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 National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Justice, the Ford Foundation and the Sunshine Lady Foundation. Her recent empirical research has been published in Social Science & Medicine, Criminal Justice and Behavior, 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 awarded a Vice Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also an active member of the American Society of Criminology, the Law & Society Association and the Society for Social Work and Research.
August 29, 2020: We're witnessing a battle over America: Equality versus white supremacy (San Francisco Chronicle)
July 17, 2020: Berkeley approves goals to cut police budget by 50%, reduce cops' role in traffic enforcement (San Francisco Chronicle)
July 10, 2020: Berkeley Talks transcript: Can you imagine a future without police (Berkeley News)
June 10, 2020: Black entrepreneurs toured an upscale California neighborhood. False claims spread online (The Sacramento Bee)
June 18, 2020: Nine ideas for making our city’s public space more race equitable (Los Angeles Times)
June 11, 2020: Young black entrepreneurs touring upscale Sacramento suburbs are accused of being protestors (Daily Mail)
June 4, 2020: Why Vallejo is now the center of unrest in Bay Area over police treatment of blacks (San Francisco Chronicle)
April 23, 2020: Among the reasons COVID-19 is worse for black communities: Police violence (Berkeley News)
December 26, 2020: Awakening to a Mass-Supervision Crisis (The Atlantic)
October 16, 2019: The One Story: Balancing Loyalty Between Black And Blue (News One)
January 4, 2018: How Post-Prison Reentry Programs Fail Queer Women (The Marshall Project)