The mission of the Department of Criminal Justice is dedicated to providing students with a sound educational foundation in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies within the liberal arts tradition. Its mission is to provide students with the academic, research, and advanced study within the Criminal Justice science. The Department strives to promote excellence and social responsibility for students as well as faculty in a creative, enlightened, and culturally-sensitive academic environment. Graduates of Criminal Justice degree programs will be positioned to succeed as career professionals, making meaningful contributions to the communities they serve while upholding and fostering the principles and ideals elucidated in the Constitution of the United States.
As of 2020, both the undergraduate and masters programs are recognized by Universities.com as the “Best Criminal Justice Colleges” in Louisiana with a # 1 ranking. Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranks Grambling State University as a top producer (ranking of #1) of African American graduates at the master’s level in Criminal Justice related degrees.
In June of 2021, the Board of Regents approved GSU’s request to offer the Ph.D. in Criminology and Justice Administration; the first Ph.D. program offered at the institution and the first program of its kind in the state of Louisiana. The Ph.D. in Criminology and Justice Administration focuses on the systematic study of crime as a socio-pathological phenomenon, the behavior of criminals, and the social institutions evolved to respond to crime. The program includes instruction in the theory of crime, psychological and social bases of criminal behavior, social value systems and the theory of punishment, criminal law and criminal justice systems, penology, rehabilitation and recidivism, studies of specific types of crime, social attitudes and policy, and applications to specific issues in law enforcement administration and policy.
The Criminal Justice faculty sponsors forums that lead discussions on topics that are of importance to minority serving communities. These forums include (1) Bridging the Gap Between Practitioners, Researchers, and Policy Makers, (2) Hands Up: Don’t Shoot: Social Injustice in the Criminal Justice System, (3) An Epidemic on Human Trafficking and many more.