University of Rochester



Below are the active research projects being done as a part of this initiative. 

Cultural Politics of Prison Towns (Kristin Doughty, Joshua Dubler)

This ethnographic study, conducted by Kristin Doughty and Joshua Dubler, is designed to understand how the presence of the of correctional facilities in the Rochester region shapes socio-cultural, political, and economic life in the area.

An Abolitionist Way of Seeing: Decarceration and the Politics of Data Visualization (Joel Burges)

This study explores two different methods to see if data can play a role in decarceration. The first method looks at the cultural history of the carceral state and the role of data in that history through the Monroe County Penitentiary Papers housed in Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation at River Campus Libraries. The second uses the New York Department of Corrections map to develop a series of alternative visualizations of the carceral geography in which we teach and live in upstate New York.

Displacement, Punishment, and Schooling (Kara Finnigan)

This study uses descriptive analysis and mapping techniques to examine where displacement is happening in the Rochester community and whether this is impacting some schools or students more than others in terms of the resulting mobility of students in the school system. The study also explores whether housing instability increases the likelihood of involvement in the juvenile justice system or disciplinary infractions

The Only Thing I Can See in the Sky (Evelyne Leblanc-Roberge)

This project is a series of public art installations using the motif of sky to talk about transparency, incarceration and public spaces.

Effects of Incarceration on Families (Precious Bedell)

This study explores the experiences of incarcerated persons and their families with the hope of developing new methods to strengthen families affected by incarceration. This qualitative research uses discussions and focus groups with families of justice-involved people to inform an intervention aimed at empowering the families of incarcerated persons to become self-advocates.

Health, Incarceration, and Reentry (Diane Morse and Precious Bedell)

WISH (Women’s Initiative Supporting Health) of the University of Rochester School of Medicine will work with stakeholders in the justice system to better understand opportunities and barriers to implement evidence-based programs to improve the health of those who are incarcerated and re-entering from incarceration.

The Legacy of Accountability: Influences of Adolescent Incarceration on Adulthood (Dena Phillips Swanson)

This project explores the long term implications of juvenile incarceration on youth into their adult years. Different forms and lengths of time spent incarcerated are considered. The purpose is to determine whether knowledge of the long term impact influences community members’ attitudes toward restorative practices as an alternative to incarceration in addressing accountability and harms.