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Award-Winning Lander Professor Dispels Criminology Myths

Daniel Kavish

Lander University Assistant Professor of Criminology Dr. Daniel Kavish, the winner of this year's Young Faculty Scholarship Award, prides himself on separating fact from fiction on the hot topic of crime and the criminal justice system.

"Many students, and people in general, believe in a lot of myths about crime, and I enjoy dispelling those myths with empirical evidence," Kavish said. "The most obvious myth I encounter is that crime is happening at epidemic levels or that there is some massive wave of violence in the U.S. However, total violent crime declined in the U.S. between 1993 and 2011. Likewise, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, some property crimes, such as burglary, have been on the decline since the 1970s. This is important to note because the general public often believes the nation has a growing crime problem. Yet, for the most part, crime rates have been declining or stagnant over the past couple decades."

Kavish pointed to the depiction of crime as one of the reasons for the misunderstandings about the prevalence of crime. "My lectures are discussion-based, and I enjoy teaching students how to critically evaluate what they see in the media about crime and the criminal justice system," he explained.

Awarded annually, the Young Faculty Scholarship Award recognizes a Lander instructor with a proven record of publication in journals, books and other media, as well as participation in professional conferences. Kavish's works have been featured in a host of academic journals, including "Crime & Delinquency," "Critical Issues in Justice and Politics," "Contemporary Justice Review" and the "Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology."

In addition to reviewing several books about criminology, Kavish has contributed to a host of books, including authoring chapters for "Crimes of the Centuries: An Encyclopedia of Notorious Crimes, Criminals, and Criminal Trials in American History," "The Encyclopedia of Street Crime in America," and "Crime, Justice, and Social Diversity."

In sharing his expertise on the subject of criminology, Kavish has presented his research at conferences sponsored by the American Society of Criminology, the Southern Sociological Society and the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association.

A native of Springfield, Ill., Kavish began teaching at Lander in fall 2016 after earning his doctorate of philosophy in criminology and criminal justice and master's degree from Southern Illinois University. He earned his bachelor of arts in criminal justice from the University of Illinois at Springfield. In addition to his instruction responsibilities, Kavish is faculty advisor for Lander's local chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma (the national criminal justice honor society) and the Sociology Club.