Lawrence W. Sherman ’71
B.A., Denison University
M.A., University of Chicago
Ph.D., Yale University
University of Maryland, College Park
Citation awarded June, 1996
Larry Sherman is one of the nation’s top crime control strategists. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland at College Park. His field research on police strategies against gun crimes has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court (Tennessee v. Garner, 1985) and has reshaped police operations in numerous cities. His 1987 discovery that only 3% of city addresses produce over half of all city crime helped spawn a new generation of policy methods concentrated on crime “hot spots,” including the recent New York City Police efforts against gun homicide.
Larry has pioneered the use of randomized controlled trials to evaluate police methods as rigorously as medical techniques, conducting the first controlled tests of the effects of arrests, police drugs raids, and intensive patrols on crime. His Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment influenced over half of the state legislatures to increase arrest powers for spouse assault. His 1992 book, Policing Domestic Violence, won a distinguished scholarship award from the American Sociological Association.
Larry has testified about crime prevention in courts in sixteen states and consulted with Fortune 500 Corporations. He is currently directing a major experiment in Australia testing victim-centered “shaming ceremonies” as an alternative to juvenile court. A graduate of the University of Chicago (M.A.), Cambridge University (Diploma in Criminology), and Yale (Ph.D.), Larry lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Eva and his two children, Eliot and Katharine. His father, Donald L. Sherman, is a member of the Denison Class of 1939.