Howard Abadinsky

Howard Abadinsky is professor of criminal justice at St. John’s University. A graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York, he has a Master’s Degree in social work from Fordham University, and a PhD in sociology from New York University. He was president of Community School Board 28 (Forest Hills, Jamaica); an assistant professor at Western Carolina University (NC); and a professor at Saint Xavier University (Chicago). Professor Abadinsky began his career in criminal justice soon after completing a year of graduate school. As a novice NY State parole officer, he was assigned to Red Hook, Brooklyn, back then a tough waterfront area. Unbeknownst to him at the time, there was a violent conflict in progress between two factions of one of the city’s five Mafia Families; one faction was headquartered in Red Hook. He soon became acquainted with the colorful and descriptive names of neighborhood luminaries such “Blast,” “Crash,” “Snake,” and “Crazy.” His assignment also provided a crash course on organized crime that would become his specialty area in academia. After retiring from the NYS Division of Parole, Professor Abadinsky spent twenty-two years in Chicago as a professor of criminal justice and an Inspector for the Cook County Sheriff. He served as a consultant to President Ronald Reagan’s Commission on Organized Crime, and in 2003 returned to New York and St. John’s University, where he had been an adjunct instructor back in the 1970s. Professor Abadinsky founded the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime and his text ORGANIZED CRIME is now in its tenth edition. Dr. Abadinsky is also the author of several books including The Criminal Elite: Organized and Professional Crime, Organized Crime, Probation and Parole: Theory and Practice, Drug Use and Abuse, and Law, Courts, and Justice in America.

Teaching Interests

Criminal Organizations, Substance Abuse, Community Corrections

Research Interests

Criminal Organizations

Courses Taught