UMass Amherst Sociology Professor Elected President of the American Society of Criminology

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts sociology professor Roland Chilton has been elected president of the American Society of Criminology (ASC). Chilton will be inducted as president-elect of the ASC at the organization’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in November. He will be inaugurated as president in November 1999.

Founded in 1941 and based in Columbus, Ohio, the ASC is a national organization dedicated to criminological research, scholarship, and training within academic institutions and the criminal justice system. Although most of the organization’s 3,200 members are engaged in academic research and teaching, the society’s membership also includes individuals who work in various branches of the justice system.

"The ASC is engaged in a constant review of practice and search for knowledge," says Chilton. "However, I hope to make the organization more effective in responding to a variety of issues - among these, our current incarceration practices, our conflicted, often irrational, approach to victimless crime, and the inequalities that exist both inside and outside the justice system."

Chilton has worked with national crime statistics and the programs that collect this data for nearly three decades. In his work, he has consistently emphasized the need for more and better crime data. As one of the principal creators of the criminal justice concentration at UMass, which was greatly expanded this semester by the sociology department, Chilton has made the examination of statistics an integral feature of the program.

In addition, Chilton has studied the relationship of age, gender, race, and social class to specific forms of crime. He currently is focusing on issues of inequality and crime in the United States and is examining official crime data, especially Uniform Crime Report arrest information from the FBI’s new incident-based crime reporting system.

Chilton served on the staff of President Lyndon Johnson’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, and contributed to the volume "The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society." He has been a visiting fellow at the Center for Research on Social Indicators (Washington, D.C.), the Center for the Study of Justice (Tempe, Ariz.), and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (Washington, D.C.). Chilton has been a faculty member at UMass since 1970.