The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership

Insights into Effective Policing and the Future of Justice Systems with Dr. Frank Schmallager, Scholar and Author

March 12, 2024 Frank Schmallager Season 5 Episode 124
The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership
Insights into Effective Policing and the Future of Justice Systems with Dr. Frank Schmallager, Scholar and Author
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Season 5 - Episode 124

Embark on an intellectual exploration with me, Dr. Steve Morreale, as I sit down with Dr. Frank Schmalleger, a titan in the field of criminal justice education. His pioneering textbooks have shaped the landscape of learning for generations of law enforcement professionals. Throughout this episode, we discuss shifts in criminal justice from its early beginnings to the current era, where cybercrime and AI present new challenges. Frank's teaching philosophy, which marries relevance and problem-solving, alongside his views on the crucial role of leadership philosophy in policing, offers invaluable food for thought for current and future police leaders.

Grapple with the complexities of evidence-based policing as we confront issues like black-on-black violence and the misuse of firearms in communities of color, dissecting the implications these have on media reporting and societal perception. Frank unpacks the nuanced concept of 'wokeness' within law enforcement and how it intertwines with the threads of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our conversation also ventures into the balancing act required between embracing diversity and fostering a cohesive societal consensus, all while keeping the criminal justice curriculum responsive to the rapidly evolving landscape of threats in the digital age.

In a candid reflection, Frank opens up about the enduring legacy he aims to leave through his extensive written works and the transition from print to digital media. This episode is not just a look into the past but also a call to action for future collaborative writing ventures, promising to keep the flame of intellectual curiosity burning brightly. Join us for a dialogue that weaves through the fabric of criminal justice, leadership, societal dynamics, and the timeless craft of writing, ensuring you walk away with a richer understanding of the forces that shape our legal landscape.

The episode closes with a poignant reflection on Frank Schmalleger's professional pride and legacy in publishing, addressing the shift from print to digital media and the importance of preserving academic works for future generations. The open invitation for collaborative writing endeavors encapsulates the spirit of continuous learning and intellectual growth that the episode champions.

Overall, the podcast episode with Dr. Frank Schmalleger serves as a comprehensive dialogue on the dynamic and ever-evolving world of criminal justice. It promises to leave listeners with a richer understanding of the forces that shape our legal systems and the critical role of education, leadership, and technology in this domain.

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Welcome to The CopDoc Podcast. This podcast explores police leadership issues and innovative ideas. The CopDoc shares thoughts and ideas as he talks with leaders in policing communities, academia and other government agencies. And now please join Dr Steve Morreale and industry thought leaders as they share their insights and experience on The CopDoc Podcast. 

Steve MorrealeHost00:37

Hello again everybody, Steve Morreale coming to you today from Hilton Head, south Carolina, and we are headed down to Florida to talk to a colleague of mine who was an avid writer and so involved, a former retired professor now Frank Schmalleger. Dr Frank Schmalleger, and he is in Palm Beach, so hello there, Frank. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest01:00

Hi, steve, and thank you for having me on your program. 

Steve MorrealeHost01:04

I'm really glad to have you finally. We've been back and forth a little bit over time and we met many, many years ago at ACJS and I know you've been very active with ACJS. You had been teaching back in the 70s and I'm sure in your period of time you saw our tremendous transformation, as I did. I think my first program that I took in college was law enforcement. There wasn't criminal justice, if you recall those days right afterwards. And now there's criminology and criminal justice and you were down at UNC Pembroke. Talk about that, talk about your past. What drew you into criminal justice and criminology, and then tell us a little bit about what you're doing, what kinds of work you're doing, what kind of writing you've been doing over the years. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest01:48

Well, as I'm sure you know, back in the 70s, the 80s, we didn't really have a discipline of criminal justice. We had criminology, sociology. So I specialized really in criminology within the field of sociology when I was a graduate student and that was at Ohio State University. But criminal justice came to be important. We had a lot of crime. Cities were inundated with drugs. 


In the 70s, the early 80s, the federal government began to fund local police departments and a lot of money was available for criminal justice education, which had previously not been the case. So my department chairman back, say, in 1976 in prehistory, came to me and said well, you're the closest thing we have to a CJ guy, so how about if you put together a program for us and let's see where we can go with that? So I did. I wrote the course descriptions, gave them all titles and course numbers and we had a comprehensive curriculum going forward. And then we began hiring people as well and we had a growing criminal justice staff. 


But at the same time I started writing textbooks, and this was back in around 1980. And at the time I truly believed that writing, including textbook writing, was a service to the profession and to students, and those are the people I really wanted to reach. So I was surprised when I got my first royalty check because I didn't realize that writing textbooks could actually make money. And it was a happy surprise. But by 1982 and the second edition of my introductory textbook, Criminal Justice Today, came out, my marketing manager told me that it had become the most widely used text in the field of academic criminal justice. 

Steve MorrealeHost03:50

Because it was so early on that you realized that there was something missing and you were filling a void. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest03:57

Yes, I think it's like being in the right place at the right time. I mean, there were other textbooks out there and I could mention some of them, but I decided, well, I'll go ahead and try my hand at writing one. And turns out I was a decent writer. I don't have a lot of skills in other areas, I'm not really athletic, but I do have some writing skills. So I put those to work and the book became popular and, yes, there were not a lot of other books competing with it. It was marketed very well and it was at all the meetings. Free copies were handed out to any potential adopter and it caught on. And then eventually we did a smaller version. It was called Criminal Justice: A Brief Introduction, and shortly they were both dubbed the gold standard in Criminal Justice Education. And today the publisher, which is Pearson Education, even prints a logo that says the gold standard on the cover. 

Steve MorrealeHost05:04

So we're going into a 17th edition of Criminal Justice Today, anticipating an 18th edition in the near future, and that title, that book, still holds the number one slot from what marketing research is telling us in terms of adaptability and in terms of being used, usability and I use it myself, so I appreciate it and one of the things that caught my interest in bringing you on and we're focusing on people from all over the world that are in policing, and practitioners and researchers and such and there was something that I saw that was written about you and it said that your philosophy of teaching and writing is summed up in these words In order to communicate knowledge, we must first catch, then hold, a person's interest. Our writing, our speaking and our teaching must be relevant to the problems facing people today and they must in some way help solve those problems. I found that pretty fascinating. It's interesting too, frank. 


I have to say that you know that I am a pracodemic, somebody who came from the field and now has almost 20 years in academia, so I have morphed quite a bit, and before I came in, there was no such thing known to me as a philosophy of teaching. And one of the things that I'm starting to suggest and I'd like your opinion on this is that maybe police leaders and future police leaders should start to pull together their philosophy of leadership, because it causes you to reflect and ponder what you do, how you do it and how you can improve on it. So I know you've written your share of the philosophy of teaching yours and obviously, this quote you just gave me. What do you think about that, frank? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest06:51

Well, I think you're right and I should point out that way back. I was a captain during Vietnam in the Army. 

Steve MorrealeHost06:59

Thank you for your service as a fellow veteran. Thank you, sir. 

Frank SchmallegerGuest07:02

Well, thank you. But yes, and things were a little simpler back then. We had a purpose and we set out to achieve it and hopefully we were successful. But nowadays society has become a lot more complex and you can have a philosophy that you attempt to adhere to, but there are many pressures coming from so many different areas in society today that it's awfully hard to uncover the truth and to stick with the truth, to focus on it and to solve a problem. And I can give you an example in Criminal Justice Today, a year ago or two years ago, I had a section in there that offended a student. Now students will write to me or they'll write to my publisher, and in this case he wrote to the publisher and he said you know, I read this section in Schmalleger’s intro CJ book and it made me sad, it took the smile right off my face, and so the section was about the fact that some groups in society tend to be arrested more frequently than others. 


It's a matter of proportionality, if you will, which is an important concept. Well, he felt he was, he and his group members were being badly represented, and in my text, in talking about this particular issue, he said no, no, it's not fair to talk this way. It makes me feel bad about myself and I don't know that I can continue on and in the field of criminal justice and achieve the goals that I had set for myself if this is what I'm going to be reading. Well, the problem is that I think we need to be able to write the truth and nowadays, with all the interests that are in society and that are impinging on us, it sometimes is difficult to do that. For example, today there's a lot of writing about disproportionality, which I mentioned earlier, but there’s not a lot of examination as to why disproportionality is there. So, a headline I just came across the other day says that there's a disproportionate number of people of color who are being arrested for certain crimes and a lot of white people are not being arrested, in terms, again, of proportionality. So I say, well, we need to look at the reason, but it's difficult in today's world to bring up reasons and to look at reasons that people sometimes are opposed to looking at honestly. 


I was invited to give a talk at the Naval Academy. I was honored to go to Annapolis and give a talk on criminal justice and goals of CJ and what folks might do after they finish their education at Annapolis go through the military, spend their time and then come out and work in criminal justice, possibly. But there was a black midshipman in the back of the room and he put up his hand and he said what do you think about disproportionality in America's prisons? And he went on in some detail, saying people of color are overly represented in prisons and in jails today. And do you think that's right? 


And I thought about it for a while and I said well, you know, that certainly is an issue and I'm just as concerned as you are. But I'm a man and what bothers me more is the fact that we have so many men in prison. We don't have many women, and that's really a serious issue of disproportionality and something you ought to look at closely. Why don't we have more women? Should we be out there arresting more women? I mean, what's the cause of this disproportionality? 


This imbalance yeah, so clearly observable. Well, I don't think he got my point, but the point is that we need to be clear about what the issues are. We need to admit why we are facing these issues. We need to be able to dig into them honestly. Whether it makes us feel good or bad is beside the point. We need to deal with issues if we're going to solve them. We can save lives, we can do a lot of good, we can get society working, if you will, toward the common good, but we have to admit what the issues are before we can address them effectively. 

Steve MorrealeHost11:49

Well, don't police in your mind have a responsibility to focus on the areas where most crime happens? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest11:58

Yes, of course, but you've probably seen a lot of people protesting today that if you do targeted policing and you put police resources in an area where there are high crime rates, well then it's like you're targeting people who otherwise should be left alone. They should be left alone to go about their daily lives, and they'll be a lot happier doing that than having to conduct their business amidst a heightened police presence. Now, to my mind, the heightened police presence keeps people secure, keeps people safe and it's needed. But other people don't agree with me and they say no, you're again targeting people who should not have this additional burden placed on them in their lives. 

Steve MorrealeHost12:47

So we're talking to Frank Schmalleger and he is in Palm Beach, Florida, today. He is a retired distinguished professor from the University of North Carolina in Pembroke, north Carolina. He went to Notre Dame, went to the Ohio State University, is an author and obviously a researcher. So, frank, I can see that you have done so much in criminal justice, working with ACJS with their program certification standards. I see that you started the criminal justice library distance learning consortium. You are a founding editor of criminal justice studies, which was the justice professional, and worked with Prentice Hall and others to write some books. One of the things that is starting to take hold, as I'm sure you're aware, is this push across the world for evidence-based decision making and evidence-based policing, and it seems to me that we can speak in anecdotes or we can focus resources based on where the evidence points us and the actions or the programs or the efforts that we make. If there's evidence and it's tested, then that may be a better way to utilize limited resources. What's your take on that, frank? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest14:13

Well, that's certainly ideal. It's what we should be doing. It used to be called scientific policing, we now call it evidence-based policing, but it means the same thing. The problem, as I alluded to earlier, is that some people obfuscate the truth, and that's true often with media outlets, and if we can't get at the truth, then it's awfully hard to solve problems that are right in front of us. So, for example, in America today, there's a huge problem with the legal possession and use of firearms. 


We hear a lot about school shootings and about firearms being used in other mass shootings. 


We hear about carjacking, robberies, murders, but what we rarely hear about is the problem of black-on-black violence and the appalling use of firearms within communities of color where the victim and the shooter are of the same race. To my mind, this is the number one firearms-associated problem that we as a country are facing today. It accounts for the largest number of people who are shot, injured and killed. Yet the media rarely focuses on the issue, and they even seem to actively avoid it. And that's because I think they don't want to highlight inner-city problems for fear of sounding discriminatory or, even worse, racist. But until we know what the problems are that we as a society are facing and have clearly identified them, then we're virtually powerless to address them, and inner-city shootings, as in this case, will continue. So science is great, but we need to be able to honestly, truthfully identify issues before we can address them. We need to have a consensus that we know what the issues are and then go after them. 

Steve MorrealeHost16:22

Before we started today we're talking, frank Schmalleger we began to talk about the idea of wokeness, whatever that means to you and everybody else, and I think part of what we're talking about is exactly that. But everybody interprets this term wokeness differently, and certainly what you have had to do over a period of time from the 80s to now, in writing, a book is to constantly evolve, constantly keep it current, and I want to look at a list of the books that you have sort of morphed into the topics you have covered criminal justice, obviously, intro, if you would, corrections, crimes of the internet, policing courts and criminal justice in America, criminal procedure, juvenile delinquency, deviant behavior, con law and criminal law today. These are all very, very constantly changing topics, and so you have quite the list of books that you have dabbled in, sometimes alone and sometimes with co-authors. How do you keep it current? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest17:31

Well, I keep it current by spending the first half of my day reviewing everything that comes across the internet, from police reports to new academic publications, to scholarly endeavors in many different areas and generally to all the news that's flowing on a constant basis. So I keep it current in that way. But at the same time, you mentioned wokeness, and I do want to make a comment or two about that, because I am certainly more woke today than I used to be, in the sense that I have a sense of what wokeness means and I think I know how it applies to the criminal justice system, and it's applied mainly through what we call diversity, equity and inclusion. 


DEI is kind of the buzzword, if you will, for a lot of good things. We want diversity, we want equity, we want inclusion, but as a functional society we can only exist so long as there is shared consensus along a number of important dimensions. Without that kind of consensus, then conflict ensues, cooperation fails and social systems fall apart. So, when pushed to extremes, an overwhelming diversity of values and behavior can prove disruptive and can increasingly fragment people and institutions, resulting in outcomes that are the opposite of stated objectives. So again, DEI, I think is good, and we can agree that race itself is a social construction, it should not be a factor in anything that we think or say or do. But when we talk about diversity of culture and values, you can only have so much diversity in any society before the social threads that hold that society together they come into conflict, they fray, they fall apart. 

Steve MorrealeHost19:40

So we're talking about Frank Schmalleger and I want to ask a couple of questions. You said a little bit ago that one of the first things that you do in your day is to review things. So what do you use as sources? I'm a brand new guy, I'm thinking of writing, or I'm trying to keep up to date, and do you have feeds? How would you do? Where do you get this stuff? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest20:07

Well, yes, of course the government provides great feeds from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Criminal Justice Information Center and the Department of Justice. Constant information is flowing. You can go back and see press releases, studies that the government has done. They're all readily available. But in addition to that, there are a number of private sources that do provide information and some of them recently have been struggling, I'm sad to say. I depend on them to get a lot of information. But again, I think if those sources of information which are funded through subscriptions, if they don't kind of tow the line and say what certain people want to hear, then subscriptions tend to fall off and the financial impact is significant and they can't continue publishing, which is what happened with a great resource starting January 1. We lost it, no longer available to get some news on a daily basis like I used to. But there's a lot of stuff, still a lot of sources, but maybe not as many as there used to be. 

Steve MorrealeHost21:26

So let's talk about the evolution of criminal justice education. You know that I'm involved and, like yourself, you were chair for a long time, or as a chair for a long time. I've just stepped aside and back to faculty and we were in a constant state of trying to understand whether we were providing for students the best information, the best coursework that would keep pace with changes Everything from AI to technology, to cybercrime, security, the rise in security and such and so a lot of courses have changed over time and you were a part of that in the early days and you continue now to support people who are working in education to provide that through your writing. Where do you see the evolution of criminal justice education? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest22:26

Well, in terms of what we're going to be needing, shall we say, content that we have to provide to our students. I think security in general is a very important topic and it extends beyond what we traditionally think of criminal justice. But you can see today that there are a lot of demonstrations, a lot of threatening phone calls, a lot of intrusion, if you will, with regard to the right path for our society to take. So we have protests, we have demonstrations. We could come to the point where push comes to shove and we see another January 6th or another 9-11 or worse than that. So I think we have to focus on security, we have to broaden our coverage, we have to broaden the mindset that we bring to the area of security. We have to realize that security is now an indigenous part of American life. It's really going to have to be everywhere and we have to find ways to bring security to bear in situations which we have not even anticipated in the past. 


So, for example, there was a movie recently on, I think, on Netflix, in which the Obamas played a role in writing to some degree, directing and possibly even funding, and it has to do with the world kind of falling apart, being attacked, if you will. It's a vision about the apocalypse in which social media brings out messages that people act on and they attack the internet. Servers go down and our highly emeshed society that depends on so many connections begins to fray and fall apart. So we haven't looked as closely as we might at some internet security, even minor forms, like the computers we're using today to talk on. We may have some anti viruses on there, but there's a lot of other backdoors that probably need to be better secured on our machines individually and on machines on the internet. So I think security is one area that we need to broaden our focus and do more with. 

Steve MorrealeHost24:49

So I continue to write little notes here. You were talking about the changes. What's going on, the school shootings that we're watching we talked about that, unfortunately or the mass shootings and swatting becoming a problem, a term that was not even considered many, many years, just a few years ago. Transnational crime you talk about Obviously, that's a big deal in social media. Where are you with artificial intelligence? How does it inform you? What are you trying to figure out? Because I'm doing the same thing. What is this AI all of a sudden? What's chat, gpt, what's barred and how is it and what does it do and how can it work? Are you involved in that and trying to understand it? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest25:36

Well, sure, I think most people today, especially writers and people who are teachers and who want to bring in some new information perhaps, in a consistent way. But there are issues with Chat GPT, of course, and with artificial intelligence. A number of those issues are that they don't always have the same voice. So when I write a book, I want to have it be consistent from the first sentence to the last and it carries, if you will, a voice, and that's my voice. So if you want to think about a topic, you probably will after reading my book think about it with my voice in guiding your thoughts. 


Now, ai doesn't really have a consistent voice. It doesn't have a set of principles, if you will. It doesn't have a world view that it's trying to promote. If anything, administrators with AI are trying to limit some of the things that AI says freely, because it can be embarrassing. So AI is important, it's very well informed, but it's not always properly informed. So you can get information back from an AI inquiry which is inaccurate, not fully sourced or guided, and if you try to claim it as yours and use it, let's say, in writing or in lectures, you might be embarrassed because it could one day be shown not really to be yours. We had the president at Harvard University have to resign a little while ago. I'm not sure that was because of AI, but it was because apparently of inadequate citations, also the use of other material which had previously been published without proper citation, and AI is kind of a little bit like that in terms of its writing. 

Steve MorrealeHost27:30

Yeah, you don't know where it comes from. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest27:32

Yeah, you don't know where it comes from, you don't know if it's valid, you don't know if it's accurate, but it's a good start and I think one day it's probably going to replace people like me. 

Steve MorrealeHost27:43

I hope not, frank. Where would we be without the famous Frank Schmalleger and all his writing? So you keep up to date. But you also have a lot of contacts and I've seen and I've listened to some of the interviews that you have done with practitioners and that's very valuable because you get a different perspective and you can by talking to just like myself, by talking to somebody else, you can gain other perspectives, you can have banter back and forth. How do you find people to the practitioners out there to interview and what do you see the value of that being? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest28:26

Well, I have something of well, I have some help with a team at Pearson, my publisher, a major publisher, and they're a great help. 


They have contacts nationwide, worldwide, and they enhance those that I already have. 


So, for some of the interviews that I'm doing online, and we have a number of them scheduled for this spring, we did quite a few in the past, these are people that are members of societies like ACJS, I think we mentioned earlier the American Society of Criminology and others, and so not only do I come across individuals in meetings and during talks, but my publisher also has quite a few people who they keep in the pipeline just in case perhaps they want to write some books, write some supplements or contribute to the educational process in one way or another. 


So there is indeed a community of folks out there, and you and I are, of course, pretty much central members, I would say, of that community, but there are many others, and we all know each other either by reputation or personally, and so there certainly are and there's no shortage no shortage of people to go to and say, hey, would you like to contribute a box or an idea, or can we work together and maybe even put a textbook together, if you will, okay so I'm going to ask a curveball for you what's your favorite crime fiction? 

Steve MorrealeHost29:55

What do you do to chill out? Do you watch TV? Do you read? I know, when you're a writer that seems to consume you, but how do you check out whether it's magazines or it's articles? What do you reach out for to get a different perspective and to clear your mind? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest30:10

You know that's a good question, certainly, because it's what I've been thinking about for years. I would go around in the past many times and talk to schools or universities when I was invited sometimes graduation addresses and that kind of thing. In smaller meetings I've been asked the same kind of question that you just asked and that is what do I do to relax, or do I have hobbies, or is there something that I do that I'm not writing? Well, I never had an answer because I was always writing. I mean, from the time I get up till the time I go to bed I'm in front of that computer researching materials or writing them in some texts. So I was pretty dry in my responses to those people when they would ask me that question. 


But I'm happy to say that in this case, now that you asked me the question again, I do have an answer and I can say that there is something else that I do have an interest in, and it's always been really in a meditative kind of light. And there have been some people who have surprised me, like myself within the criminal justice arena, who have been into meditation, the exploration of consciousness, looking at the fundamental ground, of being, if you will. It's kind of like a spiritual quest. 

Steve MorrealeHost31:20

When did you move to Florida? 


Frank SchmallagerGuest

I moved here in 2003. 





Steve MorrealeHost

Okay, so you've been down there for a while and leisure is a byproduct of being down there. I know that you've been on boats before. Is that doing something for your psyche or to get away? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest 31:30

Well, yes, we live on the water. We're very fortunate. We have a great view. However, my office is on the other side you can't see it well probably because you'd be daydreaming. 

Steve MorrealeHost31:41

I know what that's like and that's okay. Hey, frank, I suppose in a lot of ways we've got some similarity. If my wife and I are watching TV, I have something in front of me whether it is my computer or tablet always a pad of paper. Is that your shtick too? Just in case something pops into your head and throw that down and then work on it the next time, how do you not lose those thoughts that come through? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest32:03

Well, Steve, even though I'm a little older than you are, I've gone to electronic recording. So, instead of the pad of paper or the pen or pencil, I actually have cell phone or iPad or some other device and I can take audio notes, which I tend to do. They're easily modifiable and I can add to them at any time. So, yeah, I do, and you might be in bed Like I am. An idea comes to you, you jump out of bed and you say well, I've got to record this. 

Steve MorrealeHost32:30

Before it just leaves me forever. Isn't that interesting? It's because some of the thoughts that come to my mind, and certainly in your mind, is you've been mulling something over and you walk away, you go and eat and you're. Ah, there it was. It comes at an inopportune time. You're saying that you record it and then you can look back on it later. Is that right? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest32:47

Yes, but what I'm mostly interested in is the wording. I like to get the wording right because, writing for students, I find over the years that if you write something, say just a simple sentence or a paragraph, students will read that sentence or that paragraph and they'll come away with all kinds of impressions, and many of them may be misinterpretations. They don't always get what it is I'm trying to say. So when I write just a sentence, it'll take me sometimes four hours, maybe half a day, to get that sentence just right and have it read just the way I want it to read, and the reason is that I look at every possible way in which it could be interpreted. So I want it to be interpreted the way I meant. So you're looking for clarity. That saves a lot of space, too in a book. My books could be much larger than they are, and they're large enough as it is. 

Steve MorrealeHost33:36

Now word budget is big. It's not an easy thing to do. Do you ever get to watch television and if so, do you watch any crime TV or police procedural? You know? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest33:46

I'm not a fan of crime shows. I never watch any and people think I should, but I don't Like you. I watch a lot of HGTV. 

Steve MorrealeHost33:54

I only do it because of my wife. Now, frank, you give it it up. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest33:59

I have the same reason. So, yeah, we keep our spouses happy, so a lot of the TV is material that I might not normally watch. 

Steve MorrealeHost34:10

That's okay. That's okay For me. It's just another project that might come my way because she likes what she sees on television. I understand that very, very well and I know that you do too. One of the things that I also want to ask is if you were to host and I know you've done this before, but the ultimate criminal justice dinner party, who would you invite? That has been inspirational in molding criminal justice over the last 50 to 100 years, so the person might be gone. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest34:40

Sure, like Edwin Sutherland, you know I mean I'd like to invite him, but he is gone. Let me tell you a story that is along the lines of what you're asking. When I got married for the first time, my first wife passed away years ago, but this was back in the 70s. So when I got married, I at the time was good friends with a warden at a local prison. He trusted me to pretty much do anything in the prison, or to take prisoners out, take them around, have them taken to dinner or take them to the swimming pool at my university. Well, in this case I was getting married at my home. So we had set up a nice kind of elaborate spread. I had invited the district attorney who, by the way, from my area at the time, is still in the Guinness Book of World Records for having more people on death row than anyone else in the free world. So he was a pretty hard-nosed DA. So I invited him. I also invited the main criminal defense attorney from the county and then placed them in the crowd, if you will. 


I invited a murderer, you can't say that anymore, in woke language, you say, a person who had been convicted of homicide. So I had this person who had been convicted of homicide. I brought him in my car to my wedding, went to the prison to pick him up. He had been on death row but the law had changed. His sentence had been changed to life in prison. So he was there and I brought a fellow named Catman, who was a rapist, serial rapist. He was there. 


The DA had put both of these guys away, by the way, so they were all at the same party and I mixed criminal justice people from the system and then from the prisons and jails and from the streets. I had a guy who won't give you his name, but his card had his name, his phone number. At the bottom it said Smuggler, and that's what he did. He was a smuggler. So, to answer your question in a kind of different way, I tried to bring all different sorts of perspectives to the wedding and it turned out to be quite a great confluence, if you will, of these people and the interaction was amazing. If I had today's technology I would have recorded it. I've had it available, you know, for viewing. 

Steve MorrealeHost36:44

When you think about that. Yes, it's almost like a qualitative study. Right, if you could be a fly on the wall at those tables about what people were talking about. You're absolutely right. That's a very interesting wedding, my friend. We're talking of Frank Schmalleger. 


He's an author, he is a professor emeritus from UNC Pembroke and he's down in Florida.  Frank, one of the things that this podcast has been focused on is police leadership and I'd like your take on that If you were to write a book or if you were to talk about leadership and obviously being the chair of a department at UNC Pembroke is not an easy thing to negotiate, but it requires leadership. What are some of the elements that you know to be useful with a leader? Understanding they're dealing with different people, different person. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest37:34

Well, I think that there are natural leaders. You know, natural born leaders. If you're in a situation that requires leadership, let's say an emergency situation, there are people who will emerge to take a leadership role, and those people have something inside of themselves that I guess we can call a born leader, a natural leader, and they have confidence. And confidence is certainly very important. Hopefully those people lead in the right direction, because confidence doesn't always mean that you've got all the answers. So, certainly, confidence, a natural ability to lead, is a good one. But if you don't have either of those two, you can certainly learn to be a leader, and when I was in the Army and a Captain during Vietnam, that kind of thing I didn't consider myself to be a natural born leader. But you have people whose safety you're responsible for, you have missions you have to accomplish and you have to lead. Likewise, at Pembroke, as a chair of a department, my department was, shall we say, not an easy department. 

Steve MorrealeHost38:32

Do you know of any easy departments, Frank? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest38:36

The university lawyer came to me one day and he said you were here for one year as an assistant professor and the next year you were selected to be the chair of the department as an assistant professor. So I was the youngest chair of any department at my university and I think I still hold that record. But I was chosen because no one else, they thought, was able to do the job and everybody else was fighting amongst themselves. So I was kind of the least known quantity and they said well, let's give this guy a chance, maybe he can work something out. 


Well, I did, and I guess the way I did was by listening to everyone, by considering all the angles, like I do when I write, and trying to come to consensus. Consensus is never easy and not everyone will join when consensus is reached. But if you can achieve a consensus among the people you're working with, I think that's one of the most important things you can do as a leader. And then you put that consensus into action. Now it may be your ideas that inform just how that action will occur and take place and what programs or other features you develop. But consensus, efficiency, confidence. 

Steve MorrealeHost39:46

I'm going to guess that the experience that you gained from being in the military in wartime was not a negative experience for yourself, but something that helped you grow. Is that a fair statement? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest39:58

Well, thank you, yes, and I've known folks who have done a lot more. I have a good friend who holds the world jump record for jumping out of an airplane more times than any other. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne. 

Steve MorrealeHost40:10

I was going to say 101st, but okay, it was the 82nd. Yeah, go ahead. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest40:14

13,800 jumps. And unfortunately his back is not in good shape after all those jumps, because when you come down, hopefully, but he loves it and if he could jump today he would. He's not able to. So certainly people do come away with, I guess, an enhanced sense of who they are and the ability to do more that they had been able to do prior to those. 

Steve MorrealeHost40:39

Well, I think when you're in the military, one of the things and much like in policing and even corrections that it's mission driven, it's mission oriented, and when you can tie this is what used to happen with me it is. It's not about I hate to say this, but it's not about you and what you want to do, Professor. It's about what's good for the students. That's the way you're writing, and so that time that you spent in the classroom do you miss it? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest41:00

You know I enjoy writing, so I do miss it a bit, but I think I would rather be doing what I'm doing. I enjoy being here at the keyboard putting ideas together and trying to explain them as clearly as I can, but you were talking about, I guess, goals, if you will, or what people want to do. I think in our society today there are so many differences of opinion as to where we ought to be headed and we really need some leadership, in the sense that we need a sense of what America, about, what this country is all about. In policing, in criminal justice, we tend to be fairly traditional folks. We have a fairly traditional, if you will, long, lasting, long standing perspective on where we all as a society should be heading, but that's not true for a lot of people in groups today. 


Our society is, in a lot of ways, a happy society. People are free, they can do what they want unless they violate the law, and the laws today are not quite the same as they used to be. They're getting a little bit easier, if you will. We don't arrest protesters as readily as we used to. 

Steve MorrealeHost42:04

We aren't smart. Let them get it out of the system. What? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest42:07

Take it through the tunnel. Well, come back tomorrow, you know. So there are different ideologies, if you will, in our society today and they're moving in different directions. And for folks who are in law enforcement it's difficult to embrace or to appreciate these different ideologies and to be able to work with them and to have society still function. 


And I think that's our job in criminal justice is to keep society stable, functional, to have it be predictable, to have it work, so that you can be sure that when you go to the store the items you want are going to be on the shelf and not stolen. You can be sure that when you go to the store you're not going to be carjacked on your way there, you can be sure that you're not going to be caught up in a gang and injured or beaten. We need certainty, we need predictability, so society needs to be a predictable society. And today criminal justice is striving for predictability among all areas of society. But unfortunately we have so many different interests and groups and activities going on that we have more of a mishmash than we had in the past. 

Steve MorrealeHost43:12

What's on your bucket list? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest43:13

Well, I'd like to retire one day, and I don't know if that'll ever happen, because my publisher says well, no, your writing is good, so keep writing. 

Steve MorrealeHost43:22

So keep writing. Yeah, it keeps the mind fresh, for sure, and you keep relevant, frank. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest43:26

Well, thank you, but I think what I need to do is find some good co-authors. So, Steve, now that I have you here, I'm wondering maybe you and I should consider one day doing something together. Or maybe you want to join one of my existing titles and become a co-author and you're still a young man. Well, relative to me, you have years of writing ahead of you if you want to take it on. 

Steve MorrealeHost43:54

That's great. Well, thank you for the offer, and that's something we'll talk about offline. We're talking to Frank Schmalleger and he has done a lot. He's writing constantly, and so what are your projects? What are the projects you're working on right now? Are there any new books or are there a lot of revisions? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest44:07

Well, I have some books all around me here. They're not all in reach, but I did a book called Criminal Justice: an Introduction. It's a shorter version of my big criminal justice today and it focuses primarily on the issue of “is it fair”? And so in the book we look at issues again of proportionality, discrimination, social issues, and we look at specific cases and the question is “is it fair?” 


So, for example, there were a group of inmates who formed a church within prison and they called it CONS, C-O-N-S, and it was the church of the new song. You may have been familiar with it, but its tenants were mostly dietary and followers the religious practitioners. They went to the administrators of the prison and they said well, our diet has to consist, every meal at night, of Harvey's Bristol cream and a one pound medium rare prime fillet, and this is a religious restriction that's imposed on us by our faith. And eventually, you might imagine, the prison explored this with their legal staff, went to court and the court said well, no, we can agree with religious principles, but in this case it seems like this was just made up, so we can't have all this kind of thing going on. But with regard to books, you can see me, I know, even though we're doing a podcast, but if you can see, this I see Constitutional Law Today. 

Steve MorrealeHost45:30


Frank SchmallagerGuest45:30

Yeah, it's constitutional law today, with Cognella publishing, and it is huge. I mean we're talking about 800 pages. Yeah, big book just came out. So that's one of the things I'm doing today just finished, and I am working on some other new editions, including criminal justice, and criminal law is going to be coming up for revision. Just finished corrections. Revision of that criminal law is a thing that's really on the burner right now, if you will. 

Steve MorrealeHost45:58

Great. Well, you're a busy man and you're down there in Florida enjoying the weather, even though we've both been seeing some rain and wind over the last little bit but we're talking to Frank Schmalleger down in Palm Beach. I want to thank you very much for coming and being with us today. What would you say to both practitioners as an author and as a researcher and students in terms of the importance of our American system of justice? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest46:25

Well, I think the system of justice that we have today is under a lot of pressure. There's defund the police movements, which I think are finally beginning to settle down and not as rabid, if you will, as they were in the past. But I think we all need to be truthful about the issues that face us, and that's true for criminal justice practitioners as well as for people generally in society. If we can be honest with each other about what the issues are that we're facing, if we can come together and work together with one another in order to solve them, then I think we'll see a good future. But if we stand on opposite sides of the barricades and just continue to taunt one another and not resolve anything, then I worry about the future that we have. 


Criminal justice needs to change. It needs to be more participatory, it needs to take into consideration the issues that are out there and listen to people. Old values that are different from, say, traditional values that the system is based on. But, at the same time, people can't expect a society in which there is no order and in which there are no laws. We need to have order, we need to have social solidarity and we need to be able to continue to function as a society. 

Steve MorrealeHost47:39

What are you most proud of professionally? Last question. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest47:41

Well, that's a good question. I've never really thought of it that way. I guess, if anything, it's all these books that are all around me. I mean, they took a lot of work, they took pretty much of my life. They are a heritage of a kind that I leave behind and it is interesting as I get older; I'm 76 now; I wonder what I'm going to do with these books. 


Most of them are in print, although of course now we have electronic versions and they are online. Read my books online. You can respond to questions in them online, you can write your answers online that your professor will see, and so on, and there's remediation online. But in terms of the printed books that are all around me as I look, I don't know really what to do with them. I mean, we have a big dumpster outside. But in terms of the heritage, I guess it's the ideas that are in those books. But I do want to pass a couple copies you know along to my daughter, grandkids and maybe they'll be on bookshelves if we still have bookshelves going forward because everything is so electronic. 

Steve MorrealeHost48:40

Well, I think what's unique about what you do? I mean, you think about an author, somebody who writes a story, and that story is over and then you move on to another story or another event with different characters. You're not doing that, you're keeping them up to date. So what you wrote in 82, there's some basics that are in there, but 82 is different than 2024 for sure. The needle has moved tremendously and you and I have lived through that and yet we still survive. So that's pretty interesting. Frank, I thank you for sharing. How do people get in touch with you? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest49:09

Well, they can write to me, and the best address is schmall like schmalleger schmall That's an email address that I use for most everything, so just write to me and you should hear back from me within a day or two. 

Steve MorrealeHost49:27

That's great. That's nice for you to be receptive to that, and if anybody has an idea for you, same thing. Just ship it your way. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest49:34

Sure, we can bounce ideas around, although, since I tend to stay so busy, I can't always answer emails in detail. And I laugh because students will write me and they'll send me one of my own questions. You know that happen in a book, right? 

Steve MorrealeHost49:48

Yeah, I have to answer this for the professor. How would you answer it? Yes, I would do it. Isn't that interesting? 

Frank SchmallagerGuest49:55

Well, that's crazy, can't always do that, but otherwise, yes, that's great Well, Frank. 

Steve MorrealeHost49:59

Thank you very, very much for being here with me on The Cop Doc Podcast. I will say to the audience that the 2023 information just came out and I was pretty proud. We were heard in 34 countries and it's growing, so the topics are growing and you've added to that. I want to thank you so much for being here and I wish you the best of luck in 2024. 

Frank SchmallagerGuest50:20

Steve, thank you for inviting me and, by the way, I think you know that I also do a few interviews online and I believe you are scheduled to be among those interviewees this coming spring, so I very much look forward to seeing you there online again. 

Steve MorrealeHost50:35

That's great and I look forward to doing that. So again, Frank Schmalleger, you've been listening to Steve Morreale in South Carolina, Frank down in Florida and this is The CopDoc Podcast. So there's another episode on the books. Stay tuned for future episodes and reach out for me. If you have any ideas, any potential interviewees happy to hear from you. We're getting ready to interview somebody from South Africa very soon. So thank you very much, Frank. Have a good one. Thank you, Steve. 


Thanks for listening to The CopDoc Podcast with Dr Steve Morreale. Steve is a retired law enforcement practitioner and manager, turned academic and scholar from Worcester State University. Please tune into The CopDoc Podcast for regular episodes of interviews with thought leaders in policing. 


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