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Professor David Green Wins British Society of Criminology 2009 Book Prize

September 3, 2009 - New York, NY - David Green, Assistant Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was recently awarded the British Society of Criminology’s 2009 Book Prize for When Children Kill Children: Penal Populism and Political Culture (Oxford University Press, 2008). The award is presented annually to recognize the work of new members of the criminology profession.

In this book, Professor Green examines the role of political culture and penal populism in  response to the subject of child-on-child homicide. He explores the reasons underlying the vastly different responses of the English and Norwegian criminal justice systems to the homicide cases of James Bulger and Silje Redergard respectively. In one case, the perpetrators were subject to extreme press and were tried in an adversarial court while in the other the perpetrators were shielded from public antagonism and carefully reintegrated into the local community.

Professor Green’s book argues that English adversarial political culture creates far more incentives to politicize high-profile crimes than Norwegian consensus political culture. Drawing on a wealth of empirical research, he suggests that the tendency for politicians to justify punitive responses to crime by invoking harsh public attitudes is based upon a flawed understanding of public opinion.

Before joining the John Jay faculty in 2008, Professor Green earned an MPhil degree in Criminology at the University of Cambridge in England and then won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a PhD, which he completed in 2006. In the fall of 2005 he took up a postdoctoral Junior Research Fellowship at Christ Church College, University of Oxford.  While at Oxford he taught at the Centre for Criminology and received a grant from the British Academy to expand his PhD research. His main research interests involve the interrelationship between crime, the mass media, public opinion, and politics in a comparative perspective. His work has appeared in the British Journal of Criminology, Crime and Justice.  

The British Society of Criminology has been in existence for 50 years. The Society aims to further the interests and knowledge of both academic and professional people who are engaged in any aspect of work or teaching, research or public education about crime, criminal behaviour and the criminal justice systems in the United Kingdom.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations.  In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law.  For more information, visit