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Robert Johnson Professor Department of Justice, Law and Criminology

PhD, State University of New York, Albany

MA, State University of New York, Albany

BA, Fairfield University

Robert Johnson is a professor of justice, law and criminology at American University, editor and publisher of BleakHouse Publishing, and an award-winning author of books and articles on crime and punishment, including works of social science, law, poetry, and fiction. Johnson has been honored with several university awards for his teaching and scholarship, including the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Other Professional Contributions and the American University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award. Johnson is the author of four social science books, including Hard Time: Understanding and Reforming
the Prison, Condemned to Die: Life Under Sentence of Death, and Death Work: A Study of the Modern Execution Process, which received the Outstanding Book Award of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Johnson has edited five social science books, including Life without Parole: Living and Dying in Prison Today and A Woman Doing Life: Notes from a Prison for Women.

Johnson has published extensively in professional journals, including law reviews, and has testified or provided expert affidavits on capital and other cases before US state and federal courts, the U.S. Congress, and the European Commission of Human Rights. Johnson’s scholarship also features creative writing on crime and punishment. He is the author of one novel, Miller’s Revenge; four collections of original poems, most recently, A Zoo Near You; and one anthology of criminal justice fiction, Lethal Rejection: Stories on Crime and Punishment. Johnson’s fiction has appeared in literary and fine arts publications. His short story, “The Practice of Killing,” won a national fiction contest. Another short story, “Cell Buddy,” was adapted for the stage and read at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Johnson’s independent literary press, BleakHouse Publishing, features creative writing, art, and photography on matters relating to social justice, showcasing the work of a wide range of writers and artists, among which are included current and former American University students as well as current and former state and federal prisoners. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of the School of Criminal Justice, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York.
See Also
SPA Department of Justice, Law and Criminology
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Spring 2023

  • JLC-431 The Prison Community

  • JLC-431 The Prison Community

Fall 2023

  • CORE-107 Complex Problems Seminar: Harsh Justice

  • JLC-431 The Prison Community