Assistant Professor Erin M. Kerrison's work extends from a legal epidemiological framework, wherein law and legal institutions operate as social determinants of health. Specifically, through varied agency partnerships, her mixed-method research agenda investigates the impact that compounded structural disadvantage, concentrated poverty and state supervision has on service delivery, substance abuse, violence and other health outcomes for individuals and communities marked by criminal justice intervention.
Dr. Kerrison's research has been supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Ford Foundation, and the Sunshine Lady Foundation. Her recent empirical research has been published in Punishment & Society, Social Science & Medicine, the Journal of Developmental and Life Course Criminology and the Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice. Her current book project is tentatively titled, Hustles and Hurdles: Law’s Impact on Desistance for Job-Seeking Former Prisoners, and foregrounds life history narratives for a sample of 300 drug-involved former prisoners. Their stories are analyzed through critical race and intersectional theoretical lenses, and local reentry conditions are contextualized by contemporary "collateral consequences" legislation that further undermine employment seeking outcomes within a contracted Rust Belt labor market. This study demonstrates how law, labor markets, neighborhoods, criminal justice surveillance and substance abuse patterns are compounded and steer long-term desistance and health outcomes.
Dr. Kerrison holds a BA in Sociology and Philosophy from Haverford College, an MA in Criminology, Law and Society from Villanova University, and a PhD in Criminology from the University of Delaware. She was also awarded a Vice Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and serves as an active member of the American Society of Criminology, the Law & Society Association, and the Society for Social Work and Research.
Office: Haviland Hall 202
Phone: (510) 642-4430
Research / Expertise
- Behavioral Health and Prevention/Intervention
- Community, Organizational and Policy Development
- Health and Healthcare Disparities
- Criminal Justice Organization and Policy
- Legal Consciousness Among Underserved Community Members
- Legal Epidemiology
- Privatization of Healthcare and Supervision in Underserved Communities
- Risk/Needs Assessments
- Substance Abuse Treatment Modalities
- Trauma and Crime
SW 260: Forensic Social Welfare
SW 280: Introduction to Social Welfare Research
SW 282A: Seminar in Social Welfare Research - Data Science for Social Good
SW 298: Legal Epidemiology
I am not currently in a position to sponsor any visiting scholars or fellows from overseas at this time.
Honors and Awards
Graduate Assembly Faculty Mentor Award (2020)
In The News
- "Awakening to a Mass-Supervision Crisis" (The Atlantic 12.26.19)
- "The One Story: Balancing Loyalty Between Black and Blue" (NewsOne 10.16.19)
- "When Police Think They're Seen as Racist, that Can Become a Self-fulfilling Prophecy" (The Philadelphia Inquirer 08.01.19)
- "Study: Racist Polic Officer Stereotype May Become Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" (Newsmax 07.23.19)
- "Fear of Being Branded Racist Increases Police Support for Excessive Force" (Pacific Standard 07.17.19)
- "Racist Police Officer Stereotype May Become a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" (American Psychological Association 07.15.19)
- "Stop-and-Frisk Policing Can Make Criminals of Black and Brown Boys, Study Finds" (The Root 04.09.19)
- "Object to Subject: Three Scholars on Race, Othering, and Bearing Witness" (Othering and Belonging 08.29.18)
- "How Post-Prison Reentry Programs Fail Queer Women" (The Marshall Project 01.24.18)
- "How Post-Prison Reentry Programs Fail Queer Women" (Essence 01.25.18)
- "SF’s poor criminal suspects to get defense lawyers sooner" (The San Francisco Chronicle 06.27.17)
- “Study finds SF Police are Root of Racial Bias in Criminal Justice System” (San Francisco Examiner 06.27.17)
- “Study: Serious racial disparity in San Francisco in how people of color are charged early on in criminal cases” (KRON 4 06.27.17)
- “Older Women Leaving Prison ‘Less Likely to Return to Crime’” (The Crime Report 11.03.16)
- "The Color of Justice" (The Crime Report 06.30.17)
- “Decreasing Criminality and Parole and Probation” (Crime in America 04.13.17)
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Bachman, R., Rodriguez, S., Kerrison, E. M., & Leon, C. (2019). The recursive relationship between substance abuse, prostitution, and incarceration: Voices from a long-term cohort of women. Victims & Offenders, 14(5), 587–605.
Cobbina, J. E., Kerrison, E., & Bender, K. (2019). The Baltimore moment: Race, place, and public disorder. Journal of Crime and Justice.
Kerrison, E. M., Goff, P. A., Burbank, C., & Hyatt, J. M. (2019). On creating ethical, productive, and durable action research partnerships with police officers and their departments: A case study of the National Justice Database. Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, 20(6), 567–584.
Trinkner, R., Kerrison, E. M., & Goff, P. A. (2019). The force of fear: Police stereotype threat, self- legitimacy, and support for excessive force. Law and Human Behavior, 43(5), 421–435.
Del Toro, J., Lloyd, T., Buchanan, K. S., Robins, S. J., Bencharit, L. Z., Smiedt, M. G., Reddy, K. S., Pouget, E. R. Kerrison, E. M., Goff, P. A. (2019). The criminogenic effects of police stops on adolescent black and Latino boys. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(17), 8261–8268.
Bandes, S. A., Pryor, M., Kerrison, E. M., & Goff, P. A. (2019). The mismeasure of Terry stops: Assessing the psychological and emotional harms of stop and frisk to individuals and communities. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, ;37, 176–194.
Kerrison, E. M. (2018). Risky business, risk assessment, and other heteronormative misnomers in women’s community corrections and reentry planning. Punishment & Society, 20(1), 134–151.
Kerrison, E. M., Cobbina, J., & Bender, K. (2018). “Your pants won’t save you”: Why black youth challenge race-based police surveillance and the demands of black respectability politics. Race and Justice, 8(1), 7–26. *Lead Article for Special Issue: “Youth and Policing”
Kerrison, E. M. (2017). An historical review of racial bias in prison-based substance abuse treatment design. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 56(8), 567–592.
Kerrison, E. M. (2018). Exploring how prison-based drug rehabilitation programming shapes racial disparities in substance use disorder recovery. Social Science & Medicine, 199, 140–147.
Bachman, R., Kerrison, E. M., Paternoster, R., Smith, L., & Connell, D. O. (2016). The complex relationship between motherhood and desistance. Women and Criminal Justice, 26(3), 212–231.
Bachman, R., Kerrison, E., Paternoster, R., O’Connell, D., & Smith, L. (2016). Desistance for a long-term drug involved sample of adult offenders: The importance of identity transformation. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 43(2), 164–186.
Kerrison, E. M., Bachman, R., & Paternoster, R. (2016). The effects of age at prison release on women’s desistance trajectories: A mixed-method analysis. Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, 2(3), 341–370.
Paternoster, R., Bachman, R., Kerrison, E., O’Connell, D., & Smith, L. (2016). Desistance from crime and identity: An empirical test with survival time. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 43(9), 1204–1224.
Kerrison, E. M. (2015). White claims to illness and the race-based medicalization of addiction for drug-involved former prisoners. Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice, 31, 105–128.
Paternoster, R., Bachman, R., Bushway, S., Kerrison, E., & O’Connell, D. (2015). Human agency and explanations of criminal desistance: Arguments for a rational choice theory. Journal of Developmental and Life Course Criminology, 1(3), 209–235.
Chapters in Edited Volumes
Kerrison, E. M. “Meditation Programs.” (In Press). In K. R. Kerley, H. Copes, S. De Li, & S. F. Sharp (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Corrections. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell
Kerrison, E. M., & Bachman, R. (2016). Second-chance grandparenting: How a new and renewed identity impacts the desistance process. In S. F. Sharp, S. Marcus-Mendoza, K. A. Cameron, & E. S. Daniel-Roberson (Eds.), Across the Spectrum of Women and Crime: Theories, Offending, and the Criminal Justice System (pp. 225–242). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.
Kerrison, E. M., Bachman, R., & Alvarez, A. (2015). The societal causes of violence. In P. T. Clements, S. Seedat, & E. N. Gibbings (Eds.), Mental Health Issues of Child Maltreatment (pp. 123–150). St. Louis, MO: STM Learning, Inc.
Owens, E., Kerrison, E. M., & Santos Da Silveira, B. (2017). Examining racial disparities in criminal case outcomes among indigent defendants in San Francisco. Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Bachman, R., Kerrison, E., O’Connell, D., & Paternoster, R. (2013). Roads diverge: Long-term patterns of relapse, recidivism and desistance for a cohort of drug-involved offenders (Grant Number 2008-IJ-CX-1107). Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, United States Department of Justice.
Kerrison, E. M. (2016). Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930 by Koritha Mitchell. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, 4(2), 101-103.
Kerrison, E. M. (2015). Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South by Talitha L. LeFlouria. Punishment & Society, 17(4), 535-537.