Congratulations to Professor Candace Kruttschnitt on completing her term as president of The American Society of Criminology. I sat down and spoke with Professor Kruttschnitt about her experience and insights.
Professor Kruttschnitt has a long attachment to the ASC, having been a devoted member of the organization since receiving her doctorate in 1979. She has always been fascinated by the panels at ASC meetings and has enjoyed the tremendously collegial atmosphere at the meetings. The ASC includes academics, students and practitioners and seeks to “foster criminological scholarship, and to serve as a forum for the dissemination of criminological knowledge.” It speaks to a broad range of issues such as criminal justice policy, juvenile delinquency, and trends in crime statistics.
Professor Kruttschnitt herself is an expert in comparative prison research and women offenders. She has spent time in the United States, England, and the Netherlands studying prison systems and the conditions of confinement for women offenders. She now has a SSHRC grant investigating why it is that, while most offenders age out of crime, some persist.
Kruttschnitt thoroughly enjoyed her term as president. She served as president elect for one year and then served the following year as president. Much of the work was focused on the Annual Meeting. This involved overseeing the scheduling and staffing of the meeting, and organizing committees for awards. With this bird’s eye view of the field, she could see clearly the emerging trends in the field. Some of the biggest trends she sees in criminology scholarship include studies exploring the connection between neighbourhood spaces and crime, mass incarceration in the United States, policing, and issues of discretion based on race, ethnicity and stage of processing in sentencing outcomes.
The capstone of Kruttschnitt’s term was the Annual Meeting that took place in November 2015. Not only did she see her hard work pay off in a four-day event that went off without a hitch, she also presented her Presidential Address. Her address focused on “The Politics, and Place, of Gender in Research on Crime.” Here she drew attention to the need to make criminological theories more gender inclusive, the prominence of victimization in explanations of female offending, and the longstanding stereotypes that infuse work on women inmates. She concluded by suggesting ways in which scholars could help to move this field forward.
Professor Kruttschnitt is a Criminologist with a solid footing in Sociology. Or perhaps she’s a Sociologist with a solid footing in Criminology. She sees the connections between the two fields as integral. While the ASC includes criminologists from a variety of disciplines (e.g., psychology, political science, economics), Kruttschnitt was keen to point out the central role that Sociology has played in the history of Criminology and the continued importance of a sociological perspective on issues related to crime and punishment.
Alannah Vila is a 3rd year Sociology and Statistics student and is currently working at the Department of Sociology as a Work/Study student.