“Lawrence W. Sherman, a Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland and Wolfson Professor of Criminology Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, has made major contributions to the study of policing and violence prevention. He has been deeply engaged in educating police leaders to apply social science to transform their work in the US, UK, India, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, Vietnam and Canada.
A pioneer in experimental criminology, Sherman has led over 40 randomized controlled trials on key issues in deterrence and crime prevention. His experiments on arrests for domestic violence include one of the most highly cited articles in a century of the American Sociological Review, leading to his “defiance theory” that arrests increase violence in the absence of legitimate sanctioning authority, but reduce abuse in well-bonded communities. His work on police killings of suspects was cited by the US Supreme Court in Tennessee v. Garner (1985), which banned most shootings of fleeing suspects. As founding Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing, he helps police leaders and “pracademics” to conduct and publish their own research on how to prevent crime and enhance police legitimacy. His development of the Crime Harm Index has transformed the reporting of crime in several countries beyond raw counts into a meaningful gauge of safety.
A fellow and former president of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Society of Criminology, the International Society of Criminology and the Academy of Experimental Criminology, Sherman was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Royal Society of Arts, the Beccaria Medal of the German Society of Criminology, and the Medal of the University of Bialystok. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Stockholm and Denison University. He was Knighted by the King of Sweden for his work in creating the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.”