Cancellation of 2020 SCJA Conference and Related Updates

Hello SCJA Friends and Colleagues,

It is definitely with a heavy heart that I am sending this message to notify you of the cancellation of the upcoming 2020 SCJA Conference in Biloxi, MS that was originally scheduled for September 9-12. I know many of you have been inquiring and wondering about the status of our conference, and rest assured we explored all options including shifting the conference in Biloxi until later this year or moving to early/mid Spring 2021. Unfortunately, there were not any viable dates. The Beau Rivage was extraordinarily flexible and accommodating, and ultimately allowed us to cancel the contract without any financial penalty to SCJA. We would like to publicly thank the Beau Rivage team for their flexibility and graciousness, and I hope that we may be able to return to this venue for a future conference down the road.

A host of factors weighed heavily on the decision to cancel including: the COVID-19 pandemic itself, the fact that it is a conference and a conference in a casino nonetheless (large gathering of people, difficult to practice social distancing), the economic uncertainty of many people’s lives right now, potential university-sponsored travel restrictions, concerns over flying, etc. But, MOST importantly this decision was made with the top priority and concern being the health and safety of the SCJA community and family.

Here are a series of important updates:

1). For those of you who have already submitted Abstracts up until the current date (the submission portal will be closed as of today), I am notifying you that all of your Abstract submissions have been accepted. You should be receiving official acceptance emails from Dr. Bryan Miller (SCJA Vice President, Program Chair) in the coming weeks. You may add this presentation to your CV/resume with an acknowledge that the conference was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example: Smith, J. (2020). “The effects of hot spots policing on crime rates.” Southern Criminal Justice Association Conference (Biloxi, MS). September, 2020 (canceled due to COVID-19).

2). For those of you who have made reservations at the Beau Rivage for the conference, please be sure to contact the hotel to cancel the reservation:

3). For those who have already pre-registered for the conference, please contact SCJA Secretariat Dr. Kathy Johnson ( to request a refund or to “roll” your pre-registration payment over to next year’s conference in Daytona Beach, Florida in September 2021.

4). A few years ago, we started a Student Poster session and related Student Poster Award/s. We highly enjoy and value this event, and SCJA is strongly committed to our students. We are in the preliminary stages of planning a virtual SCJA Student Poster session with details to follow later in the Summer, so please continue to monitor your email Inbox for updates.

5). Relatedly, while we left no stone unturned trying to negotiate viable and safe alternative plans and dates for the Biloxi conference, we remain fiercely committed to continuing to explore alternative plans (hybrid, virtual, etc.) for hosting many of the key conference related-activities albeit on a much smaller scale such as featured panels, featured roundtables, etc. sometime later in the Fall or perhaps early in the Spring. We completely understand that many or all of these activities may ultimately have to be conducted remotely/virtually. However, we at SCJA pride ourselves as being the “best association in the business”, and more importantly we are a family and want to do whatever we can to continue to support the professional development of our students, faculty, and practitioner members. And, doing so certainly includes providing opportunities to network and add presentation lines to the CV/resume even if these activities may occur remotely/virtually. Again, we are in the preliminary stages of planning on this front, so please continue to monitor your email Inbox for updates later in the Summer.

6). Here is a message and update from 2nd Vice President, Dr. Cathy Marcum, regarding an extension of the Nominations for SCJA’s 2020 Awards: “Hello SCJA! As a result of the tumultuous and crazy past few months we have all professionally and personally endured, many of you expressed concern of missing the deadline for SCJA 2020 Awards. We still want to give you the opportunity to honor those who have made important contributions to our field and community in the past year. The deadline for the SCJA 2020 Awards has been extended to August 1, 2020, so we encourage you to nominate those individuals who have made a difference. The official Call for Nominations is attached with the contact information for each committee chair.” (SEE ATTACHMENT)”.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Cathy Marcum ( Thank you for your support!

Dr. Cathy Marcum

Second VP, SCJA

2020 Award winners will be notified at some point in August, plaques and related monetary honorariums for awards that accompany monetary honorariums will be distributed via mail soon thereafter, and all 2020 Award Winners will be featured in a forthcoming Crime & Grits newsletter and formally recognized at the Awards Luncheon at the 2021 Daytona Beach, Florida conference (alongside the 2021 Award Winners).

7). Finally, please be sure to cast your Vote in the current SCJA election for those running for the available Executive Board positions!

We will be together again soon, and we will bring the party like nobody else other than SCJA does to Daytona Beach, Florida in September 2021! Please stay well, stay safe, and take care of each other my SCJA friends.