James Byrne, Professor of Criminology & Justice Studies at UMass Lowell.

James Byrne

Professor Emeritus

College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Criminology and Justice Studies
(978) 934-3992
Health and Social Sciences Building


Evidence-based practice; global crime and justice; criminal justice technology.

Research Interests

Global perspectives on crime and justice, the effectiveness of institutional and community based corrections, the impact of technology on crime and the criminal justice response, social ecology and criminal justice policy.


  • Ph D: Criminal Justice, (1983), Graduate Program in Criminal Justice, Rutgers University - NJ
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Ecological Correlates Of Property Crime in the United States: A Macroenvironmental Analysis
  • MA: Criminal Justice, (1980), Graduate Program in Criminal Justice, Rutgers University - Newark, NJ
  • BA: Sociology, (1977), University of Massachusetts Amherst - Amherst, MA


James Byrne , Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus, School of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell., and an affiliated faculty member at George Mason University’s Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!). Byrne is currently the Project Director for a study focusing on service delivery in Veterans Treatment Courts: Community participatory research on veterans in specialized programming, is a 3-year multi-site research project (2021- 2024) funded through the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) Initiative, National Institute on Drug abuse (NIDA), in conjunction with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. He also serves as a consultant for the Global Corrections Group, where he is conducting a review of the research on the effectiveness of all United States Federal Bureau of Prisons programming.

Professor Byrne received his undergraduate degree in Sociology (Summa cum Laude) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1977), and his Masters (1980) and Doctoral degree (1983) in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. He is the author of several books, monographs, journal articles, and research reports on a range of criminal and juvenile justice policy and program evaluation issues. His edited texts include: The Social Ecology of Crime (1986), Smart Sentencing: The Emergence of Intermediate Sanctions (1994), The New Technology of Crime, Law, and Social Control (2007, 2010), The Culture of Prison Violence (2008), The Global Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Institutional and Community Corrections (2021), The New Technology of Financial Crime (2022), and The Handbook on Technology and Crime (2023). Byrne is currently completing a new co-edited collection, The Routledge Handbook of Global Community Corrections, with Faye Taxman (George Mason University) and Ioan Durnescu (University of Bucharest). It will be released early in 2024. Professor Byrne’s contribution to the field has been recognized by the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Corrections and Sentencing: in 2011, he was the recipient of both the Distinguished Scholar Award and the Marguerite Q. Warren and Ted B. Palmer Differential Intervention Award; and in November 2021, he was awarded the Division’s Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2019, Byrne was appointed to serve as a member of the Independent Review Committee responsible for advising the U.S. Attorney General on the design and implementation of the Risk Need Assessment System that is a central component of the Congressionally mandated 2018 First Step Act, a major federal prison reform initiative. Byrne also serves as a member, Panel of Experts – Correctional Services Advisory and Accreditation Panel, Ministry of Justice, United Kingdom. He previously served as the External Inspector of Prisons, Office of the Inspector General, Queensland Correctional Services, Australia (2014), where he conducted an independent review of the prison assault problem across Queensland's prisons.

Byrne is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Victims and Offenders: An International Journal of Evidence-based Research, Policy, and Practice. He also serves on the editorial boards of two other journals Criminology and Public Policy, and the European Journal of Probation, and on National Advisory Committee for the journal, Federal Probation, a publication of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Byrne also directs the Global Community Corrections Initiative, which brings together community corrections researchers and policy makers from each global region to examine non-incarceration-based responses to crime.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award - Division on Sentencing and Corrections, American Society of Criminology
  • Distinguished Scholar Award, Scholarship/Research - Division on Corrections and Sentencing, American Society of Criminology
  • Marguerite Q. Warren and Ted Palmer Differential Intervention Award, Scholarship/Research - Division on Corrections Sentencing, American Society of Criminology
  • Outstanding Teacher Award, Teaching - Department of Criminal Justice, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • Senior Specialist - Fulbright Senior Specialist Program, Fulbright Foundation
  • Summa Cum Laude Graduate in Sociology, Scholarship/Research - University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Walter C. Russell Scholarship - The Graduate School, Rutgers University

Selected Publications

  • Hummer, D. and Byrne, J. (Eds) (2023) The Handbook of crime, and technology. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Byrne, J. and Hummer, D. (2023). Techno-crime cause, prevention, and control: Issues to consider, pp.1-15 in Hummer, D. and Byrne, J. eds. The Handbook of Crime and Technology. Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Homer, E. and Byrne, J. (2023). Embezzlement, Chapter 12, pp. 193-213 in Hummer, D. and Byrne, J. eds. The Handbook of Crime and Technology. Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Rebovich, D. and Byrne, J. (Eds.) (2022) The New Technology of Financial crime: new crime commission technology, new victims, new offenders, and new strategies for prevention and control. London: Routledge.
  • Byrne, J., and Hummer, D., & Rapisarda, S (Eds.) (2022) The Global Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Institutional and Community Corrections. London: Routledge.
  • Byrne, J. & Rapisarda, S. (2020). The Impact of institution-based and community-based mentoring, sports, arts, and leisure activities on lifestyle change and subsequent offending: A Rapid evidence assessment. Correctional Services Accreditation and Advice Panel (CSAAP), National Offender Management Service (NOMS), United Kingdom

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Byrne, J. (Project Director, Co-PI) (2021-2024). Community participatory research on veterans in specialized programming. 3-year multi-site research project ($859,000), funded through the JCOIN Initiative, NIDA/ NIH, Faye Taxman, PI George Mason University, JCOIN Initiative
  • Byrne, J. (PI) (2014). An Examination of Assaultive Behaviour in Queensland Prisons: Chief Inspector Report. Prepared for Department of Justice and Attorney General, Office of the Chief Inspector, Queensland, Australia.
  • Coventry, G. & Byrne, J. (Co-PI) (2013). Justice reinvestment on Palm Island. Collaborative Grant Scheme.
  • Pattavina, A. & Byrne, J. (Co-PI). (2010-2012). Simulating the likely impact of correctional reform on the size, cost, and effectiveness of the adult correctional system in the United States. Grant funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance ($399,000 award to George Mason University, December, 2009-2012, Faye Taxman, PI; UML subcontract.
  • Taxman, F. & Byrne, J. (Co-PI). (2005). Evaluating the effectiveness of manualized (cognitive behavioral) treatment in a seamless system of care: A randomized field experiment. Grant funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) ( year 1 only) with Faye Taxman, Principal Investigator, Virginia Commonwealth University. ($2,000,000 Gant award August, 2005); responsible for first year research design development.
  • Byrne, J. & Taxman, F. (Co-PI). (2003-2005). A multisite evaluation of NIC’s institutional culture change initiative. (Co-PI, with Faye Taxman, Virginia Commonwealth University/University of Maryland), multiyear evaluation funded by the National Institute of Corrections ($325,000)