CUH Professor Shows Importance of Women in the Criminal Justice Field


Brad Angelo

Janet Davidson had been a professor at Chaminade for over 11 years.

Chaminade has a large number of professors, advisers, and ministry members who are all memorable for their own reasons. Whether they’re the most chilled out professor you’ve ever had, or they tend to go on huge rants about “South Park” or Trump, they all have their quirks and traits. Professor Janet Davidson is one of these memorable teachers. With numerous years of experience and multiple publications under her belt, she has shown a deep interest and passion for the subject of criminal justice.

Before Davidson was a professor at Chaminade University, she worked as a senior research analyst and project researcher for the Department of the Attorney General after earning her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Hawaii. There she continued to build upon her knowledge and research in criminal justice.

“It was mainly a research job, it was a lot of applied research,” said Davidson. “I worked with the sort of agencies that my heart is more aligned with, in terms of research I like to do. Mainly with jails, prisons, parole and probation.”

She would then join the Chaminade faculty in 2005 as an assistant professor at first, then go on to associate professor. When asked about her reason for becoming a professor and the difficulties she may have faced, she responded,

“It’s kind of the expected trajectory … you finish your Ph.D. and you go to the university.” She went on to say, “One of the new things were trying to do with Chaminade … is really having those of us (professors) who come from educational backgrounds other than education, we have expertise in our content area. … We don’t really have a background in teaching and are kind just thrown in there. What our faculty center is doing is trying to educate all of our faculty on the research of effective teaching.”

Davidson teaches a wide variety of classes focused in criminal justice. These range from Ethics in Criminal Justice, to Research Methods and Statistics, with her favorite class being Women in Crime. She sees it as her most influential class, but also her least well attended. It has to compete with other popular classes such as Sex Crimes and Drug in Society as an elective class. However, Davidson sees it as a benefit.

“We normally have a pretty small class of around 10, but that small number means that we’ve had some really great, in-depth conversations,” she said. “Students who take that class, almost 100 percent, really appreciate that class and learn a lot about gender in society. We mainly focus on women in the justice system as a really neglected population.”

“Since I’ve been here I love being in the classroom. It’s a reward … to see students coming in as freshman and seeing them go out as seniors and to see the real growth that our students achieve over a 4-year period,” she said. “And then to see them in the field … it’s nice to see the students now working at parole or in the correctional system or wherever they may be.”

Davidson is passionate about her teaching and cares for her students. She wants them to succeed and thrive in whatever they want to pursue later in life. Bringing her years of experience to Chaminade, she continues to motivate her students to be the best they can be.