DR. ann sasaki-madigan
Associate Administration of Justice Instructor
Dr. Ann Sasaki-Madigan became interested in criminal justice after she visited the Donovan State Prison in San Diego while considering an internship there. At the time she was on her way to earning a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family therapy.
“The experience gave me an insider’s view of what we can do as therapists and law enforcement professionals to positively influence at-risk youth and adults,” says Ann, an associate instructor in MiraCosta College’s Administration of Justice Program. She went on to minor in criminal justice and has worked as an administrator and manager in the criminal justice system and the private sector for more than 25 years.
She recently retired as the deputy chief probation officer of institutional services with the San Diego County Probation Department and has worked as inmate services manager in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Ann has been a leader in San Diego’s reentry projects, which help adult and juvenile offenders return to the community after incarceration.
She first visited MiraCosta College as a guest speaker, and after meeting students, felt it was a place where she wanted to teach, having previously taught at the University of Phoenix.
“I came to MiraCosta College because I believe education is life changing,” Ann says. “I saw that many of our MiraCosta College students just needed a little encouragement to complete their education and continue on.”
Ann saw herself in some of the students and wanted to help them overcome the obstacles she had once faced. “When they see someone who ‘made it’ from the ‘ground floor up,’ I think it helps them to see they can make it. I come from a single-parent family with a multi-cultural background and made it through tough times.”
Ann returned to college at the age of 39, completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice, earning master’s degree in psychology and then a Ph.D. in counseling psychology. It took her 10 years to complete her degrees, while working full time.
“I would not have been able to attain the positions I had without completing my education. I tell my students that it is while I was finishing my education that I learned the most about myself and what I needed to work on to go forward.”
Ann teaches Crime and Delinquency and Introduction to the Administration of Criminal Justice at MiraCosta College. Her classes educate students on the factors that lead people to lives of addiction and crime. She discusses what happens to those who enter the criminal justice system as children or adults, and what can be done to impede those negative factors and replace them with positive influences.
“Most students are surprised to see that they already have the background knowledge and skills to help, they just need assistance to identify those skills and a direction to pursue.”
Ann is president of The Madigan Group, a company that provides training to educators, and law enforcement, probation, and military personnel.
She has collaborated with numerous agencies, including the President’s Council on Homelessness, the Department of Justice, the Attorney General's Office Bureau of Indian Affairs and the District Attorney’s Office. She is on the board of United Through Reading and Reading Legacies, two nonprofit groups that assist children who are separated from their parents because of either deployment or incarceration.
For students who are considering a career in criminal justice or law enforcement, Ann advises that they make sure they are setting the right example for the people they’re serving.
“I tell my students, look at what you’re doing right now. How would people view you as a representative of a public safety agency? You cannot have double standards for how you act and how you expect the people you’re helping to act.”