Bernard E. Harcourt is the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and the director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice.
Professor Harcourt earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at Princeton University and holds his law degree and Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. After law school, Professor Harcourt clerked for the Hon. Charles S. Haight, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and then moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to represent death row inmates on direct appeal, in state post-conviction, in federal habeas corpus, and at retrial. Professor Harcourt practiced at the Equal Justice Initiative and has continued to represent several death row inmates pro bono since that time. He also served on human rights missions to South Africa and Guatemala.
Professor Harcourt joined the faculty of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in January 1998 and taught at the College of Law in Tucson through 2001. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris, Université Paris X, and Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III. He joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in January 2003 and was appointed to the Julius Kreeger chair in law and criminology in 2007.
Professor Harcourt's scholarship focuses on issues of crime and punishment from an empirical and social theoretic perspective. He is the author of Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing and Punishing in an Actuarial Age (University of Chicago Press, 2007), Language of the Gun: Youth, Crime, and Public Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2005) and Illusion of Order: The False Promise of Broken-Windows Policing (Harvard University Press, 2001). He is also the editor with Professor Franklin Zimring of Criminal Law and the Regulation of Vice (Foundation Press, 2007), the editor of a collection of essays on Guns, Crime and Punishment in America (New York University Press, 2003), and the editor of the journal The Carceral Notebooks.