loading content..

Ryan Alonzo Smith

PhD Student

Research Areas

Mass Incarceration and Reparations
Race and Inequality
Ethnography and Drug Crime
Theoretical Criminology


Ryan Alonzo Smith is a Ph.D. student at Rutgers University – Newark.

Ryan’s research interests concern the historical legacy of race and race ideology in the United States and how the criminal justice system contributes to inequality in social stratification.

He plans to examine how mass incarceration as a generational process has diminished Black wealth accumulation and how quantitative methods can be used to make the case for reparations. His interests include the genealogy of criminological theory and the erasure of Black criminologists. Ryan’s dissertation will use ethnographic methods to examine social capital and illicit economic success.

Ryan holds a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, with a concentration in social justice from Rutgers University – Newark (RU-N). He also holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice with a dual concentration in Anthropology and Social Justice from RU-N.

Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Ryan was awarded a position with the PSEG Foundation as a Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist, responsible for reviewing grant applications for community & economic development, social service delivery, and advancing grassroots DEI programming. Ryan now works locally in the Orange, New Jersey, in a non-profit he cofounded. The non-profit’s main goal is to increase access to private capital for civic and educational development in his parent’s hometown.