Derek Cohen, PhD, is the vice president of policy. Previously a policy director at Right on Crime, the Foundation’s criminal justice reform initiative, Cohen was instrumental in the passage of the First Step Act, federal legislation that borrowed from successful changes to prisons and sentencing that he had helped pass in conservative states. In previous legislative sessions, Cohen has successfully worked on issues of occupational licensure, truancy reform, and orders of nondisclosure. In addition to leading the Foundation’s work on criminal justice, he is also the lead researcher of firearms policy.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Cohen worked as a researcher with the University of Cincinnati’s Institute of Crime Science and completed three advanced statistical trainings at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan. He also taught classes in statistics, research methods, criminal procedure, and corrections.
Cohen’s academic work can be found in Criminology and Public Policy, Victims and Offenders, the Oxford Handbook on Police and Policing, and many other academic outlets. He has presented several papers to the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the American Evaluation Association on the implementation and outcomes of various criminal justice policy issues.
Cohen graduated with a BS in criminal justice from Bowling Green State University and earned his MS and PhD in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati.
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