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Douglas W. Young, University of Maryland criminologist, senior faculty researcher, dies

Douglas W. Young was senior faculty researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park, from 2000 to 2016, and was a consultant to the Urban Institute and the Annie E. Casey Foundation from 2016 to 2019.
Douglas W. Young was senior faculty researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park, from 2000 to 2016, and was a consultant to the Urban Institute and the Annie E. Casey Foundation from 2016 to 2019.

Douglas W. Young, a University of Maryland criminologist and senior faculty researcher, died May 12 at his Ruxton home of cancer. He was 67.

Douglas William Young, son of Eugene Young, vice president of Iowa Power & Light, and his former wife, Patricia Murphy, was also the stepson of Kina Knutson. He was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, and also grew up in Des Moines, Iowa.

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He attended James Madison Memorial High School, and graduated in 1971 from Valley High School in West Des Moines.

Mr. Young earned a bachelor’s degree in 1975 from Lewis & Clark University in Portland, Oregon, and a master’s degree in experimental psychology from Trinity University in San Antonio.

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From 2000 to 2016, he was senior faculty researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park, and from 2016 until 2019, was a consultant to the Urban Institute and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Previously, he had been a senior research associate at the VERA Institute for Justice in New York City. In recent years, his research was widely published and he had been recruited as a principal investigator for research that was funded by Mathematica Policy Research and the MacArthur Foundation.

“He was best known for his analysis of the disproportionate impact of the criminal justice system on youth of color,” said his wife of eight months, Linda Koban, a lawyer, who had been a juvenile magistrate from 2002 to 2011, and was subsequently for three years, manager at the administrative office of the courts.

Mr. Young and his wife, the former Laura Winterfield, who died of cancer in 2008, adopted two children from Peru and Guatemala, and their home reflected art, music and food from South America, Ms. Koban said.

Mr. Young met Ms. Koban in 2011 in a project meeting addressing the crossover of youth from foster care to the juvenile justice system. They were married last year.

After her husband was diagnosed with cancer, they spent much of the past year honeymooning in Yosemite National Park, driving down the California coast to Big Sur, and taking beach weekends to South Carolina, the Florida Keys and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Mr. Young was a fan of jazz and modern art, and an accomplished woodworker. He enjoyed family celebrations and liked mentoring younger colleagues. He also liked cooking Latin American cuisine.

Ms. Koban wrote that people were attracted to her husband because of his “Midwestern optimism” and was described “most often as [a] sweet, smart, interesting guy.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, plans for a celebration-of-life gathering are incomplete.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Young is survived by a son, Joseph Young of Bel Air; a daughter, Risa Young Lopez of Columbia; a brother, Kelly Young of Truckee, California; two sisters, Linda Williams of Omaha, Nebraska, and Jody Nieblo of Tucson, Arizona; his stepmother, Kina Knutson of Cumberland, Wisconsin; and two grandchildren.

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