Barry Ruback

Barry Ruback

Professor of Criminology and Sociology

1007 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-1307

Curriculum Vitae

Download CV


  1. B.A., Yale University
  2. J.D., University of Texas
  3. M.S., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh


Research Interests

With a background in social psychology and law, my interests are primarily on decision making in criminal justice.  I am particularly interested in the predictors and consequences of sentencing decisions and in the decision making of crime victims.

Research Projects

As faculty consultant to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, I work with graduate students and Commission staff on projects related to the development and implementation of actuarial risk assessments and on the use of criminal history information at sentencing.  In research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, I have examined the use and impact of economic sanctions (fines, fees, restitution).  I also have a longstanding interest in criminal victimization and crime victims’ reporting to the police.  Related to this interest is work graduate students and I have done regarding the occurrence and reporting of hate crimes in Pennsylvania.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Decision making in the legal system
  • Imposition and effects of economic sanctions
  • Causes and consequences of victimization
  • Environmental psychology

Professional Awards and Achievements

  • 1985-1986 Fulbright Fellow, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • 1986-1987 Visiting Fellow, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
  • 1988 Indo-American Fellow, Visiting Professor, Allahabad University, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • 1991 Fulbright-Hays Fellow (U.S. Department of Education), Allahabad University, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • 1993-1994 Fulbright South Asia Regional Fellow (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan)
  • 1995-1996 Judicial Fellow of the Supreme Court of the United States, Assigned to the U.S. Sentencing Commission (Justice Tom C. Clark Award)


  • 1992-1997 Criminal Justice Review
  • 1992-1997 International Criminal Justice Review

Recent Grants

  • Ruback, R. B. (PI). Legitimacy and Restorative Justice: A Multilevel, Multimethod Analysis of Economic Sanctions and Recidivism. National Science Foundation.  August 15, 2011 - July 31, 2013.
  • Ruback, R. B. (PI).  The Process of Collective Behavior: Validation of a Unified Mathematical Model Using Computer Vision Tracking.  National Science Foundation.  September 1, 2007 - August 31, 2010.
  • Ruback, R. B. (PI).  Evaluation of Best Practices in Restitution and Victim Compensation Orders & Payments.  Subgrant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.  January 1, 2003 - May 31, 2005.
  • Ruback, R. B. (PI). A Research Partnership in Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and the Crime, Law, and Justice Program at Penn State. National Institute of Justice. June 1, 1998 - December 31, 2001.
  • Ruback, R. B. (PI). Criminal Victimization of Parolees: Effects on Offending and Parole Failure. National Institute of Justice. August 16, 1999 - September 30, 2002.
  • Ruback, R. B. (PI). Predictors and Outcomes of Restitution and Fines in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. July 1, 2000 - September 30, 2001.
  • Ruback, R. B. (PI). The Relationship Between Victimization and Offending in Juveniles. Subgrant from the National Center for Juvenile Justice. Grant to NCJJ is from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. July 1, 2000 - April 30, 2001.
  • Ruback, R. B. (PI). Easy Access to Weapons: Juveniles’ Risks for Offending and Victimization. Subgrant from the National Center for Juvenile Justice. Grant to NCJJ is from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. July 1, 2001 - August 31, 2002.

Selected Publications


  • Ruback, R. B., & Singh, P.  (2008).  Inequity in Hindu-Muslim riots: A test of two biases.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 4, 982-998.
  • Ruback, R. B., Pandey, J., & Kohli, N.  (2008).  Evaluations of a sacred place: Role and religious belief at the Magh Mela. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28, 174-184.
  • Ruback, R. B., Cares, A. C., & Hoskins, S. N.  (2008).  Crime victims’ perceptions of restitution: The importance of payment and understanding. Violence and Victims, 23, 697-710.
  • Ruback, R. B., Kohli, N., & Pandey, J.  (2009).  Hindus’ evaluations of Hindus and Muslims: Religious leaders and pilgrims at the Magh MelaJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48, 375-385.
  • Haynes, S. H., Ruback, R. B., & Cusick, G. R.  (2010).  Courtroom workgroups and sentencing: The effects of similarity, proximity, and stability.  Crime & Delinquency, 56, 126-161.
  • Matthews, S. A., Yang, T., Hayslett, K., & Ruback, R. B.  (2010).  Built environment and property crime in Seattle, 1998-2000.  Environment and Planning A, 42, 1403-1420.
  • Bonkiewicz, L., & Ruback, R. B. (2010).  Policing Iowa’s Katrina: Law enforcement response in flood disasters.  Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 4, 373-384.
  • Koon-Magnin, S., Kreager, D. A., & Ruback, R. B.  (2010).  Partner age span, educational contexts, and adolescent sexual activity.  Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 42, 206-213.
  • Ruback, R. B., Shaffer, J. N., & Clark, V. A. (2011). Easy access to firearms: Juveniles’ risks for violent offending and violent victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26, 2111-2138.
  • Ruback, R. B.  (2011).  The abolition of fines and fees: Not proven and not compelling.  Criminology and Public Policy, 10, 569-581.
  • Ruback, R. B., & Clark, V. A.  (2011).  Economic sanctions in Pennsylvania: Complex and inconsistent.  Duquesne Law Review, 49, 751-772.
  • Ge, W., Collins, R., & Ruback, R. B.  (2012).  Vision-based analysis of small groups in pedestrian crowds.  IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 34, 1003-1016.
  • Bonkiewicz, L., & Ruback, R. B.  (2012).  The role of the police in evacuations: Responding to the social impact of a disaster.  Police Quarterly, 15, 137-156.
  • Ruback, R. B., Collins, R., Koon-Magnin, S., Ge, W., Bonkiewicz, L., & Lutz, C. E.  (in press).  People transitioning across places:  A multimethod investigation of how people go to football games.  Environment and Behavior.
  • Koon-Magnin, S., & Ruback, R. B.  (in press). The perceived legitimacy of statutory rape laws: The effects of victim age, perpetrator age, and age-span.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
  • Koon-Magnin, S., & Ruback, R. B.  (in press).  Young adults’ perceptions of non-forcible sexual activity: The effects of participant gender, respondent gender, and sexual act.  Sex Roles.



      • Greenberg, M. S., & Ruback, R. B. (1992). After the crime: Victim decision making. New York: Plenum.
      • Ruback, R. B., & Weiner, N. A. (Eds.). (1995). Interpersonal violent behavior: Social and cultural aspects. New York: Springer.
      • Ruback, R. B., & Thompson, M. A. (2001). Social and psychological consequences of violent victimization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

      Research Interests:

      Decision making in the legal system, Imposition and effects of economic sanctions, Causes and consequences of victimization, Environmental psychology

      Research Interests:


      criminal victimization, crime victims’ reporting, sentencing