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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.

-Risdon Slate





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 interests 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.


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


  • Testified before the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, on the topic of The Impact of the Mentally Ill Offender on the Criminal Justice System, September 21, 2000 in Washington, D.C.
  • Recipient of 2000 Faculty Volunteer of the Year Award at Florida Southern College.
  • Appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to Florida’s Mental Health & Substance Abuse Commission – appointed from October 22, 1999 – May 15, 2001.



Risdon N. Slate, Jacqueline Buffington-Vollum, and W. Wesley Johnson, Criminalization of Mental Illness: Crisis and Opportunity for the Justice System, 2nd ed., Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina, 2013.

Patrick R. Anderson and Risdon N. Slate, The Decision-making Network: An Introduction to Criminal Justice, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina, 2011.

Articles and Book Chapters

Risdon N. Slate and Laura Usher, “Health Coverage for People in the Justice System: The Potential Impact of Obamacare.” Federal Probation, Volume 78, Number 2 (2014).

“Stressors Experienced by State and Federal Probation Officers” by Risdon N. Slate and W. Wesley Johnson for inclusion in Trauma, Stress and Well-being in the Legal System (2013) edited by Monica K. Miller and Brian H. Bornstein, 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, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Volume 28, Number 1 (2012).


Paper accepted for presentation entitled "Changing Students' Perceptions of Persons and Offenders with Mental Illness" by Kelly Frailing and Risdon N. Slate for the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology in San Francisco, California, November 19-22, 2014.

Invited panelist on a panel entitled Care for Aging, Addicted, Chronically and Mentally Ill Inmates and Detainees at the Health Behind Bars Conference on What Obamacare Means for Courts, Prisons, Jails and Justice-Involved Communities (And How to Report the Story), sponsored by John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York on October 22, 2013.