Dana Peterson

Dana Peterson

Sr. Executive Director and Professor
School of Criminal Justice
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Peterson CV365.3 KB


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Dana Peterson


Dana Peterson is the School of Criminal Justice’s Senior Executive Director. Prof. Peterson joined the School in 2002, with a PhD in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a Professor and has previously served the SCJ as Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Studies. In her research, teaching, and service, she investigates young people’s pathways into and out of gangs, delinquency, violence, and the criminal legal and child welfare systems and how identity intersections shape their experiences, reactions, and responses. In addition to journal articles and chapters on these issues, she co-edited (with SCJ PhD-alumnus Vanessa Panfil) the Handbook of LGBT Communities, Crime, and Justice (Springer, 2014) and (with Eurogang Research Network colleagues Frank van Gemert and Inger-Lise Lien) Street Gangs, Migration, and Ethnicity (Willan, 2008), and co-authored (with long-time friends and colleagues Finn-Aage Esbensen, T.J. Taylor, and Adrienne Freng) Youth Violence, Victimization, and Gang Membership (Temple, 2010). She is the Principal Investigator for Service Outcomes Action Research (SOAR), a long-term research-practice partnership with two Albany-area juvenile residential treatment centers, and was an Investigator on the National Evaluation of G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training), a multi-site longitudinal process and outcome evaluation of a school-based gang prevention program, funded by the National Institute of Justice and led by Prof. Finn-Aage Esbensen.

She was National Youth Gang Advisor for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America; currently serves on the editorial boards for Justice Quarterly and Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice; and for over a decade, has co-chaired or served on the University at Albany’s Advisory Council on LGBT+ Concerns to improve campus life quality, equity, and success for LGBT+ students, staff, and faculty. Her scholarly and community engagement contributions have been recognized within UAlbany and nationally, including with the Western Society of Criminology’s Richard Tewksbury Award for significant contributions to scholarship and activism on the intersections of sexuality, crime, and justice. 

Research Interests

Youths’ street gang, violence, and victimization involvement;  Gang and delinquency prevention and intervention; Juvenile justice and Juvenile treatment; Evaluation research; Roles and effects of intersectional identities in interaction with structural constraints