John Laub will leave the directorship of the National Institute of Justice, the U.S. Justice Department’s crime-research agency, by year’s end to return to the criminology faculty at the University of Maryland. Laub told his staff of the decision yesterday. He is the third major appointee of President Obama to announce his departure from the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, following Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson and James Lynch, director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Laub has championed “translational criminology,” saying that, “If we want to prevent, reduce and manage crime, scientific discoveries must be translated into policy and practice.”
Laub, a former president of the American Society of Criminology, won praise as the only academic criminologist to have headed NIJ. He said yesterday, “I believe NIJ is in a very good place today. But even more important, I am confident that the progress we have made together will continue in the future. Indeed, NIJ is on an irreversible trajectory and the future will only be brighter and better.” Laub was confirmed by the Senate on June 22, 2010. He has coauthored two award-winning books: Crime in the Making: Pathways and Turning Points Through Life (Harvard University Press, 1993) and Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives: Delinquent Boys to Age 70 (Harvard University Press, 2003).