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Jerry Lee Lecture

Professor Alex R. Piquero, Department of Sociology & Criminology and Arts & Sciences and Distinguished Scholar the University of Miami.

This year’s Jerry Lee Lecture will be given by Professor Alex R. Piquero of the Department of Sociology & Criminology and Arts & Sciences Distinguished Scholar at the University of Miami. His presentation called “But first there was citrus fruit, a naval ship, and scurvy: Successes and challenges using scientific research to inform criminal justice policy decisions” will be held on Wednesday, June 12 at 11.00.

Most recently, Dr. Piquero served as the Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one of the nation’s thirteen federal statistical agencies (appointed by President Biden, June 2022). During his Directorship of BJS, he oversaw a budget of over $90 million dollars, including several dozens of data collections on various crime and justice topics including police-citizen contacts, and worked hand-hand with a dedicated team of over fifty persons. He started several new data collections, initiated new publication mediums, engaged in several inter-agency collaborations. elevated and promoted exceptionally qualified women and persons of color to leadership positions, spoke at the White House on the importance of Hispanic educational excellence, and co-wrote a report to President Biden on criminal justice and policing statistics about the importance of disaggregated data.

As the first Hispanic to lead BJS, he also championed the importance of diversity in the federal statistical system as well as the necessary funding and support of the two science agencies within the Office of Justice Programs / Department of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice, to better inform crime and justice policy. Dr. Piquero is a nationally and internationally recognized criminologist with more than 26 years of experience.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Piquero has given congressional testimony on evidence-based crime prevention practices and has provided counsel and support to several local, state, national and international criminal justice agencies and elected leaders. His research and commentary has appeared in numerous media outlets including, CNN, New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, etc. His expertise ranges from criminal careers to criminal justice policy and crime prevention to the intersection of race/ethnicity and crime, with a focus on quantitative methodology.

Dr. Piquero has published over 500 scholarly articles and several books and is among the most highly cited criminologists in the world as well as among the top 2% of all scientists worldwide. He also served as editor of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology and the Justice Evaluation Journal. He is a Fellow of both the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

In 2019, he received the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Bruce Smith Sr. Award for outstanding contributions to criminal justice, and in 2020, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology of the American Society of Criminology.