Richard Bennett

Professor of Justice, Law & Criminology, American University

Areas of Expertise

  • Comparative criminology
  • Comparative criminal justice
  • Police organization
  • Procedure

Key Findings

  • Positive perceptions of police competence help calm citizen fear of crime. MORE
  • Older individuals have a higher confidence in the police. MORE
  • Citizen gender did not have a significant effect on perceived police competency or fear of crime. MORE
  • Impediments to comparative research include lack of funding, access to confidential government data, language barriers, and publishing in notable journals. MORE
  • Ways to support comparative research include institutionalizing the field, creating comparative courses into core curriculum in university programs, and publishing comparative studies in all subject areas. MORE


Richard Bennett, Professor of Justice, Law & Criminology at American University, is an expert in comparative criminology, comparative criminal justice, police organization and procedures.

Bennett was an Associate Research Scientist with the Highway Safety Research Institute at the University of Michigan and served as a deputy sheriff in Whitman County, Washington. He was the Director of Research for the First Tennessee Regional Law Enforcement Planning Agency and served as the Deputy Sheriff-Criminal Investigator in Washington County, Tennessee. He serves on the editorial board of various criminal justice journals and is the past president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, where he received several awards for his work in the field.

He has been published in numerous academic journals, including Criminology, Social Forces, Justice Quarterly and Sociological Quarterly.

Bennett received his Ph.D. in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Washington State University, M.A. in Criminal Justice from Florida State University and B.A. in Sociology from Randolph-Macon College.