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We are happy to announce this year's DEC and AEC awards!

DEC and AEC 2022 Awards: Text

Professor John M. MacDonald (University of Pennsylvania) is the recipient of the 2022 Joan McCord Award!

The Joan McCord Award recognizes distinguished experimental contributions to criminology and criminal justice. Award recipients must have conducted significant experimental research that is in the tradition of Joan McCord and has important implications for policy and practice.  The award can be given to a specific randomized controlled trial or a group of experiments leading to significant policy outcomes.

This year’s Joan McCord Award is given to John M. MacDonald, from University of Pennsylvania. Professor MacDonald is a leading figure in experimental criminology, focusing on crime and violence, race and ethnic disparities in criminal justice, and impact of public policy on safety.

His current work focuses on examining how the science of urban planning can make our cities healthier, safer, and livable. The National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and private foundations helped support the research on changing places. He is also active studying racial disparities in criminal justice, and ways to reduce these disparities through policy and program reforms.

We are proud to recognise John’s contributions by giving him the 2022 Joan McCord Award!

DEC and AEC 2022 Awards: News & Resources


Dr. Colleen M. Berryessa joined the faculty in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in 2018. Her research, utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods, considers how psychological processes, perceptions, attitudes, and social contexts affect the criminal justice system, particularly related to courts, sentencing, and punishment. She primarily examines these issues, using psychological and socio-legal lenses, in relation to two areas: 1) how these phenomena affect the discretion of criminal justice actors in their punitive responses to offending and decision-making in courts; and 2) how these phenomena affect public views and considerations of courts, sentencing systems, and punitive policies and practices.

Dr. Berryessa received her Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Before Penn, she graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government and Mind, Brain, and Behavior, and she served as a CIRGE research fellow at Stanford University.

Well done, Colleen!



This award recognizes lifetime achievement in the field of experimental criminology. Professor Anthony Braga certainly deserves this year’s Jerry Lee Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding and impressive contribution to experimental criminology.

Anthony A. Braga is the Jerry Lee Professor of Criminology and the Director of the Crime and Justice Policy Lab in the Department of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania. He collaborates with criminal justice, social service, and community-based organizations to produce high impact scholarship, randomized field experiments, and policy advice on the prevention of crime at problem places, the control of gang violence, and reductions in access to firearms by criminals. Anthony has served on four National Research Council committees, mostly recently serving on the Committee on Proactive Policing – Effects on Crime, Communities, and Civil Liberties. Braga is a fellow of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and the 2021 recipient of its August Vollmer Award recognizing his contributions to crime prevention policy and practice.

The practical value of his work in violence reduction in disadvantaged neighborhoods has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Civic Leadership Award (2004) presented by The Boston Foundation, the United States Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety (2009), and the U.S. Department of Justice Project Safe Neighborhoods Research Partner of the Year Award (2010). Between 2007 and 2013, Braga served as Chief Policy Advisor to former Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis and worked with his command staff and line-level officers on award-winning community policing and crime prevention initiatives. Braga holds an M.P.A. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Rutgers University.

For these and other research projects, we are particularly honoured to recognise Professor Braga's work and look forward to many more years of interesting and ground-breaking contributions to our field. 



This year we recognize a field test in Honduras on the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy for offenders. The trial, published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology, discovered that CBT is an effective strategy for preventing recidivism. We congratulate J Capellan, S Koppel and HE Sung for this important contribution!

DEC and AEC 2022 Awards: Publications


Kevin Petersen is a PhD student in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University. He received his M.S. in Criminal Justice from Radford University in 2015 and his B.S. in Sociology from Virginia Tech in 2012. From 2016 to 2018 he worked as a victim/witness coordinator for the Roanoke County (VA) Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Kevin recently published a paper in the Journal of Experimental Criminology on the the effect of body worn cameras on convictions, to show that BWCs led to a higher proportion of crimes against police officers resulting in  convictions or adjudication withheld outcomes, and a higher proportion of domestic violence charges resulting in convictions alone, compared to control charges. These results suggest that body worn cameras have significant evidentiary value.

DEC and AEC 2022 Awards: Publications
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