Welcome to the companion website for the upcoming Criminalization in the Lives of Children Coming of Age During the Transformation of Crime and Punishment in America, 1995-2020 Accelerator Workshop.  We are very excited for this workshop, on January 20-21, 2022, and we look forward to seeing everyone soon.  Please feel free to explore this website.  We will strive to make sure that the most up-to-date information is installed.  Thank you.

The transformation of crime and punishment in America during the last quarter-century makes this an important time to reconceptualize our understanding of criminal propensity and criminalization. There is much work on mass incarceration, but it has focused on the rise of America’s punitive state and the negative effects of a criminal record. The process of becoming criminalized in the first place and its implications for defining and predicting criminal propensity have been neglected, especially in the lives of children coming of age during an era of dramatic declines in violence and the stabilization and now reduction in incarceration. The RIAS workshop will confront these issues and accelerate intellectual progress on original research for a book in progress for Harvard University Press. This research examines the changing mark of criminalization over the life course of over 1,000 children, starting at birth and ranging up to 15 years of age, who were studied over a period of nearly twenty-five years, starting in 1995 and followed to the present. The multi-cohort research design is unique in its ability to examine the effects of age and history on criminalization, independent of traditional measures of criminal propensity and demographic composition. Drawing together sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, historians, and legal experts, the workshop is designed to discuss the implications of the emerging research findings for theories of both criminal behavior and its societal reaction, with an emphasis on changes in racial and socioeconomic disparities in becoming marked, and the prospects for true criminal justice reform.

Acclerator Workshop Leader
Robert Sampson