Sandra Susan Smith is the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice and Faculty Director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management. She is also the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute. Her areas of interest include urban poverty and joblessness, social capital and social networks, and, more recently, the front end of criminal case processing, with a particular interest in the short- and long-term consequences of pretrial detention and diversion. This latter interest was a direct result of membership in the Executive Session on Community Corrections at HKS. In each, racial inequality and its root causes are core areas of concern.
Smith's publications include Lone Pursuit: Distrust and Defensive Individualism among the Black Poor; The Criminal Justice System as a Labor Market Institution, co-edited with Jonathan Simon; and the forthcoming The Cultural Logics of Job-Matching Assistance. Her research on these topics has also been published in academic journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, the Annual Review of Sociology, The DuBois Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Social Problems, Social Science Research, The Sociological Quarterly, and Work and Occupations.
Smith has been a Council member of the American Sociological Association, Chair of the ASA Section, Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility, and Deputy Editor of the American Sociological Review, where she also served as editorial board member. She was also on the editorial or consulting boards of the American Journal of Sociology, Contexts Magazine, and Sociological Science. Smith has been a visiting scholar at Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and at the Russell Sage Foundation.
Smith holds an MA and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago; her B.A. in history-sociology is from Columbia University.