the University of Westminster, London. Her research interests include many aspects of sexual offending: specialization and versatility; the criminal career paradigm; desistance; female sexual offending; and related public policy. Dr Harris is the Director of Research for the Art of Yoga Project, a nonprofit organization that provides a yoga and creative arts curriculum to girls in custody. She is also actively involved in the SJSU Record Clearance Project. When she is not grading or writing, she enjoys travel, theatre, and sleep.

Dr. Steven Lee, Director of Forensic Science Program - 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.

billDr. William Armaline, Director of Human Rights Program - 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.

janJan 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.