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

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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MeToo And Mass Incarceration | Jill McCorkel | TEDxVillanovaU



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 (5)

Chauvin Murder Trial: Verdict Reached

6 ABC Philadelphia  online


We talked to a professor at Villanova University about how her students were not only watching the trial closely, but watching the wait for the verdict even closer. …“Very early on the students are tasked with both understanding what constitutional law is as it governs police use of force when police encounter civilians, both legal and excessive force. I think it is on par with OJ and the Rodney King trial. It is something students will remember where they were when the verdict comes down.”

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Police chief in Pa. placed on leave after one of his officers was charged in Capitol riot

The Washington Post  online


The day after patrolman Joseph W. Fischer allegedly stood at “the front of the pack pushing against the police” during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, he boasted to a contact that he had “no regrets,” despite his concerns that the FBI might arrest him. In a Facebook message, Fischer indicated he had already defended himself to his boss, the police chief in North Cornwall Township, Pa. “I told him I have no regrets,” Fischer wrote, according to a federal criminal complaint filed Friday. Fischer was eventually arrested on multiple federal charges and suspended without pay. Less expected was that the boss to whom Fischer allegedly defended himself is off the job as well.

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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


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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