Faculty of Business and Law

Swinburne Law School

Marc Mauer

Executive Director, The Sentencing Project

Marc MauerMarc Mauer is one of the leading experts on sentencing policy, race and the criminal justice system in the United States.  He has directed programs on criminal justice policy reform for 30 years. He is the Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, based in Washington. The Sentencing Project was founded in 1986 and works towards achieving a fair and effective criminal justice system by promoting normatively sound and effective reforms in sentencing policy, including addressing unjust racial disparities and practices and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

Mauer is the author of some of the most widely-cited reports and publications on sentencing and criminal justice policy. His 1995 report on racial disparity and the criminal justice system led the New York Times to editorialize that the report “should set off alarm bells from the White House to city halls – and help reverse the notion that we can incarcerate our way out of fundamental social problems.” The Atlantic magazine has described him as a scholar who has “reframed how Americans view crime, race, and poverty in the public sphere.”

Race to Incarcerate, Mauer’s groundbreaking book on how sentencing policies led to the explosive expansion of the U.S. prison population, was a semifinalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 1999, and revised in 2006.  Mauer is also the co-editor of Invisible Punishment, a 2002 collection of essays by prominent criminal justice experts on the social cost of imprisonment.

Marc Mauer has frequently testified before Congress and state legislatures. He appears on radio and television networks, and is regularly interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, and many other major media outlets. 

Mauer has served as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University and Payne Theological Seminary. He received the Helen L. Buttenweiser Award from the Fortune Society in 1991, the Donald Cressey Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency in 1996 for contributions to criminal justice research, and the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award from the Drug Policy Alliance in 2003 for achievement in drug policy scholarship.

A graduate of Stony Brook University, where he received his bachelor’s degree, Mauer earned his Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan.