Dr. Liza Chowdhury

Dr. Liza Chowdhury is a scholar-activist and certified yoga instructor with several years of experience working in community corrections and teaching in higher education. She presently serves as a Criminal Justice Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences, Human Services, and Criminal Justice at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), City University of New York (CUNY). Prior to her current appointment, she was an Assistant Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses, and was an instructor at Rutgers University-Newark and NJ Step program, inside state correctional facilities. Dr. Chowdhury continues to ceaselessly advocate for continued opportunities for students inside correctional facilities around the country. She loves her students and believes that their achievements are her greatest rewards in life.

From 2004 to 2014, Dr. Chowdhury held the position of Probation Officer, advancing to Senior Probation Officer with New Jersey Judiciary in the City of Paterson. During her tenure as a Sr. Probation Officer, she fulfilled the required duties and sought innovative, evidence-based, trauma-informed community-centered programming to support the justice-involved youth under her supervision. Liza was an ongoing advocate for these young people and collaborated with local schools to create safe spaces for local youth.

As a certified Yoga Instructor, Dr. Chowdhury utilizes wellness practices in her work with the community and her students. As an expert in this field, she regularly volunteers with youth-focused community organizations, consults with organizations that work with families, advocates in support of social justice issues, and partners with credible messengers to develop innovative interventions for youth who are justice-involved. Her primary goal in life is to continue utilizing community partnerships, academic research, education, activism, wellness, and healing practices to fight against inequality and injustice.

In 2017, Dr. Chowdhury co-founded the nonprofit, Reimagining Justice, to reimagine a justice system that provides love, empathy, equality, and opportunities for our communities. The organization has partnered with Belize, Illinois, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York agencies and communities to provide transformative mentoring, narrative therapy, resilience circles, training, support, and consulting services. Most recently, Reimagining Justice, in collaboration/partnership with St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, received a $1 million grant from the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General to implement the first Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP) in Passaic County – Paterson Healing Collective (PHC). PHC offers support and intervention services for survivors of violence.

Dr. Chowdhury’s research interests are intersectionality, juvenile justice, gender and crime, mass incarceration, restorative justice, collective efficacy, prison infractions and punishment, racial disparity and the criminal justice system, and trauma-focused violence interventions. Her most recent co-authored scholarly publications include Agents of Change in Healing Our Communities in Prisoner Reentry in the 21st Century: Critical Perspectives of Returning Home (2019); Laying the Foundation of Punishment Against Black Males in Black Males and the Criminal Justice System (2019); and, Contemporary Ethical Issues in the Criminal Justice System: A Textbook Reader (Cognella Publishing, 2018) among others. In addition, she has experience in teaching research methods, corrections, gender crime and justice, gangs and street crimes, introduction to criminal justice, contemporary issues, community resource management, advanced corrections, race and crime, and juveniles and violence.

Dr. Liza Chowdhury graduated with her Bachelor’s in Science from Rutgers University-Newark (SCJ 2003) and the Rutgers University-School of Criminal Justice with a Master of Arts (2005) and Doctoral degree (2015).