I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at Princeton University. My research is at the intersection of the sociology of punishment and organizations. Following Michael Lipsky’s call for research on public policy at the “street-level,” I investigate micro-level decision-making trends in the criminal justice system in order to deepen our understanding of punishment in action as well as in theory. My dissertation focuses on how the American juvenile court responded to increases in violent youth crime and demands for more punitive crime policies in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, using Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA) as a case study. A second line of research, focusing on pre-and post-World War II Los Angeles, investigates how race affected decision-making in the pre-deinstitutionalization era juvenile court, when there was still great confidence in the state’s ability to rehabilitate delinquent youth. I recently published the first of what I anticipate will be several articles on this topic in Punishment and Society (April 2012).
Before coming to Princeton, I received my B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from Amherst College and an M.Phil. in Criminology from Cambridge University.