Natalie Pifer, J.D./Ph.D.

I have been an Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Rhode Island since 2017.

I am a sociolegal scholar who is specifically informed by interdisciplinary scholarship on law & society and punishment & social control. My research analyzes the causes and consequences of penal changes, especially those organized under the banner of ostensibly progressive reforms to controversial criminal justice practices. I study substantive areas like policing, solitary confinement, and reentry, under the shared concern for how punishment, incarceration, and policing policies are implemented and experienced on the ground.

Right now, I am primarily writing about the hybridization of care and control in managing marginalized groups and about the experiences of people living and working in long-term solitary confinement units.

I am also working on two new multi-year collaborative projects:
1) evaluating how Amend's Norwegian-style correctional practices are implemented and experienced by people living and working in American prison facilities and
2) evaluating a Second Chance Act pre-release career readiness program that is designed to connect people to a Registered Apprenticeship (RA) placement and retention post-release in order to pursue careers in the construction industry. 

Recent Publications

Triaged out of Care: How Carceral Logics Complicate a 'Course of Care' in Solitary Confinement

Melissa Barragan, Gabriela Gonzalez, Justin Donald Strong, Dallas Augustine, Kelsie Chesnut, Keramet Reiter, Natalie A. Pifer

Healthcare, vol. 10, 2022

View all