Ronald Helms



Ronald Helms received his B.A. from California State University, Chico (1987), and subsequently earned M.S. (1994) and Ph D. (1997) degrees in Political Science while attending the University of Oregon. Dr. Helms spent two years on faculty at Washington State University, in the Department of Political Science, before joining the Sociology faculty at Western Washington University in 2000. Dr. Helms’ currently teaches courses in the areas of Crime, Law, and Deviance, and also Military Sociology. His quantitative research has focused on political and social determinants of punishment and social control. Other research has addressed various social and economic determinants of violence in US central cities and US counties. In keeping with his interests in state security, Dr. Helms has conducted research in the area of security studies and has published several papers addressing aspects of counter-terrorism and cyber-terror threats. Currently, Dr. Helms has 2 primary research areas: police violence and jail administration and resourcing.  

Research Interests

  • criminal justice (police, courts, corrections), criminology, local jails and mental health resourcing, energy consumption patterns, research methods