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Photo of Richard Rosenfeld, Curators' Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Photo by August Jennewein (see reuse policy).

Remembering Richard Rosenfeld

Last week, the American criminal justice community suffered a profound loss with the passing of Richard Rosenfeld, a distinguished professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and a titan among researchers.

Rick was one of the brightest minds in our field and a leading light on public safety trends in the United States. His thorough, and sometimes prescient, analysis of data helped set the record straight in our national debates about the state of crime in America and has been a model of statistical integrity that social science researchers everywhere aspire to follow.

Rick’s work is widely published and often quoted, and his long list of honors and achievements—including his service as President of the American Society of Criminology and his receipt of the society’s prestigious Edwin H. Sutherland award—reflect the high esteem in which he is held by his peers. 

Rick was also a partner and friend of the Department of Justice. He contributed faithfully and expertly to the OJP Science Advisory Board, serving for the full life of that body and chairing its Committee on Data and Statistics from 2015 to 2018. He also held us to our pledge to connect science to practice, challenging us to make data reliable and useful for policymakers and the public.

As with many of you, our connection to Rick at OJP was personal. His wife, Janet Lauritsen, served for a number of years as a fellow with our Bureau of Justice Statistics and retains many friends and fans here. I knew Rick for more than two decades, and have such deep admiration for him as a friend, colleague and mentor to so many, and for his extraordinary scientific contributions to crime and justice policy.

Our field has lost a giant. I hope that you will keep his family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts.

Amy L. Solomon

Assistant Attorney General 

Date Published: January 12, 2024