Nancy La Vigne

Director of the National Institute of Justice of the United States

Areas of Expertise

  • Criminal justice evaluation
  • Prisoner reentry
  • Crime prevention
  • Crime and criminal behavior

Key Findings

  • In-prison contact with family members improves the level of support post-release. In-prison contact with children is important to the establishment of post-release involvement with children. MORE
  • FCBIs help promote the long-term success of inmates in the community.MORE
  • Disproportionate volume of gunfire happened near a small share of DC schools. MORE
  • In places where cameras were sufficiently concentrated and routinely monitored by trained staff, the impact on crime was significant and cost-beneficial, with no evidence of crime displacement. MORE
  • The amount of bike thefts around Metro stations is positively influenced by the number of potential targets and amount of potential offenders. MORE
  • Stations that have more guardianship, more nearby business, are less likely to experience bike theft. MORE
  • Participants projected to have more family support prior to their release than they indicated they received after release. MORE


Nancy La Vigne, Director of the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, is an expert in crime prevention, criminal justice evaluation and criminal behavior.

La Vigne served as a senior research associate at Urban and the founding director of the Crime Mapping Research Center at the National Institute of Justice. She also served as an assistant to the assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs within the Department of Justice. She served as a research director for the Texas sentencing commission, research fellow at the Police Executive Research Forum and consultant to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. She has received awards from the National Institute of Justice, Rutgers and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation. She is a member of the Consortium of Social Science Associations, the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

La Vigne has published dozens of research reports with Urban and has written articles published in scholarly journals including The Prison Journal, Security Journal and Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.

She received her Ph.D. in criminal justice from Rutgers University, M.P.A. from the University of Texas and B.A. from Smith College.

Follow Nancy on Twitter: @NLVigne