Jerry Lee Center of Criminology

The mission of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania is to produce major discoveries about the causes and prevention of crime, showing how to make a safer and more democratic world.

The University of Pennsylvania is world renowned for its contributions to criminology.Since the 1920s, Penn has pioneered in research on such issues as capital punishment and juvenile delinquency. Over 100 Penn Ph.D.s who specialized in criminology are still active in their leadership of the field around the world. Students from all of Penn's undergraduate programs have filled introductory criminology classes for decades.

Criminology is the scientific study of the criminal law: its making, breaking, and enforcing. It seeks to understand and predict these behaviors from a multi-disciplinary perspective. This goal has rarely been accomplished. For most of its history in the United States, the study of crime has been dominated by the discipline of sociology. In northern Europe, faculties of law have sponsored most degree programs in criminology; while in Italy criminology is found in medical and psychiatric faculties. None of these arrangements have fostered much truly multi-disciplinary work, linking different levels of analysis in a unified science.