Dr. Colleen Berryessa
Ph.D. (2018) Criminology, University of Pennsylvania; B.A. (2011) Government and Mind, Brain, & Behavior, Harvard University
CLJ, 579 G
Areas of Specialization
Courts & Sentencing
Discretion & Decision-making
Dr. Colleen M. Berryessa joined the faculty in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in 2018. Her research, utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods, considers how psychological processes, perceptions, attitudes, and social contexts affect the criminal justice system, particularly related to courts and sentencing. She primarily examines these issues, using both social psychological and socio-legal lenses, in relation to two areas: 1) how these phenomena affect the discretion of criminal justice actors in their responses to offending and decision-making in courts; and 2) how these phenomena affect public views and consideration of courts, sentencing systems, and punishment practices.
Dr. Berryessa received her Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Before Penn, she graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government and Mind, Brain, and Behavior, and she served as a CIRGE research fellow at Stanford University.
Her personal website is colleenberryessa.com.
Selected Recent & Key Publications
Berryessa, C. M. (Forthcoming). Defendants with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Criminal Court: A Judges’ Toolkit. Drexel Law Review. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3730822
Xu, Y., Berryessa, C. M., Dowd, M., Penta, D., & Coley, J.D. (Forthcoming). Essentialist Thinking Predicts Culpability and Sentencing Judgments. Psychology, Crime and Law.
Berryessa, C. M. (Forthcoming). “Second Chance” Mechanisms as a First Step to Ending the War on Drugs. American Journal of Bioethics.
Berryessa, C. M. (2020). The Potential Influence of Criminological Rationales in Considering Childhood Abuse as Mitigating to Sentencing. Child Abuse & Neglect, 111, 104818. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213420304737
Berryessa, C. M. (2020). The effects of essentialist attitudes toward biosocial risk factors for criminality and types of offending on lay punishment support. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 38, 355-380. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bsl.2476
Berryessa, C. M. (2020). Compassionate release as a “right” in the age of COVID-19. American Journal of Bioethics, 20, 185-187. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15265161.2020.1777348
Berryessa, C. M., & Reeves, J. (2020). The perceptions of juvenile judges regarding adolescent development in evaluating juvenile competency. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 110, 551-592.
Berryessa, C. M., & Lively, C. (2019). When a sex offender wins the lottery: Social and legal punitiveness toward sex offenders in an instance of perceived injustice. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 25, 181-195.
Berryessa, C. M. (2019). Judicial stereotyping associated with genetic essentialist biases Toward mental disorders and potential negative effects on sentencing. Law & Society Review, 53, 202-238.
Berryessa, C. M., & Wohlstetter, B. (2019). The psychopathic “label” and effects on punishment outcomes: A meta-analysis. Law and Human Behavior, 43, 9-25.
Berryessa, C. M. (2018). The effects of psychiatric and “biological” labels on lay sentencing and punishment decisions. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 14, 241-256.
Berryessa, C. M. (2017). Jury-eligible public attitudes toward biological risk factors for the development of criminal behavior and implications for capital sentencing. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 44, 1073-1100.