The University of Maryland, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice are working diligently to provide timely information about COVID-19 and its impact on our community. For updates and best practices, visit Read BSOS Dean Gregory Ball's statement on Coronavirus and Our Community, and visit the Office of International and Executive Programs Pledge to Fight Anti-Asian Bias for support and resources.


Among criminology departments, CCJS has been a pioneer in terms of offering criminology programs to international students.  For example, our MA program in China was among the first US academic program in China and dozens of students have completed the program over the past two decades.  More generally, CCJS strongly depends on attracting the most talented students, researchers, faculty and visitors from around the world. Of course, the delay and suspension of international programs due to the current public health crisis in no way diminishes their importance to our program.  We are working closely with authorities from the state and university to monitor the situation and are fully committed to resuming regular international activities just as soon as it is safe to do so.


We in CCJS realize that the understandable anxiety about public health concerns can sometimes lead to alarming and unacceptable reactions, including manifestations of bias, discrimination, and even hate directed against people who originate—or who are presumed to originate—from countries affected by illnesses, including coronavirus.


The university, the college and our department have no tolerance for these kinds of bias, discrimination and hate. University leadership at all levels has already undertaken vigorous measures to prevent and mitigate the targeting of specific individuals and communities. Our department fully supports the recent statement released by the UMD Office of Diversity and Inclusion which demonstrates the strong commitment of our university community to resist biased or hateful stereotypes and our continued commitment to an unprejudiced and nondiscriminatory approach to all our students and faculty, including those from other countries.


As chair of the department, I urge all members of the CCJS community to adopt an informed attitude about the coronavirus. I think it is safe to say that we are all very much looking forward to the day when we can return to a more familiar academic environment.  Until that day comes we must be united in our support for an unbiased, healthy, and welcoming environment for people of all origins and types and at all times.




Gary LaFree

Chair and Professor

Gary LaFree, Chair & Professor of CCJS