Crime, Law, Deviance, and Punishment; Labor and Unionization; Political Sociology; Qualitative Research Methods; Social Theory.
Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle over Criminal Justice (under contract with Oxford University Press)
With coauthors Phil Goodman and Michelle Phelps, I am writing a book that uses historical case studies of state penal development to illustrate a new model of penal change. Rather than the “pendulum model” of mechanical cycles between rehabilitative and punitive pulls, we argue that the process of policy formation and implementation is a result of continued “agonistic” friction between actors with competing interests and goals. This ever-present contestation makes criminal punishment, to borrow a phrase from Pat O’Malley (1999), inherently volatile and contradictory.
The Minnesota Juvenile Justice Transitions Project
This study analyzes the transition of young offenders from Minnesota juvenile justice institutions back into their communities. It investigates the following question: What factors impede or facilitate the “reentry” process for juvenile offenders after release? I am writing a book provisionally calledOn the Edgethat focuses on three of the young men from this study. I’m hoping to have the book out in 2015.
The 'Toughest Beat': Politics, Punishment, and the Prison Officers' Union in California. 2011. New York: Oxford University Press.
"Manufacturing Affinity: The Fortification and Expression of Ties between Prison Officers and Crime Victims." 2008. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 37(6):745-777.
“Mr. Blue and the Fatal Circle: A Tribute to Edward Bunker.” 2005. The Chronicle of Higher Education Review 52(3, September):B19.
"Eliminating the Enemy: The Import of Denying Prisoners Access to Higher Education in Clinton's America." 2004. Punishment and Society, 6(4):357-3.