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Nicole Kaufman

Nicole Kaufman, portrait
Associate Professor of Sociology and Graduate Program Director of the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture
Bentley Annex 105

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BA, Barnard College, Columbia University

MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Dr. Kaufman specializes in Political Sociology, Criminology and Penology, Law & Society, and Qualitative Methods. Her research examines institutional arrangements that facilitate and limit social inclusion. She is interested in several social problems: prisoner reentry, women’s incarceration, faith-based drug and alcohol treatment, and legal mobilization in the courts.


2023. "Community Corrections at a Critical Juncture: Privatization, Race, and the Redefinition of the Community after Attica," Howard Journal of Crime and Justice.

2021. “Contested Forms of Knowledge in the Criminal-Legal System: Evidence-Based Practice and Other Ways of Knowing among Front-Line Workers” (Nicole Kaufman and Megan Welsh). Pp. 397-422 in The Palgrave Handbook of Institutional Ethnography, edited by Paul Luken and Suzanne Vaughn.

2020. "Governing Through Partnerships: Neoconservative Governance and State Reliance on Religious NGOs in Drug Policy." Critical Criminology.

2019 “The State’s Accomplices? Organizations and The Penal State.” In Prisoner Reentry in the 21st Century: Critical Perspectives of Returning Home, edited by Keesha Middlemass and CalvinJohn Smiley.

2018. “Nongovernmental organizations and postprison life: Examining the role of religion.” Punishment & Society.

2018. “Gender and Community-Based Correctional Programs for Women” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, edited by H. Pontell. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kaufman, Nicole, Joshua Kaiser and Cesraéa Rumpf. 2016 (early view). "Beyond Punishment: The Penal State's Interventionist, Covert, and Negligent Modalities of Control." Law and Social Inquiry.

2015. “Prisoner Incorporation: The Work of the State and Non-Governmental Organizations.” Theoretical Criminology 19:534-553

Book Reviews

2017. Unequal City: Race, Schools, and Perceptions of Injustice. By Carla Shedd. American Journal of Sociology 123(3):911-913. DOI: abs/10.1086/694583.

2013. Beth E Richie, Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation. Punishment & Society 15(3):330-332

Teaching & Courses Taught

Dr. Kaufman teaches Sociology and Criminology using a humanistic, interactive, and multi-media approach. She designs class assignments to increase students' ability to locate, understand, and analyze data trends so they can assess the strength of arguments. She uses independent research to encourage students to think about social justice applications of sociological processes and ways to use policy to proactively respond to the current and historical social world.

Courses Taught

  • Criminology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Punishment & Society
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Contemporary American Society
  • Sociology of Prisoner Reentry (graduate seminar)
  • Prison narratives (capstone)

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