Burk Foster

Writer and Legal Consultant

Burk hiking Glacier National Park.

Dust Bowl New Mexico Marathon March 2013

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Burk Foster is a writer and legal consultant. Originally from southeastern Oklahoma, he completed undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Oklahoma. He is a former military police officer and worked as a civilian police officer while he attended graduate school.

Burk moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, to work as the first criminal justice faculty member at the University of Louisisana-Lafayette. During his years in Louisiana, he wrote extensively about prison history, corrections policies, the death penalty, and other crime-related issues. He was contributing editor to The Angolite, the prisoner-published magazine of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, for 16 years.

Burk's primary fields of academic expertise include sentencing and corrections, prison operations, and the death penalty. He has testified as an expert witness in federal and state courts on subjects related to sentencing and corrections, including jail and prison operations, the death penalty, and executive clemency. After leaving Louisiana, he moved to Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan, where he served as professor of criminal justice and university ombudsman for six years.

Now retired from teaching, Burk travels between his homes in Texas and Montana. He continues his research in sentencing and corrections issues, and occasionally works as a consultant in the legal field.

Burk travels frequently to run half and full marathons across America and internationally. As a member of the 50 States Marathon Club, he is working toward completion of a marathon in every state.

Selected Works

Nonfiction
A contemporary view of American corrections practices and policies.
An anthology of death penalty journalism and essays.