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Criminologist Alex Piquero To Head U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics


Photo Courtesy: University of Miami

University of Miami criminologist Alex Piquero will head the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. The appointment by President Biden was announced by Amy Solomon, leader of DOJ's Office of Justice Programs.


Piquero chaired the university's Department of Sociology and Criminology, and also had an appointment as a criminology professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.


Solomon called Piquero "a model of scientific excellence whose work has expanded our base of knowledge in virtually every facet of criminal and juvenile justice.


“His vast experience as a researcher, his exemplary scholarly reputation, his appreciation of the link between data and policy, and his deep engagement with a wide range of stakeholders make him exceptionally qualified to guide the critical mission of our Bureau of Justice Statistics.”


Piquero's expertise ranges from criminal justice policy and crime prevention to the intersection of race and crime, with a focus on quantitative methodology.


In an op-ed published last year in the Arizona Republic with Arizona State University criminologist Charles Katz, he argued that the "best path forward [against violence] is to follow the science, which indicates that crime and violence prevention is best addressed through both policing and non-law enforcement strategies ...

"We know that the police can be effective at certain forms of crime prevention and disruption of drug markets. The adoption of place-based strategies on crime hot spots as well as the use of problem-oriented policing to help guide efforts at detecting and responding to problems have consistently shown to help inhibit crime."


He previously was a faculty member at he University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Maryland College Park and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.


Piquero has published over 500 scholarly articles and several books and served as editor of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology and the Justice Evaluation Journal.


In 2019, he received the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Bruce Smith Sr. Award for outstanding contributions to criminal justice, and in 2020, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology of the American Society of Criminology.


Piquero holds a Ph.D., a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland College Park.


Deputy BJS director Doris. James has served as BJS’s acting director since the end of the Trump administration.


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