James Lynch, a criminologist on the faculty of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has been nominated by President Obama as director of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. The choice continues the pattern of naming distinguished academics to head key Justice Department agencies. Criminologist John Laub earlier was designated director of the National Institute of Justice. Both jobs require Senate confirmation.
Lynch is a member of the National Academy of Sciences panel evaluating the programs of the justice statistics agency he will head. He has published three books and numerous articles on crime statistics, victimization surveys, victimization risk, and the role of sanctions in social control. Lynch previously headed the department of Justice, Law, and Society at American University in Washington, D.C., and is vice president-elect of the American Society of Criminology.