CCJS Professor is First Criminologist to Win Top Yale Medal

A University of Maryland faculty member will become the first criminologist to win Yale University’s Wilbur Cross Medal, the institution’s highest graduate school honor.

Distinguished University Professor Lawrence W. Sherman, a faculty member in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the unit’s former chair, will receive the Wilbur Cross Medal of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association at a ceremony on Yale’s New Haven campus in October.

During the celebration, Professor Sherman will also deliver a talk to Yale’s Department of Sociology, “Understanding and Reforming the Police Institution,” which will include his own work on policing around the world.

Professor Sherman is the founder of a global police reform movement for “evidence-based policing,” which promotes public safety using methods similar to those used for public health: epidemiological forecasting, randomized field experiments, and real-time tracking of high-risk victims, places or offenders. A former president of the American Society of Criminology and the American Academy of Political and Social Science, he holds honorary doctorates or awards from the University of Stockholm, George Mason University, Denison University, the Royal Society of Arts in London, and the German Society of Criminology. In 2016, King Karl XVI Gustav of Sweden appointed Sherman as a Knight Commander of Sweden, for services to criminology and justice.

Since 2010, Professor Sherman has divided his time between teaching both undergraduates and graduate students at Maryland while teaching senior police officers from 15 countries in Asia, Latin America, Australia and Europe at the University of Cambridge in England. He was recently elected president of the American College of Policing, a new organization that fulfills a recommendation of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st-Century Policing, to better educate chief executives of American police agencies. He is also editor-in-chief of the Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing.

The Medal, named after the late Governor of Connecticut and Yale Graduate School Dean Wilbur Cross, is the highest honor awarded by the School. The Medal recognizes achievements in “scholarship and scientific discovery, public service, service to professional organizations, and teaching and mentoring.”

Previous winners of the Wilbur Cross include Federal Reserve Bank Chair Janet Yellen, Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, the late Yale President A. Bartlett Giamatti, and Harvard Political Scientist Robert Putnam.

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Department of Criminology congratulate Professor Sherman on this remarkable achievement.

Lawrence Sherman