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Professor of Criminal Justice, Metropolitan State University

Dr. James Densley is Professor and Department Chair of Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University, part of the Minnesota State system. He is also co-founder of The Violence Project Research Center, best known for its database of mass shooters. Densley has received global media attention for his work on street gangs, criminal networks, violence, and policing. He is the author of seven books, including the award-winning How Gangs Work (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 50 refereed articles in leading social science journals, and over 70 book chapters, essays, and other non-refereed works in outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, The LA Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. His articles for The Conversation have been reprinted in The Chicago Tribune, Salon, and The Washington Post among other outlets.


  • 2011–present
    Associate professor, Metropolitan State University


  • 2011 
    University of Oxford, PhD