Joan Petersilia, Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law and faculty co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, received the 2013 Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize for her efforts in integrating scholarship and community service. The Haas Center for Public Service awards the annual prize to members of the faculty “who engage and involve students in integrating academic scholarship with significant and meaningful volunteer service to society.”
An empiricist who was the director of the Criminal Justice Program at the RAND Corporation, Petersilia is known for her politically neutral scholarship. She served as a special advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, helping to reorganize adult corrections and working with the California State Legislature to implement prison and parole reform. An expert on realignment, she was called upon by Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris to advise the state of California on AB 109, a law that shifts responsibility for certain lower-level offenders from the state to county authority.