David Farrington and Beatrice Ask in the City Hall. Photo: Pernille Tofte
David Farrington and Beatrice Ask in the City Hall. Photo: Pernille Tofte


Jury Motivation

Professor David Farrington has been selected the winner for his achievements in the work on early-life crime prevention programmes that have been tested with strong evidence. As Director of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development for over three decades, Farrington has followed up over 400 men born in South London in the early 1950s and contacted them in every decade of their lives, producing hundreds of research reports. He has uniquely combined his own original research with reviews of other research to influence governments around the world.

David Farrington's work

David Farrington is Emeritus Professor of Psychological Criminology and Leverhulme Trust Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University. He is currently a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the British Psychological Society. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological
Society, and an Honorary Life Member of the British Society of Criminology and of the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology. Farrington has drawn both scholarly and public attention to the crucial early chances to counteract major risk factors for crime.

Effective interventions include: pre-natal care for mothers at risk, early childhood parental support, preschool programmes for at-risk children, parent training for parents of disruptive children, and skills training for the children to teach them to think before they act. Farrington and his colleagues showed that the costeffectiveness of these programmes was often unanticipated; for example, a pre-school programme saved $11 for every $1 expended just because of reduced crime and criminal justice costs up to age 40.

Farrington has focused his recommendations to policymakers on four key conclusions:

  • Risk and protective factors for crime appear very early in life
  • Children at high risk can be helped from birth 7
  • A wide range of programmes for children under 10 are very effective
  • Investing in early-life programmes saves vast sums of taxpayer money.

He has also been noted for his influence on the funding of specific programmes by national governments, such as the early life programmes mounted by Prime Minister Tony Blair in the United Kingdom.


David Farrington has received b.a., m.a. and ph.d. degrees in psychology from Cambridge University, uk, and has been a member of the University’s staff since 1969. In 1992 he became Professor of psychological criminology. His major research interest is in developmental criminology, and he is Director of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, which is a prospective longitudinal survey of over 400 London males from age 8 to age 56. He is also co-investigator of the Pittsburgh Youth Study, which is a prospective longitudinal study of over 1,500 Pittsburgh males from age 7 to age 35.

David Farrington has received several international awards for his outstanding contributions to criminology. Among a wide range of positions, he has been the President of the American Society of Criminology (the first and only person from outside North America to be elected to this office). In addition to over 590 published journal articles and book chapters on criminological and psychological topics, he has published nearly a hundred books, monographs and government publications.

Film about David Farrington

In time for the announcement of David Farrington as the 2013 winner of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology, Stockholm University recorded a film about and with Professor Farrington.


Participating in the film:

David Farrington, Professor of Psychological Criminology at Cambridge University and winner of the 2013 Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

Jerzy Sarnecki, Professor of General Criminology at Stockholm University and co-chair of the prize jury.

The Stockholm Prize in Criminology Board:
Bo Svensson, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Sweden and president of the Board.
Maria Söderberg, Board member from the Torsten Söderberg Foundation and member of the Board.
Kåre Bremer, Vice-Chancellor at Stockholm University and member of the Board.
Erik Wennerström, Director at The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention and member of the Board.
Krister Kumlin, Swedish ambassador at the Foreign Ministry and member of the Board.