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Meet Criminal Justice Studies Faculty


Cicely J. Cottrell, PhD

Director, Criminal Justice Studies; Assistant Professor

Cicely J CottrellDr. Cottrell received her PhD in Sociology and Criminology from Howard University with a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, her MS in Administration of Justice is from the University of Louisville, and her BA in Political Science is from Western Kentucky University.  She has gained several years of criminal justice system experience in various agencies, such as the Kentucky Department of Corrections, Administrative Office of Kentucky Courts, and the United States House Committee on the Judiciary.  Through these experiences, she has learned that a great deal of compassion and forgiveness are needed when making decisions that not only impacts one’s freedom but their ability to acquire their basic needs to survive, such as food, water, housing, education, healthcare, communication, and transportation.  Dr. Cottrell’s research focuses on restorative justice with special interests in racial disparities in school suspension and juvenile delinquency and the collateral consequences thereof, as well as discriminatory policies and practices in the criminal justice system from pre-arrest to post-release. Dr. Cottrell is active in the Breonna Taylor and police reform conversation; she's appeared in the HuffPost's "How Louisville Can Still Get Justice for Breonna Taylor," on WLKY News' "Professors: LMPD reforms in Breonna Taylor settlement show promise, shortcomings," and on WFPL's "In Conversation: The Breonna Taylor Decision and Its Aftermath." Read more about Dr. Cottrell.