Ohio State nav bar

Reckless-Dinitz Lecture

The Walter C. Reckless-Simon Dinitz Memorial Lecture Series

The Walter Cade Reckless and Simon Dinitz Memorial Lecture Series on crime and justice honors the contributions of two of criminology's most outstanding scholars. The series originated as the Walter Cade Reckless Memorial Lecture in 1990 shortly after the death of Professor Reckless. The purpose was to honor this pioneering scholar who was the major figure in establishing criminology at Ohio State University, and whose own contributions to this field were substantial. In 1951, Dr. Reckless recruited Simon Dinitz to join the faculty at Ohio State, and they worked together to build a strong program. Thus, it is befitting that Dr. Dinitz gave the first Reckless Lecture ("The Tidal Wave of Imprisonment") to honor the legacy of his friend and colleague. In the following years, he also helped to select the Lecturers, and thereby, ensure that several principles that he and Dr. Reckless stood on would undergird the series:

  1. Cutting-edge research–salience of the issues to important societal problems and methodological approaches;
  2. Multidisciplinarity–as sound understanding of crime and sound criminal justice policies are informed by studies grounded in a variety of fields; and,
  3. Accessibility–beyond the academy so that the series provides an opportunity for intellectual exchange with and use by criminal justice policymakers and interested community members.

In the spring of 2007 and following the death of Simon Dinitz, the Reckless Lecture Series was renamed the Walter Cade Reckless and Simon Dinitz Memorial Lecture Series. This renaming symbolizes that we pay tribute to these twin giants by bringing speakers to Ohio State whose research has the qualities that they valued. In addition, since 2003, the Lecture has been published in the Ohio State University Journal of Criminal Law. Doing so is in the spirit of broad intellectual exchange and multidisciplinary collaboration (between CJRC and the Moritz College of Law) which Professors Reckless and Dinitz sought to foster.