Our department has nationally and internationally recognized scholars whose research addresses critical questions about society and the criminal justice system and has significant academic and policy impacts.



Jill McCorkel is a professor of Criminology and Sociology.

Jill McCorkel, PhD, published an article titled “Police Officers Accused of Brutal Violence Often Have a History of Complaints by Citizens” in The Conversation on May 31. The article ran in more than 600 news outlets including Business Insider and Market Watch and reached over 36,000 readers. Read more. She published another article titled "Police Unions are One of the Biggest Obstacles to Transforming Policing" in The Conversation on June 12. Read more.

Jill McCorkel, PhD was interviewed for an article that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "A panhandler punched a Chinese American woman and called her a slur. Will it be considered a hate crime?". The article was published on August 14, 2020. Read More

An article on traffic stops in Philadelphia written by Lance Hannon, PhD with colleagues Malik Neal and Villanova senior Alex R. Gustafson was referenced by the Philadelphia Inquirer in an article titled "Philly police were flagged for hundreds of unjustified stops, frisks. Will reforms follow?". The article was published on August 11, 2020. Read More

Kelly Welch, PhD was quoted in a Financial Times article titled "Policing in the US: ‘If coronavirus doesn’t kill us, the cops will’". The article was published on June 5, 2020. Read More

Kelly Welch, PhD was featured in an article that appeared on The Appeal titled "Sheriff’s office profiles New Jersey student after school shooting thousands of miles away, lawsuit says." The article was published on March 9, 2020. Read More

Kelly Welch, PhD served as an expert panelist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), special emphasis panel review on “Research Grants to Prevent Firearm-Related Violence and Injuries” (July, 2020).

Meredith Bergey, PhD, MPH, MSc presented at the 2020 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting held in August with colleagues Giuseppina Chiri (RTI), Nikki Freeman (University of North Carolina), and Thomas Mackie (Rutgers University). The presentation was titled "Examining Intersections in Diagnostic Disparities for Children and Adolescent Behavioral Health".


Tom Arvanites, PhD is investigating the effect of residential segregation on the incarceration rate of African Americans for drug offenses.

Meredith Bergey, PhD is working on a paper with Thomas Mackie, PhD, Giuseppina Chiri, PhD, and Nikki Freeman, PhD, that examines intersecting social identities and health inequalities.  

Rick Eckstein, PhD, is currently exploring the social class bias in non-revenue intercollegiate sports.

Heidi Grundetjern, PhD, examines how the intersections of social inequalities shape cultures and organizational structures of illegal drug markets to enable and constrain opportunities for women’s participation. She is currently collaborating with Dr. Jody Miller (Rutgers-Newark) on a longitudinal study on women’s participation in methamphetamine markets in rural Missouri.

Lance Hannon, PhD, is working on a paper that attempts to reconcile neighborhood stigma and racial threat predictions using Wacquant's theorizing.  

Melissa Hodges, PhD, is working on two research projects. One that examines gender and race differences in the likelihood of becoming a nurturant or reproductive care worker. The second investigates the distribution of motherhood penalties and fatherhood premia within married couples by professional status and educational attainment.

Brian J. Jones, PhD, is examining the surge in social network interaction that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Rory Kramer, PhD is finishing work on a book manuscript about diversity within the Black student body at selective colleges and universities with colleagues at Penn and Princeton. He is also working on a related paper on the impact of racial disparities in exposure to stressful events on college completion rates.

Rory Kramer, PhD, and Brianna Remster, PhD, are examining inequalities in police violence, focusing on how a civilian’s race, age, and gender influence the likelihood of experiencing police use of force.

Jill McCorkel, PhD, is working on two research projects. The first is exploring how laws and policies unique to the Irish criminal justice system shape parenting strategies and family relationships among prisoners. The second is a study of prison privatization in California with a focus on the ways in which private drug treatment programs and "reentry services" are reconfiguring the structural arrangements of mass incarceration in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Plata.

Jill McCorkel, PhD, and Robert DeFina, PhD, are working on an evaluation study of the benefits of postsecondary education programs in prison.

Allison Payne, PhD, is collaborating with our department’s research associate, Denise Wilson, and a former graduate student, Dr. Kirsten Witherup of York College, on a chapter overviewing the current state of traditional interpersonal bullying and cyberbullying intervention and prevention programs. The three are also working on a multilevel study examining the influence of school-related risk and protective factors on traditional and cyberbullying.   

Brianna Remster, PhD, and Melissa Hodges, PhD, are investigating the incarceration-wage penalty for women compared to men.

Ken Sun, PhD, is currently working on two manuscripts, including a single-authored book on aging and migration, and the other on transnational social protection (with Professors Peggy Levitt, Erica Dobb, and Ruxandra Paul).

Kelly Welch, PhD, is is co-authoring a school-to-prison pipeline study examining how the disparate exposure of youth of color to exclusionary school discipline contributes to racial and ethnic disparities in criminal justice system involvement.

Jones, Brian. (Forthcoming).  Buried Treasure: The Pursuit of Social Capital in American Life. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Jones, Brian (2019). Social Capital in American Life. Palgrave Macmillan.

Bergey, Meredith R., Angela M. Filipe, Peter Conrad, and Ilina Singh (Eds.) (2018). Global Perspectives on ADHD. Social Dimensions of Diagnosis and Treatment in Sixteen Countries. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Eckstein, Rick. (2017). How College Athletics Are Hurting Girls' Sports: The Pay-to-Play Pipeline. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

McCorkel, Jill. (2013). Breaking Women: Gender, Race and the New Politics of Imprisonment. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Bergey, Meredith R, Jennifer C. Goldsack, and Edmondo J. Robinson. (2019). Invisible work and changing roles: Health information technology implementation and reorganization of work practices for the inpatient nursing teamSocial Science & Medicine, 235: 112387.

DeFina, Robert and Lance Hannon. (2019). De-unionization and Drug Death RatesSocial Currents6(1), 4-13.

Grundetjern, Heidi, Heith Copes, and Sveinung Sandberg. (2019). Dealing with fatherhood: Paternal identities among men in the illegal drug economyEuropean Journal of Criminology.

Hannon, Lance, Malik Neal, and Alex R. Gustafson. (2020). Out-of-Place and In-Place Policing: An Examination of Traffic Stops in Racially Segregated PhiladelphiaCrime & Delinquency.

Hannon, Lance and Robert DeFina. (2020). The reliability of same-race and cross-race skin tone judgmentsRace and Social Problems, 1-9.

Hannon, Lance, Verna M. Keith, Robert DeFina, and Mary E. Campbell. (2020). Do White People See Variation in Black Skin Tones? Reexamining a Purported Outgroup Homogeneity Effect. Social Psychology Quarterly.

Hannon, Lance and Siegel, Aaron. (2019). Racially Profiling People and Places. Contexts, 18(2), 66-67.

Hannon, Lance. (2019). Neighborhood Residence and Assessments of Racial Profiling Using Census DataSocius5, 1-9.

Hodges, Melissa J. (2019). Intersections on the Class Escalator: Gender, Race, and Occupational Segregation in Paid Care Work. Sociological Forum

Dill, Janette and Melissa J. Hodges. (2019). Is healthcare the new manufacturing?: Industry, gender, and “good jobs” for low- and middle-skill workersSocial Science Research, 84, 102350.

Buggs, Shantel G., Jennifer P. Sims, and Rory Kramer. (2020). Rejecting white distraction: a critique of the white logic and white methods in academic publishingEthnic and Racial Studies43(8), 1384-1392.

McCorkel, Jill. (2020, In Press). The Rise, the Fall, and the Reinvention of Prison Ethnography. In Bucerius, Sandra, Kevin Haggerty, and Luca Berardi (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Ethnographies of Crime and Criminal Justice.

McCorkel, Jill. (2020). Police officers accused of brutal violence often have a history of complaints by citizensThe Conversation, May 31.

McCorkel, Jill. (2020). A Revolution in Prosecution: The Campaign to End Mass Incarceration in Philadelphia. In Henne, Kathryn and Rita Shah (Eds.), Routledge Handbook on Public Criminologies.

McCorkel, Jill. and Robert DeFina. (2019). Beyond Recidivism: Identifying the Liberatory Possibilities of Prison Higher EducationCritical Education, 10(7), 1-17.

McCorkel, Jill. (2019). Mothers in Prison Aren't Likely to See Their Families This Thanksgiving or Any Other DayThe Conversation, Nov. 22.

Payne, Allison A. and Gottfredson, Denise C. (2019). Communal schools and teacher victimizationAggressive Behavior.

Wilson, Denise, Witherup, Kirsten, and Payne Allison A. (2019). Risk and Protective Factors for Cyberbullying Perpetration and Victimization. In T. Holt, and A. Bossler (Eds), The Palgrave Handbook of International Cybercrime and Cyberdeviance. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Remster, Brianna. (2019). A Life Course Analysis of Homeless Shelter Use among the Formerly IncarceratedJustice Quarterly, 36(3), 437-465.

Jenkins, Kathleen and Ken Chih-Yan Sun. (2019). Digital Strategies for Building Spiritual Intimacy: A Case of “Wired” CaminoQualitative Sociology, 42(4): 567-585.

Welch, Kelly. (2019). Race, ethnicity, and the War on Terror. In Harry Pontell (Ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Welch, Kelly, Leah Fikre Butler, and Marc Gertz. (2019). Saving Children, Damning Adults? An Examination of Public Support for Juvenile Rehabilitation and Adult PunishmentCriminal Justice Review.



Alex Gustafson ’21 CLAS

As a mathematics major, I am required to take a social science class to graduate. I chose Dr. Lance Hannon’s Justice and Society (CRM 3001) course because I have always been fascinated with our country’s criminal justice system and the history and mechanics behind it. The critical connection between data analytics and successful, just criminal justice policy became immediately clear. Throughout history, there has often been a failure to use logical reasoning and data analysis to improve criminal justice public policy. Dr. Hannon also noted that issues have often been made worse by implementing simple solutions to nuanced problems.

While taking the class, Dr. Hannon approached me about helping with the data analysis for an article he was writing investigating racial disparities in policing in Philadelphia. I realized this presented an opportunity to use my statistics background to benefit my community in a tangible way. We used a statistical software program called R to analyze whether white drivers were pulled over in predominately non-white districts at the same rate as non-white drivers in white districts. The analysis tested the validity of out of place policing, or the idea that police officers are more likely to stop drivers who are demographically “out-of-place” in a neighborhood, regardless of race, after controlling for a variety of other factors. The article titled “Out-of-Place and In-Place Policing: An Examination of Traffic Stops in Racially Segregated Philadelphia” has recently been published in the journal Crime and Delinquency. I am fortunate to have been provided this practical experience in real world data analysis, and I am very proud that it resulted in a published article that could influence criminal justice policy in Philadelphia. 

Department Chair:
Dr. Robert DeFina 
 SAC 204
Phone: (610) 519-4482

Administrative Assistants:
Mary Ann Hostler
: (610) 519-4742

Shelly DuBois
: (610) 519-4786

Faculty-Mentored Research