Barbara A. Sims, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita of Criminal Justice, School of Public Affairs

Barbara Sims, Ph.D., is a professor of criminal justice in the Penn State Harrisburg's School of Public Affairs. Dr. Sims received her Ph.D. from Sam Houston State University's College of Criminal Justice in May, 1997. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of criminological theory, juvenile law and justice, research methods, public opinion on crime and justice, domestic violence, institutional and community based corrections, and treating the substance-addicted offender. Dr. Sims has published in such criminal justice journals as Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Crime and Delinquency, Police Quarterly, Corrections Management Quarterly, The Prison Journal, The Justice Professional, Criminal Justice Review, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, and Criminal Justice Policy. She has two edited volumes in print, the first with Haworth Press titled Substance Abuse Treatment with Correctional Clients, and the second, co edited with Dr. Pam Preston, Handbook of Juvenile Justice: Theory and Practice with Taylor and Francis. Dr. Sims has served as principal investigator on several grants through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. In 2006, Dr. Sims was awarded the Penn State Harrisburg's Teaching Award and in 2007 was awarded The Pennsylvania State University's Outreach Award.

Professional Affiliations

  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • American Society of Criminology
  • National Collegiate Honors Council
  • Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Justice Educators


  • Public Opinion Research on Crime and Justice
  • Criminal Justice Education
  • Institutional- and Community-based Corrections
  • Domestic Violence
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Programming
  • Juvenile Justice/Delinquency

Getahun, Seble, Barbara Sims, and Donald Hummer. "Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment Among Probation and Parole Officers: A Case Study." Professional Issues in Criminal Justice, Spring, 2008.

Sims, Barbara, Berwood Yost, and Christina Abbott. "The Efficacy of Victim Services Programs: Alleviating the Psychological Suffering of Victims?" Criminal Justice Policy Review, 71(4):1-20, 2006.

"Creating a Teaching and Learning Environment in Criminal Justice Courses that Promotes Higher Order Thinking." Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 17(3):336-357, 2006.

Ruiz, Jim and Barbara Sims. "Citizens' Perceptions of Police: The Role of the Citizen Police Academy in the Co-Production of Police Services." The Police Forum, 14(4):1-14, 2005.

Sims, Barbara, Jim Ruiz, Ginger Weaver, and William Harvey. "Police Perceptions of Their Working Enviornment: Surveying the Small Department." The International Journal of Police Science and Management, 7(4), 2005.

Sims, Barbara, Berwood Yost, and Christina Abbott. "Use and Nonuse of Victim Services Programs: Implications from a Statewide Survey of Crime Victims." Criminology and Public Policy, 4(2): 361-384, 2005.

Sims, Barbara and Eric Johnston. "Examining Public Opinion About Crime and Justice: A Statewide Study." Criminal Justice Policy Review, 15 (3): 270-293, 2004.

"The Impact of Causal Attribution on Correctional Ideology: A National Study." Criminal Justice Review, 28 (1): January 25, 2003.

Sims, Barbara, Kathryn Scarborough, and Janice Ahmad. "The Relationship Between Police Officers' Attitudes Toward Women and Perceptions of Police Models." The Police Quarterly. September, 6 (3), 2003.

Woessner, Matthew and Barbara Sims. "Technological Innovation and the Application of the Fourth Amendment." Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 19(2): 224-238, 2003.

Handbook of Juvenile Justice: Theory and Practice; Co-edited with Pamela Preston. Taylor and Francis, 2006.

Substance Abuse Treatment with Correctional Clients: Practical Implications for Institutional and Community Settings . Haworth Press, 2005.

"Sex Offender Legislation: Registration, Notification, and Civil Commitments." With Megan Reynolds, Craig Hemmens' Legal Issues in Criminal Justice. (pp. 195-204), 2006, Roxbury.

"The Importance of Theory to Police Research and Practices." Forthcoming in Handbook of Police Administration, Taylor and Francis, Publisher. Expected to be in press in 2006, Edited by James M. Ruiz and Donald Hummer.

"The Myth of Drug Decriminalization." With Michael Kenney, In Robert M. Bohm and Jeffery T. Walker's (eds.) Demysifying Crime and Criminal Justice. (pp. 54-62), 2006, Roxbury.

"Treating the Substance-Addicted Offender: Theory and Practice." In B.Sims (ed.) Substance Abuse Treatment with Correctional Clients: Practical Implications for Institutional and Community Settings. (pp. 9-25), 2005, Haworth Press.

"Predictors of Success and Failure in Correctional-Based Treatment Programs." With Jim Golden, In B.Sims (ed.) Substance Abuse Treatment with Correctional Clients: Practical Implications for Institutional and Community Settings. (pp. 27-37), 2005, Haworth Press.

"Restrictive Intermediate Punishment Programming: A Community-Based Treatment Program for Substance-Addicted Correctional Clients." With M.A. DuPont-Morales. In B.Sims (ed.) Substance Abuse Treatment with Correctional Clients: Practical Implications for Institutional and Community Settings. (pp. 175-193), 2005, Haworth Press.

"Marxist Theories of Crime." Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwell Publishers, Edited by Ruth Triplett, 2005.

"Robert Sampson." Encyclopedia of Criminology, Taylor and Francis, Edited by J. Mitchell Miller, 2005.

B.A.; M.A.; Ph.D. (Sam Houston)