Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of California, Berkeley
Black politics, community action, corrections, courts, criminal justice reform, gender, inequality, legal epidemiology, mass criminalization, mass incarceration, policing, policy, race, rehabilitation, reintegration, restorative justice, sentencing, social movements
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Personal Info

About Me

Erin M. Kerrison is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. 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 inequality, 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.

Kerrison’s research has been supported by the National Institute of Justice, The Ford Foundation, and the Sunshine Lady Foundation. Her recent empirical research has been published in Criminal Justice and Behavior, Women and Criminal Justice, the Journal of Developmental and Life Course Criminology, and the Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice. Kerrison’s current book project, “Hustles and Hurdles: Law’s Impact on Desistance for Job-Seeking Former Prisoners,” foregrounds life history narratives for a sample of 300 drug-involved former prisoners, and contextualizes respondents’ firsthand accounts of their local structural reentry conditions and the means by which they negotiate contemporary “collateral consequences” legislation amidst a contracted Rust Belt labor market. Through an intersectional theoretical approach, 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 B.A. in Sociology and Philosophy from Haverford College, an M.A. in Criminology, Law and Society from Villanova University, a Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Delaware, and completed a Vice Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also an active member of the Law & Society Association, the American Society of Criminology, and the Society for Social Work and Research.



Recent Publications

Bachman, R., Kerrison, E. M., Paternoster, R., Smith, L., & O’Connell, D. (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. (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.

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.

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.

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.

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United States

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