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Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Sciences, Illinois State University

Dr. Charles Bell is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences. His research explores students' and parents' perceptions of out-of-school suspension, school safety measures, and law enforcement officers. His work has been published in several scholarly and public engagement outlets such as Urban Education, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Crime and Justice, The Conversation, Sociology Compass, etc. The Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) selected his book Suspended: Punishment, Violence, and the Failure of School Safety (Johns Hopkins Press, 2021) as a finalist for the 2021 C. Wright Mills Book Award. Dr. Bell is also a recipient of the 2021-2022 CAST Outstanding Teacher Award (Pre-Tenure), the 2019 Midwest Sociological Society Research Grant, and the ISU African American Studies Summer Research Initiative award.

Dr. Bell has been interviewed and cited by several news outlets such as Lakeshore PBS, The 21st (NPR), WGLT, Atlanta Black Star, Detroit News, WCBU Peoria, WMBD Central Illinois, WDET Detroit (NPR), Aljazeera America, and Detroit PBS. Presently, he serves as the Associate Chair of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) Crime and Juvenile Delinquency Division and on the Journal of School Violence Editorial Board.

He is currently working on projects that investigate the following: 1) The impact of school seclusion and restraint on families, and 2) School violence and safety.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor, Illinois State University


  • 2018 
    Wayne State University, Ph.D. Sociology