Dr. James Densley is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University, part of the Minnesota State system.

Densley has published more than 30 refereed articles and book chapters in leading social science outlets and has received local, national, and international media attention for his work on street gangs, criminal networks, violence, and policing

He is the author of How Gangs Work: An Ethnography of Youth Violence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), winner of the 2013 National Gang Crime Research Center Frederick Milton Thrasher Award for "Superior Accomplishments in Gang Research," and coauthor of Minnesota's Criminal Justice System (Carolina Academic Press, 2016), part of a series of state-specific criminal justice textbooks. He has also written for CNNMinnPostStarTribune, and The Sun.

Densley has been an invited or plenary speaker on three continents and has consulted on crime reduction projects for law enforcement agencies large and small. He testified in front of the Minnesota Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Review Commission). Densley also contributed to the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice and co-founded the educational partnership with London's Metropolitan Police Service that grew to become Growing Against Violence. He is past president of the FBI Minneapolis Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBIMCAAA) and presently serves as Risk Manager for the North Suburban Soccer Association (NSSA).

Densley is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and an Associate of the Extra-Legal Governance Institute at his alma mater, the University of Oxford. He earned D.Phil. and M.Sc. degrees in sociology from St. Antony's College, Oxford. Densley also holds an M.S. in Teaching from Pace University and a First Class B.A. (Hons.) degree in Sociology with American Studies from the University of Northampton, where he is a noted alumnus.  Densley is a former special education teacher and NYC Teaching Fellow.

Photograph © Amber Procaccini

School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
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