Criminology, Journalism, and Concussion: About Me, Aaron Jacklin
Post-concussion syndrome ended my journalism career.* For a while, that’s eclipsed everything else, but I’m trying to change that.
I’m also a dad, a writer, an editor, and an amateur coder. I’ve worked in nonprofit news and as a criminological research assistant. I’ve done other things too, but most of that wasn’t as interesting.
* At least, my first journalism career.
It’s difficult to pin down one single influence that brought me to criminology, though the biggest is undoubtably that I knew many crime victims and their family members.
I also grew up in a hunting family, which sensitized me to the gun control issue. As a teenager in the late 1990s, I read Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, and it, along with other books by FBI profilers, introduced me to the idea that crime was studied in structured ways.
Perhaps oddly, a martial arts background also played a factor. I earned a first degree black belt and taught in the dojo while I was in high school. Knowing many crime victims, as I mentioned above, I had a special interest in teaching self defense.
All of that lead me to criminology just as I was preparing to graduate high school, and I applied to a number of university programs as a result. (I think I’d already applied before Columbine.)
I was originally attracted to criminology because I wanted to learn about crime to be better able to teach self defense.
However, as I studied and learned, I had a number of perspective shifts that changed my intentions. I went through a period where I wanted to work in corrections, then criminology or criminal justice research, then criminal justice policy, then political lobbying, then journalism.
I originally became interested in journalism because I enjoyed writing fiction and I kept coming across authors I liked who had…