Michelle Brown got her first taste of criminology when she volunteered at women’s shelters and saw first-hand the limited impact of harsh crime policies.
“The women in the shelters taught me that criminal justice interventions such as arrest, court cases, jail, and imprisonment of their partners often forced women to relive their trauma and put them at risk of losing their children or jobs,” said Brown, who started her academic career as a comparative literature major with a concentration in film studies.
After her experiences in the women shelters, she switched to the study of crime and criminal justice. Throughout her career, Brown, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, also has worked with community organizers and activist scholars and artists who seek to push back against mass incarceration and point to socially-just alternatives.
Because of her work in the growing field of critical criminology, Brown was named the 2016 Critical Criminologist of the Year by the American Society of Criminology. The award honors distinguished scholarship, teaching, and service in the field.
Read the story on the Department of Sociology website.