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Sociology and Criminal Justice Department

Sociology and Criminal Justice at St. Francis College

The Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice at St. Francis College offers an academic program that will provide the foundation for students to pursue careers in social service, social work, law enforcement, parole, probation, and non-profit organizational service and management. Our goal is for students to enter the workforce prepared to solve social problems such as addressing homelessness, helping crime victims find needed services, prosecuting criminals, defending clients in a court of law, fighting injustices, and creating meaningful public policy. Graduates from our program are prepared to attend law school as well as pursue graduate work in sociology, criminal justice, criminology, and psychology. Our program offers a major in criminal justice or sociology. We also offer the following minors for students majoring in other areas: criminal justice, forensic science, sociology, and social work.

Full-time faculty members include:

Emily Horowitz

Belen Kinberg-Lowery

Jaskiran Mathur

Nickie Phillips

Our faculty members conduct research in a range of areas within the disciplines of sociology and criminology including crime and popular culture, wrongful convictions, post-prison education, crime and media, public school education in New York City, Caribbean culture, criminal careers, survivalists, gender and domestic violence.

Our program offers students various avenues for gaining experience in their area of study. They have the opportunity to work with full-time faculty members as research assistants as well as the opportunity to participate in a for-credit (3 credits) internship. During the internship, students are required to work for 135 hours during the course of a semester in a professional setting related to their career goals. Students have worked at a wide-range of social service and criminal justice agencies, including Safe Horizon (an organization that works with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault), senior centers, child care centers, various local hospitals, probation agencies, parole agencies, the New York City Police Department, and the offices of various District Attorney’s and law firms in the 5 boroughs of New York.

Our department houses the Center for Crime and Popular Culture and the Institute for Peace & Justice. These centers offer students the opportunity to hear lectures by experts in the fields of criminal justice and sociology including personal testimonies by those who have been wrongfully convicted such as Fernando Bermudez, film screenings featuring Q&A’s with directors/actors/producers such as the Compliance screening, book authors that discuss their recent research, world-renowned professionals working in criminal justice and security such as Gavin de Becker, and activists such as Jennifer Baumgardner who are dedicated to fighting for social justice. We also have frequent guest speakers, events, film screenings, and seminars; for an example of events from Fall 2014, go here.

Our department is proud to announce that beginning in the Fall 2014 semester, we have launched Hudson Link @ SFC, a program designed to help ex-offenders earn college degrees. This effort is a collaboration between SFC and the noted Hudson Link prison-based college program in New York State. Hudson Link’s documentary The University of Sing Sing premiered on HBO in March of 2014.

Examples of courses in our department:

Wrongful Convictions

Prisons and Prisoners

Problems of Urban Law Enforcement

Media, Crime, and Criminal Justice


Cultural Criminology

Crime, Justice, and American Fiction

Social Movements

The 1950s

The 1960s