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Dr. Keisha April

Assistant Professor


Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration, Drexel University, PA; M.S. Clinical Psychology, Drexel University, PA; J.D., Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, NY, NY; A.B., Psychology, Princeton University, NJ

Office Location

CLJ, 544

Areas of Specialization

Juvenile Justice
Mental Health & Crime
Community-based Research
Racial & Ethnic Disparities


Keisha April joined the faculty at the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice in 2022.

Dr. April’s research, situated at the intersection of psychology and criminal justice, examines factors that contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. Specifically, her work seeks to promote a greater understanding of the relationships between communities of color and the police. Using mixed methods approaches, Dr. April examines the attitudes and beliefs of the individuals who interact with and work within the justice system to inform policies and practices to reduce disparities and promote more positive outcomes for justice-involved youth. She utilizes her interdisciplinary training as an applied researcher, clinician, and legal practitioner to devise ecologically sound and community-driven research questions.

Dr. April holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with a forensic psychology concentration, from Drexel University. She also holds a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and received an A.B. in Psychology, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.

Prior to her appointment at Rutgers, Dr. April was a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU, where she engaged in the development and evaluation of interventions for justice-involved young people. She completed her pre-doctoral internship in clinical and community psychology with the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry where she engaged in community consultation projects focused on systems-level interventions for justice-involved and at-risk children. .

Dr. April is a licensed attorney and a licensed clinical psychologist.


April, K., Cole, L. M., & Goldstein, N. E. S. (2022) Let’s “Talk” about the police: The role of race and police legitimacy attitudes in the legal socialization of youth. Current Psychologyhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-02709-8

Cole, L. M., April, K., & Trinkner, R. (2020). The black and white reality: Historical and post- Ferguson era perspectives on public attitudes toward the police. In M. Miller & B. Bornstein (Eds.), Advances in psychology and law (Vol. 5)Springer Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54678-6_8

Heilbrun, K., Pietruszka, V., Janssen, J., & April, K. (2020). Violence risk and threat assessment. In A. B. Batastini & M. J. Vitacco (Eds.), Forensic mental health evaluations in the digital age: A practitioner’s guide to using internet-based data. Springer Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-33908-1_4

April, K., Cole, L. M., & Goldstein, N. E. S. (2019). Police endorsement of color-blind racial beliefs and propensity to interact with youth of color. Behavioral Sciences & the Law37(6), 681-695. https://doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2438