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Jill McCorkel, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Jill McCorkel, PhD Jill McCorkel, PhD

Professor of Sociology and Criminology | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | Villanova University


Jill McCorkel, PhD, examines the social and political consequences of mass incarceration in the United States



Jill McCorkel, PhD Publication



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Women Imprisonment (May 2015)



Areas of Expertise (7)


Prison Education Programs

Race, Class and Gender Inequality

Prisons and Punishment

Law and Criminal Justice Policy

Mass Incarceration



Dr. McCorkel’s research examines the social and political consequences of mass incarceration in the United States. Dr. McCorkel’s current research projects explore prison privatization, the impact of parental incarceration on children, and prisoner reentry. She is the author of a book about women's prisons, “Breaking Women: Gender, Race, and the New Politics of Imprisonment.” She can offer expert commentary on gender differences in criminal offending, sentencing and punishment; racial inequality in the criminal justice system; police use of force; prison-based education programs; violence in prison; prison overcrowding and solitary confinement. In addition, Dr. McCorkel teaches undergraduate sociology courses at a maximum security prison for men and has served as a consultant on parole and commutation petitions, and wrongful conviction and death penalty cases.

Education (3)

University of Delaware: PhD

University of Delaware: MA

Bucknell University: BA

Select Accomplishments (2)

Distinguished Scholar Award, 2014

American Society of Criminology, Division of Women and Crime

2013 Villanova University Last Lecture

Annual event hosted by the Villanova University Seniors Committee in Student Life and the Office of Development to celebrate the accomplishments of the Senior Class with a “last lecture” as Villanova students.

Select Media Appearances (3)

At women's prison, a vision for success

The Morning Call  


But despite calls for such programs from prison reform advocates and politicians, job training for female inmates is still treated as an afterthought, said Jill McCorkel, a Villanova University sociology professor who studies issues facing incarcerated women.

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At Graterford, lifers get degrees even if they'll never use them

Philly.com  online


The landscape changed dramatically when the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 eliminated Pell Grants for prisoners. Most universities couldn't afford to continue their programs. But Villanova decided to underwrite the cost, becoming a "national model" for inmate education, said Jill McCorkel, a Villanova sociology professor who has taught in the program ...

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Smart Talk: What's behind the dramatic increase in women prison inmates?

WITF  online


Dr. Jill McCorkel from Villanova University appears on Monday's Smart Talk to discuss her book: Breaking Women: Gender, Race, and the New Politics of Imprisonment, in which she interviewed incarcerated women from east coast prisons, including some in Pennsylvania. The book examines the reasons behind the huge increase in the incarceration of American women during the past 25 years ...

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Select Academic Articles (6)

Prison Tourism in the Age of Mass Incarceration Contexts

Jill McCorkel


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Banking on Rehab: Private Prison Vendors and the Reconfiguration of Mass Incarceration Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

Jill McCorkel

2018 (In-press)

The Second Coming: Gender, Race, and the Privatization of Carceral Drug Treatment Journal of Contemporary Drug Problems

Jill McCorkel


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’It Will Crush You Like a Bug’: Maternal Incarceration, Secondary Prisonization, and Children’s Visitation Punishment & Society

Jill McCorkel, Brittnie Aiello


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The Gender of Criminal Opportunity: The Impact of Male Co-Offenders on Women’s Crime Feminist Criminology

Jill McCorkel, Sarah Becker


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Are you an African? The Politics of Self Construction in Status-Based Social Movements Social Problems

Jill McCorkel, Jason Rodriquez


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