Laurie Robinson

Senator Jim Webb speaks to students in Professor Robinson’s Honors College class

Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society Laurie Robinson had Senator Jim Webb come to her Honors College class to discuss his past plans at assembling a new crime commission, the current debates in American criminal justice circles, and his unique political viewpoint on crime and society.


Senator Jim Webb discusses crime, law and society in Professor Laurie Robinson’s Honors College class. photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University
Laurie Robinson News

Professor Laurie Robinson quoted on Wall Street Journal.

On October 24, Wall Street Journal quoted Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society Laurie Robinson regarding the highest number of support for the police force in the United States ever recorded since 1967. Click here to read the whole article.

Laurie Robinson

Professor Laurie Robinson’s appointment to the new criminal justice commission

On March 17th, 2016, former chief judge Jonathan Lippman announced the new members of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform. As a part of the 27 chosen commissioners, Professor Laurie Robinson will look at the viability of closing Rikers Island and reformations of the city’s criminal justice system.

Click here to read more.

Laurie Robinson

Laurie Robinson Named to Co-Chair President’s Policing Task Force

Laurie O. Robinson

George Mason University professor Laurie Robinson has been appointed co-chair of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the White House announced Monday.

Robinson, a Clarence J. Robinson Professor and a former assistant attorney general, has been involved with national criminal justice policy for more than 30 years.

The new task force is part of the White House’s response to the ongoing turmoil in Ferguson, Mo. Robinson will co-chair the task force with Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey, the former police chief of Washington, D.C.

The White House said in a statement announcing the task force appointments that the goals are “to include new ways to promote effective crime reduction while building public trust.” The task force is being asked to prepare a report within 90 days on issues including the militarization of municipal police forces, a national database to track the purchases of military equipment and the use of body cameras by members of the police. The president announced he will ask Congress for $263 million to equip police with body cameras.

As a Robinson professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason, Robinson teaches undergraduate, honors and capstone courses in criminal justice, including Criminal Justice Management, which details aspects of administration and management challenges facing criminal justice leaders, and Contemporary Society in Multiple Perspectives: Problem Solving in Government, which addresses creative problem-solving in government. She has been at Mason since 2012.

Robinson was twice appointed assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice office of Justice Programs, first by President Bill Clinton and then Obama. She is the longest-serving head of the agency in its 45-year history.

Write to Buzz McClain at

This article originally appeared at the Mason Newsdesk.

Laurie Robinson

Professor Robinson Sits Down with The Crime Report

New Robinson Professor, Laurie Robinson, was recently interviewed by The Crime Report regarding major issues in criminology today and her work in the Justice Department.

From the interview:

“The Crime Report:  You’ve mentioned on many occasions that you are an advocate of evidence-based programs. How much progress have we made on that front in the criminal justice area?

Robinson:  We have made progress, but I completely agree with those who said at the recent Jerry Lee Symposium on Crime Prevention that we still have a good road ahead of us that we need to go down. If we look back 10 or 15 years, we can see that we have traveled a good way. I remember back in the 1990s it was very common for organizations to come out with lists of best practices or local programs they thought were good.  This was based on mostly anecdote, however.

People are much, much less apt to do that now, because there is more understanding that programs need to be evaluated and there needs to be some kind of evidence, measures that prove things work. There still must be education on what constitutes evidence and what kinds of measures need to be produced.

I think the criminal-justice field, particularly police and corrections—the front and back ends of the system, less so in the adjudicatory part—practitioners are far, far more sophisticated about realities of evidence-based programs. The field is open to and demanding evidence-based programs.

I am given a lot of credit for advocating this when I came back to DOJ in 2009, but the field was really ripe for it. I was announcing a platform that everybody out there was ready for.  Much more needs to be done, but the reception to— OJP’s “what works” clearinghouse—has been terrific.”

You can locate the full interview here.

Laurie Robinson

Laurie Robinson to Become Newest Robinson Professor in the Fall

Photo courtesy of US Dept of Justice

Laurie Robinson will become the Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society this fall. She has twice served as a Senate-confirmed, Presidentially-appointed Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. Her three years of service in the Obama Administration, coupled with seven years in the same post in the Clinton Administration, make her the longest serving head of the agency in its 45-year history. Between her stints in the Justice Department, Robinson launched, and then directed, the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Science Program in Criminology and served as a Distinguished Senior Scholar in Penn’s Jerry Lee Center of Criminology. She will be teaching CRIM 790, a capstone course for students pursuing a new concentration on Criminology Policy and Practice within the Department of Criminology, Law and Society’s MA program.


Click here for more information.