Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice & Director, Institute of Crime Science, CECH Criminal Justice
660H Teachers College
Faculty and Staff
Jillian Shafer Desmond
Instructor - Adjunct, CECH Criminal Justice
Professor, CECH Criminal Justice
660G Teachers College
Professor and Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research, CECH Criminal Justice
660C Teachers College
Professor Emeritus (In Memoriam)
Professor Emeritus (In Memoriam)
Our leader, Dr. Edward J. Latessa, passed away peacefully on January 11, 2022 at his home in Cincinnati, Ohio surrounded by his family, wife, sister, and children.
A man of contrasts, Ed was stern but caring, loud but gentle, an Ohio State fan but a UC builder. He was, as his close friend Larry Johnson often says, the hard-shelled candy with the soft middle.
Ed was a born leader who helped build this great program. He had a presence. Chutzpah even. He commanded your attention and you were happy to give it to him. He owned every room he stepped into. He was equal parts intellectual, philosopher, and pragmatist. And he was funny. Really funny.
He was your best friend. Or at least that's how it felt being near him. Sharing a meal with Ed was both a rite of passage and a treat to savor. Sitting beside him at an event, no matter how serious, was always a risk worth taking. The risk lie in the fact that his inner comedian never took a night off. He could make you laugh out loud at the most inappropriate times. And he had a bullshit detector that he was never afraid to vocalize.
Ed was a family man. He spoke often and lovingly of his family, and he always asked (and remembered) the details of your own family. He kept toys and candy in his office, hoping for little visitors. He readily dispensed important wisdom. He’d often remind those around him that careers are marathons not sprints; no need to miss anything important along the way.
Ed understood human behavior better than anyone - like he was told secrets no one else knew. He could cut right to the heart of an issue like a skilled butcher, accomplishing in minutes what might take a trained professional several weeks to achieve. And he could motivate you with the simplest and slightest gestures.
Whether those skills were God given, instilled during his upbringing in Youngstown, or earned over time we never figured out. When asked he would demure, in his classic way, with a pithy remark like, "it ain't that hard."
What is remarkable is not that he had these abilities; rather, it is remarkable that he chose to use them consistently in such positive ways. Propped up by his skills, Ed helped build one of the best doctoral programs in the country. He also created an intricate research and training program that has led to untold reductions in harm and improvements to public safety. And he trained dozens of other scholars and practitioners along the way. His intellectual and professional legacy will live on through his contributions to the professionalization of rehabilitation and corrections in Ohio, the US, and around the world.
There will never be another one like him.
A memorial service is currently being planned for Sat., March 12, 2022. Updates will be posted here:
Ed's obituary can be read here:
History of Ed Latessa’s Career, Interview by Alex Holsinger, ACJS Criminology Project, 2017 (51.12):
Latessa Retirement Video, Aug. 2020 (5:04):
Celebrating Ed Latessa, Nov. 2020 (30:25):
Associate Professor, CECH Criminal Justice
660MA Teachers College
Dr. Manchak teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels, is the coordinator of the undergraduate research program, runs the faculty-led study abroad program in Scotland, and is the academic advisor for the undergraduate/university chapters of the Ohio Innocence Project, College Mentors for Kids, and the American Correctional Association.
To learn more, visit Dr. Manchak's website at www.cjimpactresearch.com.