Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice Program
Cooney-Jackman Endw, Academic Affairs
Phone: 814-871-7498
Office: PC 1207

  • Biography
  • Courses Taught
  • Educational History
  • Honor Societies
  • Professional Societies
  • Publications
  • Scholarship/Research
  • Service


Criminal Justice is not only about studying crime; most of all, it is the praxis (theory integrated with practice) of justice. Its main goal is to understand crime in the tenets of realizing justice. The reality of crime and social injustice in the Philippines and my responses to them have shaped my teaching philosophy in criminal justice education.

I grew up in the Philippines where the millions of homeless and poor are treated as criminals, the innocent are imprisoned for political reasons, criminals become politicians, corruption in the government is normal, human rights violations are common, and poor inmates die behind bars without trials and for unspecified crimes. Crime and injustice in the Philippines is not only a reality but also a tragedy.  I responded to this tragedy as a community organizer and writer in TAMBULI, a national newspaper for the urban poor.

I worked for three years as community organizer at the Center for Pastoral Concern, a non-governmental organization that brings together out of school youth, students, women, workers and the urban poor in Metro Manila. We helped these sectors pursue their rights and interests. As an organizer, I assisted youth and urban poor communities in building associations and coalitions, developing local leaders, recruiting members, raising funds, and organizing campaigns and mobilizations that advanced their right to decent housing, education, food, jobs, and freedom of expression.  My muti-sectoral organizing experience was guided by Paulo Freire’s transformative social justice learning. It is a process of learning that breaks the culture of silence of the poor and nurtures their deep understanding of themselves and their society, which leads to their empowerment. To attain this empowerment, I helped facilitate and organize learner-centered workshops and seminars on self awareness, leadership, political campaigns, social analysis, gender sensitivity, and other topics. These workshops helped youth and urban poor develop critical awareness and self confidence while discovering their full potential.

My work with the urban poor continued when I became a writer for an urban poor national newspaper. My stories about their lives, my coverage of their struggles for secure and permanent housing, and my reporting on their mobilizations to stop government-sponsored demolition of their houses became a significant catalyst in taking their causes to national audiences.  With a commitment to transformative social justice learning and drawing on my experiences in that area, I set my goals  for teaching as my students explore theories and realities of crime and justice in the academic world. I seek to ensure that students will learn to: 1) communicate their ideas, express their feelings, and actively participate in the learning process; 2) develop a critical awareness of the root causes of crimes and injustice; 3) conceptualize an alternative justice system that is restorative, humanistic, gender sensitive, ecological, nonviolent, inclusive and participatory; and 4) participate in organizations that actively  address problems that affect the campus and the community.

To attain these goals, I create a friendly and affirming learning environment that makes students comfortable in articulating their feelings and ideas; even the most reticent student will gain sufficient self confidence to contribute his/her insight to the discussion. I also utilize small group discussions to create a climate of genuine listening, sharing and affirmation. I set up online forums to ignite  additional discussion outside of the classroom. I devise analytical tools that develop students’ critical learning of facts and theories of crime. A great example of this is the crime web exercise that I developed over several years of teaching criminal justice.

In the crime web exercise, I ask students to choose one crime incident and ask questions about why it occurred. They continuously interrogate the answers they  receive until they lay out webs of causes that contribute to the existence of a particular crime. This exercise leads student into discovery of various factors that contribute to the existence of crime and generates discussion of different theories of crime.

I instill in my students new ways of understanding crime and justice from the viewpoint of “new criminology,” which includes Critical Criminology, Green Criminology, Postcolonial Criminology, Feminist Criminology, Black Criminology, Convict Criminology, and Buddhist Criminology. I hope that through this teaching philosophy and strategy students can gain not only knowledge but also experience, not only skills but also vision, and not only critical thinking but also judicious participation. As I said in the beginning, “criminal justice is not only about studying crime but most of all it is the praxis of justice.

Courses Taught

• Introduction to Criminal Justice
• GIS and Crime Mapping
• Criminal Investigation
• Service Learning
• Ethics in Criminal Justice
• Issues in Criminal Justice
• Alternative Social Control
• Senior Seminar: Criminology and Public Policy

Educational History

  • Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University, Bloomington. Dissertation: “Crime as Political Capital in the Philippines.” Minor: Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, 2010.
  • M.A. in Sociology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. Thesis: “President Joseph Estrada and Manila’s Urban Poor Movement,” 2004.
  • Bachelor in Secondary Education, Major in Social Science, Philippine Normal University, Manila, Philippines, 2009.

Honor Societies

  • Adviser. Alpha Phi Sigma

Professional Societies

  • American Society of Criminology
  • Justice Studies Association


• Magno, C. (n.d.). Corruption and Revolution. Forthcoming Book, Ateneo de Manila University Press.
• Magno, C. (2012). Corruption and Revolution: Transformations of Crime into Political Capital in the Philippine. Critical Issues in Justice and Politics, volume 5, number 2. Southern Utah University Press.
• Lichtenwalter, S. and Magno, C. and (2014) Human Rights and Disability. Handbook on Poverty. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.
• Magno, C and Parnell, P(n.d.) The Imperialism of Whiteness:Race, Class, and Rights in the Philippine Carceral City



I conducted a phenomenological and empirical research on crime as political capital in the Philippines. I am now expanding that research to compare how Philippine politicians use their involvement in crime as capital in political processes with how U.S. politicians use the “war on crime” to increase their “electability and popularity” (Fairchild and Webb 1985:8). My future projects will take my research into new directions. I am interested in studying how immigrants to the United States from “third world” countries experience criminalizing processes and are represented and processed in the U.S. criminal justice system. I also am interested in investigating how urban design and surveillance are systematically, consciously and deliberately constructing an urban penal colony. My future research plans also include undertaking a study about cybercrime, and war and disability.

Selected Presentations:

  • Magno, C and S. Lichtenwalter. “Disabling the Able: From the War against the Weak to the War on Terror.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Chicago, Illinois. November 14-17, 2012.
  • Magno, C. “In the Name of City: The Urban Infrastructure of Criminalization and the Manufacturing of Transgression.  Paper presented at the Ninth International Conference on the Philippines (ICOPHIL 9). East Lansing, Michigan USA. October 28-30, 2012.
  • Magno, C. and J. Schept  “Radical Criminology for Everyday Life.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, San Francisco, California. November 17-20, 2010.
  • Magno, C. and H. Pepinsky. “Domains of Crime and Oppression.” Paper Presented at the 13th Annual Conference of the Justice Studies Association, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA. June 9-11, 2011.
  • Magno, C. “Whipping the Colonial Bodies.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Washington, D. C.  November 16-19, 2011.
  • Magno, C. “The Politics of Criminal Performances.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Washington, District of Columbia. November 16-19, 2010.
  • Magno, C. “Savage Art: Distorting Filipino Identities from the United States to Philippine Caricature.” Paper presented in the 2009 Diversity Research Symposium. Ball State University, Muncie Indiana. November 14, 2009


  • Spring 2011-present. President, Filipino American Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania
  • Spring 2011-present. Member, Gannon University Faculty Senate
  • Spring 2011. Organizer, Books for the Prisoners Project. I organized the Criminal Justice Service Learning class to collect and donate books to the Erie County Prison. This project collected 500 books for the Erie County Prison library. The objective of the project is to encourage the culture of reading among inmates and break the barriers and stigma between inmates and the community.
  • Spring 2011. Organizer, Story Book Project. I organized the Criminal Justice Service Learning class to collect books for the children of the Family Center in Erie Pennsylvania. Some students assisted parents in video recording their reading of a story for their children. The Family Center then sent the children’s books and videos to the children of parents who do not have legal custody of their children. The objective of the project is to reconnect children and parents through reading of children’s books.