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Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies, UMass Lowell

James M. Byrne is a Professor in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he has taught since 1984. Professor Byrne received his undergraduate degree in Sociology (Summa cum Laude) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1977), and his Masters (1980) and Doctoral degree (1983) in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. Since 2008, he has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Victims and Offenders: An International Journal of Evidence-based Research, Policy and Practice. Professor Byrne is also the Founding Director of the Global Community Corrections Initiative (, a project developed in conjunction with George Mason University's Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence.He currently serves as a member of the Independent Review Committee responsible for advising the U.S. Attorney General on the design and implementation of the Risk Need Assessment System that is a central component of the Congressionally mandated 2018 First Step Act, a major federal prison reform initiative. Professor Byrne also serves as a member, Panel of Experts – Correctional Services Advisory and Accreditation Panel, Ministry of Justice, United Kingdom. He previously served as the External Inspector of Prisons, Office of the Inspector General, Queensland Correctional Services, Australia (2014), where he conducted an independent review of the prison assault problem across Queensland's prisons. Professor Byrne has co-authored or edited several critically acclaimed texts, including The Social Ecology of Crime (Springer Verlag, 1986), Smart Sentencing: The Emergence of Intermediate Sanctions (Sage, 1994), The New Technology of Crime, Law, and Social Control (Criminal Justice Press, 2007), and The Culture of Prison Violence (Allyn & Bacon, 2008). In 2011, Professor Byrne was the recipient of both the Distinguished Scholar Award and the Marguerite Q. Warren and Ted B. Palmer Differential Intervention Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Corrections and Sentencing. He currently serves on the editorial board for the journals, Criminology and Public Policy, and the European Journal of Probation, the National Advisory Committee for the journal, Federal Probation, a publication of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and the Review Committee for Perspectives, a publication of the American Probation and Parole Association.


  • –present
    Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell