Franklin Zimring

  • William G. Simon Professor of Law
    Faculty Director, Criminal Justice Studies
  • Tel: 510-642-0854 | Fax: 510-643-2698
  • 383 Law Building, Berkeley, CA 94720 MC:7200
  • Faculty Support Contact: Toni Mendicino

Franklin Zimring was a member of the University of Chicago law faculty as Llewellyn Professor of Law and director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice. He joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 1985 as director of the Earl Warren Legal Institute. He was appointed the first Wolfen Distinguished Scholar in 2006 and served in that capacity until 2013.

Zimring’s major fields of interest are criminal justice and family law, with special emphasis on the use of empirical research to inform legal policy. He is best known for his studies of the determinants of the death rate from violent attacks; the impact of pretrial diversion from the criminal justice system; and the effects of criminal sanctions.

He has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University, and a fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences. He is a fellow of the American Society of Criminology and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 2005 until 2011, he was the principal investigator for the Center on Culture, Immigration and Youth Violence Prevention, supported by the Centers for Disease Control.

Zimring is the author or co-author of many books on topics including deterrence, the changing legal world of adolescence, capital punishment, the scale of imprisonment, and drug control. Recent books include The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment (2003), The Great American Crime Decline (2007), and The City That Became Safe: New York’s Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control (2012).


B.A., Wayne State University (1963)
J.D., University of Chicago (1967)