Katherine Beckett

Professor, Law, Societies & Justice and Sociology, Chair, Law, Societies & Justice Department
Katherine Beckett



Katherine Beckett is a Professor in the Law, Societies, and Justice Program and the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. In addition to service on the UWCHR Steering Committee, she also co-directs the Rethinking Punishment project.

Professor Beckett’s research analyzes the causes and consequences of legal changes and penal practices. Some of her recent research projects have explored the consequences of criminal justice expansion for social inequality, the role of race in drug law enforcement, and the transformation of urban social control practices in the United States. She is the author of numerous articles and three books on these topics, including, most recently, Banished: The New Social Control in Urban America, published in 2010 by Oxford University Press, co-authored with Steve Herbert, and a finalist for the C. Wright Mills Book Award.

Professor Beckett has worked closely with a number of civic organizations, including the Racial Disparity Project and Columbia Legal Services. She has recently conducted research in partnership with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as well as the Northwest Defender’s Association.