The Western Division of the American Society of Criminology was created subsequent to a meeting held on May 19, 1973 on the campus of California State University, San Diego. The principals at that meeting were June Morrison, Dave Wexler, and Tom Gitchoff. The first meeting of the Western Division of the American Society of Criminology was held May 3 – 4, 1974 at the Hyatt House, in San Jose, California. The second meeting of the Western Division was held February 14 – 15, 1975 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, in San Francisco, California. The third and last meeting of the Western Division of the American Society of Criminology was held February 12 – 14, 1976 at the Hanalei Hotel, in San Diego, California.. At that meeting, the Western Division leadership decided to establish a separate Western Society of Criminology. The American Society of Criminology held its Board Meeting in conjunction with this meeting of the Western Division, and the principal parties were able to meet together and work out an amicable separation arrangement. The first meeting of the newly created Western Society of Criminology was held the following year, February 16 – 18, 1977, in Las Vegas.
Since becoming an independent organization in 1977, the WSC has continued to hold an annual meeting each year, usually in February. The location of the meeting changes each year to share the burden of travel equally among the membership. In selecting conference facilities, the Board extends considerable effort to find sites that are accessible by a number of airlines, serviced by a major airport, are centrally located in the region, and reflect members preferences. As such, we regularly shift the meeting from Southern, Northern, and Island destinations (e.g. Hawai’i) within the Western regions of the United States and Canada. For more information about our next annual conference, press here. For information about past conferences, press here.
The WSC produces two publications: a newsletter, The Western Criminologist, and a scholarly, online, peer-review journal, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society (formerly Western Criminology Review). For more information about our publications, press here.