Jun 06, 2014
Daniel Nagin, Associate Dean of Faculty and the Teresa & H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College, will be awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology on Tuesday, June 10th. The ceremony, which will be held at City Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, will be available to be viewed via a live webcast HERE.
The Stockholm Prize in Criminology is awarded for outstanding achievements in criminological research or for the application of research results by practitioners for the reduction of crime and the advancement of human rights. The award will be presented by Sweden’s Minister for Justice, Beatrice Ask.
Nagin, who will share the award with Stanford University's Joan Petersilia, is cited for his reviews of evidence for the zero-to-negative effects of prison on those sent to prison helped support the first decline in four decades in the world’s highest incarceration rate, providing a clear rationale to invest more in policing than in imprisonment.
“The crime drop of the past two decades has brought us incalculable benefits in terms of lives saved, freedom to enjoy public spaces and the revitalization of cities,” said Nagin. “In some countries, however, the costs to society from incarceration and aggressive policing have also been enormously high both in terms of economic cost and human suffering.”
"Much crime is in response to immediate circumstances — an angry dispute or unsecured property. Police are a more effective deterrent to crime than lengthy prison sentences to acting on opportunities for crime because their presence is more tangible and direct than a distant sanction," Nagin continued.
Nagin’s work lays out policies, like the effective mobilization of resources from both within and outside of the criminal justice system that are known to be effective in preventing in crime in a democratic society. They are intended to serve as an alternative to policies that warehouse more people in prison to no effective end in terms of crime prevention and are also deeply destructive of democratic values.
"Professor Dan Nagin's insightful scientific approach to the study of incarceration has already had impact on one of America's most pressing social concerns, one that affects individuals, families and government at all levels,” said Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh. “The Stockholm Prize is a well-deserved recognition of his powerful contributions to his field, and an endorsement of the importance of serious research in criminal justice as a contribution to the social good.”
Nagin started researching crime as a Ph.D. student at CMU in 1973.
"In a serendipitous encounter with Al Blumstein, I asked how long this demographic bulge would affect crime rates," Nagin said. "Al said he didn't know, but, in the best tradition of CMU, he said we should try to find out ourselves.
"That encounter changed my academic career. I thought I was going to work on health policy. Instead, ever since, I've been working on questions related to crime and violence and criminal justice policy."
Blumstein, the J. Erik Jonsson University Professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research, received the Stockholm Prize in Criminology in 2007. Nagin is the second Heinz College faculty member to win the award, which was established in 2006.
Nagin was also awarded a fellowship by the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS) this year. Nagin was elected along with six other scholars as 2014 fellows, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), at the Newseum in Washington DC this past May 8th.
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