Thanks for coming to my site. I’m an Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY New Paltz, where I’ve been teaching since 2012. I am the coordinator of the Criminology concentration in the Department of Sociology, which includes a vibrant group of students committed to understanding the role of crime and punishment in society (see here for a site that I have created for our students).
My scholarly work focuses on the governance of crime and offending, particularly offending by young people. I have studied the governance of young people via prison-based interventions and through my research about staff who work with young people in prisons. I have also researched governmental strategies to ‘realign’ justice systems away from the state toward non-profit entities as well as recent reforms. My recent research has focused on a shift towards risk-based interventions in the youth justice system and a movement towards the diversion of so called ‘low-risk’ youth. My work addresses the risks of paternalistic discourses rooted in the idea that most—but not all–young people will grow out of crime. As we have seen historically, those young people who are seen as unredeemable are most often young people of color. My forthcoming book is about the pernicious consequences of confinement in an era of putatively progressive approaches to punishment and a push for therapeutic alternatives to incarceration. I’m interested in developing future research on the forms of punitiveness directed at populations not typically under study in criminology–individuals living in rural and rust belt communities and privileged white youth–and how these forms of punitiveness are shaped by and help to shape and reproduce racial hierarchies.
My scholarship grows directly out of my work as an advocate in the field of criminal justice reform, where I worked for a number of years before I got my Ph.D., at organizations including the Drug Policy Alliance and the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. I continue to do work as a sentencing mitigation specialist for defense attorneys in New York. I am also actively engaged as an advocate in the criminal justice system in my role as a board member and advisor in a number of local and statewide organizations (see my CV for more details).