Allison Redlich, David Wilson named University Professors

by Anne Reynolds


Allison D. Redlich and David B. Wilson, professors in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society (CLS), have been named George Mason University Professors. Their status was approved by a resolution of Mason’s Board of Visitors in May. Along with endowed chairs, the title of University Professor is the highest academic rank bestowed on members of Mason’s faculty.

“The college is extremely proud that Professors Allison Redlich and Dave Wilson have been named University Professors. Both of them are highly-regarded scholars and we are honored that the Board of Visitors has selected them for this recognition,” said Ann Ardis, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Redlich is the director of graduate programs in CLS. Initially trained as an experimental psychologist, she uses multiple methods to conduct her research. To a large degree, her research centers on whether legal decision making is knowing, intelligent, and voluntary. She examines such decision making in vulnerable (juveniles and persons with mental health problems) and non-vulnerable defendants, and across several different contexts—in the interrogation room, during the guilty plea process, and in mental health courts.

Redlich also studies wrongful convictions, with a particular focus on false confessions and false guilty pleas. To pursue her research, she has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the Brain and Behavior Research Association, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and others.

Wilson formerly served as the director of undergraduate programs in CLS and is a former chair of the department. His research interests focus broadly on issues related to changing the criminal behavior of juvenile and adult offenders. Specifically, his research examines the effectiveness of offender rehabilitation and crime prevention efforts. He is also interested in advancing meta-analyses and program evaluation methods.

Wilson’s research has focused on a range of topics, including the effectiveness of juvenile delinquency interventions, juvenile curfews, school-based prevention programs, correctional boot camps, court-mandated batterer intervention programs, and drug courts; the effects of sugar on children's behavior; and the effects of alcohol on violent behavior. He was appointed a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology in 2021.

“I am thrilled that Allison Redlich and Dave Wilson have been honored with the distinction of University Professor. Both are leaders in their fields. As chair, it is a privilege to be surrounded by the kind of excellence that elevates us all, and that seeks to advance justice processes and outcomes in policing, the courts, and corrections,” said James Willis, CLS department chair. “Allison is a highly visible and respected scholar in criminology and law and psychology, and she has achieved international recognition for producing high quality research in three areas: police interrogations and confessions, guilty pleas, and mental health courts. Dave, trained as a social psychologist, is a leading methodologist, and one of the foremost experts on meta-analysis and program evaluation in criminology, law and society. His talents are always much in demand.”