Edward Latessa, former director of School of Criminal Justice, receives state award

OCPOA bestows award on UC criminal justice scholar and researcher

Professor emeritus Edward J. Latessa is the inaugural winner of an award named in his honor by the Ohio Chief Probation Officers Association (OCPOA). 

The Edward J. Latessa Award is presented to an individual or team in Ohio who have made a significant impact to probation or community corrections through their diligent efforts to develop and deliver education at the local, regional, state, or national level. The education delivered has improved the practice and outcomes for their fellow officers, courts, and the communities served.

headshot Edward Latessa

Professor emeritus Edward J. Latessa is honored for his work in the field of criminal justice.

The award will be presented to Latessa on March 31, 2021, during the opening session of the OCPOA Line Officers Training Institute.

"I am humbled and honored that the OCPOA has instituted this new award. The work we have done as partners has been some of the most rewarding of my career, and I am confident that the association will continue to build on their legacy of excellence," says Latessa, who is the former director of UC’s School of Criminal Justice and current director of the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute (UCCI).  

In a nationwide survey, Latessa is identified as one of the most innovative people in criminal justice, with more than 170 published works and eight co-authored books. He has directed over 195 funded research projects and, with his staff, has assessed more than 1,000 correctional programs through the United States.  

Not only is his publication record remarkable, but Latessa has made a lasting impact on the field of police corrections.

In 1967, Edward J. Latessa received his bachelor’s degree in humanities education from the Ohio State University. Continuing his education as a Buckeye, he received his master’s degree in public affairs in 1977 and his doctorate in public affairs in 1979. Later in the year, he began working as an assistant professor in the criminal justice department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

Latessa returned home to Ohio in 1980 and began working at the University of Cincinnati as an assistant professor in the criminal justice department. The following year, he became chair of the School of Criminal Justice, a position he held for 35 years.

Latessa has published more than 150 works in criminal justice, corrections and juvenile justice. He co-authored seven books, and he has directed more than 150 funded research projects. He is also a public speaker and has traveled worldwide to spread knowledge on ways to improve the correctional system by making it more humane, more rehabilitative and less expensive.

He received the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award for the Division of Corrections and Sentencing from the American Society of Criminology. This award honored his distinguished scholarship in the area of corrections and sentencing. 

Although Latessa retired from the UC faculty in July 2020, he remains part of the Bearcat community. He is currently the director of the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute, which provides services for federal, state, local and international governments and professional organizations to promote effective interventions for adult and juvenile offenders.

“I have had the honor of working with Dr. Ed Latessa on making improvements to Ohio’s criminal justice system,” said Tom Stotts, president of the OCPOA “He has brought stability and uniformity when it comes to risk assessments, evidence based practices and probation/court programs throughout Ohio and beyond. Dr. Latessa’s perseverance, persistence, passion and purpose to Ohio’s criminal justice system is what makes him the true scholar he is today.” 

Through his work in criminal justice, corrections and juvenile justice, Latessa has provided assistance and conducted workshops in 48 states. He is a past president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and has been the recipient of numerous awards during his distinguished career. Latessa received the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award for the Division of Corrections and Sentencing from the American Society of Criminology. This award honored his distinguished scholarship in the area of corrections and sentencing over his lifetime.

"The body of work created by Edward J. Latessa has transformed the entire fields of community supervision and correctional rehabilitation and treatment,” says Alex Holsinger, the associate dean of UC’s College of Arts and Sciences and assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice. 

Featured image at top of UC's Teachers-Dyer Complex which houses the School of Criminal Justice. Photo/UC Creative + Brand. 

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