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College of Human Environmental Sciences

Center on Criminal and Juvenile Justice Priorities

The Center for Criminal and Juvenile Justice Priorities (CCJJP) is an interdisciplinary center of scholars and community stakeholders committed to creating and disseminating research, education, and training for practitioners, policy makers, people with lived experience, and people at risk of justice involvement. The justice system consumes tremendous public resources and affects the lives of millions of people around the world. In the U.S., each year about two million youth face arrest. More than two million adults reside in jails and prisons. An additional 6.7 million people are supervised by justice authorities because they are on probation or parole. Many others are not incarcerated but await prosecution on charges. Those affected are disproportionately racial and ethnic minorities. In addition, although crime rates are down, millions of people continue to be impacted by violent crime every year.

These figures are sobering and not new, but the justice system is facing a period of great change. The high costs of maintaining prisons and jails, a declining crime rate, and a broader understanding of drug and mental health treatment’s role in limiting recidivism have combined to drive states to reconsider their approaches to criminal justice. Responses increasingly emphasize community-based efforts, assistance with reentry, and attention to mental health and substance use needs. Social workers, who have always had a presence in criminal and juvenile justice settings, are now more than ever at the center of efforts to improve the country’s justice system.

CCJJP was created to be responsive to this changing environment. The center’s primary focus is on interdisciplinary research projects at MU and in partnership with other universities. A secondary focus is on building education and training resources to address the field’s need for prepared professionals who are literate in mental health and the impacts of substance use, trauma, and child maltreatment. CCJJP aims to serve multiple audiences including students, professional social workers, people working with the criminal and juvenile justice fields, community members, and state agencies.

Center Team - Faculty & Practitioners

School of Social Work

Kelli CanadaKelli Canada PhD, MSW, Co-Founder
Adult Justice; Policy & Prevention

Anne M. Dannerbeck JankuAnne M. Dannerbeck Janku PhD, MA
Adult Justice; Juvenile Justice

Danielle EasterDanielle Easter, MSW, LCSW
Adult Justice

Ashley GivensAshley Givens, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Adult Justice

Dan HannekenDan Hanneken, MSW, LCSW
Adult Justice

Clark PetersClark Peters, PhD, JD, AM, Co-Founder
Juvenile Justice; Policy & Prevention

Kathleen PrebleKathleen Preble, PhD, MSW
Adult Justice

Aaron ThompsonAaron Thompson, PhD, MSW, MID
Juvenile Justice; Policy & Prevention

Sarah Myers TlapekSarah Myers Tlapek, PhD, MSW
Adult Justice

Dannica WolfDanica Wolf , MSW
Adult Justice

Criminology & Criminal Justice

Janet Garcia-HallettJanet Garcia-Hallett, PhD
Adult Justice

Beth HuebnerBeth M. Huebner, PhD
Adult Justice; Policy & Prevention


Eileen AveryEileen E. Avery, PhD
Adult Justice

School of Health Professions

David RuggeriDavid Ruggeri, PhD, MSAE, MBA
Adult Justice


  • Whitney Baldridge, School of Social Work
  • Margaret Spalding, Law School
  • Brandon Guehne, Law School
  • Melissa Roth, School of Social Work

Community Partners

  • Boone County Probation & Parole
  • Missouri Department of Corrections Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services
  • Boone and Callaway Counties Juvenile Office
  • Veterans Justice Outreach Program



Events & Engagements

Learning Opportunities & Related Coursework

  • Course work for existing students
  • Research opportunities for students
  • Training and Continuing Education for Community
  • Community Research & Evaluation Needs

Job Opportunities

Executive Director - SEED Success

Senior Manager of Data and Technology - Goodweave International

Post-Master’s Criminal Justice Fellowship - Florida State University

Clayton Police Officer - City of Clayton, MO

APRIES Translation and Community Relations Coordinator - University of Georgia

APRIES Business Manager - University of Georgia

APRIES Program Manager - Senegal - University of Georgia

Interested in Getting Involved?

CCJJP Contact Form

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