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Dr. Sarah E. Lageson

Associate Professor


JD (2023) Rutgers Law School; Ph.D. (2015) University of Minnesota; M.A. (2012) University of Minnesota; B.A. (2007) Washington University in St. Louis

Office Location

CLJ, 553

Office Hours

By Appointment

Areas of Specialization

Law and Society
Sociology of Punishment
Criminal Records


Sarah Lageson studies technology, surveillance, and data privacy in the criminal legal system. Her research examines “digital punishment” through data shared by the public and private sector, accuracy issues in criminal legal system data, criminal records and employment discrimination, public defense and legal aid, and expungement policy.

Sarah is a grant recipient of the National Institutes of Justice New Investigator/Early Career Award, is an Affiliated Scholar at the American Bar Foundation, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Law and Society Association. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including CriminologyLaw & Society ReviewLaw & Social InquiryPunishment & 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 and received the Michael J. Hindelang award, which recognizes an outstanding contribution to research in criminology. Sarah has also published articles and op-eds in Wired, the Washington Post, Vice, the Appeal, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Conversation. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and her JD from Rutgers Law School.



Recent Grants

William T. Grant Foundation Award for “The Promise of Marijuana Legalization to Reduce Racial Disparities in Youth Legal System Contact in New Jersey.” $544,030

Rutgers Chancellor’s Impact Seed Grant for “Expanding Access to Criminal Expungement in New Jersey.” $25,000

Clean Slate Initiative Award for “The Impact of Automated Record Clearance on Individuals, Families, and Communities.” $441,093

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

Sarah Brayne, Sarah Lageson, and Karen Levy. (2024). “Surveillance Deputies: When Ordinary People Surveil for the State.” Law & Society Review.

Sarah Lageson and Robert Stewart (2024). “The Problem with Criminal Records: Discrepancies Between Official State Records and Private Sector Background Checks.” Criminology.

Sarah Lageson. (2023). “Criminally Bad Data: Inaccurate Criminal Records, Data Brokers, and Algorithmic Injustice.” University of Illinois Law Review.

Sarah Lageson. (2022). “Digital Criminal Record Stigma and Surveillance.” Annual Review of Criminology 5: 67-90.

Leslie Schneider, Mike Vuolo, Sarah Lageson, and Chris Uggen. (2022). “Before and After Ban the Box: Who Complies with Anti-Discrimination Law?” Law & Social Inquiry 47(3):749-482.

Sarah Lageson, Elizabeth Webster and Juan Sandoval. (2021). “Digitizing and Disclosing Personal Data: The Proliferation of State Criminal Records on the Internet.” Law & Social Inquiry 46(3): 635-665.

Alessandro Corda and Sarah Lageson. (2021). “Disordered Punishment: Workaround Technologies of Criminal Records Disclosure and the Rise of a New Penal Entrepreneurialism.” British Journal of Criminology 60(2):245-264.

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