Dr. Alexes Harris teaches at the University of Washington and serves as an affiliate at the West Coast Poverty Center and Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology. A driving aim of her work is to produce empirically based research that is theoretically informed, and has real world policy implications for addressing social problems and inequality in the United States. Her most current research examines the sentencing of monetary sanctions, such as fines, fees, and surcharges, to people convicted of felony offenses in Washington state. Using a mixed-method approach, she has analyzed Administrative Office of the Courts data, conducted observations of sentencing and sanctioning hearings, and conducted interviews with court officials to examine variation in sentencing, supervision and sanctioning practices related to unpaid debt.
Harris’ work has been published in a number of academic journals, including The American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Law and Society Review and Symbolic Interaction. With a recently awarded grant, Harris is continuing her research on monetary sanctions to replicate and expand her Washington study in seven other states with collaborators. Harris has testified before the Washington State legislature and Washington State Supreme Court about racial and ethnic inequalities in the criminal justice system and sentencing practices. She was recently appointed by United States Attorney General to a four‐year appointment on the Office of Justice Programs Science Advisory Board.
Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington
Areas of Expertise: Criminal Justice Processing and Sentencing of Monetary Sanctions, Race and Ethnicity In The United States
Location: Seattle, WA
Heard on NPR Morning Edition: Ferguson’s Plan To Cut Back On Court Fees Could Inspire Change
Added August 2015
Last Verified: August 2015