Marc Mauer is one of the country’s leading experts on sentencing policy, race and the criminal justice system. He has directed programs on criminal justice policy reform for 30 years, and is the author of some of the most widely-cited reports and publications in the field. The Atlantic magazine has described him as a scholar who has “reframed how Americans view crime, race, and poverty in the public sphere.” His 1995 report on racial disparity and the criminal justice system led the New York Times to editorialize that the report “should set off alarm bells from the White House to city halls – and help reverse the notion that we can incarcerate our way out of fundamental social problems.”
Race to Incarcerate, Mauer’s groundbreaking book on how sentencing policies led to the explosive expansion of the U.S. prison population, was a semifinalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 1999. A second edition was published in 2006 and a 2013 graphic novel version was cited by the American Library Association as one of the “Great Graphic Novels” of the year. Mauer is also the co-editor of Invisible Punishment, a 2002 collection of essays by prominent criminal justice experts on the social cost of imprisonment.
Mauer began his work in criminal justice with the American Friends Service Committee in 1975, and served as the organization’s National Justice Communications Coordinator. Since joining The Sentencing Project in 1987, he has testified before Congress and state legislatures, frequently appears on radio and television networks, and is regularly interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, and many other major media outlets. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University and Payne Theological Seminary, as well as a consultant to the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Institute of Justice, and the American Bar Association’s Committee on Race and the Criminal Justice System. In 2005, he became Executive Director of The Sentencing Project.
Mauer has received the Helen L. Buttenweiser Award from the Fortune Society (1991), the Donald Cressey Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for contributions to criminal justice research (1996), the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award from the Drug Policy Alliance for achievement in drug policy scholarship (2003), the Maud Booth Correctional Services Award from Volunteers of America (2008), the John Augustus Award from the National Association of Sentencing Advocates (2009), the Margaret Mead Award from the International Community Corrections Association (2009), and the Inside/Out Summit Award from Centerforce (2011).
A graduate of Stony Brook University, where he received his bachelor’s degree, Mauer earned his Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan.