Justice Center's Troy Payne leads new virtual conference with international reach

Portrait of Troy PaynePayne and others launched the free online conference for criminology and criminal justice, filling gaps from national conferences cancelled due to COVID-19.

Dr. Troy C. Payne, an associate professor in the Justice Center, recently was part of a group of professors from various higher-learning institutions that led an academic criminology and criminal justice conference held virtually from Nov. 18 to 20.

CrimCon­—short for Criminology Consortium, a nonprofit corporation—attracted 1,629 unique visitors from 34 different countries. Backing its belief that science should be free to all, the biggest draw for the conference was that there were no registration or presentation fees.

"We didn't think a pandemic should stop the communication of science in criminology and criminal justice,” Payne said. “More than 300 presentations and 1,600 live attendees agreed with us. They made CrimCon 2020 a huge success, and we plan to continue helping academics and practitioners disseminate research well after the pandemic ends.”

Did you miss your chance to attend the conference? Something you can look forward to in the coming weeks are video recordings of the sessions uploaded to the CrimCon YouTube channel. The recordings also will be available for offline use for the classroom. For more information and updates, visit CrimCon.org or follow CrimConOrg on Twitter.

Unaffiliated with any other organization, the conference was organized for the basic love of research, as well as the fact that two big national conferences in the field—hosted by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in March and The American Society of Criminology in November—were canceled due to COVID-19.

Organized with academics and criminal justice practitioners in mind, CrimCon was a free virtual event that presented opportunities to build skills, network and share experiences, stay on top of the latest research, and get an inside look at what academic research is really like in criminology and criminal justice.

The conference included individual papers, complete panels, and roundtables, including presentations by Payne and by Ingrid Johnson, an assistant professor in the Justice Center. In fact, a request for papers resulted in a staggering 300 submissions from scholars and practitioners all over the world. Presentations were live and displayed synchronously, using Zoom for registered attendees and a livestream for the public.

Payne is director of the Alaska Justice Information Center. His work typically involves helping police departments define, analyze, and solve community problems through the application of crime prevention theory and quantitative data analysis. He holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati.