Roland Neil

Office Address: 

937 Blockley Hall


Postdoctoral Affiliate

Ph.D., Sociology, Harvard University, 2021
A.M., Sociology, Harvard University, 2017
M.A., Sociology, McGill University, 2014
B.A., Sociology, McGill University, 2013

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Penn Injury Science Center, part of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. I am a scholar of crime and criminal justice, urban sociology, the life course, and racial and ethnic stratification. My current research encompasses three strands. One is focused on explaining patterns of police behavior, including how racial disparities in policing are produced. I especially seek to advance our understanding of how policing is shaped by the organizational and neighborhood contexts in which it occurs. The second strand of my research develops novel statistical tests of discrimination in policing, so that we may more accurately detect racially biased patterns and practices. The third strand seeks to better explain changes in criminal behavior as people age and at the societal level over time by applying a life course perspective. My recent work in this area focuses on how social change creates large cohort differences in patterns of arrest among similar people who happened to be born at different periods, and on the distal, structural roots of racial and ethnic disparities in later life arrest patterns. I hold a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University. Prior to that, I obtained my B.A. and M.A. from McGill University.

Recent Publications:

Neil, R., & Sampson, R. J. (2021). The Birth lottery of history: Arrest over the life course of multiple cohorts coming of age, 1995–2018. American Journal of Sociology, 126(5), 1127-1178.

Neil, R., Sampson, R. J., & Nagin, D. S. (2021). Social change and cohort differences in group-based arrest trajectories over the last quarter-century. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(31).