Kathleen Powell is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies, with a joint affiliation with the Center for Public Policy. Broadly, her research examines the various impacts of involvement with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
She focuses on identifying person-level outcomes of being arrested, on community supervision, or incarcerated. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, her research is often grounded in the life course paradigm and/or the social stress process. Her recent scholarship includes an investigation of age-based variation in mental health following justice system involvement that highlighted the concentrated adverse consequences of incarceration during late adolescence and the transition to adulthood for individuals’ depression and anxiety. Similar papers include a study of occupational stress among public defenders and inequality in earnings following arrest and incarceration in early adulthood.
Recently, her research agenda has expanded to include applied projects tackling issues of central importance to criminal justice policy in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. This work includes a study of legal financial obligations in community corrections; higher education in correctional contexts; and reentry assistance programs. In conjunction with agency and community partners, this line of research seeks to better understand the daily operations of the justice system and their impact on social and criminological outcomes for persons involved with the system.
Kathleen Powell earned her PhD from the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers – Newark, her MS from the University of Pennsylvania, and her BS from The College of New Jersey.