The prize was awarded by its international jury to Professor Laub and Professor Sampson for their research showing why and how criminals stop offending.

John Laub and Robert Sampson were awarded the 2011 Stockholm Prize in Criminology by Queen Silvia in a ceremony at Stockholm City Hall on June 14. The award ceremony was followed by a gala dinner in the Golden Hall.

John Laub

The 2011 Stockholm Prize in Criminology was jointly awarded to John H. Laub of the National Institute of Justice, USA, and Robert J. Sampson of Harvard University, USA, for their research showing why and how criminals stop offending.

The authors of the longest life-course study of criminal behaviorever conducted, Laub and Sampson discovered that even very active criminals can stop committing crimes for good after key “turning points” in their lives. In their sample of 500 male offenders born in the 1920s, these turning points included marriage, military service, employment, and other ways of cutting off their social ties to their offending peer group.

These findings have had broad influence in criminology world-wide. They have also influenced the policy debate about criminal justice and sentencing policy, especially concerning the potential for rehabilitation. Their work has influenced other scholars to search for means by which offenders can be assisted to break their links to other offenders, such as by moving to new communities.

John H. Laub is the Director of the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the United States Department of Justice. He is also a Distinguished University Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice on leave from the University of Maryland.

He has served as a Visiting Scholar in the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University and was the Editor of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology from 1991 to 1996. From 2002 to 2008, he was a member of the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Academies of Science.

Professor Laub served as President of the American Society of Criminology (2002–2003) and he was awarded their highest research prize, the Edwin H. Sutherland Award, in 2005. With Robert J. Sampson, his two books each won three major awards: The Albert J. Reiss, Jr, Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Crime, Law, and Deviance Section; the Outstanding Book Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences; and the Michael J. Hindelang Book Award from the American Society of Criminology. Professor Laub has authored many research articles in the areas of crime and the life course, juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice, and the history of criminology.

Robert Sampson

The 2011 Stockholm Prize in Criminology was jointly awarded to John H. Laub of the National Institute of Justice, USA, and Robert J. Sampson of Harvard University, USA, for their research showing why and how criminals stop offending.

The authors of the longest life-course study of criminal behaviorever conducted, Laub and Sampson discovered that even very active criminals can stop committing crimes for good after key “turning points” in their lives. In their sample of 500 male offenders born in the 1920s, these turning points included marriage, military service, employment, and other ways of cutting off their social ties to their offending peer group.

These findings have had broad influence in criminology world-wide. They have also influenced the policy debate about criminal justice and sentencing policy, especially concerning the potential for rehabilitation. Their work has influenced other scholars to search for means by which offenders can be assisted to break their links to other offenders, such as by moving to new communities.

Robert J. Sampson is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences and former Chair of the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. Currently he is Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City. The American Society of Criminology awarded Sampson the Edwin H. Sutherland Award in 2002, and elected him President in 2010.

Before being appointed at Harvard in 2003 he taught in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago and before that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sampson’s other prior appointments include Senior Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation and Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He was elected a permanent Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, Ernest
Burgess Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 2006, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006.

Professor Sampson has published widely in the areas of crime, the life course, neighborhood effects, social inequality, civic engagement, and the social organization of cities. He recently completed a book based on fifteen years of research from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods.