Professor of Law
Research & Teaching AreasPrisons; Statistics/Econometrics; Criminal Law; Social Science & Law; Sentencing Law
BioJohn Pfaff is a Professor of Law where he teaches criminal law, sentencing law, and law and economics. Before coming to Fordham, he was the John M. Olin Fellow at the Northwestern University School of Law and clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.
Professor Pfaff's research focuses primarily on empirical matters related to criminal justice, especially criminal sentencing. He has paid particular attention to trying to understand the causes of the unprecedented 40 year boom in US incarceration rates. His recent work has illuminated the previously-underappreciated role that prosecutorial discretion has played in driving up prison populations.
The second looks at how to incorporate evidence based practices into the judicial review of scientific and empirical evidence. For his work on this issue Professor Pfaff received a two-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation and the University of Chicago's Arete Initiative for the study of wisdom.