Police organizations, police reform, police decision making, punishment in an historical context
Professor Willis is a qualitative researcher whose interests include police organizational reform, police discretion, and penal history. He recently completed a national study examining the relationship between two recent and highly touted police innovations – Compstat and community policing. His current projects include an examination of the effects of different technologies on police organizations and an assessment of the quality of decision making by a department’s largest resource – its patrol officers. His work on punishment compares the development of the penitentiary in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain to its penal cousin, the transportation of convicts to America and Australia. Along with his co-authors, in 2008 he was awarded the Law and Society Association’s article prize for research that used different theoretical perspectives to explain Compstat’s implementation in three police departments. In 2011, he was the recipient of a George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award.
2011-present. Co-principal investigator (Chris Koper, P.I., and Cynthia Lum, co-P.I.). Realizing the Potential of Technology for Policing: A Multi-Site Study of the Social, Organizational, and Behavioral Aspects of Implementing Policing Technologies. National Institute of Justice.
2010-present. Co-Principal Investigator (Stephen Mastrofski, P.I.). Measuring the Craft of Law Enforcement: What Is Good Policing? Center for Justice Leadership and Management, George Mason University.
Willis, James J. (2012) “Bridging the Normative Gap in Criminal Justice Curricula: Teaching Theories of Justice.” 23 Journal of Criminal Justice Education: 81-102.
Willis, James J. and Stephen D. Mastrofski. (2012) “Compstat and the New Penology: A Paradigm Shift in Policing?” 52 British Journal of Criminology: 73-92.
Willis, James J. (2011) “First-Line Supervision and Strategic Decision Making Under Compstat and Community Policing.” Criminal Justice Policy Review: 1-22. doi: 10.1177/0887403411427355.
Willis, James J. (2011) “Enhancing Police Legitimacy by Integrating Compstat and Community Policing.” 34 Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management: 654-673.
Willis, James J. and Stephen D. Mastrofski. (2011) “Innovations in Policing: Meanings, Structures, and Processes.” 7 Annual Review of Law and Social Sciences: 309-334.
Willis, James J., S.D. Mastrofski, and T.R. Kochel. (2010) “The Co-implementation of Compstat and Community Policing.” 38 Journal of Criminal Justice: 969-980. Available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.06.014
CRIM 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRIM 220 Introduction to Law and Society
CRIM 402 Punishment and Corrections
CRIM 407 Advanced Topics in Law and Society
CRIM 491/192 Administration of Justice Honors Seminar
CRIM 700 Theories of Justice
CRIM 723 Law and Social Control