I study inequality and barriers to opportunity in the United States, with an emphasis on racial inequities and the role of the criminal justice system. My current research agenda focuses on the intersection of criminal justice policy and social policy, exploring whether and how these policies promote and perpetuate inequality over the life course and across generations.
My dissertation uses national survey data to examine long-term trajectories of economic and housing stability following criminal justice system interactions and racial heterogeneity within those experiences. The first chapter investigates how formerly incarcerated individuals piece together income over the life course following incarceration and what factors predict the type of trajectory former prisoners experience. The second chapter examines how formerly incarcerated Americans use the social safety net and how this use varies across programs. The third chapter explores housing stability among individuals with felony convictions, considering the extent to which conviction itself, without incarceration, promotes housing instability similar to that experienced by formerly incarcerated individuals.
My recent work, published in Demography, has examined how paternal incarceration can set adolescents up with disadvantaged peer social networks. In future work I plan to explore the extent to which differences in adolescent social networks mediate the effects of childhood paternal incarceration on young adult outcomes.
Another portion of my research agenda focuses on understanding the drivers of wealth inequality in the United States. This joint work with Sasha Killewald examines how wealth returns to homeownership vary by race and how the racial wealth gap develops over the life course.
I am a fellow in the Harvard Kennedy School's Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy and an affiliate of the Center for Population and Development Studies and the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard. Prior to beginning my doctoral studies, I completed an M.P.P. at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy and worked at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Urban Institute, and the Foundation Center.