Michael Tonry

Former Faculty Director, Criminal Justice Policy Area
Michael Tonry

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Michael Tonry was the Director of the Robina Institute's Criminal Justice Policy Program Area.

Professor Tonry, who retired in December 2021, was the McKnight Presidential Professor of Criminal Law and Policy, Director of the Institute on Crime and Public Policy of the University of Minnesota, and a Scientific Member of Germany's Max Planck Society. Previously he was professor of law and public policy and director of the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University. He has been president of the American and European Societies of Criminology. Since 2001, he has been a visiting professor of law and criminology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and since 2003, a senior fellow in the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, Free University Amsterdam. He has been a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and held visiting posts at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, and the Max Planck Institute on International and Comparative Criminal Law in Freiburg, Germany.

Professor Tonry has written a number of books including Between Prison and Probation (with Norval Morris; OUP 1991), Malign Neglect (OUP 1995), Sentencing Matters (OUP 1996), Thinking About Crime (OUP 2004), Punishment and Politics—Evidence and Emulation in the Making of English Penal Policy (Willan 2004), Punishing Race (OUP 2011), Sentencing Fragments (OUP 2016), and Doing Justice, Preventing Crime (OUP 2020). He has edited a number of books including Why Crime Rates Fall and Why They Don’t (Chicago 2014), American Sentencing: What Happens and Why? (Chicago 2019), Organizing Crime: Mafias, Markets, and Networks (with Peter Reuter; Chicago 2020), and Of One-Eyed and Toothless Miscreants: Making the Punishment Fit the Crime? (OUP 2020).

In earlier careers, Professor Tonry practiced as a commercial lawyer in large firms in Chicago and Philadelphia, practiced as a sole practitioner in Castine, Maine, and directed a private-sector research firm. He founded and, from 1987 to 1990, directed the MacArthur Foundation-United States Department of Justice Program on Human Development and Criminal Behavior. From 1986 to 1990, he was editor and publisher of The Castine Patriot, a small-town weekly newspaper; from 1990 to 1999, editor of Overcrowded Times—Solving the Prison Problem; and from 2000 to 2010, editor of Criminology in Europe. He founded and edits Crime and Justice - A Review of Research and the Oxford University Press book series Studies in Crime and Public Policy and Oxford Handbooks of Criminology and Criminal Justice.