John is a senior fellow in the Economics, Justice & Society department at NORC at the University of Chicago where he also directs the Center on Public Safety and Justice. His research focuses on the economics of innovative crime and justice policies and programs, cost-benefit methodology, public private partnerships and systems reforms, including justice system interactions with substance abuse, public health, adolescent development, housing, workforce development, and education. Dr. Roman has conducted research on behalf of numerous federal agencies, including the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, state and local governments, and private foundations. In that capacity, he served as the Visiting Science Director at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (2017 - 2018).
John has served as the principal investigator for more than three dozen projects funded by federal and local governments and national and local philanthropies. Over the last three years, he led a task force of leading subject matter experts convened to investigate the comprehensiveness of the US firearms data infrastructure, with particular attention to the overlap of public health and criminal justice data (Expert Panel on Firearms Data Infrastructure and Improving Data Infratructure to Reduce Firearms Violence). He is currently the principal investigator for a study of the financial cost of criminal victimization, which will estimate the harms from victimization in nine domains that include outcomes from public health (mortality, morbidity, and trauma), criminal justice (recidivism and repeat victimization) and workforce (employment and disability).
Prior to joining NORC in 2016, John completed a study on behalf of the National Institute of Justice and the UK Home Office, which led to the publication of a book, Cost-Benefit Analysis and Crime Control. John served as the principal investigator for a large project funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to develop an architecture for pay-for-success contracts. He served as the principal investigator on the evaluations of drug courts in Brooklyn (NY), Anchorage (AK), and Birmingham (AL) and prisoner reentry programs in St. Louis (MO), Baltimore (MD), and Chattanooga (TN). Earlier in his career, he served as the research project manager for several large federally funded evaluations, including the National Institute of Justice funded Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE), the Serious, Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), the Washington, DC Superior Drug Intervention Program, and Break the Cycle.
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
Appointments & Affiliations
Co-Chair & Vice President
National Prevention Science Coalition
Federal Data Infrastructure Working Group, Safe Streets and Arnold Ventures
Council on Criminal Justice, Crime Trends Working Group
Honors & Awards
President’s Award | 2022
NORC at the University of Chicago
Fellow | 2016
Academy of Experimental Criminology
Outstanding Field Trial | 2011
American Society of Criminology, Division of Experimental Criminology
President’s Award | 2009
Excellence in Research | 2008
National Institute of Justice
opens in new tabPolice Contact Predicts Differences within Siblings’ Life-Course Outcomes
Project Brief | March 1, 2023
NORC Launches Center on Public Safety & Justice, Led by John Roman
Press Release | December 1, 2022
opens in new tab"Improving Data Infrastructure to Reduce Firearms Violence."
Report | December 27, 2021
A Blueprint for a U.S. Firearms Data Infrastructure
Press Release | October 14, 2020
opens in new tab"How Do Drug Courts Work?"
Journal Article | April 16, 2020
opens in new tab"The State of Firearms Data in 2019."
Report | January 23, 2020
opens in new tab"Good Questions: Building Evaluation Evidence in a Competitive Policy Environment."
Journal Article | July 27, 2018
opens in new tab"Assessing Criminal Justice Programs for Pay for Success Financing."
Report | November 7, 2017