Anderson, Cullen, Giordano Awarded Stockholm Criminology Prizes

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The Stockholm Criminology Prize winners for 2021 and 2022. Graphic by Andrea Cipriano, Photos courtesy The Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

Elijah Anderson, whose pioneering studies of “street-corner culture” in Chicago and Philadelphia increased understanding of inner-city violence, and two scholars whose research changed thinking about the rehabilitation of former incarcerees, were named winners of the 2021 and 2022 Stockholm Prizes in Criminology.

The awards, the most prestigious in the field of criminology, were announced simultaneously because of delays caused by the pandemic.

The 2022 prizes went to Francis Cullen and Peggy Giordano of the University of Cincinnati and Bowling Green State University, respectively, for their innovative policy research on ex-offenders.

Anderson, Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale
University, where he teaches and directs the Urban Ethnography Project, was recognized for work that transformed and improved understanding of the interactions between young men and women that lead to violence — even violence among good friends—the official statement said

Elijah Anderson

Anderson spent years immersed in the street life of Chicago and Philadelphia neighborhoods, using a “social microscope” to better understand the consequences of prejudice and blocked opportunities from the individuals living in the experience. He has written at length about his observations and their connections to understanding high crime rates of violence in a specific neighborhood

The Stockholm prizes, considered the most prestigious in the field of criminology, are awarded for outstanding achievements in criminological research or for the application of research results by practitioners for the reduction of crime and the advancement of human rights — all of which Anderson, Cullen, and Giordano personify.

Anderson will be honored and awarded along with Cullen and Giordano together in Stockholm in June of 2022 in the city hall.

The 2022 award winners, Francis Cullen and Peggy Giordano, were recognized for their theoretical and policy research showing the effectiveness of offender rehabilitation strategies. They have been working independently over decades to identify a link that demonstrates what works in reducing repeat offending — and understanding why it works.

Francis Cullen

Cullen spent decades reviewing evidence that shows that prison doesn’t necessarily reduce repeat offending, and rehabilitation programs can be very effective in stopping a life of crime. Using his research, he’s become a leader of the scholarly campaign to “save rehabilitation” from budget cuts and political mandates

 His most recent works, like his 2011 book The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life, take a hard look at the encounters between white and Black social classes in public spaces within big cities. Notably, he discusses a framework for understanding racial controversies, like that of the Starbucks coffee shop chain use of toilets by customers, and the reaction to those who are not.    

Peggy Giordano

Giordano has worked with her colleagues to study hundreds of young offenders to learn why some stop reoffending, while others continue to live a life of crime. Her team has uncovered a pattern of “cognitive transformation” that amounts to a successful distance from crime. Her research has shown why these programs work, which has helped legislators. 

Both scholars have improved our understanding of stopping crime, and suggest the importance of funding rehabilitative programs — noting that if governments cut back the programs, they do so at the peril of affected communities, the prize announcement said. 

Anderson’s latest book, Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life (University of Chicago Press, 2022) is a sequel to The Cosmopolitan Canopy, in that it speaks specifically to the ways Black people navigate the perceptual categories of “white space” and the “iconic ghetto” while discussing a new form of “symbolic racism.”

TCR staff writer Andrea Cipriano prepared this summary.

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