ABOUT DR. STEEN
Sara Steen (Ph.D. University of Washington, 1998) is Assistant Professor of Sociology. Her substantive areas of interest include inequalities in the criminal justice system, popular discourse about sentencing reform, and the medicalization of deviance. She is currently conducting qualitative research on the strategies different states are relying on to reduce their prison populations. Specifically, she is examining how public officials are justifying moving from being “tough on crime” to being “smart on crime.” Steen combines quantitative and qualitative data and methodologies in approaching her research questions. Her qualitative work has included courtroom observations, the collection and content analysis of information from court documents (including probation reports and prosecutorial case files), content analysis of newspaper articles, and interviews with decision-makers in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
inequalities in social control, sentencing guidelines and reforms, criminal justice responses to drug offenders, criminology, medicalization of deviance
2012. Steen, Sara, Traci Lacock and Shelby McKinzey. “Unsettling the Discourse of Punishment? Competing Narratives of Reentry and the Possibilities for Change.” Punishment and Society, 14(1): 29-50.
2007. Steen, Sara and Tara Opsal. “Punishment on the Installment Plan: Parole Revocation in Four States.” The Prison Journal, 87(3): 344-366.
2007. Steen, Sara and Rachel Bandy. “When the Policy Becomes the Problem: Criminal Justice in the New Millenium.” Punishment and Society, 9(1): 5-26.
2007. Steen, Sara. “Conferring Sameness: Institutional Management of Juvenile Sex Offenders.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 36(1): 31-49.
2006. Cohen, Mark, Roland Rust, and Sara Steen. “Prevention, Crime Control or Cash? Public Preferences towards Criminal Justice Spending Priorities.” Justice Quarterly, 23: 317-335.
2005. Steen, Sara, Rodney L. Engen, and Randy R. Gainey. “Images of Danger: Racial Stereotyping, Case Processing, and Criminal Sentencing.” Criminology, 43 (2): 435-468.
2004. Cohen, Mark, Roland Rust, Sara Steen, and Simon Tidd. “Willingness-to-Pay for Crime Control Programs.” Criminology 42(1): 89-110.
2001. Steen, Sara. “Contested Portrayals: Medical and Legal Social Control of Juvenile Sex Offenders.” Sociological Quarterly 42(3): 325-350.
2000. Engen, Rodney L. and Sara Steen. “The Power to Punish: Discretion and Sentencing Reform in the War on Drugs.” American Journal of Sociology 105(5): 1357-1395.
1998. Bridges, George S. and Sara Steen. "Racial Disparities in Official Assessments of Juvenile Offenders: Attributional Stereotypes as Mediating Mechanisms." American Sociological Review 63(4): 554-570.