University of Minnesota
Department of Sociology

Department of Sociology's home page.

Michelle Phelps

Michelle Phelps

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. 2013 Princeton University
Room 1035 Social Sciences

Curriculum Vitae

Interest Areas

Crime, Law, and Deviance; Inequality; Mixed Methods

Current Research

Prof. Phelps’ research is in the sociology of punishment, focusing in particular on the punitive turn in the U.S. Her current work focuses on the rise of probation supervision as a criminal justice sanction and its relationship to mass incarceration. She has also examined a variety of criminal justice topics, including: changes in rehabilitative programming in U.S. prisons since the 1970s, the recent decarceration trend and its implications for inequality, and inmates' wellbeing across prison contexts. Together with Prof. Joshua Page and Philip Goodman, she is also working on a book tentatively titled Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle Over Criminal Justice.

Selected Publications

“Inequality and Punishment: The End of Mass Incarceration?” with Devah Pager. Forthcoming in McLean, Alair and David Grusky (Eds), Living in a High Inequality Regime. New York: Russell Sage Press.

The Paradox of Probation: Community Supervision in the Age of Mass Incarceration 2013." Law & Policy 35(1-2): 51-80.

The Place of Punishment: Variation in the Provision of Inmate Services Staff Across the Punitive Turn.” 2012. Journal of Criminal Justice 40(5): 348-357.

Rehabilitation in the Punitive Era: The Gap between Rhetoric and Reality in U.S. Prison Programs.” 2011. Law & Society Review 45(1): 33-68.