Professor Lawrence Sherman

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Lawrence Sherman was elected Wolfson Professor of Criminology of the University of Cambridge in 2006. As Greenfield Professor of Human Relations at the University of Pennsylvania from 1999 – 2007, he was appointed the first Director of the University’s Jerry Lee Center of Criminology and first Chair of its Department of Criminology.

Prior to that, he was Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and an associate professor in the University at Albany’s School of Criminal Justice.


Professor Sherman has served as policy director for the District Attorney of Philadelphia, designing a new system of prosecution based on statistical risk analysis of the potential for serious violent crime of each defendant, as an objective way to set priorities for an under-resourced agency.

He has testified in US courts since 1977, in 17 states and five federal courts, largely on civil matters over the prediction and prevention of crime. He has have also testified on behalf of ACPO before the UK Information Tribunal on the retention of criminal records, and the risk of further offending by people whose records have been ordered to be destroyed.

Recently he assisted a major New York Bank in its presentations about Bank security legislation to the New York City Council, based on a city-wide study of the risks of bullet-proof barriers in backfiring by causing hostage-taking incidents. He has served in many professional offices. He has been president of the American Society of Criminology, the International Society of Criminology, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Academy of Experimental Criminology. He has worked on several projects of the (US) National Academy of Sciences, and as a consultant to the FBI, the (UK) Home Office and Youth Justice Board, the Swedish Ministry of Justice, the (US) National Institute of Justice, the New York City Police Department, the National Police Agency of Japan, the Korean Institute of Criminology, the Justice Ministry of Lower Saxony, and many other agencies. He is a member of the steering committee of the Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice Group, and a member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Research Interests

His research interests are in the fields of crime prevention, evidence-based policy, restorative justice, police practices and experimental criminology.

He has conducted field experiments, for example, on finding more effective ways to reduce homicide, gun violence, domestic violence, robbery, burglary, and other crime problems, in collaboration with such agencies as the Metropolitan, Northumbria and Thames Valley Police, London’s Crown Courts, HM Prisons, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Youth Justice Board of England and Wales, and the National Probation Service.

He directs the Police Executive Programme which educates senior police leaders from around the world, including senior officers at New Scotland Yard and he is leading two new tests of police responses to domestic violence in the North of England, which will try to find a better way to stop violence in ongoing relationships.


Professor Sherman is the author, co-author or editor of 9 books and over 100 book chapters and journal articles.

In recognition of his work, he has received the American Society of Criminology’s Sutherland Award, the Academy of Experimental Criminology’s McCord Award, the American Sociological Association’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Crime, Law and Deviance, and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ Bruce Smith Jr. Award. He has also been elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and of the Academy of Experimental Criminology. In 2009 he received the Beccaria Gold Medal of the Society of Criminology of the German-Speaking Nations.

Professor Sherman is also the founding co-chair of the International Jury for the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

To find out more, contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)203 989 6669 or call us on +44 (0) 20 7353 6381 for a confidential discussion.

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