James “Alex” Purdon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

  • Faculty
Sociology and Criminal Justice
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Sociology and Criminal Justice

Dr. James A. Purdon is an assistant professor at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Purdon earned his Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from Arizona State University and his master's degree in criminal justice from Kennesaw State University. Currently, he is involved in a project examining how legislators debate criminal justice reform. This project, led by Professor Michael Serota from Loyola Law School, aims to gain a deeper insight into how criminal justice policymakers deliberate. It uses a systematic content analysis methodology to examine the legislative debates over substantive criminal law bills. The project team is currently studying the legislative debates in the U.S. Congress and the state legislatures of Arizona, California and Nevada.


  • Ph.D., Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, 2023
  • M.S., Criminal Justice, Kennesaw State University, 2015
  • B.S., Criminal Justice, Kennesaw State University, 2012

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2023-Present
  • Instructor, Arizona State University, 2019-2023
  • Criminology Graduate Student Director, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, 2021-2023
  • Graduate Assistant, Arizona State University, 2018-2021

Professional Organizations

Research Interests

  • Evidence-based approaches to the law and courts, police procedure, and substantive criminal law

Teaching Areas

  • Courts and Sentencing
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • The Sociology of Law

Selected Publications

  • Totten, C.D., & Purdon, J. A. (forthcoming 2023). A content analysis of significant interpretive cases for Kansas v. Glover: The evisceration of Fourth Amendment particularization for Terry stops in the traffic context. Criminal Law Bulletin.
  • McMahon-Howard, J., Purdon, J. A., Scherer, H., & McCafferty, J. (2022). State laws for carrying concealed guns on campus: History, status, and impacts. In J. Sloan, & B. Fisher (Eds.), Campus Crime: Legal, Social and Policy Perspectives (4th ed., pp. 98-114).
  • Purdon, J. A., Fradella, H. F., Totten, C. D., & Gang, L. (2021). Police officer's knowledge of Gant. New Criminal Law Review, 24(4), 468-497.
  • Fradella, H. F., & Purdon, J. A. (2021). Citations in lieu of arrest. In J. Copp, S. Demuth, & C. S. Scott-Hayward (Eds.), Handbook on corrections & sentencing: Pretrial justice (ASC Division of Corrections and Sentencing Handbooks Vol. 6, pp. 113–129).
  • Purdon, J. A., White, M. D., & Fradella, H. F. (2020). Stop and frisk. In G. Alpert, R. G. Dunham, & K. McLean (Eds.), Critical issues in policing (8th ed., pp. 461–483). Long Grove, IL: Waveland.
  • CJ 431 Law and the Courts
  • CJ 531 Issues in Criminal Law and Courts
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