Dr. Brian F. O'Neill


Dr. Oniel Headshot

Title: Associate Professor
Location: 521 BPM Center
Email: BOneill@wcupa.edu
Phone: 610-436-2682


Dr. Brian O’Neill earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York in 2001. He has been teaching for the past 25 years, and has been a professor at West Chester University since 1998. Previously, Dr. O’Neill earned his M.S.W. from Marywood College and was employed as a social worker for 10 years. His research interests include corrections, juvenile justice, and history of the criminal justice system. In addition, Dr. O’Neill wrote, narrated and produced, El Padre y Los Homies, a radio documentary about Father Greg Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention program in Los Angeles. He has taught a number of Inside/Out courses to incarcerated individuals at Montgomery County Correctional Facility and at Chester State Correctional Institution, and is currently conducting research for a book on commutation of individuals who were originally sentenced to life in prison. Dr. O'Neill has hosted a music program on WMUH, at Muhlenburg College in Allentown, Pa.  for the past 25 years. He has been married to Karen Warren for the past 20 years, and they have a son, Dean.


  • City University of New York, Ph.D. Criminal Justice
  • Marywood College, M.S.W.


Dr. O’Neill’s publications include research on minority overrepresentation in the juvenile justice system in detention and out-of-home placement and an historical case study on the insanity defense. O'Neil hosts a radio show/podcast "Justice Conversation”. 

Selected Media

  • Dr. O'Neill collaborated with incarcerated individuals at SCI Graterford in an online discussion using D2L and inmate tablets to coordinate weekly discussions between WCU students and incarcerated individuals. Criminal justice topics were shared each week and cumulated in a face-to-face workshop with all 20 participants at the facility.
  • Began co-hosting a radio show, Justice Conversations: From the Ivory Tower to the Street on USALA, an internet radio station based in Philadelphia in the summer of 2018. Co-host is Luis Gonzalez, a paroled juvenile lifer who served over 30 years in prison. It features guests from all components of the criminal justice system from the formally incarcerated to prosecutors to public defenders to community activists and researchers. Program is still in production each week.  
  • Dr. O’Neill also wrote, narrated and produced an audio documentary, El Padre y Los Homies, about Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention program in 2001. 
  • Dr. O’Neill also appeared as a guest on Flashpoint on KYW Radio in Philadelphia on 10/18/18 to discuss inmate rights and education. 
  • In addition, Dr. O’Neill appeared in a documentary about females sentenced to life in prison, Dying Out Loud, directed by Jake Smith in 2018. As of February 2021, it has almost 900,000 views on YouTube. 

Classes Regularly Taught

  • Juvenile Justice
  • Restorative Justice
  • Criminological Theory
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Criminal Justice

Faculty Directory

Back to top of page.