Faculty

“I am excited that Adler University recognizes the vast   
impact that practitioners and researchers trained not  
just in criminology, but also in psychology and social  
justice issues, can make and I am honored to be part  
of this effort." 
-Rachel Johnston, Ph.D.

“I am excited that Adler University recognizes the vast
impact that practitioners and researchers trained not
just in criminology, but also in psychology and social
justice issues, can make and I am honored to be part
of this effort."
-Rachel Johnston, Ph.D.

Rachel Johnston
Program Director, M.A. in Criminology

Arguably, the field of Criminology and Criminal Justice touches everyone. It is rare to find someone that hasn’t been a victim of or witness to some criminal act, and most of us have committed crimes (intentionally or inadvertently, however minor), though most of us have never been arrested. For those who have not been victimized, witnessed or committed criminal acts, surely there is someone important in their lives that have.

The criminal justice system is vast and consumes huge portions of most public budgets. Criminal justice policy – ideas that become laws – are applied to all residents but in some important respects vary by location. For example, in Chicago, gun ownership laws are considered very strict, but surrounding communities that have less strict laws have an impact on public safety outside their communities. 

Unfortunately, the application of “justice” is not evenly or objectively applied which has brought us to the point where many believe the system is “broken.” Many new collaborative efforts are perhaps changing the system paradigm – it remains to be seen. Without a doubt, there are countless opportunities for improving social justice in the criminal justice system. I am excited that Adler University recognizes the vast impact practitioners and researchers trained not just in criminology, but also the impact of psychology and social justice issues, and I am honored to be part of this effort.

My areas of expertise are in law enforcement organizations, police management, surveillance, and violence prevention. I worked as a practitioner, as a convener of public agencies, and as a researcher. I worked with the Chicago Police Department in their Research and Development Division for over a decade, and recently worked on a multi-agency collaboration involving a number of public agencies in Cook County and the City of Chicago. I have conducted research in violence prevention, policing strategies, and surveillance. Because of my varied experiences, I understand criminal justice issue from multiple perspectives.

Please email or call me (312.662.4370) if you have questions or would like more information about me.

Education

  • Ph.D., Criminology, Law & Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • M.U.P.P., Urban Planning & Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • B.S.S., American Studies, Cornell College

Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Criminology
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences