PRECINCT 444 Podcast

A Podcast of The National Law Enforcement Museum

Laurie Robinson: A Life of Evidence-based Leadership


The path has been laid and it is up to us to follow it.

Our guest Laurie Robinson is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor Emerita of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University. Robinson twice served as a Senate-confirmed, Presidentially appointed Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, the research, statistics and criminal justice assistance arm of the Department.  Laurie was the longest serving head of the agency in its 50-year history. During her career at the Department of Justice, Robinson was named by President Obama to co-chair the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing, set up in 2014 to develop recommendations on ways to build greater trust between law enforcement and citizens. Between her stints at DOJ, Robinson was founding director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Criminology Master of Science Program. She has frequently testified before Congress and has also served on a number of national boards, including those of the Vera Institute of Justice, the National Policing Institute, Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) and served for six years as co-chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Research Advisory Committee. Earlier in her career, Robinson spent 14 years as director of the American Bar Association’s Section of Criminal Justice in Washington. At the ABA she founded its Center on Juvenile Justice and spearheaded initiatives on sentencing, federal criminal code reform, and indigent defense.

“The more that we can think successfully rather than just emotionally, in a reactionary way about what to do about crime, we’re going to have an impact.”

– Laurie Robinson

Laurie Robinson’s work to bring evidence-based practices to the Department of Justice should be heralded as the next generation of criminal justice leaders take the helm. The importance of learning from those who have paved the way can’t be overstated. Enjoy!



Offices | Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) | Office of Justice Programs (

Criminal Justice Section (

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing | Office of Justice Programs (

Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections (CCTF) (Washington DC) | National Institute of Corrections (

Home – Council on Criminal Justice (

Research Advisory Committee | International Association of Chiefs of Police (

Home – National Policing Institute

About Criminology | Department of Criminology (

Criminology, Law and Society | Justice, Policy, Law,… (


Our Host

I’m Thomas Canavan, the executive director of the National Law Enforcement Museum. There is nothing I respect more than people who dedicate their lives to helping others and the opportunity to sit across from these icons of the law enforcement community is one of the highlights of my career. Thanks for listening!


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