3 Questions for Norwich Criminal Justice Scholar Stephanie Maass

Office of CommunicationsCollege of Liberal Arts, Faculty & Staff, News, Z2

Photo: Studio portrait of Stephanie Maass
Norwich University Office of Communications

May 18, 2017

Corrections scholar Stephanie Maass teaches in the School of Justice Studies and Sociology at Norwich, where she says she strives to “foster discussions, the sharing of ideas” in the classroom and broaden students’ conceptual frameworks. Her courses range from intro surveys and senior seminars to examinations of juvenile justice and corrections. As a master’s and doctoral candidate at George Mason University, Maass honed a research focus on community corrections, substance use and co-occurring disorders, and organizational change. The scholar has trained corrections officers across the country on the use of evidence-based supervision practices. We recently asked Maass about her teaching and scholarship.

1. Why do you teach?

I teach to help students become critical and responsible consumers of information. I strive to challenge their preconceived notions with information they may not be aware of and guide them while they think through the realistic challenges facing our world today.

2. What drives your passion for the field?

The criminal justice system is often bleakly portrayed as a broken system plagued with corruption and high recidivism rates. I look at the system and I see potential, particularly in the corrections field. Community correction, in particular, offers a significant amount of time to work with justice-involved individuals to rehabilitate them, reintegrate them into society, and increase public safety. We only need to pay attention to what approaches work best and how to successfully implement those strategies.

3. What questions do you explore through your scholarship?

Currently in the field of corrections the adoption rate of best practices is about 33%. We know quite a bit about what works to reduce recidivism but quite a bit less about how to implement those effective strategies on a large scale. My research seeks to understand the adoption—or lack of adoption—of best supervision practices among individuals in organizations. What makes one individual or agency more likely to use best practices than another? And which practices are they likely to use over others?