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Jillian Peterson, Ph.D.

Dr. Jillian Peterson is a forensic psychologist, professor of criminology at Hamline University, and previous investigator on death penalty cases in New York City.  She is the co-author of the highly acclaimed book, The Violence Project: How to stop a mass shooting epidemic, based on four years of in-depth research into the lives of mass shooters. Dr. Peterson believes the best way to prevent violence is to deeply understand the life histories of people who commit it.

She has interviewed perpetrators of murder in Cook County Jail and Rikers Island, and perpetrators of mass shootings across the country, leading her to an understanding of the root cause of violence and how we can address it. She is the co-founder and co-president of The Violence Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center dedicated to reducing violence using research and analysis.

Dr. Peterson’s areas of expertise range from mass shootings and violent crime, to holistic violence prevention, crisis intervention and de-escalation, and promoting mental wellness in schools and workplaces. Dr. Peterson holds a MA and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. She is a regular media commentator in outlets like the New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, and The Washington Post.

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