Dr. Casey Jordan, Criminologist - Attorney

WestConn Criminology Prof Makes Thousands of TV Spots

Casey Jordan has done more than a thousand TV spots on major networks as an expert on violent crime.

Jordan, 47, is a professor of justice and law administration at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. She said the secret to her success as a commentator on criminology is her commitment to the science of crime, her avoidance of sensationalism and the fact that she always keeps the victims of the crimes and their families firmly in mind.

"I believe in journalism, not entertainment. I hate the entertainment aspect of how people cover crime. It's not funny, people suffer," she said. "The ultimate goal is to really add understanding and insight to all of the variables that contribute to how a crime occurs and why a person commits a crime (and) to take the sensationalism out of it."

"Victims suffer so much more and their families suffer so much more than what you see on television," she added, explaining she goes on TV shows "to champion for the rights of victims instead of glorifying offenders."

In addition to being a professor, Jordan is a criminologist and an attorney who has spent more than 20 years working and teaching in the field as an expert on violent crime. Jordan was the in-house CNN criminologist during the 2002 Washington, D.C. , sniper tragedy and has represented WestConn as an expert commentator on ABC News' "20/20," "Good Morning America," CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, "The O'Reilly Factor," Court TV and "America's Most Wanted." She's also contributed to reports in The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times.

Paul Steinmetz, Director of University Relations at WestConn, said Jordan gets called back to shows again and again because she's always prepared and she not only knows her subject matter, she can communicate her knowledge as well.

"You have to be on top of your game every time if you're not on top of your game once and somebody sees you they're not going to call you," he said. "Some people get a shot at the media and they're extreme or they're not well spoken and they don't get another call back."

Steinmetz added that Jordan's media spots give WestConn "tremendous visibility in national settings that we don't usually get. We don't pull too many students from California because she's in the national setting, but it does improve the visibility and the kind of gravitas that the university has in the region that we pull most our students from."

She does not get paid for her work as a commentator and has to turn down about 80 percent of the TV offers she gets because she does not have time to do them.

Jordan became interested in the psychology of violent crime after working for the Libyan mission to the United Nations in the 1980s, where she received a firsthand lesson in the politics of terrorism.

It was circumstance that led to her first TV spot. "It is pure luck that you get your first invitation," she said. Before coming to WestConn , Jordan taught at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City , just blocks away from most of the major network studios.

In the early 1990s when police caught serial killer Joel Rifkin, Jordan got a call from CBS in part because it was the summer and she was one of the few faculty members at the college that day. "They literally came down two blocks from CBS," she said. After that, her TV appearances snowballed.

"Once you are on and can talk intelligently about a subject, they remember that," and the other networks and news shows take note, Jordan said.

Jordan always tries to give insight into what can be done to prevent future crimes. She said parents instilling proper values in children at a young age is key, and "beyond that, we need to put more effort into assessment of offenders and tailor-made corrections because one size does not fit all for all offenders and offenses."

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