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Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University

Shi Yan is an assistant professor at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and an affiliated faculty of the Law and Behavioral Science group, Arizona State University. He received a PhD in criminal justice from the University at Albany, SUNY.

Professor Yan’s research pursues an evidence-based understanding of today’s court system, with a focus on sentencing and plea bargaining. His work seeks to address the disparities in case outcomes, as well as when and why defendants accept or reject guilty pleas. He is also interested in the broad idea of assessing risk in the criminal justice context, with a focus on the pattern and implication of criminal records. Professor Yan’s research is highly interdisciplinary, and has been published in several elite journals across disciplines, such as Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

Professor Yan is teaching courses on courts and sentencing, research methods, statistics, and introduction to criminal justice, utilizing team-based learning in all in-person and sync courses. He is also actively mentoring and collaborating with master’s and PhD students.

Professor Yan is actively providing academic service at ASU and in professional organizations. He has served as an ad hoc reviewer for a variety of academic journals both inside and outside of criminology, and has provided comments on research findings to both agencies and media.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University


  • 2016 
    University at Albany, SUNY, PhD in criminal justice