Tracy Andrus

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Dr. Tracy Andrus

Dr. Tracy Andrus (born September 26, 1962) is a criminologist who is recognized for the development of two crime theories —"Enviroecogenetics" and "Broke Theory." He earned four college degrees and became the first African American in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in Juvenile Justice. After being sentenced to 57 years in prison for check kiting, Andrus spent only three years in the Louisiana and Texas Department of Corrections and was released in 1994. This started his interest in the criminal justice system. Dr. Andrus spends at least 20 weeks out of the year traveling abroad speaking to disadvantaged youth who are children of felons or have parents currently incarcerated in prison.Dr Tracy Andrus is the Director of Criminal Justice at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas and has served in that capacity for the last 8 1/2 years. Dr. Andrus received a grant from the Department of Homeland Security in 2010 and 2011 to study "Equal Protection of the law in the Era of Terrorism" and spent ten weeks in Seattle with two student researchers. Dr. Andrus received additional follow on funding for $50,000 from DHS to continue his study in 2011.Dr. Andrus was recently awarded a grant from the Sam Taylor Foundation to track Law Enforcement Killings in the United States in 2014. Dr.Tracy Andrus is President and CEO of Tracy Andrus Foundation and Pastor of Edwards Chapel MBC in Marshall, Texas. Dr. Andrus is currently finishing up his new book entitled "Customer Service-The Reason Some HBCU's Are Destined to Fail forthcoming in fall 2015.

Early life[edit]

Andrus is a native of Crowley, Louisiana, and is the twelfth child of Alice V. Andrus and the late Warren Lee Andrus. Andrus grew up during an era when America was undergoing significant change in its political, economic, and racial landscape. He was in the third grade when schools in Louisiana were integrated, and racial assimilation led to very different views among the liberals and conservatives of the time. Tracy Andrus grew up at 315 Moore Ave in a home that was destroyed by fire when he was in kindergarten. He was active in sports throughout his early life, playing football, baseball and basketball. Tracy was also active in academic clubs in junior high and high school.


Andrus graduated from Crowley High School in 1981 with honors and attended Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana, US, where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in Criminal Justice. He later graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2001 with a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice. On May 7, 2005, Andrus completed his doctorate at Prairie View A&M University became the first African American in the US to earn a Ph.D. in Juvenile Justice. Dr. Andrus has been instrumental in developing the Enviroecogenetics Theory which focuses on environment, economics, and genetics as causes of crime causation. Dr. Andrus is also credited with developing the Broke Theory which proposes that people who do not have money or anything to lose are predisposed to a greater extent to engage in criminal activity. Andrus' broke theory proposes that people who are living in comfortable settings and earning decent incomes are less likely to engage in criminal activity. Andrus Broke Theory aligns with Edwin Sutherland's Differential Association Theory. Dr. Tracy Andrus also earned his prior learning assessment certificate and his Mastery Certificate from the University of Chicago and the Council On Adult and Experiential Learning. Dr. Andrus is also President and CEO of the Council on Higher Educational Solutions For Adults (CHESA).


Andrus is credited with developing two evolving theories on crime—Enviroecogenetics and Broke Theory—and is the author of three books: Beneath the Skin of Black Folks,[1] From Prisoner to Ph.D., and Why Are So Many Black Folks In Jail? Dr. Andrus is Director of Criminal Justice at Wiley College and President and CEO of the Council On Higher Education Solutions For Adults (CHESA). Dr. Andrus is also President and CEO of Tracy Andrus Foundation.

Andrus' Enviroecogenetics theory suggests that criminal activity can be explained by analyzing three dominant variables:

  • the environments in which individuals are raised,
  • the economic status of individuals and their families, and
  • the genetic makeup of individuals and their families.

Andrus suggests that individuals who are raised in low socioeconomic environments are predisposed to a greater extent to become engaged in criminal activity. According to Andrus, economics, specifically the lack of money, is the strongest predictor of an individual's likelihood to engage in criminal activity, whilst the reasons can be varied.

Andrus was elected President of the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice in 2008, and is an ordained minister and pastor of Edward Chapel MBC in Marshall, Texas. Tracy Andrus was elected Vice Chair of the Minority and Women Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences which is the largest criminal justice conference in the world.

Published by Createspace, Why Are So Many Black Folks In Jail? was released in December 2011 and raises questions about the functions of incarceration in the United States. As of June 2012, Andrus is a vocal advocate for African Americans and felons in the US. Tracy Andrus is also the author of Beneath the Skin of Black Folks, From Prisoner to PhD and a Macro Analysis of Poverty and African American Incarceration. Dr. Andrus recently published his new book "Ex Felon Survival Guide" 2013 and has a forthcoming book entitled "Customer Service - The Reason Some HBCU's are Destines to Fail.


  1. ^ Ahmar Mustikhan (16 June 2005). "Former convict earns a Ph.D.". Shreveport Times. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 


  • Houston Chronicle... May 7, 2005 "PhD Earns Place In Black History"
  • Houston Chronicle..... 2003, The Man and His Message.
  • Tracy Andrus (2003)Beneath The Skin Of Black Folks - How Black Folks In America Really Feel. Northstar Press
  • Tracy Andrus (2005) Dissertation - A Macro Analysis of Poverty and African American Incarceration.
  • Create Space (2011) Why Are So Many Black Folks In Jail.
  • Tracy Andrus (2013) Ex-Felon Survival Guide
  • Tracy Andrus and Sonya Andrus (2011) Awarding and Evaluating Credit For Prior Learning
Tracy Andrus (2015) Customer Service - The Reason Some HBCUs Are Destined To Fail


  • Andrus, T. (2004) Beneath the Skin of Black Folks