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Dr. Sarah E. Lageson

Associate Professor


Ph.D. (2015) University of Minnesota; M.A. (2012) University of Minnesota; B.A. (2007) Washington University in St. Louis

Office Location

CLJ, 556

Areas of Specialization

Law and Society
Sociology of Punishment
Criminal Records


Sarah Lageson studies criminal law, privacy, surveillance, and tech and her research examines the growth of online crime data, mugshots, and criminal records that create new forms of “digital punishment.” Sarah is a grant recipient of the National Institutes of Justice New Investigator/Early Career Award for her study of criminal records and is a 2020-2021 Access to Justice Scholar at the American Bar Foundation. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Criminology, Law & Society Review, Law & Social Inquiry, Punishment & Society, and The British Journal of Criminology. Her book, Digital Punishment: Privacy, Stigma, and the Harms of Data-Driven Criminal Justice, was published in 2020 by Oxford University Press.



Recent Grants

American Bar Foundation and JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholar Award for “Realizing a Clean Slate: Expanding Access and Improving Outcomes for Automated Criminal Record Expungement.” $74,000

National Institutes of Justice New Investigator/Early Career Award for “Multi-Level Analyses of Accuracy and Error in Digital Criminal Record Data.” $190,909


Recent Publications

Lageson, S., Webster, E., & Sandoval, J. (Forthcoming 2021). Digitizing and disclosing personal data: The proliferation of state criminal records on the internet. Law & Social Inquiry.

Lageson, S. (2020). Digital punishment: Privacy, stigma, and the harms of data-driven criminal justice.  Oxford University Press.

Lageson, S. (2020). The purgatory of digital punishment. Slate.

Lageson, S. (2020). How criminal background checks lead to discrimination against millions of Americans. Washington Post.

Lageson, S. (2020). Mugshots don’t belong on search engines. San Francisco Chronicle.

Corda, A., & Lageson, S. (2020).  Disordered punishment: Workaround technologies of criminal records disclosure and the rise of a new penal entrepreneurialism.  British Journal of Criminology,60, 245-264.

Lageson, S., & Maruna, S. (2018).  Digital degradation: Stigma management in the internet age.  Punishment & Society, 20, 113-133.

Lageson, S. (2017). Crime data, the internet, and free speech: An evolving legal consciousness.  Law & Society Review, 51, 8-41.