Criminology, Social Theory and Philosophy


The high-quality empirical research at John Jay College is informed by an in-depth intellectual and theoretical understanding of contemporary issues. Faculty members at John Jay are active contributors to theoretical debates in philosophy, critical criminology, theories of deviance, and punishment and society.

Amy Adamczyk (Department of Sociology) studies social theory, religious contextual influences on delinquency and reproductive behaviors, and cross-national differences in attitudes about crime and deviance. She is the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to study the effects of religion on health-related behaviors.

Mucahit Billici (Department of Sociology) is an ethnographer who focuses on Islam in America. His book, Finding Mecca in America: American Muslims and Cultural Citizenship was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2011.

Carla Barrett (Department of Sociology) studies the sociology of punishment and court-involved youth, particularly juveniles tried as adults, and urban youth and violence.

Avram Bornstein (Department of Anthropology) researches the psycho-cultural elements of policing in New York City, with particular attention to community policing, police ethnicity and police education, in addition to his studies on the conflicts in Israel-Palestine.

David Brotherton (Department of Sociology) is an ethnographer whose studies include high school drop-outs, street gangs, deportees and undocumented immigrants.

Joshua Freilich (Department of Criminal Justice) researches the causes of and responses to terrorism. His primary research interest is on right-wing domestic terrorism and is currently the principal investigator (with Steven Chermak) on the United States Extremist Crime Database (ECDB) study, a large-scale data-collection effort that is building the first-of-its-kind relational database of crimes committed by far-right, Al Qaeda directed & influenced, and animal rights and environmental rights extremists in the United States reported in an open source. He is a lead investigator for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Center for Excellence of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

David Green (Department of Sociology) studies sentencing and sentencing reform as well as crime and the media, crime and public opinion, crime and political culture, and the sociology of punishment.

Jack Jacobs (Department of Political Science) researches Jewish history, culture, and identity, with a focus on Jewish political culture in 20th century Europe.

Jonathan Jacobs is the Director for the Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics which was established to foster greater concern for ethical issues among practitioners and scholars in the criminal justice field.

Lila Kazemian (Department of Sociology) studies offender reentry as well as life-course and criminal career research, desistance from crime, and comparative research.

David Kennedy (Department of Criminal Justice; Director, Center for Crime Prevention and Control) researches a range of topics that include deterrence theory and its application to youth violence and homicide, police management, illicit drug markets, and illicit firearms markets.

John Kleinig (Department of Criminal Justice) studies moral and social philosophy, and has also done extensive work in philosophy of education and bioethics.

Kyoo Lee (Department of Philosophy) studies self, time and language and researches Cartesian modernity on several registers: conceptual, cultural, socio-political, historical, rhetorical, aesthetic, technological, and pedagogical.

Anthony Lemelle, Jr. (Department of Sociology) is widely published in the areas of the sociology of HIV/AIDS, African American culture, and black masculinity.

Maxwell Mak (Department of Political Science) studies judicial decision-making at the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court. He has also done work on presidential and congressional elections, voting behavior, and judicial confirmations.

Mike Maxfield (Department of Criminal Justice) is author of numerous articles and books on situational crime prevention and its application to a variety of topics -- victimization, policing, homicide, community corrections, auto theft, and long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. He currently serves as the editor of the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.

Samantha Majic (Department of Political Science) research lies in gender and American politics, with specific interests in prostitution policy, HIV/AIDS prevention, social movements, and the nonprofit sector.

Jayne Mooney (Department of Sociology) researches a number of areas including patterns of violence, domestic violence, and crime and the inner city.

Mangai Natarajan (Department of Criminal Justice) is a leading quantitative researcher on situational crime prevention and its application to drug trafficking, drug abuse, and domestic violence.

Valli Rajah (Department of Sociology) uses ethnography and content analysis to study social stratification and women's experiences of partner violence.

Douglas Thompkins (Department of Sociology) researches the culture of violence within the prison community and the relationship between institutional social control policies and prisoner reentry.

Jock Young (Department of Sociology) is a Distinguished Professor and renowned theorist in critical criminology. He coauthored the founding text in that field, The New Criminology (1973), and has since authored such seminal works as The Drugtakers, The Exclusive Society, and The Vertigo of Late Modernity. His latest work, The Criminological Imagination, was published by Blackwell in 2011.