Faculty Experts - Jill A. McCorkel, PhD

Jill A. McCorkel, PhD

Jill A. McCorkel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Prisons and the sociology of punishment
  • The Death Penalty
  • Race inequality; racism; and racial segregation
  • Gender
  • Law and criminal justice policy
  • The War on Drugs
  • Wrongful Convictions
  • Prisoner reentry and recidivism


Dr. McCorkel is the source to turn to for expertise on the United States prison system and its effect on prisoners. Her extensive research looks at many aspects of a prisoner’s life, both during and after incarceration.  Dr. McCorkel can comment on punishment policies in women’s prisons, the role race plays in prisons, safety and abuse in prisons, how imprisonment affects prisoners’ families and prisoners’ adjustment to life after prison.  Dr. McCorkel also teaches courses at a maximum security prison for men as part of an undergraduate degree program. 


  • Ph.D., University of Delaware
  • M.A., University of Delaware
  • B.A., Bucknell University 

Selected Publications

  • McCorkel, Jill.  2013.  Breaking Women: Gender, Race, and the New Politics of Imprisonment.  NY: New York University Press.
  • McCorkel, Jill.  2011.  “Service Learning in Prison: The Prison Literacy Project at SCI- Graterford.”  Journal of Catholic Social Thought 8(1):57-59.
  • Becker, Sarah and Jill McCorkel. 2011.  “The Gender of Criminal Opportunity: The Impact of Male Co-Offenders On Women’s Crime.” Feminist Criminology 6(2):79-110.
  • McCorkel, Jill and Jason Rodriquez.  2009.  “Are You an African? The Politics of Self Construction in Status-Based Social Movements.” Social Problems 56(2):357-384.
  • McCorkel, Jill.  2007.  “When the Stakes are Life and Death: The Promise and Peril of Public Sociology in Capital Cases.”  In Criminal Justice Research and Practice, edited by Susan Miller.  Boston: Northeastern University Press.  Pp. 76 – 91.
  • McCorkel, Jill.  2005.  “Overlooking the Obvious: Comments on the National Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons.”  Women, Girls, and Criminal Justice 6(4):49-51.

Selected Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Villanova University
  • Program Faculty, Villanova University
  • Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst 

About Villanova

Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.

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