Penn's Laurie O. Robinson Is Named Acting Assistant Attorney General for Office of Justice Programs

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | | 215-898-6460January 28, 2009

PHILADELPHIA –-Laurie O. Robinson, director of the University of Pennsylvania Criminology Department’s Master of Science Program, has been appointed acting assistant attorney general of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs. She will take a leave of absence from Penn and begin today.

The temporary appointment marks Robinson’s return to OJP where she served as assistant attorney general from 1993 to 2000. A national leader in criminal-justice policy, Robinson was instrumental in directing several new initiatives including comprehensive community-based crime control and innovations in offender management.

Under Robinson’s leadership, OJP grew substantially with an annual appropriation increase from $800 million in 1993 to $4 billion in 2000. Her seven-year tenure as an assistant attorney general in OJP was the longest of any director in the federal criminal justice assistance agency's history.

Robinson, who is also a lecturer in criminology and Senior Fellow of Penn’s Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, will serve until a permanent appointee is named by the White House and confirmed by the Senate.

“We are delighted that President Obama has chosen Laurie Robinson to set the course of the federal government’s anti-crime efforts,” Adrian Raine, chair of Penn’s Criminology department, said.

“Both Philadelphia and the nation will benefit from Laurie Robinson’s evidence-based leadership away from the bankrupting policies of recent years to more effective strategies of crime prevention,” said Lawrence W. Sherman, director of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at Penn.