158 Ordway Building


Risdon Slate, Ph.D.
Professor of Criminology

"If higher education teaches us nothing else, it teaches us to be critical and not accept things at face value. Everything cannot be put in a textbook and taught in a classroom. I think it is important that students be exposed to professionals working in various capacities in the justice system, via guest speakers, tours, ride alongs, and internships. Being a professor means being first and foremost a teacher, mentor, researcher, and public servant."

Dr. Slate considers himself a professor who is passionate about his teaching and his research, and he is also actively engaged in college service. He is pleased to say that his teaching is influenced and informed by his scholarship, professional activities, and service. Frankly, Dr. Slate believes his research and professional intersests and service activities enhance his teaching effectiveness. Having been an advocate, trainer, speaker, and consultant on a number of initiatives at the local, state and federal level aimed at ensuring better treatment for persons with mental illnesses who encounter the criminal justice system, he remains committed to de-stigmatizing mental illness. As his career indicates, Dr. Slate believes it is important to give something back to the community via service -- as he has done in exploring the interface between the mental health and criminal justice systems.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Criminal Justice; World Criminal Justice Systems; Criminology; Juvenile Delinquency; Judicial Processes; Corrections and Rehabilitation; Law and Social Change; Criminaliztion of Mental Illness; Comparison of the American and British Criminal Justice Systems; Seminar in Criminology; Criminology Practicum


Doctor of Philosophy, Criminal Justice, Clarmont Graduate School
Master of Criminal Justice, University of South Carolina
B.S., Criminal Justice, University of North Carolina

Honors and Awards

Presented the Lionel Aldridge Award to Kitty Dukakis on June 22, 2007 at the National Alliance on Mental Illness Convention in San Diego, CA

Recipient of the Community Activist of the Year Award, NAMI Polk County, December 18, 2001

Recent publications

Currently working on the 2nd ed. of Risdon N. Slate and W. Wesley Johnson, Criminalization of Mental Illness: Crisis and Opportunity for the Justice System, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina, 2008. 

Requested to write a chapter on the general topic of “Stressors Experienced by State and Federal Probation Officers” for inclusion in Trauma, Stress and Well-being in the Legal System, edited by Monica K. Miller and Brian H. Bornstein, for a book to be published by Oxford University Press.

“The Future of Community Corrections is Now: Stop Dreaming and Take Action” by Faith Lutze, W. Wesley Johnson, Todd Clear, Edward Latessa, and Risdon N. Slate is currently under review with the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice.