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Kathleen Powell

Kathleen Powell, PhD

Assistant Research Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies
Department of Criminology and Justice Studies
Office: 3401 Market Street, Suite 110

Additional Sites:

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  • PhD, Criminal Justice, Rutgers University – Newark, 2019
  • MS, Criminology, The University of Pennsylvania, 2013
  • BS, Criminology, The College of New Jersey, 2012

Curriculum Vitae:

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Research Interests:

  • Juvenile Delinquency & Justice
  • Crime and the Life Course
  • Corrections, Punishment, and Inequality
  • Courts and the Legal Profession
  • Criminal and Juvenile Justice Policy
  • Research Methods


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.

Selected Publications:

  • Powell, K. (2021). The Age-Graded Consequences of Justice System Involvement for Mental Health. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.
  • Powell, K., Hyatt, J. M., & Link, N. W. (Forthcoming). Implementing reforms in community corrections: Lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crime & Delinquency.
  • Link, N, Powell, K., Hyatt, J., and Ruhland, E. (2021). Considering the process of debt collection in community corrections: The case of the Monetary Compliance Unit. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 37(1), 128-147.
  • Baćak, V., Lageson, S. E., & Powell, K. (2019). “Fighting the good fight”: Why do public defenders remain on the job? Criminal Justice Policy Review.
  • Apel, R., and Powell, K. (2019). Level of criminal justice contact and early adult wage inequality. “Criminal Justice Contact and Inequality,” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.
  • Wakefield, S., & Powell, K. (2016). Distinguishing petty offenders from serious criminals in the estimation of family life effects. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 665(1), 195-212.