History of the Organization

Peter Lejins, in the late 1970s, spearheaded an informal gathering of doctoral program directors to meet and discuss common interests. A charter was later developed and the organization was entitled the American Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice.  Membership was open to any organization offering a doctoral program in criminology, criminal justice or a related discipline. In 1998, Todd Clear was elected as president and has served as the president since.

In 2005, data was compiled from surveys and shared with the National Research Council (NRC) in efforts to be formally recognized as a separate academic discipline. While this effort fell short of its goal, the NRC did establish criminology and criminal justice as one of the “fields to watch.”