John Colautti M.P.A., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Criminal Justice
(508) 849-3465
Office: Trinity West - 230

Western Connecticut State University - Bachelor of Science in Justice and Law Administration
University of New Haven - Master in Public Administration
University of New Haven - Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science
University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Doctorate of Philosophy in Criminology; Terrorism & Security Studies


Dr. John D. Colautti has over 30 years of law enforcement, probation and private security experience.

In 2017, John retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons with over 25 years of service. During his career, he was assigned to various duty stations, facility types, security levels, as well as managed both male and female offenders. He held various roles of increasing responsibility, including temporary acting responsibilities for executive level positions. For more than 15 years John held a collateral duty as Public Information Officer and was involved in several high-profile cases and media events. From 2013 to 2015, he played an instrumental role in the multi-agency federal management of the case involving Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

During his career, John served as an agency trainer in a number of areas and was assigned to a variety of different crisis response teams. He has over 20 years of crisis negotiation team (CNT) experience and served in various team member roles, ten of those years as team leader. For five years he was a member of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, National Crisis Negotiation Cadre.

In 1998, John was a professor at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut. At the end of the term, he left the position due to career relocation commitments. In 2012, he returned to teaching as an adjunct professor at Fitchburg State University, serving as a full-time professor in two different academic years. Dr. Colautti has instructed on a variety of topics related to forensic investigation, criminal justice, emergency management, terrorism, and criminological theory. He is a Level III instructor with the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC).


Foundations of Criminal Profiling
Homeland Security and the Global Jihad
Probation and Parole
Criminal Profiling

Research Interests:

Counterterrorism approaches, terrorist organizational dynamics, the role of social media in radicalization, police decision-making, and correctional subculture.


Book Chapters

Shortland, N. D., Evans, N., & Colautti, J. (2022). “A Public Health Ethics Model of Countering Violent Extremism.” in Ethics and Terrorism, Editors: Max Taylor and John Horgan. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Merizalde, J., Colautti, J. and Forest, J. F. (2021). “Prevention of Public Panic in the Wake of Terrorist Incidents” in Handbook of Terrorism Prevention and Preparedness, Editor: Alex P. Schmid. International Centre of Counter-Terrorism.

Peer Reviewed Publications:

Shortland, N. D., Evans, N., & Colautti, J. (2021). A Public Health Ethics Model of Countering Violent Extremism. Terrorism and political violence, 33(2), 324-337.

Lee, C. S., & Colautti, J. D. (2022). ISIS’s COVID-19 Messaging on Twitter: An Analysis of Tweet Sentiment and Emotions. Crime & Delinquency, 00111287221083881.

Lee, C. S., Merizalde, J., Colautti, J. D., An, J., & Kwak, H. (2022). Storm the Capitol: Linking Offline Political Speech and Online Twitter Extra-Representational Participation on QAnon and the January 6 Insurrection. Frontiers in Sociology, 7.