Susan Takata (1975)

Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Wisconsin, Parkside

I have been here at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside since Fall 1984. I Moved up the ranks from assistant to associate to full professor. I spearheaded the creation of a Criminal Justice Department on campus and moved from the Department of Sociology/Anthropology to the Criminal Justice Department in 1999.

My research is well integrated with my teaching and service; for example, in the mid-1980s, I had several teams of undergraduate students researching the local gang problems in Kenosha and Racine. I replicated the undergraduate student operated research center here at UWP (originally

a part of the Cal State Dominguez Hills student research center, which was recognized by Hans Mauksch as one of the innovative ASA teaching projects). Since my undergrad days at CSUDH, I've kept in touch with Professor Jeanne Curran and we continue to experiment with teaching/learning approaches (check out our Dear Habermas website: http://www.csudh.edu/dearhabermas) We team teach long distance and our students work on various projects together and then we meet at conferences to present out work.

While at Berkeley, I worked with wonderful people like Troy Duster, David Matza, Herbert Blumer, Harry Edwards, and Bob Blauner. While a grad student, I was associated with the Institute for the Study of Social Change with my National Institute of Corrections grant to examine alternatives to jail incarceration. I was given the freedom and yet gentle guidance, to think "outside the box."

I share with my students, the community and colleagues my excitement for interactive process of teaching/learning. I challenge student to think about real world problems and issues and how they relate to "theory, policy, and practice" and to come up with creative answers/solutions. We did this with the Racine Gang Project. And this semester, I have a small group of students examining alternatives to jail incarceration and the jail overcrowding problems in Racine. (In September, I was appointed to the Racine County Citizens Criminal Justice Task Force). On a much broader level, we are doing this with the Dear Habermas website focusing on issues of social justice and peace.

Dissertation Title: 
Discretionary Justice Within Local Parole Systems in California: A Comparative Organizational Analysis Between Los Angeles and San Francisco Counties