Mears’ current research has identified ways in which community conditions influence sentencing decisions; variation in the theoretical justification, uses, and impacts of supermax prisons; the recidivism-reducing effects of inmate visitation; differences among practitioners in their views about the need for and effectiveness of a range of juvenile justice reforms; and social and demographic divides in public views toward a range of criminal justice policies.

Research Interests

Juvenile and Criminal Justice Policy | Crime Theory | Public Opinion | Supermax Prisons | Mental Health | Religion | Sentencing | Re-entry

Education

Ph.D. 1998, University of Texas at Austin; Sociology

M.A. 1995, University of Texas at Austin; Sociology

B.A. 1988, Haverford College; Sociology

Grants

The Impacts of Restrictive Housing on Inmate Misconduct, Mental Health, and Recidivism, and Prison Systems and Personnel. Principal Investigators: Daniel P. Mears and William D. Bales. Sponsor: National Institute of Justice ($730,615), 2017-2019.

The Palm Beach County School Safety and Student Performance Partnership Research Project. Principal Investigators: Daniel P. Mears and Sonja E. Siennick. Sponsor: National Institute of Justice ($981,481), 2015-2018.

Monitoring and Assessing the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Sanctions. Principal Investigators: Daniel P. Mears and Avinash S. Bhati. Sponsor: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention ($275,842), 2010-2012.

Financial Exploitation of the Elderly in a Consumer Context. Principal Investigators: Kristy Holtfreter, Michael D. Reisig, and Daniel P. Mears. Sponsor: National Institute of Justice ($393,174), 2011-2012.

The Past, Present, and Future of Juvenile Justice: Assessing the Policy Options. Principal Investigators: Daniel P. Mears, Jeffrey A. Butts (University of Chicago), and Christy A. Visher (The Urban Institute). Sponsor: National Institute of Justice ($258,068), 2005-2010.

Florida Department of Corrections Public Opinion Survey. Principal Investigator. Sponsor: Florida Department of Corrections ($23,068), 2005-2006.

An Evaluation of the ACTION Agricultural Crime Prevention Initiative. Principal Investigator. Sponsor: National Institute of Justice ($447,040), 2004-2007.

Recent Publications

Mears, Daniel P., and Joshua C. Cochran. 2018. “Progressively Tougher Sanctioning and Recidivism: Assessing the Effects of Different Types of Sanctions.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 55(2):194-241.

Mears, Daniel P., Eric A. Stewart, Patricia Y. Warren, and Ronald L. Simons. 2017. “Culture and Formal Social Control: The Effect of the Code of the Street on Police and Court Decisionmaking.” Justice Quarterly 34(2):217-247.

Mears, Daniel P., and Sonja E. Siennick . 2016. “Young Adult Outcomes and the Life-Course Penalties of Parental Incarceration.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 53(1): 3-35.

Mears, Daniel P., Joshua C. Cochran, and Andrea M. Lindsey. 2016. “Offending and Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Criminal Justice: A Conceptual Framework for Guiding Theory and Research and Informing Policy” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 32(1):78-103.

Mears, Daniel P., Joshua C. Cochran, William D. Bales, and Avinash S. Bhati. 2016. “Recidivism and Time Served in Prison.” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 106(1):83-124.

Selected Publications

Books

Mears, Daniel P. 2017. Out-of-Control Criminal Justice: The Systems Improvement Solution for More Safety, Justice, Accountability, and Efficiency. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Mears, Daniel P., and Joshua C. Cochran. 2015. Prisoner Reentry in the Era of Mass Incarceration. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Mears, Daniel P. 2010. American Criminal Justice Policy: An Evaluation Approach to Increasing Accountability and Effectiveness. New York: Cambridge University Press. Winner of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ Outstanding Book Award.