A first book is on the launching pad for Dr. Steven Hougland, an associate professor of criminal justice at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Bainbridge.
Hougland, a 30-year veteran of local and state law enforcement, said “The SAGE Guide to Writing in Criminal Justice” is scheduled to be released on March 12.
After retiring from law enforcement in 2010 to begin an academic career, Hougland’s research interests have included law enforcement accreditation, police misconduct, use of force, and preparing students for criminal justice careers and career advancement.
“I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing, which attracted me to a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in English,” Hougland said. “I started writing professionally for policing magazines about 20 years ago and since then I’ve published several juried articles.”
In the spring of 2018, Hougland and co-author Jennifer M. Allen, a professor at Nova Southeastern University, proposed this book to SAGE Publishing. As practitioners in policing and probation, they saw many reports that did not provide enough information to make a case for court prosecution or treatment and rehabilitation.
“As educators, we saw students in criminal justice struggle with writing, citations, referencing, and understanding the processes and procedures of criminal justice without seeing actual reports that mark the progression of a case through the system or the creation of an academic paper,” Hougland said.
“This supplemental text focuses on teaching students how to write in policing while including basic information on academic writing. The goal is to interweave professional and applied writing, academic writing, and information literacy, with the result being a stronger, more confident report writer and student in criminal justice.”
Hougland said the book equips students with transferable writing skills that can be applied across the field of criminal justice, both academically and professionally. The authors show students how to write well academically by introducing information literacy and American Psychological Association (APA) formatting.
Students are also exposed to professional writing tools such as memos, emails, contact sheets, resumes, and letters. The perfect companion for any introductory criminal justice course, this brief text focuses on key topics that students will benefit from for years to come.
“Our goal is for this book to be the first of four texts,” Hougland said.