Megan Kurlychek

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, State University of New York

Areas of Expertise

  • Sentencing
  • Juvenile justice
  • Offender rehabilitation
  • Collateral consequences of crime

Key Findings

  • An individual’s arrest record can help predict whether or not he or she will reoffend and is most accurate in predicting behavior immediately following an individual’s arrest. MORE
  • Differences between the individuals with and without prior convictions dramatically decrease over time and become similar, but do not match, after six to seven years. MORE
  • Juveniles transferred into adult court for drug crimes received sentences six times as severe as other young adults in adult court. MORE
  • There is little support that neighborhood factors can reduce the risk of violent outcomes in adolescents. MORE
  • Desistance is an arc, where one can slowly increase and decrease with their involvement with crime. MORE
  • Some individuals desist crime at the beginning of their follow-up period after being released from prison. MORE


Megan Kurlychek, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at State University of New York, Albany, is an expert in juvenile justice and delinquency, offender rehabilitation, prisoner reentry, courts and sentencing.

Kurlychek has worked for the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, the National Center for Juvenile Justice, and the Pennsylvania State Senate. In addition to being an Associate Professor, she also serves as Executive Director of the Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center and Editor of Justice Quarterly. She has received several honors and awards from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology and Sage Publishing.

She has published in numerous scholarly journals, including Justice QuarterlyYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice, Criminology and Criminology & Public Policy.

Kurlychek received her Ph.D. in Crime, Law and Justice from Penn State University, M.S. in Administration Justice from Shippensburg University and B.A. in Sociology from Penn State.