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This profile was last updated on 11/7/10  and contains information from public web pages.

Robert Martinson

Wrong Robert Martinson?


Phone: (212) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: r***@***.edu
City University of New York
535 East 80Th Street 3Rd Floor
New York , New York 10075
United States

Company Description: The City University of New York is the nation's largest urban public university with 23 institutions: eleven senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E....   more

Employment History

  • Sociologist


  • Ph.D.
41 Total References
Web References
Second Thoughts on Crime and Sympathy, 7 Nov 2010 [cached]
Much of the recent research has been done by economists, for as Robert Martinson, the CUNY sociologist who is completing a two volume study of prison reform, has pointed out, "criminologists have ignored the central feature (deterrence) of all penal codes since Hammurabi . . ," Professor Martinson attributes this paucity of research to the criminologists' ideological commitment to rehabilitation, which leads them, in the absence of sufficient evidence, to ridicule the very idea of deterrence.
American sociologist Robert ..., 6 May 2014 [cached]
American sociologist Robert Martinson made waves 40 years ago with an influential essay that concluded: "With few and isolated exceptions, the rehabilitative efforts that have been reported so far have had no appreciable effect on recidivism.
San Francisco State University, The Architecture of Incarceration, Class 1 - Michael Santos, 27 May 2014 [cached]
Robert Martinson, a sociologist, published an article called "Nothing Works" in the spring of 1974 that had an enormous influence on the growth of the prison industrial complex. Basically, the general takeaway from his article was that regardless of what resources governments poured into reforming prisoners, nothing was going to turn them into law-abiding citizens. (For more information on Martinson, see
The movement toward mass incarceration was heavily driven by works from "intellectuals" such as Robert Martinson, whose article "Nothing Works" gained a great deal of publicity. In it Martinson argued that regardless of the amount of resources government pours into reforming prisoners, nothing would work and transform them into law abiding citizens.
Scientific American: Reducing Crime, 16 April 2003 [cached]
The change to a harsher regime was signaled by sociologist Robert Martinson of the City University of New York, who, in an influential article published in 1974, concluded that "with few exceptions, the rehabilitative efforts that have been reported so far have had no appreciable effect on recidivism."
San Francisco State University, The Architecture of Imprisonment, Class 3 - Michael Santos, 27 May 2014 [cached]
I spoke a bit more about Robert Martinson, whose work in the early 1970s had an enormous influence in shifting policy for our nation's criminal justice system. Martinson was a social scientist who participated in a study called "The Effectiveness of Correctional Treatment: A Survey of Treatment Evaluation Studies. After reviewing the findings from 231 different rehabilitation programs, Martinson published some startling conclusions.
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