Dr. Ed Banks: 2023 Wall of Fame Inductee

November 16, 2023 - JJ Thomas

Dr. Ed Banks is an inductee into the MSU School of Criminal Justice Wall of Fame and the Director of the Policy Analysis Unit for DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy.

Dr. Ed Banks has always had a desire to help others. In High School, he was able to fulfill this desire by working as a mediator to assist students in resolving interpersonal conflicts. It was this experience that provided direction for Dr. Banks’ future: he would pursue a career in juvenile justice.

Dr. Banks attended Michigan State University and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice (with an additional major in Psychology), his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and his Doctoral Degree in Interdisciplinary Social Science.

Photo of Dr. Ed Banks, an inductee into the 2023 School of Criminal Justice Wall of FameDuring his time at MSU, Dr. Banks worked as a Research Assistant, Security Guard, and partook in multiple internships in the Criminal Justice System. These experiences served as the building blocks for his extensive career in Juvenile and Criminal Justice.

Dr. Banks’ career trajectory has truly been impressive. He has served as the Research Coordinator for Michigan’s Statewide Substance Abuse Prevention Needs Assessment Studies; Project Lead for Michigan’s Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Program Evaluation, an Evaluation Coordinator for Michigan’s Prisoner Reentry Initiative, and as a Technical Assistance Coordinator for Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide initiative to reduce violent crime.

His extensive experience at the State level led to multiple opportunities for Dr. Banks to pursue at the Federal level as well. Since 2008, Dr. Banks has worked for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). He has served as a Knowledge Management Coordinator, Senior Policy Advisor, and Acting Associate Deputy Director for DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. He also served as a Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Justice and is currently the Director of the Policy Analysis Unit for DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy.

Dr. Banks’ time at MSU shaped him and enabled him to achieve great heights in his career. From learning how to work with federal partners, translating research findings into policies and programs, fostering researcher-practitioner partnerships, and leading and managing national-level, large-scale projects. Dr. Banks credits the support and guidance he received from the School of Criminal Justice and from faculty such as Dr. Tim Bynum and Dr. Ed McGarrell for helping him pursue and achieve his goals.

His advice for students currently in the School of Criminal Justice is to find something they are passionate about in the Criminal Justice System and become a “Champion” for it.