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California State University, Long Beach

The Judy Hails Student Criminal Justice Endowed Student Award

A lifelong learner, Emerita Professor of Criminal Justice Judy Hails knows what it takes to succeed academically and professionally.  Her experiences in law enforcement and higher education influenced her in establishing the Judy Hails Criminal Justice Endowed Student Award.


Judy has seen the field of criminal justice change throughout her career.  Prior to her tenure at CSULB, Judy was a deputy sheriff in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, serving from February 1968 to the summer of 1973.  During that time, women recruits went through a six-week academy course; their male counterparts went through a 16-week course.  The uniforms issued to female deputy sheriffs at the time consisted of skirts, jackets, purses, and low heels.  Ed Davis, Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Police, was known for saying that women could not be on patrol because they could not climb a fence in a skirt.  

                                              Judy Hails' Graduating Class at LASD 1968
                                                         Judy Hails, far right, at her 1968 Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Graduation.

Because she had earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics, after she graduated from the academy, Judy was assigned to the LASD’s research unit to work as a statistician.  She eventually assumed the position of Acting Senior Statistician and was promoted to the rank of sergeant.   Judy wanted to work in the department’s legal section, but was not permitted to do so because she lacked patrol experience.  But her interest in law led Judy to earn a law degree and, later, to write several textbooks on criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence. 

Shifting to Academics
While working on her master’s degree in criminology in 1969, Judy began teaching statistics at CSULB as a part- time instructor in the Department of Criminology (now the Department of Criminal Justice).  She became tenure-track faculty member in the Department in 1972.  While teaching full-time at CSULB, Judy attended night classes at Southwestern University Law School and earned her J.D. During her first sabbatical leave, Judy went back to school and earned a Master of Law degree (LL.M.) from New York University.

Over the years, Judy has been instrumental in helping the Department of Criminal Justice evolve from its early roots as a police science.  When Judy started teaching in the late 1960s, LEEP (Law Enforcement Education Program) provided federal funding to help working police officers obtain undergraduate degrees.  As a result, Judy’s classes consisted mostly of male police officers who availed themselves of LEEP’s benefits to earn their bachelor’s degrees.   As the years progressed, the academic study of criminal justice evolved into the interdisciplinary social science that is currently is.  But Judy saw more than the Department’s curriculum change.  Today, the overwhelming majority of undergraduate students in the Department of Criminal Justice are not yet working justice professionals.  Most of them are much younger than the students Judy taught early in her career.  And many more women are now enrolled in the criminal justice major.   

Judy has been a trailblazer in the field of criminal justice.  She was one of first female deputy sheriffs at a time when law enforcement was overwhelming male.  She was one of the first women hired to teach in the in the Department of Criminal Justice at CSULB. During her tenure, not only did Judy serve as the Department’s undergraduate advisor for ten years, but she also had the distinction of being the first and only woman to serve as the department chair—a position she held for nine years.  Judy worked with thousands of students over the years and, even though she is now retired, she still works with students as a coach for the CSULB Moot Court Program.  Judy enjoys being a part of this program because it gives students the opportunity to hone their critical thinking, argumentation, and public-speaking skills by arguing cases before a simulated Supreme Court.  And it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Judy as the lifelong learner she is that she continues to be a student herself.  She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in psychology.

Commitment to Higher Education
Judy Hails knows from firsthand experience what it is like for students who struggle to fulfill a myriad of academic, work, and personal commitments.   After all, she earned her master’s and law degrees while working two jobs.  That is why Judy decided to endow the Judy Hails Criminal Justice Endowed Student Award.  Judy wants to help criminal justice students who struggle to balance the demands of life on and off-campus, especially those who are single custodial parents.   These students not only have commitments to school and work, but also have responsibilities for the health, well-being, and success of their children.  Judy hopes that this award will allow single parents to devote more time to their most important responsibility—their children.