Anthony Petrosino serves as Director of the WestEd Justice and Prevention Research Center, focusing on high-quality research to identify solutions that promote positive community and school environments. He is also an Affiliated Faculty and Senior Research Fellow at George Mason University’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy.
Petrosino has more than 35 years of experience conducting research in violence prevention, school safety, justice, and public health, with an emphasis on program evaluation and research synthesis. He has co-directed several federally funded research studies, including randomized controlled trials, for the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Petrosino currently directs three public health and justice projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Highlighting his contributions to research and evaluation methods, in 2022, Petrosino received a WestEd Strategic Investment grant to promote the use of Regression Discontinuity Design to evaluate interventions to reduce crime or violence and the inequity of the justice system.
Prior to joining WestEd, Petrosino helped develop the Campbell Collaboration, an organization that conducts rigorous research reviews on the effects of social interventions. For example, he led the organization’s pilot review (on the “Scared Straight” delinquency prevention program), and his paper on that analysis won the 2003 Pro Humanitate Literary Award from the North American Child Welfare Resource Center. Petrosino was Founding Coordinator for the Campbell Collaboration’s Crime and Justice Group, receiving a Distinguished Service Award for his contributions.
Petrosino has co-authored nearly 200 articles, chapters, and technical reports. In 2018, he was named to the Nevada School Safety Task Force by Governor Sandoval. Petrosino also received WestEd’s Paul D. Hood Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Field in 2011, and the Campbell Collaboration’s 2018 Robert F. Boruch Award for Contributions to Public Policy. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology.