October 4, 2023

The American Criminal Justice Association at CSU

By Sonya D. Lavett

The American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA) began many decades ago with the desire to form a group of peace officers determined to learn and contribute to the growing field of criminal justice. Early in the 20th century, there was not yet a strong foundation for training and learning in the criminal justice industry, despite the fact that crime was certainly an issue in almost every community. From its inception, universities took notice and in the 1950s, the University of California at Berkley established the first school of criminology. Specialized training, new research and evaluation of new methods of crime detection and investigation soon spread across the U.S. as a result of the ACJA.

Today, this organization is going strong and serves as a groundwork for the advancement of knowledge in the field of criminal justice.

Dr. Joe Siatta, former program director of criminal justice at CSU, launched the first CSU chapter of the ACJA in 2013, Chi Sigma Upsilon. The chapter is in Region 5, which includes 50 chapters in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and North Carolina. There are 183 chapters across the U.S. with new ones always forming.

With criminal justice constantly evolving into a more expansive role, this industry has become a fast growing career choice for many. TV shows such as CSI and Criminal Minds have helped to capture the attention of Americans who are interested in contributing their expertise to solving crimes and keeping our country safe.

CSU alumni relations coordinator Andie Bills is currently designing a new platform for guest speakers to present to CSU ACJA members on a quarterly basis. Speakers will present on hot topics such as human trafficking, identity theft and social media. For those who are unable to attend the hour-long presentations, a recorded version will be available. The first live webinar will be held in September with further details available in the coming weeks.

The 2016 Regional Conference for ACJA – Region 5 will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Oct. 20-22. The national conference will take place in Austin, Texas, March 26-31, 2017.

If you are furthering your education in criminal justice and are interested in meeting like-minded professionals, join the CSU ACJA chapter today.