Barry Ruback

Barry Ruback

Professor of Criminology and Sociology

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

Curriculum Vitae

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  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 decision making of crime victims and in the predictors and consequences of sentencing decisions, especially those concerning economic sanctions.

Research Projects

In research funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, 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, which I am currently working on in connection with a BJS Fellowship.  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)
  • 2017-2020 Visiting Fellow, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC


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

Recent Grants

  • Ruback, R. B.  (PI).  Correlates and Consequences of Adolescent Victimization and Offending.  Bureau of Justice Statistics.  September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2020.
  • 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.  (2015).  The benefits and costs of economic sanctions: Considering the victim, the offender, and society.  Minnesota Law Review, 99, 1779-1836.
  • Ruback, R. B., Koon-Magnin, S., & Faulkner, M. K. (2016).  Storming the Bastille: Indirect tests of how the Vainqueurs assembled.  Mobilization, 21, 23-42.

  • Gladfelter, A. S., Lantz, B., & Ruback, R. B.  (2017).  The complexity of hate crime and bias activity: Variation across contexts and types of bias.  Justice Quarterly, 34, 55-83.

  • Ritchey, A. J., & Ruback, R. B.  (2018).  Predicting lynching atrocity: The situational norms of lynchings in Georgia.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 619-637.

  • Ruback, R. B., Knoth,, L. K., Gladfelter, A. S., & Lantz, B. G.  (2018).  Restitution payment and recidivism: An experimental analysis.  Criminology and Public Policy, 17, 789-813. 

  • Lantz, B., Gladfelter, A. S., & Ruback, R. B.  (2019).  Stereotypical hate crimes and criminal justice processing: A multi-dataset comparison of bias crime arrest patterns by offender and victim race.  Justice Quarterly, 193-224.
  • Knoth, L. K., & Ruback, R. B.  (2019).  Conviction or diversion and the labeling of first-time DUI offenders: An analysis of sentencing and recidivism in Pennsylvania.  Justice Quarterly, 38, 72-100.

  • Hullenaar, K., & Ruback, R. B.  (2020).  Gender interaction effects on victims reporting assaults to the police.  Journal of Interpersonal Violence.


  • 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.
  • Ruback, R. B.  (in press).  Economic sanctions in criminal justice.  New York: Oxford University Press.

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