José Ashford

Professor of Social Work, Arizona State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Recidivism prevention
  • Treatment of offenders
  • Life sentences
  • Juvenile justice
  • Mental health
  • Forensic psychiatry

Key Findings

  • Treatment of mentally ill offenders may benefit from person-centered interventions. MORE
  • Mentally ill offenders were found to have similar cognitive links to crime and violence as non-mentally ill offenders, and thus similar cognitive interventions may in some cases be utilized across both groups. MORE
  • Two of the seven tested models of the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire were found to be superior in their assessments of measuring aggression. MORE
  • Researchers should use the Bryant and Smith model, as it is more established and validated. MORE


José Ashford, Professor of Social Work at Arizona State University, is an expert in mental health, mitigation of punishment, risk assessment, special need offenders, forensic psychiatry and prisoner reentry.

Ashford is the chief research consultant for the City of Phoenix Prosecutor’s Office and senior consultant for the Government Services Division of Mercer Human Services Consulting on the interface of mental health and criminal justice matters. He directs the Office of Offender Diversion and Sentencing Solutions (OFDSS) and the online graduate certificate in criminal sentencing and sentencing advocacy jointly offered by the School of Social Work and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University.

He has been published in scholarly journals and authored the book Death Penalty Mitigation: A handbook for mitigation specialists, investigators, social scientists and lawyers and the widely acclaimed co-edited book Treating Adult and Juvenile Offenders with Special Needs.

Ashford received his Ph.D. in Sociology, with a specialization in Criminology and Social Deviance from Bowling Green State University and MSW in Clinical Social Work from the Ohio State University.