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Al Blumstein: 40 Years of Contributions to Criminal Justice

NCJ Number
Date Published
National Institute of Justice
Publication Series
This article pays tribute to the work of Professor Alfred Blumstein, who led the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice when it wrote its pivotal 1967 report on how to improve public safety in the United States.
Professor Blumstein has been described as bringing reason and practicality to scientific discussions. He was a pivotal figure in shaping criminal justice policies and practices in the United States during the 21st century. His work spans an impressive range of topics, including crime measurement, criminal careers, sentencing, deterrence and incapacitation, prison populations, demographic trends, juvenile violence, and drug enforcement policy. He is perhaps best known for his research on the links between violence, public health, and criminology and his work has significantly contributed to the understanding of violence as a public health concern as well as a criminological phenomenon. He was also instrumental in bringing “systems analysis” to criminal justice in the United States. Brief descriptions of his most significant research projects are presented followed by a series of personal accounts of how Professor Blumstein has touched the lives of others.
Date Created: June 18, 2007