People

alasti120x149.jpegSanaz Alasti

Director and Founder

Sanaz Alasti is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Lamar University, Texas State University System, where she teaches criminal justice and legal classes. She is the author of several books on criminal law, the criminal justice system, comparative punishment practices and rituals, and criminology. In addition to her professional experience as a post-doctorate at Harvard University School of Law (2010–2012), she is the recipient of the Teaching Appreciation Award from Criminal Justice Department, Heald College, San Francisco (2010); the Merit Scholarship, Golden Gate University School of Law (2004); the Graduate Student Award, Criminology Department, Tehran University (2003); and the Top Student Award, Allame Tabatabaee University School of Law (2001). Alasti attended numerous conferences in the US, Middle East and Europe to discuss the arbitrariness of capital punishment. She has recently been invited to Italy as a lecturer to provide instruction to military officers, legal advisors, political and policy advisors on Middle Eastern criminal justice systems at a seminar hosted by NATO School. Alasti has worked for the Law Library of Congress, and her interviews have been featured in the magazines such as the New Yorker and the Examiner.

Vidisha WorleyVidusha Barua Worley

Director of Strategic Planning

Vidisha Worley is an associate professor of criminal justice at Lamar University; former contributing editor and columnist with the Criminal Law Bulletin (January 2010 to December 2013); founding member of the Institute for Legal Studies in Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University; associate book review editor of Theory in Action; and a licensed attorney in New York and India. She was a journalist in India for six years and worked at three national dailies, The Asian Age, Business Standard, and The Financial Express. She presented a paper on intellectual disability and the death penalty at the Oxford Round Table, Oxford University, England, in March 2010. She earned her Master’s in Criminal Law from the University at Buffalo Law School, State University of New York at Buffalo, and her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. Professor Worley’s area of expertise is police and correctional officer civil liability for the use of tasers and stun guns, the death penalty, terrorism, prison rape, correctional officer deviance, and inappropriate relationships between correctional officers and inmates. Vidisha Worley and her coauthor, Robert M. Worley, Ph.D., came up with the theory, the Economics of Crossing Over, which explains why some correctional officers cross over to the side of the inmates. Vidisha and Robert Worley have also co-edited a two-volume encyclopedia titled, American Prisons and Jails: An Encyclopedia of Controversies and Trends, for ABC-Clio,which was published in 2019. Her other published books include Press and Media Law Manual(2002) and Terrorism in India(2006).

Stuart WrightStuart Wright

Senior Research Advisor

Stuart A. Wright is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice at Lamar. He is a former NIMH Research Fellow (Yale) and Rockefeller Foundation Scholar (Bellagio, Italy). He has authored over fifty publications in scholarly books and journals. Dr. Wright is known internationally for his research on religious and political movements, conflict and violence. He has published six books, including Storming Zion: Governments Raids on Religious Communities (with Susan J. Palmer, Oxford, 2016), Saints under Siege: The Texas State Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (with James T. Richardson, New York University Press, 2011), Patriots, Politics, and the Oklahoma City Bombing (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Armageddon in Waco (University of Chicago Press, 1995).

Affiliated Faculty

bronson120x149.jpegEric Bronson

Former Director of Criminal Justice Program at Lamar and Dean of School of Justice, Roger Williams University

Eric F. Bronson is the director of Criminal Justice at Lamar University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Bowling Green State University. His teaching and research interests include inmate subcultures, newsworthiness of the death penalty, victim closure and stratification in society. He has published articles and presented papers of the newsworthiness of executions and is investigating closure related to the victim's family members.

Interns