Gary LaFree is Professor and Chair of the Criminology and Criminal Justice department, and formerly the Director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. He is a noted expert on subjects like criminal justice statistics, determinants of sentencing, violence, and racial and ethnic relations in terrorism.
While at the University of Maryland, LaFree has been a founding member of the Democracy Collaborative and an invited member of the National Consortium of Violence Research. Before joining the faculty at Maryland, Dr. LaFree served as the Chair of the Sociology and Criminology Department at the University of New Mexico for six years and as the Director of the New Mexico Criminal Justice Statistics Analysis Center for 13 years. Professor LaFree was appointed by the Governor of New Mexico to chair the State Crime and Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council.
LaFree received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University in 1979. He served as President of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) from 2005-2006 and was named a Fellow of the ASC in 2006.