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Dr. Frank Edwards

Assistant Professor


Ph.D. (2017) Sociology, University of Washington; M.A. (2012) Sociology, DePaul University; B.A. (2005) Sociology and History, University of Texas at Austin

Office Location

CLJ, 578 B

Areas of Specialization

Children and families
Sociology of punishment
Welfare state


Frank Edwards received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington in 2017 and joined the Rutgers-Newark School of Criminal Justice in 2018. His work focuses on how systems of social control produce and reinforce inequality, and explores how politics, policy feedbacks, and social structures affect the relationships between families and the state. His recent and ongoing work examines the interactions of child welfare, criminal justice, and welfare state systems; the causes of entrenched racial inequalities in child welfare system involvement; the geographic distribution of police violence; and the causes and consequences of local governments’ dependence on revenues from the criminal justice system.

His work has appeared or is forthcoming American Sociological Review, The American Journal of Public Health, Annual Review of Criminology, Children and Youth Services ReviewThe Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, and other outlets.


Recent & Key Publications

Yi, Y., Edwards, F.R., & Wildeman, C. (2020).  Cumulative prevalence of confirmed maltreatment and foster care placement for US children by race/ethnicity, 2011 – 2016.  American Journal of Public Health, 110, 704-709.

Wildeman, C., Edwards F.R., & Wakefield, S. (2020).  The Cumulative prevalence of termination of parental rights for U.S. children, 2000-2016.  Child Maltreatment, 25, 32-42.

Edwards, F.R., Lee, H., & Esposito, M. (2019).  Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race–ethnicity, and sex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116, 16793-16798.

Fernandes, A, Edwards, F.R., Cadigan, M., & Harris, A. (2019).  Monetary sanctions: A Review of revenue generation, legal challenges, and reform.  Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 15, 397-413.

Edwards, F.R. (2019).  Family surveillance: Police and the reporting of child abuse and neglect.  The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of The Social Sciences, 5, 50-70.

Edwards, F.R., Esposito, M., & Lee, H.  (2018). Risk of police-involved death by race/ethnicity and place, United States, 2012-2018. The American Journal of Public Health, 108, 1241-1248.

Edwards, F.R., & Wildeman, C. (2018).  Characteristics of the frontline child welfare workforce.  Children and Youth Services Review, 89, 13-26. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740918300823

Martin, K., Shannon, S., Sykes, B., Edwards, F.R., & Harris, A. (2018).  Monetary sanctions in criminal justice.  Annual Review of Criminology, 1, 471-495.

Harris, A., & Edwards, F.R. (2017).  Fines and monetary sanctions.  Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Edwards, F.R. (2016).  Saving children, controlling families:  Punishment, redistribution and child protection.  American Sociological Review, 81, 575-595.