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Melissa Hamilton

Senior Lecturer of Law & Criminal Justice, University of Surrey

Melissa Hamilton is a former police officer, former corrections officer and former judicial clerk.

Hamilton has expertise in interpersonal violence, constitutional law, gun control legislation, domestic violence, sexual assault, sentencing, policing, criminal procedure, correctional law, death penalty, juvenile justice, drug law and policy and victimization.


  • –present
    Visiting Criminal Law Scholar, University of Houston Law Center


  • 2006 
    University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D
  • 1989 
    University of Texas School of Law, J.D.


  • 2015
    Back to the Future: The Influence of Criminal History on Risk Assessment, 20 Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 75
  • 2015
    Adventures in Risk: Predicting Violent and Sexual Recidivism in Sentencing Law, 47 Arizona State Law Journal 1
  • 2015
    The Reliability of Assault Victims’ Immediate Accounts: Evidence from Trauma Studies, 26 Stanford Law & Policy Review 269
  • 2015
    Risk and Needs Assessment: Constitutional and Ethical Challenges, 52 American Criminal Law Review 231
  • 2014
    McSentencing: Mass Federal Sentencing and the Law of Unintended Consequences, 35 Cardozo Law Review 2199
  • 2014
    Prison-by-Default: Challenging the Presumption of Prison in Federal Sentencing, 51 Houston Law Review 1271
  • 2014
    Sentencing Policy Adjudication and Empiricism, 30 Georgia State Law Journal 375
  • 2013
    Adjudicating Sex Crimes as Mental Disease, 33 Pace Law Review 536
  • 2012
    The Child Pornography Crusade and its Net Widening Effect, 33 Cardozo Law Review 1679
  • 2012
    Reinvigorating Actus Reus: The Case for Involuntary Actions by Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 16 Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 340
  • 2011
    The Efficacy of Severe Child Pornography Sentencing: Empirical Validity or Political Rhetoric?, 22 Stanford Law & Policy Review 545
  • 2011
    Sex Disparities in Arrest Outcomes for Domestic Violence, 26 Journal of Interpersonal Violence 1559
  • 2011
    Public Safety, Individual Liberty, and Suspect Science: Future Dangerousness Assessments and Sex Offender Laws, 83 Temple Law Review 697
  • 2009
    Expert Testimony on Domestic Violence ,

Professional Memberships

  • American Psychological Association
  • American Psychology-Law Association
  • State Bar of Texas