Joan Petersilia

Joan Petersilia's picture
Incarceration Research Group Leader; Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Director of Stanford Criminal Justice Center
Stanford Law School
Dr. Joan Petersilia has spent over 30 years studying the performance of U.S. criminal justice agencies and has been instrumental in affecting sentencing and corrections reform in California and throughout the United States. She is the author of 11 books about crime and public policy, and her research on parole reform, prisoner reintegration and sentencing policy has fueled changes in policies throughout the nation. A criminologist with a background in empirical research and social science, Dr. Petersilia is also faculty co-director for the Stanford Criminal Justice Center (SCJC), focusing on policies related to crime control, sentencing, and corrections, and developing nonpartisan analyses and recommendations intended to aid public officials, legal practitioners, and the public in understanding criminal justice policy at the state and national levels. She teaches classes at Stanford Law School on juvenile justice, prisons, community corrections, policy analysis, research methods, and criminal sentencing. Professor Petersilia was recently honored with the prestigious Stockholm Prize in Criminology (the Nobel Prize in criminology) for her work on prisoner reentry and supporting ex-offenders following release from prison. As the most prestigious award that a criminologist can receive, the Stockholm Prize is awarded for outstanding achievements in criminological research conducted for the reduction of crime and the advancement of human rights. Dr. Petersilia was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Policy by the Pardee RAND Graduate School in 2014. Professor Petersilia was also chosen by Stanford University as the recipient of the 2013 Roland Volunteer Service Prize. The Roland prize recognizes a single Stanford faculty member annually who involves students in integrating academic scholarship with significant volunteer service to society. She also serves on the Faculty Steering Committee for Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service.

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