Headshot of Darrell Steffensmeier in front of a window wearing glasses with grey hair.

Darrell Steffensmeier, Ph.D.

Research Professor, Sociology and Criminology


Darrell Steffensmeier received his Ph.D in sociology from University of Iowa in 1972. The underlying theme of his research is understanding how stratification (gender, age, race, class, spatial) and culture impact level of crime and social control efforts.  He has published widely across multiple areas of criminology and criminal justice, with many of his publications applying qualitative as well as quantitative methods.  He is a fellow of American Society of Criminology and past President of IASOC (International Association for Study of Organized Crime).  In the graduate program, he teaches seminars on Criminological Theory; Gender, Crime, and Punishment; Race-ethnicity, Crime, and Punishment; and Types of Crime and Criminal Organization. Two of his books won major awards for outstanding scholarship: The Fence: In the Shadow of Two Worlds (from the Society for the Study of Social Problems); and Confessions of a Dying Thief: Understanding Criminal Careers and Illegal Enterprise (from the American Society of Criminology). He recently received a major three-year grant from the National Institute of Justice to study the causes of serious forms of white-collar corporate financial crime.  His latest book project – Are Women Changing the World of Crime – reflects his longstanding interest in trends and patterns of female criminal offending.

Research Interests

Urban, Community and Spatial Sociology; Social Inequality; Criminology


  • Ph.D., Sociology, The University of Iowa, 1972
  • M.A., Sociology, The University of Iowa, 1970
  • B.A., Philosophy, History, St. Ambrose College