John Roman

Senior Fellow at NORC, University of Chicago

Areas of Expertise

  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Death penalty
  • Economics of crime
  • Crime control policies

Key Findings

  • Of homicides between 2005 and 2010 in the FBI’s homicide report, only 2.57 percent of the homicides were ruled as justified. MORE
  • White-on-Black homicides were the most likely to be ruled as justified (11.4 percent) while Black-on-White homicide was least likely to be ruled as justified (1.2 percent). MORE
  • The impact of race in SYG situations was found to be statistically significant to the homicide being ruled justifiable. MORE
  • The most effective drug courts worked with mid- to high-risk offenders. MORE
  • Drug courts were found to increase recidivism for low-risk participants. MORE
  • Regardless of the severity of addiction, drug courts generally produced similar results for all participants. MORE
  • The Pay for Success (PFS) model uses private capital to fund social programs with the option for additional funding as they reach their objectives. MORE
  • The Pay for Success (PFS) model solves two of the traditional barriers in criminal justice: under-funding and the burden of risk. MORE
  • The program aims to build relationships between offenders and the community, known as social impact bonds (SIBs), to help with the reintegration process and to reduce recidivism. MORE


John Roman, Senior Fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, is an expert in innovative crime control policies and justice programs.

Roman directs several studies funded by the National Institute of Justice, including randomized trials of using DNA in motor vehicle thefts and burglary investigations, a study investigating why forensic evidence is rarely used by law enforcement to identify unknown offenders and a study on wrongful conviction. He adapts social impact bonds to public safety reform efforts for the Bureau of Justice Assistance and evaluates the Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Roman is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and an affiliated professor at Georgetown University.

He has published dozens of articles in scholarly journals and is the coeditor of Cost-Benefit Analysis and Crime Control and Juvenile Drug Courts and Teen Substance Abuse.

Roman received his Ph.D. in Policy Studies from the University of Maryland, M.P.P. from the University of Michigan and B.A. in Political Science from Kenyon College.

Follow John on Twitter: @JohnKRoman