Photo of University Hall

View Profile Page

Faculty/Staff Login:

Venezia Michalsen

Associate Professor, Justice Studies

Dickson Hall
BA, Barnard College, Columbia University
MA, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
PhD, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Download vCard


I am very happy to be a part of the Justice Studies Department of Montclair State University.

Before coming to Montclair, I worked for almost six years at the Women's Prison Association (WPA) in New York City, an organization which provides direct services to women who have come into contact with the criminal justice system. As the Director of Analysis and Client Information Systems, I worked on research projects and a reference library, but most of my time was spent designing and managing the computer systems that held the data about the women we served: who they are, what we did with them, and how that work affected their lives.

Before my position at WPA, I worked on research and evaluation projects at John Jay College. My Ph.D. is in Criminal Justice, with a focus on Women and Justice, from the CUNY Graduate Center in New York.

The classes I teach at Montclair include Statistics, Research Methods, Seminar on Gender and Crime, Human Trafficking, Victimology, Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies, and Criminology.

Links to my work:

Imagining a Less Incarcerated World (Article in the New Haven Independent):

Criminal Justice Insider Radio Interview:

Making Phone Calls Free for Incarcerated People in CT:

Mothering and Desistance in Reentry (My Book):

Abolitionist Feminism As Prisons Close: Fighting the Racist and Misogynist Surveillance “Child Welfare” System:


I have recently been involved in a number of research projects that I am currently preparing for publication, two of which I will describe here.

For my doctoral dissertation, I interviewed 100 formerly incarcerated women about their relationships with their children and their desistance behavior (the degree to which they are stopping their involvement in criminal behavior). In short, I found that, while the women I interviewed loved their children very much, the bonds they had with their children did not affect their desistance. For these women, the extent of their criminal justice system involvement (time spent in prison or on parole, for example), and their perception of their own identity were the strongest predictors of desistance behavior.

While I was at WPA, I worked on a research study investigating the role of time usage in women's reentry. Specifically, we hypothesized it would be more difficult for women to obtain gainful employment in reentry because of the number of (often lengthy) appointments they were mandated to attend (e.g. meetings with parole officers, court dates, visitation with children). Briefly, we found that it was not the number of appointments that got in the way of women's employment, but the way that those appointments were distributed throughout the day, making a job impossible.

If you are interested in my research, please contact me.