Lila Kazemian
Phone number
Room number
520.17, Haaren Hall

2005 PhD Criminology University of Cambridge, England
2002 MSc Criminology Université de Montréal, Canada
2001 BSc Criminology Université de Montréal, Canada


Lila Kazemian is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and a faculty member in the Ph.D. program in Criminal Justice. She is a graduate of Université de Montréal. She earned her Ph.D. at the Institute of Criminology of the University of Cambridge in 2005. She was subsequently awarded a one-year post-doctoral fellowship by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, UK). She joined the faculty at John Jay in the fall of 2006, and was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in 2020. Her research interests include desistance from crime, long-term incarceration, post-prison reintegration, life-course and criminal career research, and comparative criminology. 

JJC Affiliations
Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice (CUNY Graduate Center); Doctoral Program in Social Welfare (CUNY Graduate Center); Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (New York University)
English (fluent), French (fluent), Farsi (fluent), Spanish
Scholarly Work

(Selected publications)


Kazemian, L. (2020). Positive Growth and Redemption in Prison: Finding Light Behind Bars and Beyond. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Edited volumes

Farrington, D.P., Kazemian, L. and Piquero, A. (2019, Eds.). The Oxford Handbook on Developmental and Life-Course Criminology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Morizot, J. & Kazemian, L. (2015, Eds.). The Development of Criminal and Antisocial Behavior: Theory, Research and Practical Applications. New York: Springer.

Kazemian, L. & Farrington, D.P. (2007, Eds.). Special issue on desistance from crime. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 23 (1).

Peer-reviewed articles

Kazemian, L. & Farrington, D.P. (2018). Advancing Knowledge about residual criminal careers: A follow-up to age 56 from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. Journal of Criminal Justice, 57, 1-10. 

Andersson, C. & Kazemian, L. (2018). Reliability and validity of cross-national homicide data: A comparison of UN and WHO data. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 42(4), 287-302.

Kazemian, L. & Travis, J. (2015). Forgotten prisoners: Imperative for inclusion of long termers and lifers in research and policy. Forthcoming in Criminology & Public Policy, 14(2), 355-395.

Kazemian, L. (2015). Conducting prison research in a foreign setting. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 4(1), 113-127.

Kazemian, L., McCoy, C. & Sacks, M. (2013). Does law matter? An old bail law confronts the New Penology. Punishment & Society, 15(1), 43-70.

Kazemian, L., Widom, C.S. & Farrington, D.P. (2011). A prospective examination of the relationship between childhood neglect and juvenile delinquency in the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 2(1-2), 65-82.

Kazemian, L., Farrington, D.P., & Le Blanc, M. (2009). Can we make accurate long-term predictions about patterns of de-escalation in offending behavior? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38(3), 384-400.

Kazemian, L. (2007). Desistance from crime: Theoretical, empirical, methodological, and policy considerations. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 23(1), 5-27.

Kazemian, L. & Le Blanc, M. (2007). Successful criminal careers: Random occurrences or distinctive characteristics? Crime and Delinquency, 53(1), 38-63.

Kazemian, L. & Farrington, D.P. (2006). Exploring residual career length and residual number of offenses for two generations of repeat offenders. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 43(1), 89-113.

Kazemian, L. & Farrington, D.P. (2005). Comparing the validity of prospective, retrospective, and official onset for different offending categories. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 21(2), 127-147.

Reports & other publications

Kazemian, L. (2022). Long sentences: An International Perspective. Council on Criminal Justice.

Kazemian, L. (2022). American exceptionalism in the 21st Century: Can the United States get on par with peer countries? The Criminologist, 48(6), November/December.

Kazemian, L. (2022). Evaluating Success Among People Released from Prison: Lessons from Abroad. Paper prepared for the Committee on Evaluating Success Among People Release from Prison. Washington DC: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Kazemian, L. (2021). Pathways to desistance from crime among juveniles and adults: Applications to criminal justice policy and practice. In Desistance from Crime: Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice (pp. 163-213). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, NCJ 301497.


Research Summary

Lila Kazemian's research has largely focused on the study of changes in offending behavior across time. Specifically, her work has examined the process of abandoning crime, otherwise known as desistance from crime. Dr. Kazemian's recent research investigates this process in the context of long-term incarceration. She conducted a longitudinal follow-up of long-term prisoners in order to better understand how the process of desistance from crime unfolds during lengthy periods of incarceration. Her current research examines the process of desistance from crime in the context of parole. Dr. Kazemian has worked with various doctoral students on a wide range of topics, including comparative international studies and research examining the barriers to reintegration after prison. She has served as an expert in several legal cases involving housing discrimination against individuals with a criminal record.