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Daniel S. Nagin, the Teresa and H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics at the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, received the 2017 NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing

A leader in criminology and related fields, Nagin has spent more than 30 years upending long-held beliefs about criminal justice. His reviews of the scientific literature, focusing on the crime-prevention effects of criminal and social sanctions, have shown that the crime prevention benefits of lengthy prison sentences are not sufficient to justify their social and economic costs, the experience of incarceration appears to increase not decrease the likelihood of re-offending and research on the deterrent effect of the death penalty is so flawed that it provides no useful information on the death penalty’s impact on homicide rates.  He has also concluded that research evidence shows that increases in police numbers and also their strategic deployment can materially affect crime rates.

Among his accomplishments, Nagin has served as a coauthor of the 1978 National Research Council report, Deterrence and Incapacitation: Estimating the Effects of Criminal Sanctions on Crime Rates and the 2012 NRC report, Deterrence and the Death Penalty, for which he also served as committee chair. Throughout his career, Nagin’s reviews have altered the course of criminological theory and empirical research and have greatly informed analysis of public policy, arguing that efforts should be shifted from corrections to policing in order to lower crime rates and reduce incarceration. He is the 2006 recipient of the American Society of Criminology’s Edwin H Sutherland Award and in 2014 was awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

The NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing has been presented annually since 1979 to recognize authors, whose reviews have synthesized extensive and difficult material, rendering a significant service to science and influencing the course of scientific thought. The field rotates among biological, physical, and social sciences and carries with it a $20,000 prize. The NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing was established in 1977 by the gift of Annual Reviews and the Institute for Scientific Information in honor of J. Murray Luck. The award is currently sponsored entirely by Annual Reviews.


Watch Nagin's Acceptance Speech »

2017 Neuroscience, Psychology, and Criminology Press Release »

NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing »

2017 NAS Award Recipients »

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