Sung Joon Jang is Research Professor of Criminology and co-director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior within the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University
Before joining Baylor University, Jang held appointments at Ohio State University and Louisiana State University. His research focuses on the effects of religion and spirituality as well as family, school, and peers on crime and delinquency. It has been published in social scientific journals of sociology, criminology, psychology, and social work.
He is also co-author of two recent books, The Angola Prison Seminary (2016), which evaluates the influence of a Bible College and inmate-led congregations on prisoners serving long and life sentences, and The Restorative Prison: Essays on Inmate Peer Ministry and Prosocial Corrections (2021), which looks at the empirical evidence in support of the link between religion and the emerging sub-field of positive criminology. Jang has recently conducted a quasi-experimental study assessing the effectiveness of a trauma healing program for jail inmates and a series of studies examining the effects of faith-based programs on prisoner rehabilitation (identity transformation, a sense of meaning and purpose in life, and virtue development) in Colombia and South Africa as well as in the United States.
Jang is the founding President of the Korean Society of Criminology in America and has been active in many capacities in the American Society of Criminology. Jang is co-principal investigator of the Global Flourishing Study, a 5-year longitudinal study which will survey 240,000 participants in 22 countries annually from 2021 to 2026.