Jennifer Cobbina Biography

Jennifer Cobbina is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. She received her PhD in criminal justice at the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2009. Dr. Cobbina’s areas of expertise center on public response to police use of force, youth violence, and concentrated neighborhood disadvantage, with a special focus on the experiences of minority youth and the impact of race, class, and gender on criminal justice practices.  Her research also focuses on corrections, prisoner reentry and the understanding of recidivism and desistance from crime. Her mixed-methods qualitative and quantitative research predicts recidivism and desistance outcomes and also explores the perceptions of people who offend regarding how they manage reentry and integration back into the community. Her scholarship is centered on improving the reentry outcomes of individuals with a felony record and/or has been formerly incarcerated.  Her goal is to produce research that is theoretically informed, empirically rich, and informs criminal justice policy and crime control practices. Dr. Cobbina’s research has been published in a number of academic journals, such as Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Criminology & Public Policy, Crime & Delinquency, Punishment & Society, and Journal of Crime & Justice. Much of Dr. Cobbina’s work has had an impact on criminal justice policy. She recently joined the CNA Project on American Justice, a nonprofit research organization, with a team of elite leaders that focuses on issues in policing. This team will provide actionable advice and explore creative solutions to improve current issues facing law enforcement around the country and respond to emerging incidents in the field.  In October 2018 she gave a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill about the state of women in the correction system and the unique challenges they face, in which she called for specific policy changes to ensure women’s needs are met so they can successfully integrate into the community.  

Download Full CV