John M. MacDonald


  • John MacDonald (PSC Research Associate) was featured in an LDI research update about a study he co-authored, published in JAMA Network Open, which found that structural repairs to homes in low-income, predominantly Black neighborhoods were associated with lower crime.

  • New research in JAMA Network Open co-authored by John MacDonald (PSC Research Associate) found that increasing the number of houses that received the Philadelphia Basic Systems Repair Program intervention on a block was associated with a dose-dependent decrease in crime. These findings suggest that intentional and targeted financial investment in structural, scalable, and sustainable place-based interventions in neighborhoods that are still experiencing the lasting consequences of structural racism and segregation is a vital step toward achieving health equity. Read more in PlanPhilly.

  • John MacDonald (PSC Research Associate) was featured in a recent episode of OMNIA's In These Times podcast about institutionalized racism. MacDonald discusses policing procedures and the criminal justice system.

Penny and Robert A. Fox Faculty Director of the Fels Institute
Professor of Criminology
Professor of Sociology

Ph.D., Criminology, University of Maryland, 1999

Research Themes


  • Penn Arts and Sciences 60-Second Lecture: John M. MacDonald on Using Science to Design Safer and Healthier Cities
  • Penn Law School's Third Visual Legal Advocacy Roundtable: John M. MacDonald on Making Sense of Surveillance and Vérité Footage from the Streets