"SVSU's program is distinctive,” Professor Foster explains, “because it ensures that students are exposed to a broad variety of approaches to the fundamental problems of criminal justice, with classes in philosophy, psychology, political science, sociology, and social work."
Burk Foster, Visiting Professor of Criminal Justice at SVSU, has over 30 years of experience in the field of Criminal Justice.
A former civilian police officer and lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Security Police, Professor Foster has accumulated a great deal of experience as a Criminal Justice practitioner as well as a teacher. A respected academician, he has testified as an expert witness in state and federal courts on issues related to imprisonment and capital punishment.
Professor Foster's primary research and writing interests include the history of prisons, jail and prison policies, and the death penalty.
Professor Foster is the author of numerous articles and commentaries, and of five books, including Death Watch: A Death Penalty Anthology (2001), which he co-authored with Angola inmate Lane Nelson. His most recent book is Corrections: The Fundamentals (2006). Although he is not a convict and has not aspired to be one, he was a writer and contributing editor of The Angolite, the magazine of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, for 16 years.
He completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Oklahoma. After moving to Louisiana, his academic interests later turned toward sentencing policies and corrections. From 1974 to 2005, he was Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he was actively involved in the Honors Program, in which he taught and directed undergraduate seminars.
Professor Foster is a long-time member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Correctional Association.