Jeffrey Fagan, PhD

  • Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Professor of Epidemiology
Profile Headshot


JEFFREY FAGAN, Ph.D., is the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a professor of Epidemiology a the Mailman School of Public Health. He is the former director of the Columbia Center on Violence Research and Prevention at the Mailman School of Public Health, and also former Director of the Center for Crime, Community and Law at Columbia Law School.  His research and scholarship focuses on crime, law and social policy with an emphasis on racial disparities.  His current research examines capital punishment, policing, gun violence, and injury epidemiology. Professor Fagan served on the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Academy of Science from 2000-2006, and as the Committee's vice chair for the last two years. From 1996-2006, he was a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. He is a founding member of the National Consortium on Violence Research, the Working Group on Legitimacy and the Criminal Law of the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Working Group on Incarceration at Russell Sage.  From 2002-2005, Professor Fagan received an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and was a Soros Senior Justice Fellow for 2005-6. From 1994-98, he served on the standing peer review panel (IRG) for violence research at the National Institute for Mental Health.  He is past editor of the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals on criminology and law.  He also has served as executive counselor on the boards of both the American Society of Criminology and the Crime and Deviance Section of the American Sociological Association. He received the Bruce Stone Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.  His book, Changing Borders of Juvenile Justice (Chicago, 2000) was named Best Book in 2002 on Social Policy and Adolescence, by the Society for Research on Adolescence.

Academic Appointments

  • Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Professor of Epidemiology

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1968 New York University
  • MS, 1971 SUNY
  • PhD, 1975 SUNY

Committees, Societies, Councils

Fellow, American Society of Criminology

Committee for Law and Justice

Fellow, National Consortium on Violence Research

Member, MacArthur Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice

Editorial Boards

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Journal of Quantitative Criminology

Crime and Justice: Review of Research

Honors & Awards

RWJ Health Policy Investigator Award, 2002

Soros Senior Justice Fellowship, 2005

Fellow, American Society of Criminology, 2001

Bruce Stone Award, Association of Criminal Justice Sciences, 1998


Research Interests

  • Biostatistical Methods
  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Community Health
  • Global Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Use

Selected Publications

Fagan J., West V., The Decline of the Juvenile Dealth Penalty: Scientific Evidence of Evolving Norms Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, forthcoming

Tom Tyler and Jeffrey Fagan Legitimacy, Compliance and Cooperation: Procedural Justice and Citizen Ties to the Law Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 6 231-275 2008

Fagan J., Tyler T.R., Legal Socialization of Children and Adolescents Social Justice Research, forthcoming

Ethan Cole-Cohen, Steven Durlauf, Jeffrey Fagan, Daniel Nagin Model Uncertainty and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment American Law and Economic Review forthcoming 2009

Fagan J., West V., Holland J., Neighborhood, Crime, and Incarceration in New York City. Symposium on Race, Crime and Voting: Social, Political and Philosophical Perspectives on Felony Disenfranchisement in America. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, forthcoming

Jeffrey Fagan Juvenile Crime and Criminal Justice: Resolving Border Disputes Future of Children 6 81-129 2008

Fagan J., Malkin V., Theorizing Community Justice Through Community Courts Fordham Urban Law Journal, 30: 857-953 2003

Arthur Goldberger and Richard Rosenfeld Understanding Crime Trends National Academy Press 81-216 2008

Fagan J., Zimring F.E. (eds), The Changing Borders of Juvenile Justice: Waiver of Adolescents to the Criminal Court. University of Chicago Press, 2000

Fagan J., Freeman R.B., Crime and Work Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, 25: 113-78 1999

Hartmann, F., Symposium for the 30th Anniversary of the 1967 President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Washington D.C. 1998

Fagan J., Davies G., The Natural History of Neighborhood Violence Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice. 127 2004

Fagan J., Zimring F.E., Kim J., Declining Homicide in New York: A Tale of Two Trends Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 88: 1277-1324 1998

Fagan J., Wilkinson D.L., Guns, Youth Violence and Social Identity Crime and Justice: A review of Justice, 24: 373-456 1998

Franklin Zimring, David Johnson, Jeffrey Fagan Executions, Deterrence and Homicides: A Tale of Two Cities Journal of Empirical Legal Studies forthcoming 2010

Urban Health Activities

Violence Epidemiology: As part of the Columbia Center on Youth Violence Prevention, Professor Fagan directs a violence epidemiology program that analyzes patterns and trends in youth violence. Both lethal and non-lethal violence trends are monitored. Both individual and neighborhood characteristics of violence have been analyzed. Changes in neighborhood and individual rates over time are analyzed as a function of changing social, political and economic factors. Special analyses include the spatial epidemiology of violence against women, and the effects of legal interventions on trajectories of violence in New York City neighborhoods. A recent set of analyses has looked at the spread and decline in violence as an infectious disease, applying models of social contagion to explain changing patterns over time.

Gun Violence and Injury: Professor Fagan has served as an expert witness in three civil lawsuits in New York City that allege injuries to victims of gun violence that are attributable to the actions of gun manufacturers and distributors that fail to regulate and control the flow of firearms into the hands of unauthorized users.

Juvenile Justice: New York has one of the nation's harshest laws for responding to adolescents who commit crimes, treating most serious juvenile offenders as adults. Professor Fagan has been involved in research for over a decade that is an ongoing natural experiment comparing the court responses, sentences, punishments and recidivism of youths in New York compared to youths in other states where the laws permit traditional juvenile justice responses to adolescent crimes.