Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Dr. Johnna Christian

Associate Professor, and M.A. Program Director


Ph.D. (2004) University at Albany



Dr. Christian received her Ph.D. from the University at Albany School of Criminal Justice in 2004. Her work examines incarceration’s impact on families and neighbourhoods, emphasizing the gendered aspects of family members’ connections to prisoners, as well as the disparate impact on racial and ethnic minority groups. She has conducted research about family visiting at prisons and the social and economic implications of maintaining ties to prisoners. Recent work focuses on the role of informal social support in the re-entry process, including a study of a family based prisoner re-entry intervention for young people, as well as a mentoring program for formerly incarcerated women. She is a member of the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network (RDCJN), now based at Rutgers University-Newark.  

Areas of Specialization
Mass incarceration
Prisoner reentry
Families and incarceration

Key Publications
Christian, J. & Kennedy, L.W. 2011. Secondary Narratives in the Aftermath of Crime: Family Members' Relationships with Prisoners. Punishment and Society 13.

Christian, J. & Thomas, S. 2009. Examining the intersections of race, gender, and mass imprisonment. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice 7.

Christian, J. 2005. Riding the Bus: Barriers to Prison Visitation and Family Management Strategies. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 21.


973-353-3245  /  Send an email  /  Office: CLJ 546