A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Build a Criminal Justice Policy for Terrorism


With some notable and mostly recent exceptions, criminologists have been slow to study terrorism and responses to terrorism. This slow response is surprising given that the most widely accepted definition of criminology (Sutherland and Cressey, 1978:3) encompasses research on “. . .the breaking of laws and reactions to the breaking of laws”; both of which fall unambiguously under the subject heading of terrorism. As Clarke and Newman (2007:i) put it, “Terrorism is a form of crime in all essential respects.” Arguments about why ignoring terrorism is a mistake for criminology as a science have been made elsewhere already (LaFree and Dugan, 2004; McCauley, 2006; Rosenfeld, 2004). In this essay, we provide evidence instead for the argument that important policy reasons exist for criminologists to be involved in the fight against terrorism.

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LaFree, Gary, and James Hendrickson. 2007. "Build a Criminal Justice Policy for Terrorism." Criminology and Public Policy 6 (November): 781-790. https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/build-criminal-just…

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