Criminal Justice Experts and California State University To Examine Workforce Challenges and Student Preparation

Contacts: Paul Browning,
Claudia Keith,

Los Angeles, CA (October 23, 2006) – DNA, carpet fiber and fingerprint analysis are some of the activities portrayed in mainstream media that have helped increase college student interest in criminology in recent years. Forensics, however, is just one category in the criminal justice spectrum. That is why on Nov. 3 leaders who work and teach in several disciplines will come together at Cal State Los Angeles to discuss California State University’s role in preparing students for the multitude of occupations within this exciting field.

The forum, which will be held from 9:15 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 3 at Cal State L.A.’s Golden Eagle, will also focus on specific programs offered at the 23 CSU campuses throughout the state.

Showcasing the event will be a panel of experts from throughout California who work in law enforcement, forensics, judicial service, criminalistics, homeland security, criminal justice education and other specialties.

More than 7,900 students are enrolled in criminal justice programs on CSU campuses. Annually, CSU graduates 1,800 criminal justice professionals into the workforce. That represents 89 percent of the California’s total graduates in this field.

“Criminal justice is one the most timely and popular fields of study today,” said California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “This panel of experts will not only explore the university’s vital role in preparing students to tackle the challenges within criminal justice, but also the skills and commitment needed by students to succeed in the fields that interest them.”

Chancellor Reed and Cal State Los Angeles President James Rosser will speak on behalf of the CSU, and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley will provide the event’s opening remarks.

The forum’s keynote speaker will be Elizabeth Devine, co-executive producer of the hit television show “CSI Miami” and former head of the Los Angeles Sheriff Department’s crime scene investigation unit. Devine retired in 2000 after 15 years with the LASD and joined the production of CSI as a technical consultant.

Broadcaster and Cal State Los Angeles professor Tony Cox will moderate the panel of criminal justice experts, which will include the following speakers:

  • Rolanda Pierre-Dixon, supervising district attorney of the domestic violence division, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, and the county’s expert on domestic violence
  • Barry Fisher, director, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, Crime Laboratory
  • Michael Judge, chief public defender for the county of Los Angeles with oversight for 40 offices and more than 700 lawyers
  • Brian Levin, criminologist, civil rights attorney and director for the Study of Hate & Extremism, Cal State San Bernardino
  • Scott LaChasse, vice president of security and emergency services for Paramount Pictures
  • Michael Nash, presiding judge, Los Angeles Juvenile Court at the Edelman’s Children Court facility
  • Ralph W. Partridge, acting special agent in charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Los Angeles Field Division
For a complete view of the CSU’s impact on the field of criminal justice as well as other industries, go to

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 405,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 84,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See

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Last Updated: October 23, 2006

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