Michelle S. Phelps

Banner Image Photo Credit: Chad Davis

Headshot Photo Credit: Nikhil Kumaran.


 I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. My research is in the sociology of punishment, focusing in particular on the punitive turn in the U.S. through the lenses of policing, probation, and prisons. Work from these projects has been published in interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journals, including Sociology of Race & Ethnicity (Phelps & Hamilton 2021), Social Problems (Phelps & Ruhland 2022),  Mobilization (Phelps, Ward, & Frazier 2021), Law & Society Review (Powell & Phelps 2021), Law & Social Inquiry (Piehowski & Phelps 2023), and Annual Review of Criminology (Phelps 2020).* My co-authored article in American Journal of Sociology (Phelps, Robertson, & Powell 2021) recently won the 2023 American Society of Criminology's Joan Petersilia Outstanding Article Award.

Together with Philip Goodman (University of Toronto) and Joshua Page (University of Minnesota), I am the author of Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle Over Criminal Justice (Oxford, 2017), which traces the history of U.S. criminal justice reforms from the birth of the penitentiary to contemporary struggles to end mass incarceration. My second book,  The Minneapolis Reckoning: Race, Violence, and the Politics of Policing in America (Princeton, 2024), explores the Black Lives Matter protests and politics of police reform in Minneapolis before and after the murder of George Floyd.

To learn more, you can view my C.V. or Biography or click on the tabs above for Research, Media & Other Writing, and Teaching. I'm also on twitter and Google Scholar

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