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Dr. Johnna Christian

Associate Professor


Ph.D. (2004) University at Albany

Office Location

CLJ, 546

Office Hours

By Appointment

Areas of Specialization

Mass incarceration
Prisoner reentry
Families and incarceration

Dr. Johnna Christian

Johnna Christian received her doctoral degree from the University at Albany School of Criminal Justice and has been a faculty member at Rutgers since 2003. She has conducted research about family visitation at prisons and the social and economic implications of maintaining ties to incarcerated people, as well as prisoner reentry and reintegration. Her recent co-edited volume, Beyond Recidivism: New Approaches to Research on Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration (New York University Press) includes her work about formerly incarcerated men’s negotiation of social support. Her work also examines the resiliency strategies of the family members of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. Johnna is a member of the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network, and is a former recipient of the W.E.B. Dubois Fellowship from the National Institute of Justice. She serves as Co-Chair of the American Society of Criminology’s Division on People of Color and Crime.


Recent & Key Publications

Leverentz, A, Chen, E. & Christian, J. (2020). Beyond recidivism: New approaches to research on prisoner reentry and reintegration. New York:  New York University Press. New York:  New York University Press.

Palmer, C., & Christian, J. (2019). Work matters: Formerly incarcerated men’s resiliency in reentry.” Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  An International Journal, 38, 583-598.

Panuccio, L., & Christian, J. (2019). Work, family, and masculine identity: An intersectional approach to understanding young, black men’s experiences of reentry. Race and Justice, 9, 407-433.

Thomas, S. & Christian, J. (2018).  Betwixt and between: Incarcerated men, familial ties and social visibility.  Pp. 273-287.   In R. Condry and P.S. Smith (Eds) Prisons, Punishment and the Family: Towards a New Sociology of Punishment.  Oxford, UK:  Oxford University Press.

Christian, J., Martinez, D.J. & Martinez, D. (2015). Beyond the shadows of the prison: Agency and resilience among prisoners’ family members. Pp. 59-83 In  J. Arditti and T. LeRoux (Eds) Groves Monograph on marriage and family.  Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Publishing

Christian, J. & Kennedy, L.W. (2011). Secondary narratives in the aftermath of crime: Family members’ relationships with prisoners. Punishment and Society, 13, 379-402.

Christian, J. (2005). Riding the bus: Barriers to prison visitation and family management strategies.  Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 21, 31-48.