Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Dr. Valerio Baćak

Assistant Professor


University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., Sociology, 2015; A.M., Statistics (Wharton School), 2014; M.A., Sociology, 2008; University of Oxford, M.Sc., Sociology, 2008; University of Zagreb, B.A., Sociology, 2007


Curriculum Vitae



Valerio Baćak joined the faculty in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in 2015. His main research interest is in understanding how offending and contact with the criminal justice system are related to health. His other lines of research include youth sexuality, health disparities, and social epidemiology of HIV/AIDS among sex workers, injection drug users, and men who have sex with men. Originally from Croatia, Valerio has extensive international experience conducting research in resource-limited settings. Since 2005, he consulted on public health projects for various United Nations organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Azerbaijan, West Bank and Gaza, and Iraq. His studies have appeared in journals across disciplines, such as Social Problems, Social Science and Medicine, and Archives of Sexual Behavior. Valerio received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Areas of Specialization

Sociology of Punishment
Social Determinants of Health
Youth Sexuality
Social Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS
Global Health
Quantitative Methods
Southeastern Europe

Key Publications

Schnittker, Jason and Valerio Baćak. Forthcoming. “Orange is Still Pink: Mental Illness, Gender Roles, and Physical Victimization in Prisons. Society and Mental Health.

Baćak, Valerio and Christopher Wildeman. 2015. “An Empirical Assessment of the ‘Healthy Prisoner Hypothesis.’” Social Science & Medicine 138:187-191.

Baćak, Valerio and Edward H. Kennedy. 2015. “Marginal Structural Models: An Application to Incarceration and Marriage during Young Adulthood.” Journal of Marriage and Family 77(1):112-125.

Schnittker, Jason and Valerio Baćak. 2013. “A Mark of Disgrace or a Badge of Honor? Subjective Status among Former Inmates.” Social Problems 60(2):234-254.


(973) 353-2806  /  Send an email  /  Office: CLJ, Room 545