• Assistant Professor, Sociology Department
  • Faculty Affiliate, Undergraduate Studies
  • Faculty Affiliate, Asian Studies Program


  • B.S., Administrative Management, University of International Relations, Beijing, China
  • M.A., Criminal Justice and Criminology, Washington State University
  • Ph.D., Criminal Justice and Criminology, Washington State University


Guangzhen Wu is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Utah. He earned his doctorate from Washington State University. His research interests include generality of criminological theory, community and crime, policing, drug policy, and applied quantitative methods with crime and justice data. His research takes an interdisciplinary approach exploring issues related to crime, justice, and public health outcomes from criminological, sociological, and psychological perspectives. Dr. Wu's published work appears in top-tier journals across disciplines, such as The British Journal of CriminologyJournal of Experimental Criminology, Journal of Criminal Justice, Crime & DelinquencyInternational Journal of Drug PolicyJustice Quarterly, and Criminal Justice and Behavior. His research articles were featured or cited in a range of national/international and local media outlets such as the Washington Post, The Kansas City StarVancouver SunThe Seattle Times, Colorado Springs IndependentNewsweek, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, and National Affairs. He received the Junior Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on Drugs and Society in 2023 for his research contributions within the discipline. 

Selected Publications

Wu, G., Durante, K., Melton, H., & Roddy, A. 2022. "Marijuana legalization and racial disparities in prison incarceration in Colorado and Washington State: a quasi-experimental study." Journal of Experimental Criminology.

Wu, Guangzhen and Roarke Cullenbine. 2022. "Recreational marijuana legalization and drug‑related offenses in Washington State: an interrupted time series analysis with a combination of synthetic controls." Journal of Experimental Criminology.

Wu, Guangzhen and Jianhong Liu. 2021. "Extending procedural justice theory to the Chinese context: The role of collective efficacy." The British Journal of Criminology

Jianhong Liu and Guangzhen Wu (corresponding author). 2023. "Procedural fairness and fear of crime: Extending the procedural justice theoretical model under the Chinese context." Crime & Delinquency.

Wu, Guangzhen, Yongtao Li, and Xiaodong (Eric) Lang. 2022. "Effects of recreational marijuana legalization on clearance rates for violent crimes: Evidence from Oregon." International Journal of Drug Policy 100, 103528.

Wu, Guangzhen, Ming Wen, and Fernando Wilson. 2021. "Impact of recreational marijuana legalization on crime: Evidence from Oregon." Journal of Criminal Justice 72, 1-11. 

Wu, Guangzhen and David Makin. 2019. "The quagmire that is an unwillingness to report: Situating the code of silence within the Chinese police context." Criminal Justice and Behavior 46, 608-627.

Wu, Guangzhen and Dale Willits. 2022. "The Impact of Recreational Marijuana Legalization on Simple Assault in Oregon." Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Wu, Guangzhen and David Makin. 2021. "The Differential Role of Stress on Police Officers’ Perceptions of Misconduct." Asian Journal of Criminology 16, 213-233.