The 2011 Stockholm Prize in Criminology has been jointly awarded to John Laub, director of the National Institute of Justice, and Robert Sampson, a Harvard social sciences professor, for their research showing why and how criminals stop offending. Laub and Sampson are authors of a long-running life-course study of criminal behavior. They discovered that even very active criminals can stop committing crimes for good after key “turning points” in their lives, including marriage, military service and employment. Their influential work has been been published in numerous articles and two books, “Crime in the Making” (1993) and “Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives” (2003).
Laub and Sampson will receive the prize next June in Stockholm, Sweden. The international prize is awarded by the Swedish Ministry of Justice for outstanding achievements in crime research or for the application of research by practitioners for the reduction of crime and the advancement of human rights. Laub directs the NIJ, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. He is on leave as a University of Maryland criminology professor. Sampson, former chairman of Harvard’s Department of Sociology, is on leave at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York.