Crime and public policy, federal role in supporting translational criminology and criminal justice innovation, policing, public management and strategic leadership in criminal justice
Laurie Robinson serves as the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society and has been involved in national criminal justice policy for more than three decades. Reflecting that ongoing engagement, she was named by President Obama in 2014 to co-chair the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing, set up to develop recommendations in the wake of Ferguson on ways to build greater trust between law enforcement and citizens. She was also appointed in 2014 to a Congressionally created body, the Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, charged with examining crowding in the federal prison system, and was named in 2016 to an independent commission chaired by former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippmann in New York City to explore the potential for closing the city's jail complex on Riker's Island.
Robinson twice served as a Senate-confirmed, Presidentially-appointed Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, the research, statistics and criminal justice assistance arm of the Department. Her three years of service in the Obama Administration, coupled with seven years in the Clinton Administration, make her the longest serving head of the agency in its 45-year history. Robinson’s recent tenure heading the $2.5 billion agency was marked by a focus on science: She set up a Science Advisory Board, launched an initiative to better integrate evidence into OJP’s programs, and created a “what works" clearinghouse for the criminal justice field. Between her stints at DOJ, Robinson directed the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Science Program in Criminology and served as a Distinguished Senior Scholar in Penn’s Jerry Lee Center of Criminology.
During her first tenure at DOJ in the 1990s, she led the federal government’s engagement with states and localities on community-based crime control. Her agency’s annual budget grew from $800 million in 1993 to over $4 billion in 2000 and she oversaw the largest increase in federal spending on crime-related research in the nation’s history. She also spearheaded major federal initiatives on violence against women, drug treatment courts, and law enforcement technology. She has frequently testified before Congress and has also served on a number of national boards, including those of the Vera Institute of Justice (which she chaired from 2006 to 2009) and the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA), a non-profit think tank. Robinson also serves as co-chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)'s Research Advisory Committee and as a member of the Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ) of the National Academies of Sciences (NAS).
Robinson, L. & Abt, T., “Evidence-informed Criminal Justice Policy: Looking Back, Moving Forward,” in Thomas Blomberg, Julie Mestre Brancale, Kevin Beaver and William Bales, (eds.), Advancing Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy. Routledge. (2016)
Davis, E. & Robinson, L., "Modeling Successful Research-Practitioner Partnerships," Translational Criminology (Fall, 2014).
Robinson, L., "An Introduction to Fidelity," Advancing Practice (May 2014).
Braga, A., Robinson, L., & Davis, E., "Encouraging a Broader Set of Criminologists to Form Research Partnerships with Police Departments," The Criminologist, Vol. 38, No. 4 (July/August 2013).
Robinson, L., "Bridging the Gap between Science and Criminal Justice Policy: The Federal Role," Translational Criminology (Spring 2013).
Robinson, L., "Federal Leaders: Larger Role on Reentry," Advancing Practice (April 2013).
Robinson, L., Foreword to From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime: Criminal Careers, Justice Policy and Prevention. Loeber, Rolf, and Farrington, David, eds. New York: Oxford University Press (2012).
Robinson, L., "Bringing Science to the Forefront of Criminal Justice Policy," The Criminologist," Vol. 37, No. 2 (March/April 2012).
Robinson, L., "Exploring Certainty and Severity: Perspectives from a Federal Perch," Criminology and Public Policy, Vol. 10, Issue 1 (February 2011).
Robinson, L., “Restoring Federal Leadership on Crime Policy,” Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 20, No. 5 (June, 2008).
Robinson, L., “Commentary on McCoy -- Problem-Solving Courts,” American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 40., No. 4 (Fall, 2003).
Robinson, L., “Sex Offender Management: The Public Policy Challenges,” in Robert A. Prentky, Eric S. Janus, Michael C. Seto, (Eds.), Sexually Coercive Behavior: Understanding and Management, Ann. NY. Acad. Sci., Vol. 989 (2003).
Robinson, L., and Travis, J., “Managing Prisoner Reentry for Public Safety,” Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 12, No. 5 (March/April 2000).
CRIM 425 Criminal Justice Management
CRIM 790 Capstone in Policy and Practice
HNRS 131 Problem-Solving in Government
HNRS 353 Effective Responses to Crime: Policies & Strategies