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The Western Association of Criminal Justice (WACJ) was organized in March, 1977 (under the name of Western and Pacific Association of Criminal Justice Educators) as a result of a decision of its parent organization, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), to regionalize in order to better serve its members. The official name of the organization was changed at the 2008 annual meeting to increase the range of scholarship beyond educational goals. WACJ is the Region V affiliate of the ACJS. It draws members from the states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, the Pacific Territories and Possessions, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Members may also be from outside of the region.

  1. To promote the communication and dissemination of information of interest among members, other associations of education, and agencies of the criminal justice system.

  2. To develop an overall philosophy and standards of quality education in the administration of justice.

  3. To encourage both limited and long-term planning and research in the criminal justice system.

  4. To establish a vehicle capable of providing technical assistance and evaluate services to agencies of the criminal justice system.

  5. To establish a center for the accumulation and dissemination of student placement information.

Organizational Mission

The need to grow and continually adapt plagues any organization, and the key to successful growth begins with communication. Concerning Criminal Justice, research must be disseminated and individuals afforded the opportunity to remain current in an evolving field. These are the ideals central to the Western Association of Criminal Justice. By increasing the communication between Criminal Justice academics and practitioners, greater progress can be achieved throughout the discipline.


The goals embrace streamlined communication by highlighting academic research and individual accomplishments among members. As this organization continually expands, we hope for increased participation among faculty, students, and other members, including noticeable results progressing the organization and evidence-based research forward. 


We host an annual conference every October which showcases important research and practices in which members are engaged. 

WACJ History

Our Goals



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