Re-Entry in New Haven

The objective of this work is to examine the experiences of formerly incarcerated men and their perceptions of change institutions, how they assign meaning to their lives, how they expect to thrive in their local communities, and how they determine value in day-to-day survival. In addition this study seeks to explore how men who were formerly incarcerated analyze and articulate their lived experiences in the context of race, class, and gender in relation to their past involvement in the prison system. This is accomplished through a series of in-depth ethnographic interviews and observations. Research subjects participate in semi-structured interviews

Contacts: Professor Don Sawyer and Professor Steve McGuinn, College of Arts and Sciences

Black Male College Experiences

Don Sawyer is collaborating on a project with a colleague in California focusing on the experiences of Black males at private, predominately white institutions (PWI).  The goals of this study are to examine the life and educational histories of Black men, focusing on factors contributing to or impeding their educational success.

Contact: Professor Don Sawyer, College of Arts and Sciences

Urban Education

Don Sawyer is currently working on a project at a local high school where we are using hip-hop culture to (re)engage Black and Latino males with school.  The research portion of the project is a qualitative investigation of the social and academic experiences of 15 Black and Latino males participating in the program. 

Contact: Professor Don Sawyer, College of Arts and Sciences


Reentry Programming

For the past three years, Betsey Smith and her Occupational Therapy students have researched and formulated a six-week reentry curriculum. Modules included in the program address re-entry into the workforce such as resume writing, job searching, and interview skills. The program also addresses other important life skills such as social, independent living, and coping skills, as well as access to community resources. They have received national attention for their innovative work, and hope to pilot and assess the curriculum this year.

Contact: Betsey Smith, School of Health Sciences


Juvenile Sentencing Project

Sarah French Russell writes extensively on legal issues arising from juvenile sentencing. She coordinates the Juvenile Sentencing Project, which serves as a national research resource for advocates, courts, and legislatures.

Contact: Sarah Russell, School of Law


Death Penalty Legislation

Kevin Barry writes extensively on legal issues arising from death penalty legislation and death penalty repeal.

Contact: Kevin Barry, School of Law


Rights of Transgender People in Prison

Kevin Barry is working on several projects involving the civil rights of trans people, including those in prison.

Contact: Kevin Barry, School of Law


Philosophy of Punishment and Sentencing

Linda Ross Meyer's research argues for a more merciful and redemptive approach to punishment in The Justice of Mercy (2010) and Sentencing in Time (2017). 

Contact: Linda Meyer, School of Law