Edward Latessa, a prominent criminologist at the University of Cincinnati who specialized in the evaluation of corrections programs, died last week at 67 of pancreatic cancer. Latessa had been a faculty member at the university for almost 40 years, developing a doctoral program in criminal justice. He directed the Corrections Institute and published nearly 200 scholarly works, including a leading textbook on criminal corrections. He led more than 200 funded research projects and served as an advisor or consultant to correctional agencies and academic programs at all levels of government and internationally.
"Known for his distinctive voice, boisterous laugh, uncanny ability to talk to anyone, quick wit, and blunt and direct style, Edward J. Latessa is arguably the face of evidence-based corrections in Ohio and beyond," said colleagues Francis Cullen, Lawrence Travis and Cheryl Jonson last fall in an issue of the journal Victims & Offenders dedicated to Latessa. "Beginning more than four decades ago as an assistant professor, Ed’s reach in the field not only has shaped the halls of the ivory tower but also has been felt by those most affected by the correctional system – individuals entangled with and working in institutional and community corrections." Interim criminology department director J C Barnes said Latessa "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 others scholars and practitioners along the way." Memorial donations can be made to the Edward J. Latessa Scholarship Fund for Doctoral Student Support www.foundation.uc.edu/latessa or to Pancreatic Cancer Research pancan.org