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Byron Johnson
Byron Johnson

Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences
Co-Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion

P.O. Box 97326
Waco, TX 76798
(254) 710-7555

Curriculum Vitae

Byron Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. He is the founding director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) as well as director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior. He is a Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute (Princeton), Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Jewish and Community Research (San Francisco), and chief advisor for the Center for the Study of Religion and Chinese Society, Peking University (Beijing). Before joining the faculty at Baylor University, Johnson directed research centers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Johnson recently completed a series of empirical studies for the Department of Justice on the role of religion in prosocial youth behavior and is a member of the Coordinating Council for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Presidential Appointment). He is recognized as a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, domestic violence, and criminal justice. Recent publications have examined the impact of faith-based programs on recidivism reduction and prisoner reentry and his new book, More God, Less Crime, was released in April 2011. He is working with the Gallup Organization on studies exploring religion and spirituality in the world. He is the 2013 Lone Star Big Brother of the year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas. - See more at:

Recent Publications

Assessing the Effectiveness of the Violence Free Zone in Milwaukee Public Schools: A Research Note by Johnson, Gluck, Vazquez, and Wubbenhorst, Journal of Knowledge and Best Practices in Juvenile Justice & Psychology, Vol 7, No. 1, 2013

Estimating the Benefits of a Faith-Based Correctional Program by Grant Duwe and Byron R. Johnson, International Journal of Criminology and Sociology, 2013, 2, 227-239

Being Prepared and Staying Connected: Scouting's Influence on Social Capital and Community Involvement Edward C. Polson, Young-Il Kim, Sung Joon Jang, Byron R. Johnson and Buster Smith, Social Science Quarterly,

Volume 94, Issue 3, pages 758776, September 2013

Religious Involvement and Dynamics of Marijuana Use: Initiation, Persistence, and Desistence Jeffery T. Ulmer, Scott A. Desmond, Sung Joon Jang and Byron R. Johnson, Deviant Behavior, Vol. 33, Issue 6 pp 448-46, 2012

Book Chapters

APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality "Addressing Religion and Spirituality in Correctional Settings: The Role of Faith-Based Prison Programs" by Byron R. Johnson, chapter in book edited by Kenneth I Pargament, American Psychological Association, 2013

The American Prison: Imagining a Different Future

The Faith-Based Prison by Byron R. Johnson chapter in book by Cullen, Francis T, Cheryl Lero Jonson, Mary K. Stohr, Sage Publications Inc, 2013

Awards and Honors

Moderator, Compassion in Action Roundtable Improving Prisoner Reentry through Faith and Community Based Partnerships, The White House, Washington, DC, March 2007.

Chair, Research Advisory Board, White House Office of Faith and Community Based Initiatives, Washington, DC, 2007-2008.

Presenter, Compassion in Action Roundtable Research on Faith Based Initiatives, The White House, Washington, DC, June 2007.

Keynote Speaker, Montana Association of Churches, Great Falls, Montana, October 2007.

Presenter, Beijing Forum, Beijing, China, November 2007.

Moderator, White House Conference on Prisoner Reentry, Los Angeles, CA, November 2007.

Conference Director, The Christian Worldview and the Academy, Princeton University, November 2007.