Desistance, Reintegration, Treatment, Existentialism, Humanism


Peter Simonsson, PhD, MSW, LCSW is s criminologist at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. He has experience conducting community research in criminal-legal settings with a focus on violence and violent victimization. Peter’s main research focuses on the desistance and reintegration of people with violent histories and their experiences of recovery and stigma within the criminal-legal context and in the community. He currently works with justice-involved people who act as outreach workers to mentor and promote desistance from gun violence in North Philadelphia. Peter’s research has been published in journals such as Forensic Psychology and Psychiatry, the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and Psychology, Crime, and Law. Peter has received funding from a variety of sources for his projects including the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency as well as private foundations such as the Rand Corporation, Arnold Ventures, the Pincus Family Foundation, and Funds for a Safer Future. 

At Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Peter is also the Director of Violence Prevention and faculty lead on Philadelphia Cure Violence, which is an evidence-based gun violence prevention program. In this role, Peter evaluates the program but also provides operational management for the 25-person team who is actively engaging at-risk individuals in the North Philadelphia community. Prior to his career in criminology, Peter worked as a social worker in Philadelphia with over 15 years of experience. As a forensic social worker, Peter provided treatment and assessment to children impacted by sexual abuse and other types of interpersonal violence. Peter also assessed persons who had been convicted of sex crimes. In addition to his academic work, Peter serves as an expert witness in hearings involving children with suspected or known histories of maltreatment, abuse, and trauma. Peter is also a consultant for municipal, state, and federal agencies on issues involving violent crime, abuse and trauma, and grief and loss related to violent crime. 

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • 2023, Simonsson, P., Solomon, P., Caman, S. Comparing reactive/proactive violence between persons with and without psychiatric disorders in a community correctional sample. Victims and Offenders
  • 2022 Simonsson, P., Berryessa, C., & Solomon, P. Violence and stigma: a qualitative exploration of judicial perceptions of defendants with psychiatric disorders. Psychology, Crime, and Law
  • 2021 Simonsson, P., Solomon, P. Misattribution of mental illness and gun-violence: A Commentary. Social Work Journal, 66(2), 170-172.
  • 2020 Simonsson, P., Farwell, M. M., & Solomon, P. Judicial perspectives on mental health courts: The role of psychiatric disorder and violence risk. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 70,
  • 2020 Simonsson, P., Farwell, M. M., & Solomon, P. Judges perceptions of violence risk among defendants with mental illness. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology. 31(3), 385-390.