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William Spelman

William  Spelman

Professor of Public Affairs

Contact Info

SRH 3.227

An urban policy specialist, William Spelman holds a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has a background in operations research and evaluation and in local government law, administration, and finance. In May 1997 he was elected to the Austin City Council.

Formerly associated with the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington, D.C., Professor Spelman has developed and evaluated police programs aimed at apprehension, deterrence, and rehabilitation of repeat offenders and solution of neighborhood crime and disorder problems. Two of his programs, the Baltimore County (Maryland) Citizen Oriented Police Enforcement program and the Newport News (Virginia) Problem-Oriented Policing program, have been selected as finalists for the Ford Foundation's prestigious Innovations Awards.

His numerous publications focus on criminal justice policies, mainly in the areas of community crime prevention, repeat offenders, and neighborhood problem solving.


Ph.D., M.P.P., John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Current Positions
Previous Positions

Austin City Council (1997-2000); member, Police Executive Research Forum; Director, Texas Institute for Public Problem-Solving initiative on Community Policing.

“Growth, stability, and the urban portfolio,” Economic Development Quarterly, 20 (2006) 299-316; “Jobs or jails? The crime drop in Texas,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 24 (2005) 133-165;Criminal Incapacitation (Plenum Press, 1994); co-author, Problem Solving: Problem-oriented Policing in Newport News (Police Executive Research Forum, 1987); co-author, Dangerous Offenders: The Elusive Target of Justice (Harvard University Press, 1985); co-author, Calling the Police: Citizen Reporting of Serious Crime (Police Executive Research Forum, 1982).

Faculty in the News

09/27/2013 Adapt or Fry: UT Climate Adaptation Symposium Austin Chronicle



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