My overall body of research employs a rich intellectual tradition of ethnography to study social issues relevant to criminology and public policy, particularly women in conflict with the law. I have published three books in the areas of shoplifting, corrections, and female offenders, an offender curriculum, as well as book chapters and numerous journal articles.
My leading book in the area of women in conflict with the law, Out in the storm: Drug-addicted women living as shoplifters and sex workers (2008, Northeastern University Press) is an ethnographic study of shoplifters, sex workers, and drug users. It reveals intersecting marginalities in women’s pathways to addiction and crime, demonstrates how shoplifting is occupational for drug users and a mechanism for men and women to express gender, and elaborates on women’s agency in action.
My latest book, A halfway house for women: Oppression and resistance (June, 2014, Northeastern University Press), is an ethnography of reentry at halfway house that promises to help women returning from incarceration to rebuild their lives and relationships. My findings take the reader into the lived experience of reentry in the real, reveal patriarchal oppression in a system of social control designed for the care of women, demonstrates the influence of women’s agency among other important contributions, and opens a new area for future research that may yield effective policy recommendations over time.