In Memoriam: Jerome Skolnick

In memoriam: Jerry Skolnick

Jerome (Jerry) Skolnick died in New York City on Thursday February 22, one month shy of his ninety-third birthday. Jerry was born in New York in 1931, received his BA from City College, and a PhD in Sociology from Yale. After teaching at other schools, in 1962, he came to the Sociology Department at Berkeley, and joined the faculty of the School of Criminology in 1970. After the School was disbanded, he joined the Law School’s new program in Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP), where he remained until 1994.  He retired from the University of California and moved to NYU Law School, where he taught and served as co-director of its Center of Criminal Justice until 2011.

He was the author of many important books. His multi-award-winning book, Justice without Trial: Law Enforcement in Democratic Society (1966), described how police exercise their vast discretion and impose situational sanctions without arrest and trial. His other books included The Politics of Protest (1969); House of Cards: Legalization and Control of Casino Gambling (1978), The New Blue Line: A Study of Police Innovation in Six American Cities (1986, with David Bayley), and Above the LawPolice and Excessive Use of Police Force (1993, with James Fyfe). He also was the co-author of many textbooks and edited volumes.

Jerry was an integral member of JSP and served as the second Chair of Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law and Society, from 1972 to 1984.

Jerry received widespread recognition in the United States and abroad throughout his long career, including Carnegie, Guggenheim and National Science Foundation fellowships, the presidency of the American Society of Criminology (1994), the Society’s August Volmer Award (1972), Visiting Fellow at Oxford (1980), as well as prizes for distinguished scholarship from the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the Western Society of Criminology.

He is survived by his wife, Arlene, and their two sons, Alex and Michael, all of New York City.