Michelle S. Phelps


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota and a Faculty Affiliate at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, University of Minnesota Law School, and Minnesota Population Center.

My research is in the sociology of punishment, focusing in particular on the punitive turn in the U.S. My primary lines of ongoing research are on mass probation, criminal justice transformation, and policing.

This work has been published in interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journals, including the ANNALS (Phelps & Pager 2016), Law & Society Review (Phelps 2011), British Journal of Criminology (Phelps 2017), Punishment & Society (Phelps 2017), Theoretical Criminology (Rubin & Phelps 2017; Goodman, Page, & Phelps 2015), Annual Review of Law and Social Science (Phelps 2016), Law & Policy (Phelps 2013), Journal of Criminal Justice (Phelps 2012), and Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Annual (Phelps 2015).*

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.

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

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*If you don't have library access, email me for copies of articles behind paywalls.