Staff and Visiting Scholars
Amanda Ward is an Assistant Research Professor in the Center for Urban Research and Learning and the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy and Practice at Loyola University. In her research, Amanda works closely with criminal justice agencies, community organizations and people caught up in criminal justice systems to identify and implement evidence-based, social justice-informed reforms to Illinois criminal justice systems. Some recent research projects include:
- In partnership with the Westside Justice Center and The Resurrection Project, Dr. Ward is evaluating Illinois Access to Justice Program, a statewide program directing funds towards holistic legal and support assistance to immigrants facing deportation and individuals impacted by incarceration.
- In partnership with the Cook County Adult Probation Department, Dr. Ward is conducting research to support the agency’s efforts to improve supervision practices to better meet the needs of individuals on probation and (in doing so) reduce crime and recidivism. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
- As part of a statewide women’s justice task force, Dr. Ward analyzed statewide criminal justice data to determine the feasibility of reducing Illinois women’s prison population by 50%.
In addition to her research activities, Dr. Ward teaches courses in the criminal justice department, including “Women in the Criminal Justice System” and “Leaving Crime Behind.” Her research and teaching utilize intersectional, feminist approaches to examining social problems with an eye towards collaboratively developing real-world solutions. Dr. Ward received her doctorate in Sociology from University of Wisconsin Madison. Her dissertation utilized longitudinal interviews with women exiting jail to examine how short-term incarceration in jail impacts women’s housing options and how housing instability shapes women’s efforts to leave criminal activity behind.