Robert E. Worden

Robert E. Worden

Associate Professor
School of Criminal Justice
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
R Worden CV532.24 KB


Draper 221C

Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Political Science

Robert E. Worden


Rob Worden is a political scientist whose research revolves around questions about the accountability and responsiveness of criminal justice institutions to the public. Thus his research includes both basic research – concerned with explaining the behavior of criminal justice actors in terms of political, organizational, and social influences – and applied research – concerned with the implementation and outcomes (read: social benefits) of criminal justice policies and programs. Most of his research has focused on police behavior and police programs and reforms. 

Professor Worden is the coauthor of two books: Mirage of Police Reform: Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy (with Sarah J. McLean, University of California Press, 2017), and The Power to Arrest: Lessons from Research (with Robin S. Engel and others, Springer, 2019).  His scholarship has also appeared in Justice Quarterly, Criminology, Criminology & Public Policy, and other academic journals, and it has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, and other sponsors.   Professor Worden has served as an appointed member of the Research Advisory Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police since 2018.  He served on the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Council from 2001 until 2021. From 2000 to 2003, he was a member of the National Research Council’s Committee to Review Research on Police Policies and Practices, whose report, Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence, was published by the National Academies Press in 2004.  In 2018, Professor Worden was recognized by the Police Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences with the O.W. Wilson Award for outstanding contributions to police education, research, and practice.

Research Interests

Professor Worden’s research interests include: police behavior and police misconduct; bureaucratic and external mechanisms of control of police; the effects of police strategies, programs, and practices; and public attitudes toward police.

Professor Worden is currently engaged in studies of: 

  • police legitimacy and procedural justice
  • police investigations of nonfatal shootings and other violent offenses
  • diversity and organizational systems in policing
  • early intervention systems for police misconduct
  • police body-worn cameras
  • the impacts of implicit bias training for police
  • the implementation and impacts of gun and gang violence reduction strategies