Joan McCord: A Life Course in Experimental and Theoretical Criminology

Lawrence W. Sherman, University of Pennsylvania
David P. Farrington, University of Cambridge
Susanne Karstedt, Keele University
Richard E. Tremblay, Universite de Montreal

Joan McCord's career produced a remarkable integration of experimental, longitudinal, and theoretical work that is an exemplar for the future. Providing the first thirty-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial in crime prevention, she demonstrated the enormous importance of testing for negative (as well as positive) effects of such programs over the life course. Her continuing efforts to link powerful empirical results to theories of crime and the life course showed us all not to stop at mere program evaluation or policy conclusions, but to place experimental criminology at the core of the discipline. Her final recommendation to the ASC in a 2003 Plenary Session was that future longitudinal work should be linked to the testing of interventions, since that would help advance our theories more rapidly. Sherman and Farrington will review McCord's contributions to experimental criminology, Tremblay will discuss McCord's contribution to understanding crime and the life course, and Karstedt will discuss McCord's theoretical work. A video of an oral history interview with McCord a decade ago will be shown by Sabra Horne of Wadsworth, and general discussion from the audience will be encouraged.

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Updated 05/20/2006