Jerry Lee bestowed American Society of Criminology award


Jerry Lee, owner of Philadelphia’s WBEB 101.1 FM (B101), has long been recognized for his visionary leadership in the broadcast world. Now given his philanthropic efforts (which will be underscored by the recent auction of his James Bond DB5 car) in the criminology arena, his name will be linked forever with achievement in that field.

The American Society of Criminology’s Division of Experimental Criminology recently established the Jerry Lee Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be given each year to a criminologist whose career contributions have significantly advanced evidenced based policy in the field of criminology. The award is a testament to Lee’s commitment to criminology and the impact his efforts have had on research in the field.

“It was a great feeling. My heart and soul is dedicated to advancing rigorous research, like you do in medicine,” Lee tells RBR-TVBR. “And this is what this award is all about—recognizing people that have done the very best research in what we call ‘randomized controlled research, where you put every other person into an intervention. One person gets the treatment, the other doesn’t. And at the end of the day, three-five years later you know for sure if something worked or didn’t work. We want to make this the way you do research.”

The first winner of the Jerry Lee Lifetime Achievement Award was announced at the American Society of Criminology’s annual meeting held recently in San Francisco. The honoree, David Farrington, is a Professor of Psychological Criminology at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University, and former President of the American and British Societies of Criminology, as well as of the Academy of Experimental Criminology.

Lee’s achievements in the field of criminology are extensive in their own right. He founded The Jerry Lee Foundation, a multi-national initiative dedicated to solving social problems associated with poverty, with an emphasis on crime prevention.  His foundation has helped create and fund the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at University of Pennsylvania. It has also established the Jerry Lee Centre of Experimental Criminology at the University of Cambridge in England.  The Foundation is also responsible for the establishment of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology, for which Lee received a Swedish knighthood in 2008. 

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2011 Jerry Lee Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the DEC’s awards for the best randomized experiment and best student paper on experimental criminology.
The recipient must be a leader in the advancement of experimental methodology, experimental research, or the use of experimental methods in the advancement of evidence based policy.  The award is not given for any single research project or study, but for a body of research developed over a career of interest in this area.  An important component of this award is recognition of advancement of experimental science through the mentoring of other experimental scholars.