Criminologists Cancel Annual Conventions

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COVID-19 coronavirus digital art by Prachatai via Flickr.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the American Society of Criminology (ASC), the nation’s leading organization of academic criminologists, to cancel its annual convention, which had been scheduled for Washington, D.C., on Nov. 18-21.

The event, at which experts discuss their latest research, had been expected to attract about 4,400 attendees, says ASC director Chris Eskridge of the University of Nebraska.

More than 4,100 came to last year’s annual conference in San Francisco.

In a message to ASC members, society president Sally Simpson of the University of Maryland said, “This decision is not lightly taken. Your safety and health are of primary concern.”

Simpson said the group is exploring other ways to present its several annual awards that normally are announced at its convention.

Like many other organizations faced with holding major meetings while the virus is widespread, ASC had to consider its hotel contract and the prospect of making any later changes in its meeting plans after members had made travel arrangements.

The society is next scheduled to meet in Chicago in November 2021.

The other large organization of U.S. criminologists, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), had hoped as late as early March to go ahead with its annual meeting, scheduled for March 24-28 in San Antonio, but the group also was forced to cancel on March 11 because of the “rapidly developing and serious situation.”

ACJS plans to hold its next national gathering next spring in Orlando.

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