RADZINOWICZ, SIR LEON (1906–1999), British criminologist. Born in Poland to affluent parents, Radzinowicz lectured at the University of Geneva from 1928 to 1931. In 1932 he began teaching at the Free University of Warsaw and in 1936 was appointed an assistant professor. Two years later he made a study of the English penal system on behalf of the Polish Ministry of Justice. He and his wife remained in England at the outbreak of World War II, living in Cambridge. In 1946 he was named assistant director of research at the University of Cambridge and in 1949 director of the department of criminal science, a post he held for ten years. From 1959 to 1973, he was Wolfson professor of criminology at Cambridge, and from 1960 was director of the Institute of Criminology which he had founded.
Radzinowicz held many important offices in the field of law and criminology, among them, head of the Social Defense Section of the United Nations and a member of the Royal Commission on Capital Punishment in the Advisory Council on the Penal System of the Home Office and president of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences (1960–61). He served on many British inquiries and committees into crime and prison policy and was knighted in 1970. Radzinowicz made a major contribution by his research in the trends of legal thought which led to modern concepts in the administration of justice which were adopted in many of the democratic countries. Among his most significant works are History of English Criminal Law (4 vols. 1948–68), In Search of Criminology (1961), The Need for Criminology (1965), and Ideology and Crime (1966). From 1940 he was the editor of 33 volumes of English Studies in Criminal Science, called later Cambridge Studies in Criminology. Radzinowicz converted to Christianity prior to World War II. He was generally regarded as the most influential British academic criminologist and historian of crime of his time. Radzinowicz wrote an autobiography, Adventures in Criminology (1999).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.